Mayor Scott Avedisian aims to assist a citizens’ movement whose rally call is to “tell Congress to stop the fighting and start fixing.”
“We want to stop the showmanship and start the statesmanship,” Avedisian said Friday.
A week ago Sunday, Avedisian was one of more than 1,000 to attend a meeting of the No Labels group at New York University. The following day, he was with an equally large audience that met at the Marriott Marquis in Manhattan.
Started in December 2010, No Labels claims to have hundreds of thousands of supporters across the country. Made up of Republicans, Democrats and “everyone in between,” according to their website, No Labels is led by former Republican Governor Jon Huntsman and Democratic Senator Joe Manchin.
Avedisian said Jonathan Miller, secretary for the Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet, who he got to know through the Aspen Institute, got him involved with the organization. Avedisian said he understands there will be fundamental differences between Republicans and Democrats, but there are core issues, such as the budget, that they need to come together on for the good of the entire country.
No Labels claims to be like no other organization in the country.
“The most powerful interest groups in our nation’s capital work to push our leaders and our political parties apart. No Labels is working to bring them together to forge solutions to our nation’s problems. We welcome people left, right and everything in between as long as they are willing to collaborate with one another to seek a shared success for America. This new attitude is what No Labels is all about,” reads their website.
The group aims to bring people together and solve problems by rallying citizens to their cause; providing a means for lawmakers who want to solve problems to come together and by “pushing for common sense reforms to make our government work.”
“If people can get in the same room and talk, then it’s hard for them to hate each other,” Avedisian said.
He said he is looking to be active in the group’s state-by-state effort and is supportive of the No Labels’ action plans, “Make Congress Work!” and “Make the Presidency Work!”
The group claims to have gained traction with its No Budget, No Pay, which received a hearing last year in the Senate and has been introduced in the 113th Congress. The group is also pushing for an Annual Fiscal Report and the Five-Day Work Week for the House and Senate.
No Labels lists a third plan, Make America Work!, which argues that achieving a new politics of problem solving requires elected leaders to embrace five key principles of political leadership: 1) Tell the full truth, 2) Govern for the future, 3) Put the country first, 4) Be responsible, and 5) Work together.
District 1 Congressman David Cicilline also attended the No Labels meeting in New York. In remarks delivered to the House of Representatives the following day, Cicilline said, “As we begin the work of the 113th Congress, it is critical that both Democrats and Republicans commit to working with their colleagues across the aisle and putting the long-term interests of our country ahead of their own short-term political goals.” He said he has joined No Labels.