J19 Money Out, Voters In

Some of you may have already heard about this through the Occupy Wall-Street or Occupy Faith grapevines, but here is your official invitation to the “Money-Out/Voters-in” Day of Action on Saturday Afternoon, January 19th… join us at the Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South.  Doors open at 12:30p, program starts at 1p.

After the main program at the Kimmel Center, we will then be heading down to 1 Federal Plaza at 4p for an actual marriage ceremony between two corporations.  Can’t miss that, right?  Bring your handkerchiefs… it’s going to be a real tear-jerker.

Join OWS Faith Leaders and many other allies from around the city and the state for this important and exciting program, designed to kick off a united effort to support our three objectives:
1.     Overturn Citizens United
2.     Enact Publicly Financed Elections in New York State and Washington
3.     Expand the Vote

You and/or your institution can help make this day a success by taking two steps:
1) Allow us to add your organization’s name to our list of endorsers (reach out to Sam to let him know: SMassol@commoncause.org)
2) Reach out to all of your members and supporters and encourage them to participate in the day of action on January 19th.

Together we can make a difference. Can we count on your support?
You can find out more about the Money-Out/Voters-In Day of Action, Jan. 19 below or on their website.

JANUARY 19 EVENT SCHEDULE
The Skirball Center at NYU
60 Washington Square South
12:30 – 3:00
-         Forum with speakers and entertainment
-         Facilitated breakout sessions to discuss how to move forward on each of our three objectives
1 Federal Plaza
4:00 Outdoor Public Event
-         In honor of the notion of that a corporation is a person, help celebrate the marriage ceremony between a person and a corporation.

Organized by Occupy Wall Street
SPONSORING ORGANIZATIONS
The Brennan Center for Legal Justice, NYU
Citizen Action
Common Cause/NY
Demos
Judson Memorial Church
MoveOn
New Roosevelt Initiative
Occupy Wall Street
Occupy Faith
Public Citizen
SEIU 32BJ
United Federation of Teachers

 

STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES
Money-Out/Voters-In Day of Action, Jan. 19, 2013
We Demand Democracy!

 
In 2012, big money Super PACS and voter suppression schemes assaulted our system of self-government and lost…this time. But they’ll be back to try to buy or steal our democracy unless we stop them.

That’s why New Yorkers and Americans across the country – along with a large labor, public interest, voting rights, faith and environmental coalition – are organizing a national Money-Out Voters-In Day on January 19, 2013. That weekend is the intersection of the 3rd anniversary of Citizens United, Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday and the Inauguration of a pro-democracy President.

With over 80 cities participating, the centerpiece will be New York City and our target Albany, which we hope will take up the Fair Elections Act in the coming months.

 
Our system of government isn’t so much broken as rigged. The Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United disastrously overturned a century of campaign finance law to concentrate even more political power in the hands of special interests and billionaires. At the same time, 22 states tried to restrict the freedom to vote by erecting unnecessary and discriminatory barriers to registration and voting. In most of those states, voters successfully fought back and stood up for the rights Dr. King was talking about in his historic address at the Washington Monument in 1957, when he exhorted, “Give us the ballot! Give us the ballot!”

Instead of only defensively fighting off attacks on democracy, however, the groups participating in Money-Out/Voters-In Day are positively advocating three broad solutions because we demand democracy!

*Overturn Citizens United with a constitutional amendment so that a momentary five conservative Supreme Court majority doesn’t enshrine the ethic that money is speech and corporations are people. Already, 140 Members of Congress, dozens of cities and nine states — most recently Montana and Colorado by over-whelming majorities — are in favor.

 
*Enact Publicly-Financed Elections by extending to New York State and Washington the kind of small donor matching system we have in New York City. Then the impact of a voter’s voice won’t depend on the size of her wallet.

*Expand the Vote by not merely fighting back suppression efforts like restrictive ID Laws laws but also by expanding the electorate with such approaches as early voting, universal voter registration, same day registration, voting by mail, and a National Democracy Day on a Saturday in November.

After the public backlash against the Adelsons, Kochs and Roves — and the electoral majorities of pro- democracy candidates for the House, Senate and President — this is the most opportune moment since the Watergate reforms to galvanize and organize around a Democracy-for-All Program. For unless we “fix this,” to use President Obama’s election night phrase, it’ll be harder if not impossible to pass so many other advances such as climate change, a living wage, a more progressive tax code, violence control and immigration reform.

We come together for a National Day of Action on January 19 not because it’s easy to reverse Citizens United but because it’s essential. Unless we act, money and suppression will continue to veto popular majorities on issue after issue. While there are important organizations working separately on campaign finance reform and voting rights, it’s also urgent that we unite to work together on the two sides of the same coin of democracy. That can only happen when elected officials in state capitols and Washington listen more to voters than donors.

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