About

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American Promise is the fiercely cross-partisan, citizen-powered organization built to win the 28th Amendment. With a structure of support we help all Americans to develop Civic Courage to act locally and connect on a national network for the grassroots effort required to reclaim a government run by people not money.

The cause of our time is to give Congress the power to set reasonable spending limits in American elections, reverse the damage of Citizens United v. FEC, and restore human liberty, equal citizenship, and responsible self-government.

The 28th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America is the way. And we are well on our way!

Join us.

AP Council

American Promise assembled the first cross-partisan Advisory Council to speak for the 28th Amendment. These American leaders represent thoughtful viewpoints from a variety of political, economic, and demographic perspectives.

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Presidential historian, Pulitzer Prize-winning Author
Concord, MA

“Five years after Citizens United, it is time to accept the historical gravity of our situation. It is time for Americans of all political viewpoints to come together to win the 28th Amendment — and to renew U.S. democracy again.”

Nina Turner

Nina Turner

Former Ohio State Senator, Professor of History
Cleveland, OH

“I applaud American Promise for bringing together people of good conscience from all political spectrums to stand up and say that, what we care about as everyday people is in peril if we don’t get concentrated money out of American politics. We can regain power in a representative democracy through The Constitution. I believe that we can do this, because - in our history - every time change has come it is from the grassroots not the grass tops. Down with Citizens United and up with the 28th Amendment!”

Donnel Baird

Donnel Baird

Entrepreneur, Founder BlocPower
New York, NY

“We need to strengthen our democracy if we want good jobs with good wages, energy sources that are renewable and affordable, and strong, resilient communities. That means we need to win the 28th Amendment to overturn Citizens United and restore equal citizenship and liberty for all.”

Jim Leach

Jim Leach

Fmr. Congressman (R-Iowa); fmr. Chair of the National Endowment For the Humanities
Iowa City, IA

“Citizens United has genetically altered our democratic DNA, pushing American politics in an oligarchic, corporatist direction. The Constitution begins 'We the people' not 'We the corporations.' ”

James Nelson

James Nelson

Justice, Montana Supreme Court (Ret).
Helena, MT

“The original framers were highly distrustful of the power of corporations. I suspect that the framers would be appalled at Citizens United. We the People—each of us—are only the most recent generation of Americans who have been called upon to defend the framers’ vision of a Constitutional government Of the People, By the People, and For the People. That responsibility is now ours.”

Judy Wicks

Judy Wicks

Entrepreneur, Author
Philadelphia, PA

“Throughout American history, it has been the vigilance of the people denied their rights that our country has kept our democratic values. This fight is no different and it involves the rights of every citizen. The current Supreme Court has hurled our nation straight into a plutocracy—a government ruled by the wealthy—and as history has shown us, it’s up to 'We the People' to stamp big money out of politics.”

Matt Patsky

Matt Patsky

CEO, Trillium Asset Management
Boston, MA

“It did not take 20 years in private industry for me to learn that corporations are not people. This is not to say that people are good and corporations are bad; they are just different. We, the people of Massachusetts, are ready for Congress to propose, and send to the states for ratification, an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that will negate Citizens United and restore the democratic process for all Americans.”

Alan Simpson

Alan Simpson

Fmr. United States Senator (R-Wyoming)
Laramie, WY

“People across the nation, regardless of their political affiliation, are making clear that corporations or unions should not be able to spend internal funds to influence elections. I urge you to support the call for a 28th Amendment to the Constitution that restores that fundamental promise of our Republic: government of, by, and for the people.”

Mike Dukakis

Mike Dukakis

Fmr. Governor of Massachusetts; Democratic Nominee for President
Boston, MA

“Where in the Constitution does it say that money is speech? The new 'right' of the few to spend unlimited money in our elections imperils our democracy and all of our rights as equal citizens. Americans must come together to win the 28th Amendment to overturn Citizens United and renew the promise of America.”

