Can You Not PAC was founded on the idea that while there are amazing groups doing great work to recruit and support women, people of color, and LGBTQ folks who are running for office, there was one small thing missing.

Can You Not PAC is a political action project that aims to dis/empower and dis/incline people in positions of privilege, specifically straight white men, from ambitions of running for office in progressive urban districts. We challenge brogressives and others to reject any notion that they are uniquely qualified or positioned to seek political office in districts that don’t need them. As well-represented white dudes, we feel it is our obligation to know when to shut up and Not.


The Can You Not PAC was started by white men, for white men, asking white men that one important question: “Bruh, can you not?” We are happy to host interventions for the misguided bros in your life who looked in the mirror this morning and thought “yeah, it’s gotta be me.”


SINCE 2016

Paid for by Can You Not PAC

Design by the Interns 2016

Set in Adelle Sans


Maybe you, too, know a handsome upwardly mobile upper-middle class cis dude who is well intentioned and *super progressive.* We’re happy go buy him a locally brewed craft beer and tell him to take a step back instead. We are not the heroes that Gotham needs.


Jack & Kyle


How serious is this project?

We are 100% serious! We plan to give a handful of Democratic endorsements and (dis)endorsements before the June primaries and November election. Our advisory board of progressive women, LGBTQ folks, and people of color are researching and reviewing all of the potential endorsements and will make final decisions on those candidates by June 2016. We are raising money with the intent of defeating mediocre white dudes and elevating some of the best underrepresented candidates of 2016.


We really want white dudes in urban districts to think hard about why they think they're the most qualified option to represent their communities. We're psyched that there are so many groups aimed at recruiting and supporting women, people of color, and LGBTQ folks running for office, and we think it would also be great if instead of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on democratic primaries, upwardly mobile straight white dudes would just ~*take a step back*~.


Why do you hate America ?

Shut up, comrade. You are not the hero that Gotham needs.


Is this discriminatory against white men?

There is an epidemic of overly confident, under qualified white dudes crowding out America’s elections. We don’t need more qualified women, people of color, or LGBT folks – we need white men to stop feeling so entitled to the vast majority of elected position. We're not prejudiced against incompetent men! We just believe they should know their place.


By doing this, are you discouraging qualified candidates from running for office?

Beth Reingold at Emory University has an excellent summary on these issues – "African American state legislators are more likely (even compared to other Democrats or other representatives with similar constituencies) to introduce measures to combat racial discrimination and boost the socioeconomic and political status of African Americans, as well as measures generally aimed at improving education, health care, and social welfare." If as progressives we support those policies, is it not our obligation to elect the candidates who are most likely to bring those policies?


Won’t we have less qualified candidates?

There is a tsunami of mediocre white men running for office.  Our self-inflating sense of ability and talents has convinced many of us to run in the face of overwhelming empirical evidence that we are in fact not the most qualified. We're fighting back against the notion that looking like a Ken doll is a qualification for elective office.


Actual press inquiries?

shoot us an email at

If you woke up this morning and thought:

    "I'd be great at Congress!"

Reasons to give <3

<--- this right here!



Success Stories

Decided not to run 2016

Clemson '08 | Eagle Scout


Decided not to run 2016

Brown '07 | Americorps '08-'10


Decided not to run 2016

Amherst '07 | UCLA Law '12


Decided not to run 2016

Yale '04 | Class President


Decided not to run 2016

Boulder '06 | Yale MBA '08


Decided not to run 2016

Bucknell '05 | Valedictorian


Cornell '10 | ROTC


Decided not to run 2016

Thanks to LLBean for these all-American studs.


Join us, comrade! Let us know if you want to be an extremely official part of this coalition and we'll give you a Very Official Internship Title. All internships are unpaid, but you gain valuable experience.


Also seeking Board Members and literally any other love you want to send our way.


2016 Intern Corps

Kyle Huelsman | Interim Intern

Jack Teter | Deputy Intern to the Interim Intern

Will Andras | Internship intern

Zac Chapman | Assistant Interdependent Intern, Americorps VISTA