Putting Pressure on Congress: Bringing the 28th Amendment to Capitol Hill
American Promise is proud to announce another set of speakers for the National Citizen Leadership Conference, Oct. 19-21 in the D.C. metro area. NCLC will bring together a cross-partisan group of citizens, politicians, thought leaders and organizations to work toward the common goal of passing the 28th Amendment to get big money out of politics.
American Promise’s third National Citizen Leadership Conference will feature some of the most prominent voices in the democracy reform movement. The recent introduction of the 28th Amendment in the U.S. Senate is another marker of the rapid support our movement is building in Congress, which is critical to pass an amendment by ⅔ of Congress and ¾ of states. At the NCLC, citizen leaders will hear and learn from elected officials and democracy reform leaders who will share insights and strategies to effectively build momentum in Congress and across the country.
On the final day of NCLC, attendees will go to the halls of Congress to speak with their elected officials about the 28th Amendment and encourage them to cosponsor amendment legislation. Throughout the conference, American Promise Citizen Empowerment Coach Sam Daley-Harris will lead trainings to prepare attendees to meet with lawmakers. One lead sponsor of a 28th Amendment proposal in the House, Congressman Jim McGovern, will join us at NCLC. Democracy reform leaders Ben Cohen of Stamp Stampede and Olivia Zink of Open Democracy will also discuss how their organizations are helping to advance the amendment.
Congressman Jim McGovern, Representative of Massachusetts District 2
Congressman Jim McGovern has represented Massachusetts’s 2nd District since 2013. Earlier this year, McGovern cosponsored bipartisan 28th Amendment legislation in Congress, along with lead sponsors Congressmen Ted Deutch, John Katko and Jamie Raskin.
“If we want to give our government back to the people, we need to deal with this issue of money, which is what the 28th Amendment would give Congress and the states the power to do,” McGovern said at a Writing the 28th Amendment event.
Ben Cohen, Head Stamper of Stamp Stampede and Co-Founder of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream
Ben Cohen is the co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream and head stamper of Stamp Stampede, an organization that stamps dollar bills with messages to raise awareness of campaign finance issues and call for a constitutional amendment. Cohen is a vocal democracy reform advocate and has partnered with American Promise on numerous occasions to advance the 28th Amendment.
“We need to win an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that overturns bad 5-to-4 Supreme Court rulings like Citizens United v. FEC that have emboldened people to abuse public office for the sake of power and private profit,” Cohen wrote in a 2017 op-ed.
Watch Ben Cohen highlight the scope of big money political donations using BBs at the 2016 National Citizen Leadership Conference:
Olivia Zink, Executive Director of Open Democracy
Olivia Zink is the Executive Director of Open Democracy, a cross-partisan democracy reform group based in New Hampshire that focuses heavily on campaign finance reform. The organization has brought together more than 3,000 people to walk a combined total of more than 40,000 miles highlighting the need for campaign finance reform
“The issue of campaign finance reform is very bipartisan,” Zink said at a campaign finance reform march in July. “We want every candidate, [the] Republican and Democratic parties, to be talking about what we need to do to fix our democracy. We really need a system that represents all of our voices. Billionaires should not be picking who can run for office.”
Sam Daley-Harris, American Promise Citizen Empowerment Coach and Founder of RESULTS
Sam Daley-Harris is American Promise’s Citizen Empowerment Coach, author of Reclaiming Our Democracy, and founder of RESULTS, an organization focused on ending poverty through political solutions. Daley-Harris will lead trainings throughout the course of the National Citizen Leadership Conference to prepare attendees for Lobby Day, when they will go to Capitol Hill to advocate for the 28th Amendment in Congress.
“Don’t skip [Lobby Day],” Daley-Harris said. “Give yourself the gift of a living democracy”