Update: MovementForThePeople.org is the new online hub for organizing and information about the FOR THE PEOPLE Summit and other grassroots/netroots activities to address the issue of money in politics.
For The People Summit
January 20-22, 2011
Washington D.C. and Nationwide
Americans across the country are singing the same song: We the People do not feel represented by our government. The most recent Gallup poll shows the approval rating for Congress is 13%, the worst in history.
Nearly one year ago, January 21, 2010, the US Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision on Citizens United v. FEC ushered in a new era of unprecidented corruption, allowing for unlimited corporate spending to influence elections. The American people immediately recognized what this ruling would mean. Polls at the time showed that 80% disapproved of the decision, regardless of party affiliation.
Now, as the anniversary of this landmark decision nears, a trans-partisan coalition is coming together to create the first annual FOR THE PEOPLE Summit in Washington D.C. Jan. 20-22, 2011. That same week, coalition partners will organize networked local events across the country.
The role of money in politics is the overarching theme, one that can be explored with a sense of purpose as well as a sense of humor. Our trans-partisan participation, meanwhile, underscores the importance of engaging on this issue respectfully, putting principle before party.
Write to us at summit @ coffeepartyusa.com if you'd like to attend the Summit in D.C., or if you'd like to take action locally. Please send us your zip code so we can connect you with events and organizers near you.
Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011
— LOBBY For the People —
For the People participants in Washington will visit offices on Capitol Hill, and participants across America will visit district offices to present letters from constituents, and ask Congress to partner with the American people to address the corrupting influence of money on our government [More info].
Friday, Jan. 21, 2011
"We the Corporations" vs. "We the People" Rally
From the absurd to the inspirational, celebrity guests, spectacular imagery, costumes, and music will accompany a cast of characters who self-identify as "Corporate Persons" gathering to celebrate the first anniversary of Corporate Emancipation, and demand full recognition of a new minority status: the Corporate-Person American.
We are looking for writers and artists to lend their creativity. We hope that a humorous approach, which spoofs the notion of "corporate personhood" through the lens of self-righteous identity politics, will grow into an interactive web series with nationwide participation, and possibly a feature length film. They will unveil their "We the Corporations" reworking of the Preamble to the Constitution, only to be met by a "We the People" counter-protest [More info].
Friday Jan. 21 thru Sunday Jan. 23, 2011
Can Citizens United unite America? On Jan. 21 and 22 at the elegant Washington Plaza Hotel, we are marking the anniversary of the Citizens United decision with an exploration of the how corporate money impacts representative democracy. Two days of panel discussions, collaborative workshops, and special presentations designed to facilitate trans-partisan dialogue and conservative/progressive alliances in the areas of overlapping interest.
Confirmed speakers thus far include:
• Dean Baker of The Center for Economic and Policy Studies
• Marge Baker of People for the American Way
• John Bonifaz of Free Speech for People
• David Cobb of Move to Amend
• Ellen Hodgeson Brown author of Web of Debt
• Jim Hightower author of Swim Against the Current
• Steve Meacham of City Life Vida Urbana
• Bill Moyer of Backbone Campaign
• Annabel Park of the Coffee Party
• Sanho Tree of the Institute for Policy Studies
• Kevin Zeese of Voters for Peace
Our Corporate Power vs. People Power panels will examine the ways in which the corrupting influence of money in politics has undermined the best interest of the People on consumer rights, health care reform, environmental protections, civil rights, and campaign finance reform, just to name a few.
And, we will discuss the potential for legislatative remedies, and a Congressionally initiated Constitutional Amendment to specifically address the notion of Free Speech and other Constitutional rights being afforded to corporations, and the erosion of rights and protections for the People.
Our Victories For the People series will look at case studies from Boston, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and other parts of the country where ordinary citizens delivered legislative and legal victories through a populism that brings our the best, rather than the worst in people, making a real difference in their lives.
Saturday's schedule at the Washington Plaza will include an open mike event called "We the People/Free Speech Day." The message: This is what Free Speech looks like; not groups of wealthy people funneling unlimited amounts of money to political campaigns. We are resolved to sustain a government of, for, and by the People.
Thursday Jan. 20 to
Sunday Jan. 23, 2011
— ORGANIZING LOCALLY —
The remedies we seek to restore representative democracy in America will require broad popular education and a national network of organizers and organizations. A sustained multi-year campaign must go beyond intellectual arguments, put principles before party, and prioritize efforts that make a real difference in people’s lives. To participate, go to MovementForThePeople.org, or write to Summit @ CoffeePartyUSA.com and include your city, state, and zip in the subject line.
Our partnering organizations will be organizing local events simultaneous with the D.C. Summit, including:
1) Lobby Day — Local organizers will enlist people to write letters to their Congressional Representatives and Senators, recruit a team to deliver copies of these letters to at least one home district office, and there begin a collaborative dialogue on how to address the issue of Money in Politics.
2) We the People/Free Speech Day — On Saturday Jan. 22, local organizers will choose a space to set up a microphone, and allow people 3 minutes each to use words, creativity, music, or poetry to express their feelings about money in politics or corporate personhood.
Please make a donation to support the For the People Summit: