After a year of major successes, champions for the 28th Amendment came together at the National Citizen Leadership Conference to fuel up and plan to accomplish four necessary goals for 2020, to win ratification by 2026:
The rising generation of young Americans identify many challenges they are facing—among them crippling student loan debt, a broken healthcare system, and the mounting consequences of climate change. Young Americans are ready to tackle the underlying cause of these issues: big money in politics. At the NCLC, a core group of determined students launched the Cause of Our Time Statement of Principle, inviting young Americans across the nation to sign on to take a stand against big money in politics.
I think that even in our divisive political moment today, where things seem absolutely hopeless, I still believe in everyday Americans, especially young people's ability to make change. So thank you so much for investing in today, while myself and my fellow leaders continue to invest in tomorrow.
―Manu Meel, Chief Executive Officer, BridgeUSA
Our grassroots movement is successful when citizen leaders across the nation are empowered to win support among their fellow community members, local elected officials, and state officials. Our citizen leaders have been extremely effective in racking up local victories over the course of the past year, and we are ready to double down on these victories in 2020.
Every single one of us as a citizen is called to participate in our democracy. We can't wait for one large change, one person to be impeached, one rule to be shifted to fully participate in our democratic republic. Every single one of us is expected to engage and be active citizens whether or not there's an Election Day happening.
―Leslie Danks Burke, Founder and President of Trailblazers PAC
Business leaders, veterans, farmers, environmentalists—Americans of all stripes are motivated to create a better functioning democracy. At the NCLC we identified how our success is dependent on activating our networks and connecting with new networks to fix the common denominator that affects us all: getting big money out of politics. Learn more about the reasons all types of Americans care about this fundamental issue.
It doesn't matter what issue is your issue. Whether it is climate and healthcare, or government spending, and industrial subsidies that end up raising taxes on everyone. There will be no progress on any issue, no real common sense progress that reflects the will of the people, until we have a government that actually represents people.
―Ellen Read, New Hampshire State Representative
Building cross-partisan congressional support for the 28th Amendment is crucial to our ratification strategy. Constituents from across the political spectrum are connecting with their members of Congress, giving voice to many motivating concerns but one solution on which everyone can agree. By growing the number of constituents, the variety of voices, and depth of relationships with our Representatives and Senators, we will build upon the momentum of the first bi-partisan introduction of 28th Amendment legislation in 2019 and increase our impact in 2020 with a focus on collaboration across the political aisle to fulfill the demands of the people.
We are the people we've been waiting for. Every single one of you that is going to be engaged in coalition building, gathering signatures and putting things on ballots in your own states and making sure that your state legislatures are stepping up and taking this pledge, and then taking that fight to Washington, D.C. That's enormously important work.
―Sean Curran, Principal, Waterville Consulting
Photography by Sam Troia