As executive director of the nonpartisan nonprofit MassVOTE, Cheryl Clyburn Crawford leads efforts to increase voter participation in Massachusetts. As a founding member of the American Promise Advisory Council and Board of American Promise Education Fund member, Crawford advocates for the 28th Amendment to reduce the influence of big money in politics. 

She shared how the work of both organizations overlaps during a recent webinar conversation about “Our Common Purpose: Reinventing American Democracy for the 21st Century,” the recently released report from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Commission on the Practice of Democratic Citizenship. A constitutional amendment to end the dominance of concentrated money in politics is prominent among the key reforms recommended in the report.

In these video excerpts from the recent webinar conversation, Clyburn Crawford shares how her work to support voting rights, inclusion, and representative democracy aligns with American Promise’s national bipartisan movement to get money out of politics.

“MassVOTE was founded to fight for political, racial and economic equality. And American Promise is fighting against unchecked political spending, which is silencing the voices of our citizens and corrupting our ability to freely and fairly elect representative government.

“Our missions are aligned. This is right in step for what we’re doing in Massachusetts. And what Jeff and everyone at American Promise is doing nationally in a bipartisan effort to make sure we include everybody.”

She also explained why American Promise is well-positioned to stay on course to win an amendment to restore democracy amid the growing racial justice movement and the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is a moment in time in which we can make real change, right? Now is the time for us to make these bold moves. Now is the time for us to make big, structural changes. And American Promise is doing just that. It has been on the track of diversity and inclusion on its way to good government.

“We can’t afford to pause. We just had to pivot as everything went virtual and really realign how we’re going to do this work. But we have to stay on course, and that is staying on course to win the 28th Amendment to the Constitution—to restore American democracy, good democracy, transparent democracy, and to make good on the promise of democracy.”