Katie Fahey: How 20 Words and an Emoji Led Me to the Front Line of Saving Democracy

Part of the Department of Sociology's Law, Justice, and Social Change Speaker Series 

Two days after the 2016 elections, 27-year-old Katie Fahey, a political novice, posted on Facebook, “I’d like to take on gerrymandering in Michigan. If you’re interested in doing this as well please let me know. {smiley face emoji}.” What began as a Facebook group, turned into an army of volunteers in a matter of weeks. The massive nonpartisan citizen campaign, now named Voters Not Politicians, gathered over 400,000 signatures to put redistricting reform on the Michigan ballot. The ballot initiative sought to create an independent commission to determine voting districts in Michigan. Michigan voters overwhelmingly approved the ballot measure in November 2018. The success of Fahey’s campaign has made it a model for anti-gerrymandering campaigns—and citizen organizing—across the nation. As Tina Rosenberg wrote in the New York Times, “If you doubt that a private citizen can make a difference, meet Fahey.”  


Session Is Over
LSA 4154
Katie Fahey, Executive Director of Voters Not Politicians
Katie Fahey will discuss the Voters Not Politicians campaign. Dinner is provided.
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