| Get the Picture


The call to right our broken political system and reduce the influence of big money in government is riding a growing wave of momentum.

On Capitol Hill, the 28th Amendment made a splash this week when introduced in the Senate by lead sponsor Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico and 46 co-sponsors. On the 2020 presidential campaign trail, voters are letting candidates know they want a government that reflects their wishes rather than those who are able to buy political influence—and candidates are responding by making money in politics a key talking point. On Main Streets across the country, citizens of all political stripes are calling for an end to the domination of big money in our democracy. 

Want to add your voice and amplify that call for change? Join us at the National Citizen Leadership Conference—October 19-21 in the D.C. metro area—where 300 citizen leaders, elected officials and democracy reform advocates from all walks of life will come together for two days of active learning, networking and collaborating. Then we’ll take our message, our voices and our momentum to Capitol Hill for Citizen Lobby Day and encourage our representatives in Congress to join the movement for the 28th Amendment and end the era of unequal representation. (Early-bird pricing ends Monday, August 5, so be sure to register now!)

Our cross-partisan movement to limit the power of money in state and federal elections depends on the work of you, our citizen leaders, who are stepping forward, coming together and calling for change—on Capitol Hill, on the campaign trail, and on the streets of your hometown.

The time for change is now: It’s on!

Easy Action Item
Susan Muller
Events Director, American Promise
On to the U.S. Senate: 28th Amendment Introduced 

Senator Tom Udall this week introduced the 28th Amendment in the U.S. Senate. As the 28th Amendment gains momentum across the country, it also is moving forward in Congress and becoming a major talking point in the 2020 presidential election. This success is the result of effective, citizen-led grassroots action pushing democracy reform into the mainstream debate. Watch video from the announcement event on Capitol Hill.
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Early-Bird Pricing for the National Citizen Leadership Conference Ends Soon

Act now to take advantage of early-bird ticket pricing for the National Citizen Leadership Conference—register by August 5 to avoid the price increase!

At American Promise’s third National Citizen Leadership Conference, set for October 19-21 in the D.C. metro area, you’ll hear from some of the most prominent voices in the democracy reform movement.

This week we announce four speakers who will share insights and strategies to effectively create strength and momentum for the 28th Amendment in Congress: MassVOTE Executive Director Cheryl Crawford; Take Back Our Republic President Francis Johnson; Fix It America Founder Steve Lipscomb; and former New Hampshire State Senator Jim Rubens.
Register Now at the Early-Bird Price!
Make a difference for our future by donating now to the National Citizen Leadership Conference Youth Scholarship Fund—thanks to a generous donor, all donations will be double-matched through August 12, so your contribution will enable more young Americans to bring their voices to Washington, D.C.! American Promise is committed to offering youth scholarships and keeping registration fees as low as possible to help those who may otherwise not be able to attend the NCLC. All support is greatly appreciated to keep the conference diverse and affordable to all. 
Donate to the NCLC Youth Scholarship Fund
Drain Big Money Out of Politics: Pass the 28th Amendment

In an article published this week in Newsweek, American Promise President Jeff Clements says the introduction of the 28th Amendment in the U.S. Senate is not a partisan stunt or an exercise in futility; rather, he says, it is a reflection of strong public sentiment. “National consensus is overwhelming and persistent. More than 75 percent of Americans support an amendment to limit the power of money in state and federal elections,” Clements says. “We must continue to move this constitutional amendment forward and renew our national commitment to effective self-government of equal, free citizens.”
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| What We’re Tracking This Week

From NBC News: Eleven candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination have signed on to the American Promise pledge to support the 28th Amendment, which would overturn Citizens United and allow limits on money in state and federal elections. The candidates who have signed on are: Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, Kirsten Gillibrand, Michael Bennet, Tom Steyer, Marianne Williamson, Steve Bullock, John Delaney, Tim Ryan and Kamala Harris. Read more.

From the Fulcrum: Democracy reform is gaining attention among the 20 candidates vying for the 2020 Democratic presidential election who continue to seek ways to stand out among the crowded field. This Fulcrum article (and handy chart!) outlines where each candidate stands on various democracy reform issues: money in politics, access to the ballot box, voting rights, election security, government ethics, and proposals to remake such bedrock institutions as the Supreme Court, the Electoral College and the electoral mapmaking system. Read more.

From MSNBC: Political strategist Hank Sheinkopf provides an insider look at how special interest groups use attack ads for their own personal gain in this episode of “The American Swamp.” The MSNBC series examines how U.S. political campaigns are influenced by massive donations from Super PACs and dark money groups. Watch here.

From USA Today: Before Tuesday night’s debate, nearly a dozen Democratic candidates took time to weigh in on another issue that will be critical for their campaigns: Donors. Eleven Democratic candidates have endorsed a proposed 28th Amendment to the Constitution designed to override a Supreme Court decision that equates campaign donations with free speech. The proposed amendment “is necessary to put power back into the hands of the American people,” says Jeff Clements, president of American Promise. Read more.

From the Fulcrum: American Promise Managing Director Leah Field outlines five reasons why unlimited spending harms American democracy in this opinion piece. Noting that more than 80 percent of Americans support a constitutional amendment to authorize limits on the influence of big money in our political system, Field says: “People see how unlimited political spending is undermining representative democracy, distorting our economy and undermining public trust—and they want it to change.” Read more.

From the Atlantic: Former Solicitor General Paul Clement recently filed a petition, Thompson v. Hebdon, with a conservative group, the Alliance Defending Freedom, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review a Ninth Circuit decision upholding Alaska’s $500 contribution limits in candidate elections. The petition argues that the limits are too low under existing precedent. If the Court takes this case and reverses the Ninth Circuit, it could lead to a system where individuals could give unlimited sums directly to candidates. Read more.

Do you know an inspiring citizen leader who deserves recognition? Nominate them now for the Citizen Leadership Awards that honor Americans across the country who are lifting their communities and the people in their states to win permanent, fundamental reforms and a better future. Awards will be presented at the 2019 National Citizen Leadership Conference October 19-21 in the Washington, D.C., area. 
Nominate Inspiring Citizen Leaders!
| Upcoming American Promise Events
Doris “Granny D” Haddock walked across the nation to bring attention to the issue of big money in politics.

August 3, Dublin, NH: Join American Promise and other democracy reform organizations for the Granny D Memorial Walk from Dublin to Peterborough, followed by a rally and lunch at Depot Square in Peterborough. This celebration honors the work of legendary New Hampshire activist Doris “Granny D” Haddock, who famously walked across the nation to protest big money in politics. Learn more.

American Promise empowers Americans to act together to win the 28th Amendment so people, not money, govern in America. To maximize our impact together, contributions are not tax deductible. 
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