I join the overwhelming majority of Americans to demand an amendment to the United States Constitution to end the domination of big money in politics and give voice to all Americans.
I will stand with all Americans, without regard to party or other differences, and urge all candidates and elected officials to do the same, in order to pass and ratify such a constitutional amendment as soon as possible.

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August 28, 2018

How Will We Pass the 28th Amendment? Our Strategy to Ratify

How Will We Pass the 28th Amendment? Our Strategy to Ratify

August 28, 2018
Published By American Promise

Learn more about the process, language and strategy we plan to use to ratify the 28th Amendment and ensure people, not money, govern America.

People, not big money, should govern America. The majority of U.S. citizens across all parties agree that big money has influenced our government for too long and to the detriment of the people.

American Promise is leading the campaign for the 28th Amendment, which, once ratified, will enable American citizens to create the future we want to see. Passing a Constitutional amendment doesn’t happen overnight—but it is possible. In fact, every one of the 27 amendments to our Constitution has been citizen-led and passed during times of political upheaval. The process requires the support of several players: citizen across the nation, local leaders, our representatives in Congress, and our state legislators.

Here’s how American Promise, partners, and citizens across the U.S. will ratify the next Constitutional amendment.

The Process

The Constitution provides two ways for an amendment to be proposed: either by Congress with a two-thirds majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, or by a convention of the states called by Congress upon request by two-thirds of the State legislatures.

In either case, once an Amendment is passed, it must be ratified by three-fourths of the states. Though it is reasonable to wonder if Congress and the states can manage to do this, all 27 amendments of our Constitution have been passed by 2/3 of Congress and ratified by 3/4 of the States. It’s what Americans do.

Whether through Congress or convention, support for an amendment on a state level is critical. State representatives who support the 28th Amendment will speak and act on behalf of their constituents, urging their colleagues to support an amendment proposal.

Today, citizen leaders throughout the U.S. and across parties are successfully taking action to urge their local and state leaders to support the 28th. Several states have already passed resolutions or approved letters calling on Congress to move this amendment forward.

The Language

The most effective 28th Amendment is one that represents all citizens. We believe in a government run by the people and for the people, and in that same vein, a Constitutional amendment should be written by the people and benefit U.S. citizens far and wide.

Through our Writing the 28th project, we are bringing Americans of all walks of life together with law professors, democracy advocates, congresspeople, and Constitutional experts for deliberation and debate. These discussions inform the language and ultimate purpose of this amendment.

The strongest consensus language for the Amendment will secure:

  • Rights for human beings over privileges for global corporations and special interests
  • Fair and free elections for ALL Americans
  • Rights of all Americans to equal participation and representation

The Strategy

We know a campaign is only as good as the strategy that guides it. American Promise’s strategy incorporates three key drivers:

  1. Our distributed, decentralized model supports, connects and amplifies cross-partisan local action by Americans throughout the country, driven by our national Citizen Uprising, public events, and our acclaimed National Citizen Leadership Conference.
  2. We build national consensus and determination, vetting and driving forward specific, effective language of the 28th Amendment with our Writing The 28th Amendment program mentioned above and inviting all Americans into the process.
  3. We hold elected representatives accountable to ensure that they represent the good of the country and the will of the people for big, real reform through the 28th Amendment, rather than do the bidding of big donors and special interests.

This three-prong strategy is designed to build the super-majority support in Congress and throughout the country needed to pass and ratify the 28th Amendment.

We all know our current political environment is extremely divided. Fortunately, overturning the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court ruling and ratifying the 28th Amendment have strong cross-partisan support. Since the 2010 ruling, millions of Americans, 19 states, and 800 cities and towns have battled successfully for resolutions to overturn Citizens United. The outsized influence of hidden money in our government has no party limit; Democrats, Republicans and Independents are equally complicit in taking money from special interest groups to write laws that benefit those groups. The vast majority of Americans are in favor of the 28th Amendment, and we’re already well on our way.

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Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) recently introduced the Ending Corporate Influence on Elections Act, which would reverse the Citizens United decision and reduce the ability of corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money in our elections. The bill has created conflict between Hawley and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), whose allies run the Senate Leadership Fund Super PAC, which takes in unlimited contributions from corporations. Shocked? We're not!
American Promise has submitted a working paper to the American Bar Association Task Force for American Democracy, recommending a constitutional amendment to address the problem of money in American elections