| Get the Picture

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Some anniversaries are celebrations, while others serve as a springboard for action or change. 

Last week marked the 56th ratification anniversary of the 24th Amendment, which ended the election poll taxes that prevented many black citizens and other disenfranchised Americans from voting. As we move into February and observe Black History Month, we honor the many past Americans—especially the African American community—whose mark on history has been to expand the rights of democracy to their fellow Americans, often overcoming legal decisions that have denied those rights. 

Today we have another opportunity to expand the rights of democracy, this time by advancing an amendment to ensure that the voices of all American citizens are heard rather than only those of the wealthy few. The history of our nation has been shaped by Americans standing together and demanding rights for ourselves and our fellow citizens. Start now by asking your elected officials to sign the American Promise Candidate Pledge and declare on the record that they will use their office to advance the 28th Amendment. 

Through our cross-country, cross-partisan movement, we can build on the widespread desire for equal representation in our political system. 

Easy Action Item
Azor Cole
State Manager, American Promise
The History of People Power: Amendments Through the Years 

Throughout our nation’s history, citizen leaders have coalesced around reform movements that expand our fundamental rights to broader coalitions of Americans and improve our democratic self-governance—often through the amendment process. Once again, it’s time to pass a constitutional amendment to empower the American people.
Read More about the History of People Power
Massachusetts Citizens Commission Interim Report Details Policy Effects of Citizens United Ruling 

Support for an amendment to get big money out of politics advanced another step this week in Massachusetts, where a voter-approved citizens commission released a report on addressing the effects of the 2020 Citizens United ruling. American Promise President Jeff Clements and other members of the commission announced highlights from the report Wednesday.

Read more about this important advance in the movement:  
The Conservative Role in Passing an Anti-Corruption Amendment 

In a recent op-ed to mark the 10th anniversary of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, Republican Jim Rubens explains what the court got wrong and how the ensuing effects of the case have undermined traditional conservative principles, including federalism and capitalism. 
Read More
This update of Annie Leonard’s “Story of Citizens United” video shows how the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling a decade ago puts the voices of corporate interests over the will of the people. Spread the word by sharing the video with followers on your social networks: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Watch and Share “The Story of Citizens United” Video on Facebook!
| What We’re Tracking This Week

From The Fulcrum: Proposed legislation in New Hampshire would establish Jan. 24 as “Granny D Day” to honor Doris “Granny D” Haddock, a political activist and Granite State native. In 1999, at the age of 88, Granny D made a 3,200-mile walk from California to Washington, D.C., to bring attention to the need for campaign finance reform. Read more.

From the Fauquier (Virginia) Times: In this letter to the editor, Nathan Morovitz of Warrenton calls on his Fauquier County neighbors and elected officials to join him in supporting campaign finance reform in Virginia. Read more.

From the Center for Responsive Politics: Contributions from Wall Street stockbrokers and private investors to outside spending groups have skyrocketed in the decade since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling. This article examines the effects of that change on American policy and people. Read more

From MarketWatch: In the current political scene, spending by “dark money” groups that don’t have to disclose their donors is a growing force. This article provides a look at what that means for politicians, their constituents and the corporations pouring money into politics. Read more.

‘This is truly the picture
of an American oligarchy at work’

In this video from American Promise, Malcolm Salter, professor emeritus of Harvard Business School, explains the critical need to address crony capitalism in our campaign finance system. The video is available on YouTube and being broadcast in Northern California on CCTV Community Channel Comcast 26 (CATV-Lamorinda) through February 29 at 8:20 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, and at 12:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Watch the Video Online
| Upcoming American Promise Events

February 6, Washington, DC: Join democracy reform advocates as a proposed constitutional amendment to get big money out of politics is heard for the first time in the 116th Congress. Learn more.

February 18: Join the Massachusetts Business for American Promise call at 5:30 p.m. (Eastern) via Zoom. Get the latest on the group’s work to end pay-to-play politics.

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