The weekend of January 19, 2013, will mark an incredible confluence of events. As a nation, we will celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr., inaugurate President Obama to a second term and reach the third anniversary of the disastrous Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling by the Supreme Court.
We can’t think of a better time to stand up for the power of real people in our democracy.
In 2010, after Citizens United, a tidal wave of corporate money was funneled through super PACs and secretive front-groups to elect an obstructionist Congress and regressive state legislatures. Through gerrymandering, voter ID laws, registration restrictions and other tactics, often based on model bills from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), corporate-backed politicians sought to secure their own power against democratic accountability.
In 2012, an unprecedented $6 billion was spent to influence the presidential, Senate, and House elections, mostly coming from just a handful of corporations and ultra-wealthy individuals. Small wonder, then, that everyday Americans feel their voices aren’t heard in Washington and Congress continues to slide to all-time low approval ratings.
We want our democracy back. We want to get money out of politics and restore and expand voting rights.
That’s why on January 19 and the surrounding days, hundreds of local activists, with support from Public Citizen and an amazing coalition of organizations, will be participating in a nationwide action to educate our friends and neighbors, rally our communities and demand action from our representatives. We want you to lend your voice in any way you can: click here to find a Money Out, Voters In event near you!
While we continue to build this movement from the ground up, action is still needed at the top. On February 13, President Obama will deliver the first State of the Union address of his new term. He has expressed support for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, and yet in this past election he played along with the super PAC game. Now is the time for him to put the full weight of his office behind the effort to get big money out of politics. Sign the official White House petition asking President Obama to use the State of the Union address to call on Congress to pass a constitutional amendment that will restore democracy for We the People.
To be a part of this historic weekend of Money Out / Voters In events, click here. Learn more about Public Citizen’s work in this movement and join the millions who have already signed the petition to overturn Citizens United by clicking here.
Dan Mayer is Public Citizen’s Democracy Is For People campaign legal fellow. Follow our efforts to pass an amendment to get money out, voters in!” on Twitter: @RuleByUs and #MoneyOutVotersIn or #Democracy4Sale.