We write at a critical moment for our country.
And we write to ask you to do something difficult and uncommon: to join us in Washington, DC, next April to take a dignified, determined stand for democracy that may result in your arrest.
Why this? Why now?
Every American deserves an equal voice in government—that is our birthright of freedom, won through generations of struggle. But today our democracy is in crisis. In the post–Citizens United era, American politics are dominated by billionaires and big-money interests that can spend unlimited amounts to buy elections. As the super-rich dominate the “money primary” that decides who can run for office, almost half the states in the union have passed new laws that disenfranchise everyday voters, especially people of color and the poor.
This corruption not only violates the core principle of American democracy—“one person, one vote” citizen equality—it is blocking reform on virtually every critical issue facing our country. From addressing historic economic inequality to tackling climate change and ending mass incarceration, we simply cannot solve the urgent crises that face our nation if we don’t save democracy first.
Unfortunately, the 2016 election is already set to be the most billionaire-dominated, secret money–drenched, voter suppression–marred contest in modern American history. Bernie Sanders’ small donor–fueled, Super PAC–free insurgency is a defiant inspiration, but it is an all-too-rare exception to the rule of an election funded by the billionaire class. And, if the status quo goes unchallenged, this election could yield a government more bound to the masters of big money than ever before. Our planet and people can’t afford that. But we believe there is another possibility.
What if we can intervene in a way that no one can ignore to make this election a turning point toward reform?
The moment is ripe. Poll after poll shows transpartisan public frustration with the corrupt status quo reaching new, nearly unanimous highs. Voters in Maine and Seattle just passed bold new laws to enact citizen funded elections. Our growing democracy movement has forced this issue into the public debate, and there are real solutions–supported by Democrats and Republicans–on the table in the Senate and House right now.