What to Expect When You Join an American Promise Association: Support With Every Step
American Promise is a national network dedicated to work toward a constitutional amendment that would enable Congress and citizens to set reasonable limits on campaign spending and contributions. The goal of the amendment is to ensure the equal representation promised to every citizen in our Constitution by reducing the undue influence of big money and special interests in our political system.
Like every successful political movement in our nation’s history, our success is dependent upon the action and passion of citizens across the nation. Our network of dedicated citizen leaders working locally within their communities help build awareness and take action in their towns, cities, counties and states. These groups are called American Promise Associations, and we support each one through every step of emboldened civic action.
While our national organization provides structure and network support, it is our growing team of American Promise Association citizen leaders who will drive the passage of this amendment. As Ohio APA leader Ellen Greene Bush explains: “American Promise provides a framework for me to accomplish step-wise goals toward solving a big problem with our democracy, along with citizen leaders in other states doing likewise.”
Interested in joining or starting an APA in your area? If so, take a look at what you can expect, along with quotes from the citizen leaders already in action across our nation.
Reach out to American Promise: You’ll get a call from a member of our Citizen Empowerment team to get started. We’ll talk about the 28th Amendment, what can be done specific to where you live, and discuss tangible next steps for getting your group off the ground.
APA Launch: Once you’re ready to launch your APA, American Promise representatives will join you and other interested members from your community at your launch event. You’re an official APA, welcome to the team!
Continued Support: American Promise offers monthly calls on the second Monday of each month from 8-9 p.m. ET to structure your APA meetings around.
Last year we were honored to have Congressman Rick Nolan, award-winning author Frances Moore Lappe, ice cream and democracy legend Ben Cohen, constitutional scholar Yael Bromberg and many others join these calls as our guest speakers. We’ll pick up right where we left off with these bonafide experts, so mark your calendars for the second Monday of each month from 8-9 p.m. ET.
On each call, there’s always a grassroots victory from an APA member, an action for the month with clearly laid out steps, and a role-play training section of the call to strengthen our growing civic muscles!
In addition, on the first and third Monday of each month, there are informal “Leader Calls,” when leaders from each APA join each other for continued support from peers and staff.
Goals: As APAs get underway, they set their sights on accomplishing three main goals. These goals are intended to help focus your efforts on meaningful action and to provide a variety of opportunities for your members, depending on their interests and talents.
Goal #1: Legislative actions. Your first legislative goals include one meeting with your member of Congress, one meeting with a state representative and one meeting with an upcoming candidate for office. We provide lots of support materials, including scripts for what to talk about, training videos, and tips for outreach. Don’t be intimidated—your elected officials want to hear from you, and we’ve got your back! Watch the Tri-County New Jersey APA meet with their elected official.
Goal #2: Media engagement. Engaging the local media is a great way to educate your community about the amendment and the problem with big money in politics, and can go a long way toward building both APA membership and support in Congress. You group’s aim is to publish two Letters to the Editors of local paper, one op-ed, and get one article generated about your group’s activities. We offer lots of support here, as well, with many examples of past letters, a structure you can use, and a team of professional writers and editors who can help if you like.
Goal #3: Community engagement. The best way to reach out to your fellow community members is to host meetings and meet people at other events and organizations in your area. Good group goals are to host one outreach meeting at a library, coffee shop or brewery; to present to other groups such as faith groups, civics groups or business organizations; and to table at one public event such as a fair.
In Wisconsin, the local APA has passed more than 140 local resolutions across the state calling for the amendment. Wisconsin citizen leader George Penn says: “Our primary strategy to educate citizens and build power has been passing local resolutions calling for the amendment. We have also started bringing into the movement the faith communities by having congregations passing resolutions calling for the amendment. We are approaching businesses to write letters of support for the amendment. While doing all this work we continue to build relations and coalitions with other activist groups throughout Wisconsin.”
Want to learn more?
Watch this intro video made by Kansas City APA leader Jerry Lloyd.
Reach out about starting your own APA.