SM East grad among leaders for group trying to break two-party system’s hold on politics

SAM held a signature-gathering event in Lawrence earlier this year. Photo courtesy SAM.

Prairie Village native Zach Colby never in a million years thought he’d get involved in politics.

A standout soccer player during his

Zach Colby became SAM’s field director in early 2018. Photo courtesy SAM.

time at SM East, he went on to play at the at Washington and Lee University in Virginia, where he studied economics and music. He took a job with a start up in San Francisco right out of college in 2015, and then spent most of 2017 traveling the world.

But as he returned to U.S., he found that he was still caught up in the rancor over the 2016 elections. He couldn’t believe how many people out there were unsatisfied with the candidates the Republican and Democratic parties had put forth.

“Look, people were not thrilled with the 2016 election,” Colby said. “Everything had gotten so polarized. There was clearly a problem to fix.”

So in early 2018, Colby signed on to become the first field director of SAM, a Denver-based organization that’s looking to provide an alternative to the two-party system. SAM, which initially stood for the Serve America Movement, is working to establish a new political party “for the millions of Americans who are tired of choosing between the lesser of two evils,” according to its website.

“We think they way to fix the problem is to build infrastructure from the ground up,” Colby said. “It’s not ideologically driven. It’s not personality drive. We want to give people a real option not to play in the two-party system.”

The group has done some field work in Kansas this year, holding events at KU and K-State, and worked with former Nancy Kassebaum and Bob Dole aide Scott Morgan on his Party of the Center effort.

And it plans to make pushes in a few states in 2019 to get ballot access for candidates.

“We’re in an unprecedented political climate, and we want to provide for people who want a way out of the system we’re in,” Colby said.

You can learn more about SAM here.