| Get the Picture

Share Share
Tweet Tweet
Forward Forward


In recent weeks, daily life has changed for all of us—and while we each are affected, the less fortunate among us once again are suffering the greatest impacts.

Whether it’s witnessing the large corporations with lobbying budgets scooping up the majority of government “small business” aid or seeing videos of wealthy Americans at home in mansions while fast food workers can choose to risk their health by working or join the millions of unemployed Americans, the way the system is designed to benefit the wealthy few is on stark display.

This is why we are a part of this movement. By passing an amendment, we get at the root of these issues by ending the Supreme Court-sanctioned ability of the wealthiest among us to buy undue influence over the systems that affect all of our daily lives.

Despite these frustrations and the many issues brought to light by the pandemic, our movement continues to achieve huge victories. Last month in Wisconsin, 17 more communities joined the call for an amendment thanks to the efforts of citizen leaders with Wisconsin United to Amend—bringing the total to more than 160 Wisconsin communities that have done so. 

Now is the time to continue building momentum and demanding our elected officials stand with us. In the first convening of our new Citizen Leaders Book Club, we’ll hear from Neal Simon, author of Contract to Unite America: Ten Reforms to Reclaim Our Republic. Neal’s firsthand experience with big money in politics as a candidate for Congress motivated him to become an advocate for democracy reform, including the American Promise Amendment. Join us for an online call at 8 p.m. ET Monday, May 11

As we come together to face the current crisis and move toward the November elections, our work to elevate the voice and power of we the people holds more importance and promise than ever. Together we can create change for good, and for all.

Easy Action Item

Kimberly Clinch,
Citizen Empowerment Coordinator,
American Promise
| State Spotlight: Wisconsin
On Wisconsin! 17 More Communities Join Call for an Amendment 

In the recent spring election, voters in 17 Wisconsin communities overwhelmingly voted in support of an amendment to reduce the influence of big money in politics—making a total of more than 160 towns and cities across the state that have done so. Citizen leader George Penn of Wisconsin United to Amend says these successes are thanks to local champions across the state who have activated their communities. Learn more about Wisconsin United to Amend’s successes and its plans to continue to grow the movement in Wisconsin. 
Read More in This Q&A with George Penn
Why We Must Get Big Money Out of Politics to Speed Economic Recovery After the Pandemic 

Judy Nagel of Wisconsin, one of the more than 125 business leaders who have signed the Business for American Promise Statement of Principle, shares in this op-ed how ending pay-to-play politics can help reestablish competition and innovation in our economy—and why that will be a desperately needed shift as we emerge from the coronavirus pandemic. 
Read More
| Candidate Pledge Campaign
Great news! The latest candidate to sign the American Promise Candidate Pledge is Sarah Riggs Amico, a candidate for U.S. Senate in Georgia. By signing the pledge, she promises to use her office, if elected, to advance the American Promise Amendment to end unlimited political spending.
The Candidate Pledge Campaign is how we build political power, and we need your help to take it to the next level. Help scale up the candidate pledge program and volunteer in your state. American Promise offers a host of tools to make outreach, conversations, and follow-up simple and successful. Join in!  
Learn How You Can Help Build the Pledge Campaign
| American Promise Q&A
Meet American Promise Intern Alexandra Bixler: Ready to Empower Americans to Make Change 

Cornell University student Alexandra Bixler is passionate about empowering Americans, including her fellow members of Gen Z, to use their political power to drive change. As American Promise’s Political Research Intern, Alexandra hopes to use her skills in research and organizing to advance the 28th Amendment.
Read More
| What We’re Tracking This Week

From the New York Times: This opinion article notes that “better-resourced and politically well-connected businesses were first in the line” for Congress’ $2 trillion relief package, while only about a quarter of actual small businesses have received the aid. “In part, that’s because larger corporations and their trade associations leveraged their considerable lobbying resources to push for provisions in the Covid-19 relief legislation (officially titled as the CARES Act) that would allow even global chains to access the ‘small business’ money.” Read more.

From the Washington Times: In this opinion article, Michael Steele and Eli Lehrer encourage conservative Americans to support broader use of voting by mail. “Not without reason, conservatives have expressed skepticism of progressive ideas about elections that appear to favor the left,” they says. “But vote-by-mail does not favor any particular political party.” Read more.

From the Hill: In this opinion article, Glenn Nye and Chris Condon of the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress call for quick action to allow vote by mail this fall. The center has joined American Promise and other democracy reform organizations to form Fix the System, a new group dedicated to effective governance and fair representation for all Americans. Read more

From the Center for Responsive Politics: The most recent personal financial disclosures from members of Congress show that more than half are millionaires. Florida Sen. Rick Scott is the wealthiest lawmaker with nearly $260 million in net assets, while U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte of Montana is the richest House member with $189 million. Read more.

From the Wyoming Tribune Eagle: In a letter to the editor, Ken Chestek of Laramie calls for the United States to follow Wyoming’s model in its Constitution and adopt an amendment that limits the influence of corporate money in elections. Read more.

From Democracy4Change.org: A recent “Citizen Reformers” podcast features three American Promise citizen leaders in the health care industry. Ellen Greene Bush, Marie HenselderKimmel and Robbi Duda have joined forces to advocate for an amendment to limit political spending so that Americans can have access to quality health care and a system that works for them. Read more.

From Issue One: New campaign finance reports show that congressional candidates continued substantial fundraising efforts during the first quarter of this year. Senators up for re-election in 2020 raised an average of $14,300 per day, while House members raised $2,100 daily. Read more.

From the Center for Responsive Politics: Lobbying in the first quarter of this year hit near-record amounts as industry groups sought financial aid in the COVID-19 stimulus bill. Filings show that at least 3,200 clients reported lobbying on issues related to coronavirus and the stimulus bill, spending $903 million. Read more.

From Forbes: John Attanasio, the author of “Politics and Capital: Auctioning the American Dream,” says the massive rise in income inequality in the U.S. is directly related to court rulings in campaign finance cases, such as Citizens United. They also correlate with the decline of economic regulation, the rise in U.S. debt, the decline of the middle class, and huge tax cuts for to the ultra-wealthy, he says. 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.

May 11: Join the new Citizen Leaders Book Club, which begins with Contract to Unite America: Ten Reforms to Reclaim Our Republic by Neal Simon. Learn what spurred Neal to write the book before the group discussion. 8 p.m. ET. Register in advance for this Zoom video call.

May 13: Learn more about the Stand with Maine campaign to put Maine interests ahead of outside money during a call with Maine Citizens for Clean Elections. 6:30 p.m. ET. Register online.
American Promise empowers Americans to act together to win the 28th Amendment so people, not money, govern in America.
Share this newsletter Share this newsletter
Tweet this newsletter Tweet this newsletter
Forward this newsletter Forward this newsletter
Copyright © 2020 American Promise, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can
update your preferences or unsubscribe <<Email Address>> from this list.