For Immediate Release
DATE: December 4, 2017
TOP LEGAL MINDS, ELECTED OFFICIALS, DEMOCRACY REFORM LEADERS, AND CITIZEN LEADERS JOIN IN AN 18-MONTH-LONG DELIBERATIVE PROJECT TO WRITE AND VET THE 28TH AMENDMENT TO THE U.S. CONSTITUTION
Led by American Promise, Writing The 28th Amendment is Part of a 50-State Cross-Partisan Campaign to Win the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution To Combat Systemic Corruption and Secure Political Equality for All Americans
Cambridge, MA – Nearly eight years after the Supreme Court in Citizens United v. FEC struck down campaign finance laws, a diverse and cross-partisan group of lawmakers, constitutional lawyers, citizens, and reformers have embarked on an ambitious 18-month project to educate and engage Americans about how the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution can effectively end the control of concentrated money in elections and politics in America, and strengthen the ability of all Americans to participate in self-government.
“The 28th Amendment will be the first Constitutional amendment in the digital age, and we want all Americans to have a role in writing it,” says Jeff Clements, President of American Promise, “the 28th Amendment is not just about “campaign finance” or “money in politics.” It’s about our rights as equal citizens.”
Participants include former Senator Alan Simpson (R—WY), Senator Tom Udall (D–NM), Congressman Jim McGovern (D—MA), former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner, Delaware Chief Justice Leo Strine, Jr., former Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, retired Justice Jim Nelson, Harvard Professor Lawrence Lessig, University of Tulsa Professor Tamara Piety, Caroline Fredrickson, John Pudner, and many others.
But the process will also be opened to all interested Americans online and through a series of regional public forums for civil dialogue, discussion and debate. American Promise is providing an online resource library that will included recordings of the working group deliberations, meetings, white papers, videos, and other information. The project also is on the agenda for the second annual National Citizen Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. in June 2018.
“By bringing as many people as possible into this conversation about what the 28th Amendment should do and say, Writing the 28th Amendment is empowering all Americans to become citizen leaders in this historic effort.” says Nina Turner, President of Our Revolution.
“Our political system has become one fueled by money, where the goal is not good governance, but the maintenance of power at any cost–of the party, by the party and for the party,” says Justice James Nelson, former Justice of the Montana Supreme Court. “This rigged system has brought America to the edge of the abyss. Writing the 28th Amendment is the answer of We the People. Our ground roots push-back and plan to restore good government and the constitutional values that actually made America great. Our determination to turn from our leaders’ rancor, dysfunction and gridlock to a popular national consensus grounded in civil dialogue, public deliberation and substantive debate.”
“The effort to find common ground on a way to achieve a democracy representative of all of us is the most important project in American politics today,” says Professor Lawrence Lessig, “Everything depends on its success. And its success depends upon its being pursued as American Promise has done — with all sides, working together.”
19 states and nearly 800 cities and towns have passed 28th Amendment resolutions with cross-partisan support. In Montana and Colorado, voters have approved 28th Amendment ballot initiatives by 75-25%. In November 2016, Washington State became the 18th State to call for the 28th Amendment, with a voter initiative passing by wide margins in every region and every Congressional district of the state.
28th Amendment bills have growing support in Congress, with 42 Senators and more than 150 House members sponsoring 28th Amendment bills. All twenty-seven Amendments to date met were proposed by ⅔ of Congress and ratified in ¾ of the States, as Article V of the Constitution provides,
With Writing the 28th Amendment, American Promise is leveraging legal expertise and a national cross- partisan network of committed citizen leaders in every state to build consensus support for specific wording of a 28th Amendment that is effective, sound, and “ready for ratification.”
“Constitutional amendments are not easy but nearly everyone knows our election system is broken, rigged by corrupt money, and failing badly,” said Jeff Clements, the co-founder and president of American Promise. “It wasn’t easy for previous generations of Americans who used the Amendment process to win the Bill of Rights, end slavery, require equal voting rights for all Americans regardless of gender or race, and impose term limits for Presidents but they rose to the challenge. This is what Americans do when our rights and country are on the line.”
For more information, visit https://americanpromise.net/writing_the_28th_amendment