IN THIS ISSUE:
A MESSAGE FROM DM's PRESIDENT...9th ANNUAL DM SUMMIT...CAMPUS HIGHLIGHT...CELEBRATE BLACK HISTORY...MONEY ON MY MIND...VOTE FOR FAIR ELECTIONS...FACTS YOU CAN USE
A MESSAGE FROM OUR PRESIDENT - "DON'T MOURN. ORGANIZE!"
Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens was surely right in his dissent in the 'Citizens United' case last month: ''The court's ruling threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions around the nation.''
I, like you, am outraged by the Supreme Court's decision. But it has exposed for all to see what we already know – corporate America has and will continue to use its wealth to control our democracy, silence the voices of the people, and benefit itself.
What does this mean for Democracy Matters? It means our work is more important than ever. This is our moment - not only to denounce the corporate power unleashed by the decision, but to show people how to fight back by passing public financing of campaigns and the Fair Elections Now Act.
Student voices will be heard! We’re building the movement that can take back our democracy. Click below to sign on to a petition to fight back.
Thanks for all you do, Adonal
Take Action -- sign the Common Cause petition on the Supreme Court.
The 9th ANNUAL DEMOCRACY MATTERS SUMMIT
The GREAT DM Summit this year brought over 120 enthusiastic public financing advocates together for three exciting days in Albany, NY. Despite the sub-zero wind-chill, there was no lack of heated passion for social change and for passing Congressional Fair Elections.
As always, great workshops, networking and students, sharing ideas, tactics, and organizing strategy were the heart of the summit. Highlights included inspirational keynote addresses from Bob Edgar, President of Common Cause, and from Gary Holder-Winfield, a member of the Connecticut legislature who was elected using the state's public financing system. Everyone also loved Adonal’s video message and the impromptu sock puppet show on Saturday night.
Returning DM alumns as well as staff members from Public Campaign and Common Cause helped facilitate workshops and made it clear that the commitment to deepening democracy through public financing continues long after college graduation!
Thanks to everyone who made this Summit the best yet!
Watch the Sock Puppet show.
MONEY ON MY MIND
“The Supreme Court’s 'Citizens United' ruling represents a long step backward” states Jay Mandle in this month’s column. Drawing a parallel with the pressing need to legislate limits on Wall Street’s power over our economy, he argues: “Democracy too requires the regulation of those who would use their wealth to exercise disproportionate influence.”
Read the full article and explore other issues of MOMM.
CELEBRATE BLACK HISTORY MONTH
February is when together we celebrate the legacy of visionary African-Americans who fought courageously against discrimination and prejudice. Democracy Matters chapters join in coalition with other campus organizations in creating events that both commemorate the past and encourage us to continue the struggle for a fair and inclusive democracy.
CAMPUS HIGHLIGHT - GUSTAVUS ADOLPHUS COLLEGE
All Cydni Smith and Gustavus DMers wanted for Christmas was Fair and Clean Elections. The Democracy Matters chapter literally wrapped up their semester by getting students to demand for reform by signing Christmas present cut-outs and pasting them on a tree display in their campus student center. This display was the final event of an active semester.
Earlier, Gustavus hosted a recruitment bonfire called "Nothing is Hotter than Campaign Finance Reform," they put up healthcare reform-themed posters and flyers and organized a healthcare and money in politics teach-in. Students also distributed a DM newsletter via everyone's favorite place to read--the bathroom. Gustavus DM has already started planning their Spring Semester with an "Inequality Bake Sale" and "Clean Up Our Campus/Clean up Our Politics" events.
Read our Campus Activism Blog.
DM ALUM NEEDS YOUR VOTE FOR FAIR ELECTIONS ON VOTE FOR CHANGE.ORG
Brown University and DM Alumna, Te-Ping Chen, has started an entry in the "Ideas for America" contest on Change.org, in support of public campaign financing. It's a crowd-sourced contest, and the 10 most popular ideas to come out of the contest will be presented to the Obama administration later this year. She writes: “I hope DMers everywhere will sign up and put in their vote!”
FACTS YOU CAN USE
The Supreme Court decision to unleash corporate political spending drew many reactions. Here are just a few:
President Barack Obama
"The Supreme Court has given a green light to a new stampede of special interest money in our politics. It is a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans. This ruling gives the special interests and their lobbyists even more power in Washington--while undermining the influence of average Americans."
Senator Dick Durbin (sponsor of The Fair Elections Now Act)
“At a time when the American people have ample reason to be wary of powerful corporations focused on a selfish agenda, this decision will only fuel feelings of cynicism and distrust in our system. The power of large corporations and special interests is already immense; this decision will put overwhelming pressure on elected officials to bend even more in the direction of Big Business.”
Congressman John Larson (sponsor of The Fair Elections Now Act)
We must act now to keep this corrosive influence [big private money] out of our political system. The Fair Elections Now Act would let lawmakers get back to the work they came to Washington to do without spending their time in a hunt for campaign dollars.”
The New York Times Editorial, January 21, 2010
"Congress and members of the public who care about fair elections and clean government need to mobilize right away, a cause President Obama has said he would join. Congress should repair the presidential public finance system and create another one for Congressional elections to help ordinary Americans contribute to campaigns. It should also enact a law requiring publicly traded corporations to get the approval of their shareholders before spending on political campaigns."
Read the NY Times Editorial.
To honor our 2010 DMers we list 10 DM chapters in each E-News.
Wayne State University...Willamette University...Allegheny College...Binghamton University...Bloomsburg University...Boston University...Brown University...Bryn Mawr College...Calvin College...Carlson School of Management...(to be continued)
More Campus Chapters.