August 12, 2016
Contact: Edward Erikson
2024209947

AMERICAN PROMISE ANNOUNCES 2016 CONGRESSIONAL LEADERSHIP AWARD WINNERS

Prestigious Award Recipients to be Honored at 1st Annual National Citizen Leadership Conference Sept. 30 through Oct 2, 2016

Washington, D.C.– American Promise, a national cross-partisan non-profit organization dedicated to winning a 28th Amendment to overturn Citizens United v. FEC and secure the political equality of all Americans, announces the first annual Congressional Leadership Award.

This year’s winners include retired Congressman Jim Leach (R—IA), Congresswomen Donna Edwards (D—MD), Congressman Walter Jones (R—NC), and Congressman Jim McGovern (D— MA). The awards will be presented at the first Annual National Citizen Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C.

“Each of the recipients has demonstrated courage, leadership, and civility in reaching out across partisan lines to do what’s best for the nation.” Said Jeff Clements, the President and co-founder of American Promise and the host of the National Citizen Leadership Conference. “Each knows that the nation needs and the vast majority of Americans want a 28th Amendment to the Constitution to overturn Citizens United and put people back in charge of our elections and government.”

After serving in Congress for 30 years, Congressman Jim Leach (R—IA) continues to be a leader for the 28th Amendment to restore our democracy. Rep. Leach first introduced a Constitutional amendment 20 years ago in order to place reasonable limits on campaign spending and campaign contributions. He’s been an outspoken critic on Citizens United and the threat of concentrated money in our elections. Rep. Leach currently serves on American Promise’s advisory council.

"Democracy is on trial. Citizens United and related rulings are moving America in a corporatist direction. Fast taking hold is a mutually reinforcing political-ideological complex where deep- pocketed ideologues use politicians as pawns and politicians use ideologues as enablers of personal ambition. Our founders had a different vision. They crafted a Constitution that begins 'We the People' rather than 'We the Corporations'." Said Rep. Jim Leach.

Congresswomen Donna Edwards (D—MD), is the first African American woman from Maryland elected into Congress. She was the first to introduce a Constitutional amendment resolution in the House a few weeks after the decision in Citizens United struck down limits on political spending by corporations and unions. She is a lifelong advocate for campaign finance reform, fighting to reduce the influence of big money in politics.

“I am proud to receive the American Promise Congressional Leadership Award. Working with renowned Harvard Law School constitutional law professor Laurence Tribe, I joined with Representative John Conyers to introduce the first Constitutional amendment proposed in Congress following the Supreme Court's unprecedented Citizens United decision, which elevated the power of money and corporations over the rights of people. This Constitutional amendment would restore the integrity of our democracy by providing a pathway to reverse the Court's direction, giving every American the ability to participate in our political process. I will continue to work to ensure that Congress passes, and the States promptly ratify, the 28th Amendment.” Said Rep. Edwards.

In an era of extreme partisanship, Congressman Walter Jones (R—NC) stands out for his willingness to build cross-partisan bridges and work together to return power to the people and get big money out of politics. He is a co-sponsor of a Constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, and other reforms. He is the co-chair of the Congressional Campaign Finance Reform Caucus.

“The 28th Amendment is not a partisan issue, it’s an American issue. It’s about returning power to the people.” Said Rep. Jones.

Congressman (D—MA), Jim McGovern is a lead sponsor of the Constitutional amendment has earned a national reputation as a tireless advocate for his district and as a champion for campaign finance reform, social justice, and national security. Rep. McGovern is a leading voice in Congress fighting to overturn Citizens United, and secure Constitutional rights for human beings rather than corporations.

“A 28th Amendment is about taking our democracy back from big money and big corporations, it’s about empowering people, ensuring that people and not corporations have the greatest influence in our government.” Said Rep. McGovern.

Registration is now open for the Conference, which will be hosted at the Renaissance Washington DC Downtown Hotel from September 30 through October 2, 2016. The non-partisan, nonprofit Conference will draw hundreds of people across the country to strategize, connect, deliberate, and build power to win a 28th Amendment to overturn Citizens United so that America is governed by people, not money. Bill Moyers leads the list of participants that include Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA), Fmr. Congressman Jim Leach (R-Iowa), Congresswoman Donna Edwards (D-MD), Reverend Katharine Henderson, President of Auburn Theological Seminary, Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, and many more. To request media credentials, please contact Edward Erikson, Edward.Erikson@Gmail.com