Team Democracy is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, representing all Americans in our shared commitment to defending and strengthening the most essential cornerstones of American democracy. Our signature initiative is the nonpartisan Safe and Fair Election Pledge. With our robust partners, and with the help of like-minded Americans across the country, we work tirelessly to reduce polarization. We help to turn our public narrative from one of rancor and mistrust, to one that affirms our common allegiance to the core tenets of The Election Pledge. And we ask your help in securing commitments from our elected officials to do the same. Ours is the broadest of all possible tents, and we welcome you to the Team Democracy movement.
It's simple, really. We are Americans. And America needs us to be better than we've been. Team Democracy's mission is to rally all Americans - and especially those who we elect to represent us - to a shared identity, and a shared commitment to democracy. We ask of ourselves, and of our elected leaders, an enduring commitment to the safe and fair electoral processes that will keep democracy on track for another two and a half centuries, and beyond. As democracies around the world resist the mounting efforts of autocracies to undermine them, our commitment to shoring up democracy here at home could not be more important, or more timely.
Ken Powley and Chris Newlon are the co-founders of Team Democracy. They’re also brothers-in-law from opposite sides of the political spectrum, who share an affinity for whitewater rivers.
January 6 of 2021 triggered difficult conversations all across the country. For Chris and Ken, that conversation has carried on every day since January 7. Since Ken lives in Mountain Top, PA, and Chris lives in Chapel Hill, NC, many of their “kitchen table” conversations happened online over the course of 2021. In the months since, they have both “retired”, Ken from 46 years at the helm of a whitewater rafting company, and Chris from four decades in tech, mostly at IBM, to dedicate their full time effort to Team Democracy.
Their shared commitment to strengthening the cornerstones of our democratic republic, and finding critical pieces of common ground - for themselves and for the country - led them to found Team Democracy, and to write the Safe and Fair Election Pledge.
General Michael Hayden, four-star General, USAF, and former Director of CIA and NSA, soon joined Team Democracy as Chairman of the Board. (Ken and the General share grandchildren who were evacuated from Kyiv, Ukraine in early 2022.) Hayden's extensive experience defending democracies abroad brings a global perspective to the critically important mission of defending and strengthening our democracy here at home.
More than one year, and countless kitchen table conversations later, Team Democracy has taken flight. Non-profit organizations, current and former elected officials, national security leaders, and businesses have embraced the work and support the mission.