| Get the Picture

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Amidst the national and global crisis, Americans are not only taking care of ourselves and our families, but are taking care of our communities and each other, too. 

I’m inspired by that, and by so many American Promise members who have reached out to reaffirm that our mission—to unite and empower Americans to build a strong Republic and healthy democracy—is more urgent than ever.
In the past few weeks, we’ve moved our national calls, local chapter meetings, town halls, and educational opportunities online with Zoom. We’ve rolled out our digital toolkit to better reach our fellow citizens, legislators, and candidates. And your efforts in the states are moving ahead—including one that can make Alaska the 21st state to call for the American Promise constitutional amendment! More on that and a great piece from Joe Geldhof, our friend and American Promise leader in Juneau, are in this issue. 
In addition to health and economic challenges, we have a serious challenge of campaigning and voting during widespread stay-at-home precautions. We do face a national crisis today, and we have done so before. But Americans never stopped advocating, listening, arguing, campaigning and voting, despite the Civil War, two World Wars, and devastating pandemics past. Today, we will do so again.
In this issue, you’ll find information about making sure voting and elections are safe and secure. Every state may be different in our federalist system, so be sure to check to see what your state and community are doing. 

Finally, we don’t just vote for the sake of voting. We vote for better representation and real reform. Now is the time to make sure every candidate running in your community has signed the American Promise Candidate Pledge, and supports the American Promise amendment. 

Arundhati Roy says, “historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next.” 
I’m grateful to you and all of our American Promise community for this opportunity to imagine and build our world anew, even as we navigate this challenging storm.

All best wishes,

Easy Action Item

Jeff Clements
President, American Promise
Voting in Times of National Crisis 

Amid the uncertainty that the pandemic has created around the world, Americans hold fast to the critical importance of one key facet of our democracy: the right to representative government that reflects the wishes of we the people. 
Even, or perhaps especially, in times of crisis, we have to make sure that every American can exercise their right to vote. Learn what American Promise and other partner organizations are doing to ensure safe fall elections.
Read More
A Passion for Independence: An Alaskan Shares Why the 49th State May Be the 21st to Call for the 28th Amendment 

Thanks to Alaskan citizen leaders, this fall’s ballot will include a democracy reform initiative that includes a provision calling on Congress to pass a constitutional amendment to get big money out of politics. American Promise spoke with attorney Joe Geldhof to discuss this opportunity for reform and why Alaskans are so engaged with self-government. 
Read More
The American Promise Candidate Pledge is a volunteer-led effort to get candidates and elected officials at all levels of government to pledge on the record that they will use their office to advance the 28th Amendment to put people, not money, in charge of our political system.

Make a difference in three steps:
1) Download and print the pledge.
2) Ask a candidate/incumbent elected official to sign it.
3) Return the signed form to American Promise.
Download the Pledge
| What We’re Tracking This Week

From NPR: Wisconsin went forward with elections on Tuesday, amid public health concerns about the coronavirus and despite stay-at-home orders from the governor. With a reduced number of polling places and a shortage of poll workers, voters in some locations had to stand in long, socially distanced lines. Read more.

From the Bulwark: Now that Congress has passed the first stimulus bill providing financial assistance to Americans, it’s time to turn to aid for the upcoming election. That’s the message in this editorial from Tyler Fisher, Deputy Director of Reforms and Partnerships at Unite America. “Policymakers must act quickly and decisively so voters don’t need to choose between protecting their health and exercising their civic duty,” he says. Read more.

From The Fulcrum: Stay-at-home orders amid the coronavirus pandemic have stalled numerous democracy reform initiatives across the country. Because advocates cannot collect signatures to get the measures on the November ballot, at least 18 campaigns in 10 states have stopped their work. Read more.

From the Washington Times: U.S. Reps. John Katko, a New York Republican, and Stephanie Murphy, a Florida Democrat, have introduced legislation calling for a commission to assess U.S. preparation for and response to pandemics. The bipartisan commission would begin its work—calling on experts in public health, emergency management, and other relevant fields—after “we emerge from this crisis,” Murphy says. Katko also is a co-sponsor of 28th Amendment legislation introduced in Congress. Read more.

From the Oregonian: The rest of the nation could learn from Oregon’s vote-by-mail system adopted two decades ago, as Kristin Eberhard of the Democracy Program at Sightline Institute shares in this editorial. “As veterans of a successful, time-tested vote by mail system, Oregonians should be on the front lines, supporting national legislation and encouraging friends and family across the country to do the same,” she says. Read more.

From MTV News: Advocacy campaigns will look different, at least in the short term, as people heed stay-at-home orders during the COVID-19 pandemic. By turning to new technology and other tools, advocacy leaders hope to continue their work for change. Read more

| Upcoming American Promise Events

Given current recommendations for avoiding large gatherings, most upcoming American Promise events are being rescheduled or reimagined as digital/online events. Watch the American Promise calendar for the most current information.

April 17: Join Elizabeth Doty, co-founder of Business for American Promise, and Rick Alexander, founder of The Shareholder Commons, for a webinar on “How Companies and Investors Can Restore Trust in Democracy.” The webinar will explore what committed sustainability and government affairs professionals can do to address the growing lobbying arms race, and is part of the virtual Future 500 Summit at EarthX. Webinar begins at 2 p.m. Eastern time. Register online.

American Promise empowers Americans to act together to win the 28th Amendment so people, not money, govern in America.
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