Citizen Leadership Drives Congressional Hearing on 28th Amendment

In February 2020, citizen leaders took the fight for the American Promise Amendment to end unlimited political spending to Capitol Hill. Moved by calls to action from across the nation, members of the House of Representatives agreed to hear arguments in favor of the amendment from prominent democracy reform advocates.

In winter of 2020, citizen leaders gathered on Capitol Hill for an important step in the movement for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. On the heels of victories across the nation and midterm elections that saw voters strongly approving democracy reform initiatives, members of an important Congressional committee heard public arguments in favor of the 28th Amendment. This was the first hearing of the Congressional session on this specific amendment proposal, marking the first step before the amendment can receive a full House vote.

For two hours on Feb. 6, a panel of experts made the case for the amendment to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties. Powerful amendment advocates—including FEC Commissioner Ellen Weintraub, Public Citizen President Robert Weissman, and Ciara Torres-Spelliscy, a Brennan Center fellow and professor at Stetson University College of Law—discussed dark money, the growing political power of ultra-wealthy donors, and the rising public distrust in our nation’s institutions as a consequence of the pay-to-play system.

American Promise State Manager Azor Cole (left) provides oral testimony before the Congressional hearing. Congressman Steve Cohen is seated behind him.

Regardless of the specific issues they brought up, these panelists agreed that a constitutional amendment lays the necessary groundwork for fixing our campaign finance system.

We are proud to have joined these voices on Capitol Hill to highlight one of the most crucial reforms of our time. American Promise State Manager Azor Cole provided verbal testimony before the panel and delivered written testimony to Congress from citizen leaders across the nation. The following pieces of testimony by American Promise’s passionate network of citizen leaders showcase the many reasons Americans across the political spectrum care so deeply about this issue. Consider using one of these testimonies as the basis of an email to your own elected representative. 

Rod Morrison of Powell, Wyoming

Chet Hunt of Knoxville, Tennessee

Ellen Greene Bush of Port Clinton, Ohio, Marie HenselderKimmel of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Robbi Duda of Ann Arbor, Michigan (Healthcare Providers for American Promise)

Elizabeth Doty of San Francisco, California

Devin Hiett, University of Oklahoma Graduate, Washington, D.C. Resident

Carole Ortenzo of McMurray, Pennsylvania

Alan LaPolice of Manhattan, Kansas

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