If you believe that something must be done, change can only happen when we demand change. This means we need you. Please get involved, and consider starting this Saturday and help us get money out and voters in.
Part I: Speakers, NYU's Kimmel Center (12:45-2:15)
Mark Green, former Public Advocate, author "Losing our Democracy"
Welcome, "Money Shouts!...Why MO/VI Day"
Rev. James A. Forbes Jr., Senior Minister Emeritus, Riverside Church Keynote: On Expanding Voting
Jeff Clements, President, Free Speech for People, author of "Corporations Are Not People"
Keynote: On Overturning "Citizens United"
Shirley Aldebol, Vice President, SEIU 32 BJ
Money and Democracy in New York
Bill Samuels, Founder, New Roosevelt Initiative
Fair Elections Law in NYS -- Big Money
Estella Vazquez, Vice President, SEIU 1199
Stopping Suppression and Expanding Voting in New York
Susan Lerner, executive director, Common Cause/NY
Conclusions + Introduction to Teach-Ins
Part II: Teach-ins, NYU's Kimmel Center (2:15-3:15)
A: Overturning Citizens United (facilitators x & y)
B. Public Financing for Public Elections (facilitators a & b)
C. Expanded Voting (facilitators d & e)
Part III: Corporate Personhood Wedding, Federal Hall, 26 Wall Street (4:00)
Auburn Theological Seminary
Brennan Center for Legal Justice, NYU
Judson Memorial Church/Occupy Faith
Move To Amend
Occupy Wall Street
New Roosevelt Initiative
Teamsters Local 237
United Federation of Teachers
STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES
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 is about to take up the Fair Elections Act.
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 Public Financing for Public 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 opposing suppression laws but also by expanding the electorate with such approaches as early voting, same day registration, voting by mail, "universal voter registration" and a National Democracy Day on a Saturday in November.
After the public backlash against the Adelsons, Kochs and Scotts -- 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 reverseCitizens 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.