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Friend,

The goal of achieving political equality for all Americans is at the heart of the American Promise movement to get big money out of politics. While our democracy was founded on the premise of citizens who are free and equal to each other, reality has been a different story for many. 

Through my everyday work with others at American Promise to expand the number and size of American Promise Associations across the nation, we’re also striving to attract citizen leaders from diverse communities who better reflect our country’s citizens through their varied experiences and perspectives.

This month we encouraged our APA leaders to take a “not-ordinary step” and reach out to diverse community groups they’d like to see join the movement for the 28th Amendment. The broader the diversity of the voices in our movement, the stronger we’ll be in our pursuit of the 28th Amendment and fulfilling our democracy’s promise of human liberty, equal citizenship, and effective self-government. 

Join us!

Easy Action Item
Jeff
Rosie Smith
Citizen Empowerment Coordinator, American Promise
New Hampshire Becomes 20th State to Officially Support 28th Amendment! 

Thrilling news last week: Thanks to the citizen leaders who've spent years advocating among their elected officials, the New Hampshire Senate voted 14-10 to approve a resolution calling on Congress to pass a constitutional amendment allowing limits on political spending. That makes New Hampshire the 20th state to approve a statewide resolution calling on Congress to pass the 28th Amendment—more than half what we need to ratify! 
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Meet State Manager Azor Cole

As American Promise State Manager, Azor Cole leads our citizen-led, state-by-state strategy to win the next amendment to the U.S. Constitution, working with Americans across the nation to grow grassroots support for the 28th Amendment at the state level. Learn what drives this passionate member of our team. 

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Celebrating Juneteenth and Our Ongoing Aspirations Toward Equality

Also known as Freedom Day, Juneteenth celebrates the emancipation of slaves in Galveston, Texas—the last slaves to learn of emancipation—on June 19, 1865, more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation at the start of 1863 amid the Civil War. Juneteenth has become a time to celebrate freedom and commemorate black liberation from the institution of slavery, and to highlight the resilience, solidarity, achievements and culture of the black community. Take a look at the many celebrations going on across the nation. 

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What does inequality look like in the campaign finance system? Ben & Jerry’s co-founder Ben Cohen offered a demonstration at last year’s National Citizen Leadership Conference, with sound and visual effects that show how big-money donors drown out the voices of everyday citizens. Hear from inspiring speakers like Ben and meet other citizen leaders at this year’s NCLC, set for October 19-21 in Washington, D.C. Watch Ben’s informative and entertaining video from last year’s conference! And also learn more about Ben & Jerry's support for front-end criminal justice reform
| What We’re Tracking This Week

From The Wall Street Journal: Political ad spending is expected to climb to nearly $10 billion in 2020, a presidential election year. That would be up from $8.7 billion for midterm congressional elections in 2018 and from $6.3 billion in 2016. What’s driving the spending increase? Several factors, including increased competition between political parties and expanded digital advertising and fundraising capabilities. Read more.

From Common Dreams: New Hampshire lawmakers last week made it the 20th state to approve a resolution calling for a constitutional amendment to allow limits on political spending. Democracy advocates hailed the vote, noting that it represented years of hard work by citizen leaders. “For years, Granite Staters have been working together across party lines, trying to get a constitutional amendment to renew the promise of equal citizenship and effective self-governance,” American Promise President Jeff Clements said. “The unflagging work of so many citizens has paid off.” Read more.

The Fulcrum: In a 14-10 vote, the New Hampshire Senate approved a resolution calling on Congress to approve a constitutional amendment allowing limits on campaign spending. The vote in Concord means the 28th Amendment now has the support of more than half the states needed for ratification. It’s also important symbolically because almost all the other states are deeply Democratic blue while New Hampshire is competitive between the parties. Read more.

From FiveThirtyEight: Although most Americans believe that money buys political influence, decades of research haven’t been able to conclusively confirm those beliefs. But experts say a newly published study that involved 10 years of database wrangling probably is the best evidence we have that money really does influence political decision-making. Read more

The Fulcrum: In an opinion piece, American Promise President Jeff Clements outlines how changes to the Federal Election Campaign Act after Watergate and subsequent Supreme Court rulings have created a system where corporations, unions and wealthy individuals can donate unlimited money to campaigns. “As money from concentrated factions pours into elections in record amounts, voter turnout remains low, as does satisfaction with candidates, elected officials and the direction of the country generally,” says Clements, who explains how the 28th Amendment will protect the rights of all Americans, not just the wealthy few. Read more.

From the Sacramento Bee: The inclusion of e-cigarette maker JUUL Labs as a sponsor of the recent California Democratic Party state convention sparked outrage among some in attendance. JUUL is one-third owned by Altria, which owns tobacco giant Philip Morris USA. The Democratic convention is just one example of JUUL’s political spending campaign; the vape product manufacturer also has spent more than $211,000 in lobbying at the Capitol in Sacramento, including more than $40,000 in the first quarter of 2019 alone. Read more.

A majority of Americans on all sides of the aisle demand the 28th Amendment. Donate now to American Promise and help put the rights of individual citizens before the privileges of concentrated money, corporations, unions, political parties and Super PACs. 
Donate!
| Upcoming American Promise Events
June 30, Peterborough, NH: American Promise President Jeff Clements will be the first in a series of weekly speakers in the Monadnock Summer Lyceum at Peterborough Unitarian Universalist Church. His presentation, “Equal Citizens or Oligarchy: New Hampshire and the Cross-partisan Movement for the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution” runs from 11 a.m. to noon and will be rebroadcast at 11 a.m. on WSMN 1590 AM on the following Sunday, and on WUML 91.5 FM the following Wednesday. Learn more.
American Promise empowers Americans to act together to win the 28th Amendment so people, not money, govern in America. To maximize our impact together, contributions are not tax deductible. 
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