Let Move to Amend Be a Light of Hope
In their desire to dump the status quo, voters jumped out of the frying pan into the fire of corporate rule on Election Day.
Election 2016 revealed the dark underbelly of machine politics in both major parties, and an electorate so sick of the state of affairs, it elected a "brand" in the form of Donald Trump -- the first walking corporation to be elected president. If Move to Amend has anything to do with it, it's only a matter of time before Americans reject Trump, his divisive, hate-filled rhetoric, and the corporate takeover of our democracy.
Our work remains the same, and despite the uncertainty we face next year from the White House, this election has awakened the populace and driven a lot of support our way. Since the election, we've experienced an uptick in new petition signers, new affiliate interest, Facebook likes, and meeting attendence. Resistance is building for what lays ahead and Move to Amend is uniquely poised to assist folks in fighting corporate rule by actively supporting the democracy movement and passage of the We the People Amendment.
Our work remains the same; only our mission to succeed has become more urgent.
We are thrilled folks are finding us, but it's no accident. It's the result of years of grassroots organizing; barnstorming tours; providing analysis, tools, resources and advice; and movement education. Move to Amend volunteers and supporters recognize this moment of upheaval and the opportunities it provides for building a democracy movement. We are reaching out more than ever to support people of all backgrounds and win their endorsement of the We the People Amendment.
Just yesterday, Erin Gibbons, our onsite intern commented, "I've been avoiding the news lately, because it's all bad -- even a lot of independent media." Then she added, "There's nothing I can do about the headlines, but thankfully I have my work at Move to Amend to keep my spirits up and keep me engaged."
As we brace ourselves for the battles to come, it's important to acknowledge our victories -- and there were some major ones:
Our first National Leadership Summit took place in Washington DC, May 6-9. Move to Amend affiliate leaders joined the national team for three days of panels, discussion, and workshops to hone our skills, many meeting for the first time face to face.
Our strategic plan to pass the We the People Amendment by 2026 was affirmed as the first act at the National Leadership Summit.
- Our first We the People Lobby Day and National Call-in Day took place Monday, May 9, as the final act of the summit. Seven Congress members became co-sponsors of the We the People Amendment within weeks of our visits.
These victories are based on reaching milestones in our Strategic Plan for 2016:
25 co-sponsors on the We the People Amendment this year. We're not quite there yet, but we are very close. If the promises we've received from House members come through we will reach our goal. If not we'll be well positioned to have 25+ co-sponsors join us when the amendment is re-introduced in early 2017.
Two statewide ballot initiatives -- expressly calling for our amendment planks -- passed in California and Washington, with major leadership from Move to Amend affiliates.
In addition to the states, 32 local citizens initiatives were passed in 2016 that called for an amendment to end corporate constitutional rights and money as speech.
- We recruited more candidates to Pledge to Amend than ever before -- 200 candidates took the Pledge this year, including 19 new members of Congress who are not yet co-sponsors (GREAT targets to for 2017!), and 19 new state legislators.
Considering that our affiliate members, our national board members, and the countless individuals who take action on our behalf, are all volunteers, and that we operate our national office on a shoestring budget, these successes are extremely impressive.
Well done, Move to Amend volunteers and supporters!
Though people of color, immigrants, and religious minority communities will be facing many battles in the year ahead, the majority of our affiliate groups completed our Movement Education Program, with several others in process. This means our volunteer organizers have the tools and analysis they need to more effectively create diverse groups and build solidarity, not only a timely success, but a necessary one.
Move to Amend is a light in these dark days, and we remain committed to our vision and mission. All we can do now -- and what we must do -- is keep our light burning and carry on.
Thank you for all you do to be part of this movement and to keep the light burning bright.
George Friday, Jerome Scott, Damiel Lee, Laura Bonham, David Cobb and Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap
Move to Amend National Team
P.S. Despite a tough year in many respects, Move to Amend's many victories in 2016 are a powerful ray of hope. Thanks for all you do to support this movement. Please be sure all your friends and family have been invited to join us by signing our Motion to Amend.