Safeguarding our rights depends on our willingness as citizens to participate.
“Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America assembled in Congress with two-thirds of each House in agreement, that the following Article is proposed as the Twenty-eighth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which will be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by three-fourths of the several States within two years, by Conventions of delegates nominated by popular petition and elected by popular ballot.”
Ask your Senators and Representative to introduce this amendment
as a joint resolution.
Click on "Find my Senator!" and "Find my Representative!" and follow the instructions on the Home page.
The entire House and 1/3 of the Senate is up for election in 2016. Ask all candidates to support this amendment, and not to take large donations or use PACs.
Support candidates who agree! Even turning over long-held seats for this purpose will free them - and us - from corporate- or foreign-financed campaigns, gerrymandering, and battles over partisan rules (inside Congress and with Presidents) forever, while protecting their constituents' voting rights.
It's not supposed to be easy to pass an amendment through Congress. The first step is finding members who'll sponsor it for introduction and commit to making it their first priority. Most government officers are decent people who want to do a good job and assist the public. Many members of Congress want this amendment themselves. They don't like being beholden. But being the first to say so is another matter. Private interests will be impacted, so money will be spent to retain money's power, and false and misleading statements will be harnessed to retain the power of false and misleading statements (see Redistricting for Balanced Access). Remember Congress represents the public's will, and the people have the responsibility to correct defects in our governance processes. It isn’t easy but it’s been done 27 (18, anyway) times, and it’s always been a challenge.
There are three stages to Congressional passage of an amendment:
subcommittee, committee, and full vote, in the Senate and the House for a total of six votes. Getting it introduced into Congress starts the formal process (see Stages of Congressional Passage). Amendments are introduced as joint resolutions but still go through the levels separately.
Members of the subcommittees and committees are listed. Supporters in committee members’ districts or states always need to keep at them to sponsor or co-sponsor a bill and prevent its stalling in committee. 2/3 of each House present at the final vote must vote for it.
Some districts and states may have to demand that their Senators and Representatives sponsor and vote for it whether those honorable officers personally want to or not. Communicate individually and in groups. Send petitions - Congress doesn’t use petitions but they show the strength of public support.
State ballot initiatives, on the other hand, must be addressed in Congress (see Using Ballot Initiatives and Statutes). If your state uses them, put this amendment on one! If not, petition your state legislature by whatever method your state uses to pass a bill applying to Congress to pass it.
Just don’t let a Constitutional Convention be involved (see Protect Your Rights in 2015)!
Avoid any lesser offers lobbyists or members may make instead. Remind your Senators and Representative that statutes and rulings are too limited, and too easy to change, to affect the need for an amendment (see Statute vs Constitutional Amendment). While this amendment requires some sacrifice, nothing in it is the slightest bit harmful or dangerous to the public, and the sacrifice is distributed as evenly as possible among branches and levels. This isn't just the best of the available options, it's the only viable solution out there.
If it doesn't pass Congress by the 2016 election, let's make it a single-issue election! Focus on making sure the public knows the names of candidates supporting or opposed to this amendment.Associate candidates' names and amendment positions in any simple, lawful and fair manner you can think of (humor, music, local TV news). But hold the high road and don't let anything reduce you to the level of insulting remarks. After all, you’ll especially want voters to remember the names associated with positive positions when they vote.
We can get endorsements from public figures and from groups working for political process reform. If they already support a measure that is ineffective, unenforceable, self-defeating, or easily changed or revoked, communicate this to them and ask for their support of this amendment, which is effective, enforceable and lasting. A unified movement will succeed much faster than one with splinter groups promoting different measures. Of course, opponents of reform will insist on vocally supporting useless measures for just that reason. This proposal shows the differences. Tell people!
Use the media.
If you protest, protest peacefully and lawfully. Don't get hurt.
Free Congress! They can't do it themselves.
Many members of Congress want this amendment themselves. They just don't want to be the first to say so.