About Us: The principle of “one person, one vote” has been quietly abolished in favor of the corporate mantra, “one dollar, one vote”. As long as this corruption lasts, real change won’t come. It’s time for the millions of Americans who believe in true political equality to stand up and fight.

On Saturday, May 17th, we gathered in Los Angeles to begin a 480-mile march over the mountains and across the valleys of California on our way to the capitol in Sacramento, all to bring a simple demand to the political leaders of our nation’s largest state: publicly acknowledge the crisis of corruption and take immediate action to end it. As a first step, we will demand that the California legislature take three urgent actions:

1) Issue a formal call for a federal Constitutional Convention to propose an Amendment outlawing big money corruption by passing Assembly Joint Resolution 1 (AJR1). 2) Give California's voters the chance to formally instruct the US Congress to propose such an amendment and the California legislature to ratify it by passing Senate Bill 1272 (SB1272). 3) Start reining in unlimited, anonymous big money in elections by passing the DISCLOSE Act to require the top donors to be prominently revealed in every political ad they fund.

www.99Rise.org www.marchfordemocracy.org

TLDR; We’re walking 480 miles to amend the US constitution and give the people their voice back!

We'll begin answering questions at 6:30pm Eastern time.

My Proof: http://www.marchfordemocracy.org/reddit_ama_proof



EDIT: We're beat from marching, so it's time to sign off for now, but we might be able to get to a few more questions later. Thanks everyone!

Comments: 83 • Responses: 14  • Date: 

bpfan10 karma

Before you march for democracy, you have to understand what the word actually means.


Then figure out how to implement it;



We are not a democracy, by design;



So what do you hope to accomplish where the system was not designed to be a democracy in the first place?

marchfordemocracy-3 karma

We can split hairs over academic distinctions or bring power to the people and save our future. http://ow.ly/i/5WAED

Keep-reefer-illegal7 karma

Why shouldn't big corporations be able to give a lot of money to politicians who have similar interests?

If google wanted to give money to a political figure (lets say a member of congress) to help them get re-elected because they both shared an interest in net neutrality, why would that be bad?

marchfordemocracy4 karma

Democracy is about "one person one vote," not about serving the interests of the elite, regardless of whether their intentions are good or bad. When special interests have so much influence over our political process, it weakens our democracy by drowning out the voices of ordinary Americans.

Keep-reefer-illegal3 karma

Democracy is about "one person one vote,"

Exactly! so money isn't an issue, you cannot buy a vote.

When special interests have so much influence over our political process, it weakens our democracy by drowning out the voices of ordinary Americans.

Well in the interest of fairness, a lot of things lobby for ordinary americans.

Unions go to capital hill and lobby for better conditions for their workers, and they will give a lot of money to the candidates that support them, is that bribery?

An environmental lobby will go to capital hill and encourage more environmental regulations that may hurt some workers but are favored by some americans and will give money to the candidate that supports them, is that bribery?

If we don't like how a member of congress voted we can vote them out.

it weakens our democracy by drowning out the voices of ordinary Americans.

I still don't understand how. I don't want to be argumentative but I just don't get it.

marchfordemocracy4 karma

Politicians spend 30-70% of their time fundraising because they need to fund their campaigns. You can't run for office without being able to fundraise thousands or millions of dollars. When this is a fundamental aspect of running for office, you must be loyal to a very small fraction of the wealthiest donors. Furthermore, these donors can spend unlimited amount of money on political advertising to propagandize the American public. Yes, in theory, we can vote out members of congress when we don't like how they vote (Eric Cantor, hello), but when the system is set up in this corrupt way, every politician is going to play by the same rules that prioritizes the voices of the donors over their constituents.

bpfan4 karma

(Eric Cantor, hello)

Dave Brat won with $300,000 against Eric Cantor's $5.4 million.


marchfordemocracy-5 karma

Yes, and even $300,000 is a level that will have Brat loyal to those donors, even if it was dwarfed by Cantor's millions (http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/24300-the-dark-money-machine-that-beat-eric-cantor). But, Dave Brat also won on a platform condemning corruption (http://www.republicreport.org/2014/dave-brat-cantor/).

anjrou5 karma


marchfordemocracy1 karma

Thanks for your support u/anjrou!

*Issues that have had minimal public support, like gay marriage and racial equality for much of our history, needed significant cultural changes before legislation could even be considered that addressed these injustices. But when the majority of Americans already agree with us, it's more about activating their support to put pressure on our lawmakers to fix our corrupt political system.

marchfordemocracy-1 karma

*We see getting money out of politics as a linchpin issue that motivated many of the Occupy protestors, as well as many of those in the Tea Party at the grassroots level. The American people already naturally coalesce around this issue in opinion polls, and it is our job to inspire them to do so in the streets, at the ballot box, at work, and anywhere else we gather and participate in our democracy so that it can and will respond to the demands and desires of the 99 percent.

houinator5 karma

A few related questions:

Do you have a text for your proposed constitutional ammendment? Is it the same as the one being pushed by Wolf-PAC? How do you plan to balance restricting spending on political advertising with freedom of the press?

marchfordemocracy0 karma

At this time, we do not endorse any specific proposed amendment or federal legislation because we believe that this movement is not yet strong enough. The reality is that until we shift our political climate to make corruption a definitive issue for politicians, we do not have a real chance at winning federal reform. One of our demands is for the California legislature to pass AJR1, which is being pushed by Wolf-PAC, and they have been a great ally along the way.

Eternally654 karma

Look to me as about 15 people at rough count. Who is holding the keyboard?

marchfordemocracy1 karma

Danielle here, I'm grabbing responses from all the marchers (who are about 30 at this point, with more joining everyday!) with help from our democracy dog, Leo. https://twitter.com/99rise/status/479752492557692929

Eternally651 karma

Do you think "demand" is the right verb to use? It sets people's backs up, I think. Not trolling, genuinely interested.

marchfordemocracy3 karma

We tried "please" and even "pretty please" but that hasn't worked very well! But when over 90% of Americans agree that we need to end the corrupting influence of money in politics, we don't think that "demand" is too strong of a verb to use.

Anonaire4 karma

Why did you wait til the start of summer to kickoff a near 500 mile trek? Also, when are you arriving and what is the significance of the date you'll be at the Capitol?

thegirlinByakkoya0 karma

We strategically planned the march to begin in summer so that we would reach the Capitol with time to carry out our occupation and push our demands before Congress begins its recess on July 4th. We also feel that marching through the heat of the summer shows the sacrifices we are willing to make to see that the issue of corruption is addressed. Finally, students, teachers (like me), and others are able to take time off during the summers, allowing more folks to join us on the march!

We arrive in Sacramento on June 22nd, where we will begin the day with a rally at Fruitridge Park from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. From there, we will march 6.5 miles to the State Capitol. The final rally will be at 2-4 pm outside of the State Capitol. The occupation of the Capitol will begin after the rally.

The date we are arriving at the Capitol (June 22nd) is significant because AJR1 and SB1272 will most likely be voted on the next day, Monday June 23rd. We are confident our occupation of the Capitol will demonstrate to the legislature how strongly the American public feels about the bill and resolution, and that they will act to pass them!

I hope to see everyone in Sacramento on Sunday!

marchfordemocracy-1 karma

Thanks for grabbing that, Kyle Marie!

bcali0073 karma

First, way to dedicate yourselves to this cause the way that you have - I am sure it has not been an easy road.

Now that you are at the state capital, what are the next steps planned towards pushing that agenda, and is there anything "reddit" can do to help the cause?

marchfordemocracy-2 karma

Thanks bcali007! It's been a huge physical sacrifice, and the psychological challenge staying committed for 37 days has not been easy either. What keeps us going is the belief that abolishing the relationship between wealth and political influence will allow a host of other issues (climate change, immigration reform, and more!) to finally make progress. This is what we mean by returning the voice to the people!

We're not quite in the State Capitol yet, so what we need most is for people to join us this Sunday for our rally and occupation in Sacramento. Visit www.marchfordemocracy.org for more info.

buckmower1 karma

Do you see technology playing an important role in "one person, one vote?" Wouldn't the use of a social-media polling system be a solution to the accountability issues in American Democracy? Is not the media to blame for the disconnect between us and our representatives? What is more valuable to our democracy than transparency?

buckmower2 karma

As it stands, the American people get one vote. The maxim "one dollar, one vote" doesn't ring as true as it may seem even while taking into consideration the Citizens United decision. Corporations and Super PACs aren't voting at all they are simply swaying public opinion through the media.

marchfordemocracy-2 karma

Though you're right that the hundreds of millions spent by a handful of people doesn't actually buy votes directly, it does create a tiered system that 99.99% of Americans cannot buy into. Lawrence Lessig in his famous TED Talk describes this as the money election; an election that politicians must win (or at least do very well in) before even being able to compete in the general election. This is a corruption of the democratic process and we believe that the only way to reverse this is with a constitutional amendment that declares money is not speech, and that corporations do not have the same rights (particularly concerning the political process) as human beings.

marchfordemocracy1 karma

Before politicians will listen to the people, we need to remove the money influence that is plugging their ears!

That being said, we fully support greater accountability and transparency in government, and technology can certainly help. It does seem that the MSM has failed the American people on this issue, as the vast majority of the population believe the system is corrupt, however we rarely see investigative reporting into the influence of money in politics. Is this because these issues aren't "sexy" enough? Maybe, but it would be great to see citizens hold government and the media more accountable with the direct and very public interaction that new media provides!

hysterical08-1 karma

This seems very much like a white middle class issue. How are already oppressed groups (people of color, disabled people, queer people,poor and working class people, etc) going to benefit when their presence is nearly made invisible?

marchfordemocracy1 karma

As we've walked through the Central Valley, we've met countless farmworkers who support and resonate with our cause, because they, like we do, see that we aren't going to make create real meaningful change on so many issues (workers rights, immigration reform, healthcare, climate change, etc) that affect our daily lives until we end the corruption of our democracy and get big money out of politics. The fight for democracy is one that has been going on since the founding of our country, and must continue for this nation to redeem the promises made in its founding.