American Promise is proud to announce the first set of speakers for our National Citizen Leadership Conference, Oct. 19-21 in the D.C. metro. 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. As NCLC approaches, we will be announcing our featured speakers for the conference. The first four speakers in this rollout are Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin, 3-time Oscar-nominated actress Debra Winger, BridgeUSA CEO Manu Meel and retired 4-time CEO and 2018 Senate Candidate Neal Simon. Read on to learn about each of these speakers and what inspires them to advocate for a stronger democracy and the 28th Amendment.
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer-Prize Winning Biographer, Historian and Political Commentator
Doris Kearns Goodwin is a world-renowned presidential historian, public speaker and Pulitzer Prize-winning, New York Times #1 best-selling author. Her work includes Leadership In Turbulent Times, Team of Rivals, and No Ordinary Time. Kearns Goodwin sits on the American Promise Advisory Council, the nation’s first cross-partisan advisory council advancing the 28th Amendment, and has been a champion of the amendment for years.
“It is time to accept the historical gravity of our situation,” Kearns Goodwin said. “It is time for Americans of all political viewpoints to come together to win the 28th Amendment—and to renew U.S. democracy again.”
Watch historian Doris Kearns Goodwin talk about the importance of amendments in American history:
Debra Winger, Award-Winning Actress and Activist
Debra Winger is an award-winning actress and three-time Oscar nominee turned activist known for her roles in Terms of Endearment and An Officer and a Gentleman. Winger is also a member of the American Promise Advisory Council advocating for a 28th Amendment.
“Plainly put, I don’t see how any other major issues that I care deeply about can be solved in a long-term way, any crisis safely averted, any sea change toward the betterment of life in the United States of America until we have the 28th Amendment,” Winger said. “This Constitutional amendment renews the very essence of what this democracy was founded on and for: equality under the law and the potential to prosper and live with some assurance that you are represented in your government.”
Manu Meel, CEO of BridgeUSA
Manu Meel is the CEO of BridgeUSA, a multipartisan organization committed to improving the political climate of the nation by establishing chapters on college campuses around the country. The organization focuses on college students because many of them will become the nation’s political leaders. BridgeUSA’s mission aligns with the cross-partisan nature of American Promise.
“Right now, politics is so toxic,” Meel said in a 2018 free speech event at UC Berkeley. “We really see a lack of dialogue. We really see a lack of constructive engagement across political differences. And the goal is to show that these conversations can happen.”
Neal Simon, Business Executive, Activist and 2018 Candidate for U.S. Senate
Neal Simon is a business executive who has run five businesses and a political activist who ran for U.S. Senate as an independent in Maryland in 2018. During his Senate bid, Simon called for campaign finance reforms to give power back to voters.
“America understands that right now, money is buying influence in unhealthy ways in our political system and that our politicians are incredibly influenced by the special interests that fund their campaigns, and we know that,” Simon said in an interview with Independent Voter News. “And it’s not OK.”