Kahlil Byrd

Kahlil Byrd

CEO, Invest America Fund; entrepreneur; leader of cross-partisan initiatives such as Americans Elect
New York, NY

“We are entering the most important era of reform in decades. Americans are far ahead of our leaders in embracing the need for change right now. Building support for the 28th Amendment through American Promise is giving regular people a focused and real vehicle to reduce the influence of the corporate and union money that is driving so much of our political system.”

Rev. Dr. Katharine Henderson

Rev. Dr. Katharine Henderson

President, Auburn Theological Seminary
New York, NY

“The time for hand wringing and anxious complaints is long past. Just as the prophets cried out, it is time for us to support campaign finance overhaul. To that end, ministers, rabbis and nuns, priests, imams, and theologians across the U.S. are joining forces, calling out the dangers of unchecked money in our elections and advocating for large-scale reform.”

Ella McGrail

Ella McGrail

High School Student
Portsmouth, NH

"Our country is still waging its long war against inequality in terms of race, gender, sexual orientation, faith, and financial status. Milestones of our progress on these struggles can be seen in the amendments we've made over time to our Constitution. At this moment in history, I think the best step we can take towards a more perfect union is creating an amendment that will put a stop to the corrupting influence of money in politics. Once the money in your wallet no longer has an effect on how well your government represents you, we will have taken another great step towards equality."

Joe Kearns Goodwin

Joe Kearns Goodwin

US Army Veteran (Iraq, Afghanistan); businessperson; Executive Director, National Service Now
Boston, MA

“American Promise is about our equal rights and our equal responsibilities. As citizens, we should be expected to do more than pay taxes and obey the law. All Americans should be given the opportunity to serve so that we learn to move past personal differences to achieve a higher common goal. I’m glad to join Americans who are answering the call to work together to defend democracy against the corruption of concentrated money and power.”

Bob Monks

Bob Monks

Executive, Author
Cape Elizabeth, ME

“If Americans are determined to keep our republic, we have a lot of work to do. We need to join and support the broad-based, non-partisan movement for a constitutional amendment to correct the Supreme Court’s disastrous mistake in Citizens United, and to enable sweeping campaign finance and lobbying reform.”

Jack Doty

Jack Doty

Partner
San Francisco, CA

It is always people, of course. And those who have garnered wealth often end up controlling outdated resources - and are fearful of the loss of power the recognition of that obsolescence implies. Using that wealth to maintain power often builds oligarchies that inhibit growth and deny the future. Worse, those oligarchies deny the basis of the Great Experiment, American Democracy: the faith in and trust of the voice of each individual. Our democracy is at stake: its loss will be the result of good people doing nothing. What consolation in knowing that there is the 28th Amendment - and American Promise forwarding the process towards its adoption!

Tamara Piety

Tamara Piety

Professor of Law
Tulsa, OK

"The Supreme Court’s creation of First Amendment speech rights for commercial entities imperils public health, safety, and welfare; the reliability of commercial and consumer information; the stability of financial markets; and environmental stability. The 28th Amendment will help shift the balance of power between capital and the people and the people’s ability to legislate for the common good.”

John Coates

John Coates

Professor
Cambridge, MA

"The 28th Amendment will reduce pressure on companies to spend money on elections and politics, and allow business leaders to remain focused on growing the economy. They can return to making good products, providing good services, and generating returns for shareholders, and they will have less need to divert resources and dilute strategies in a mutually destructive effort to win a large slice of a fixed governmentally-provided pie. In short, the amendments will be good not only for individual voters, but for America’s best companies as well.”

AP Associations

American Promise is both local and national network. We have an exciting nationwide strategy and clear plan for victory. The success of our strategy does not depend on Washington lobbyists or online petitions — it depends on you and your community.

Local: American Promise serves and supports citizen action where you live. You are never alone. We provide you with a structure of support and training through our Civic Courage program so you can take community action with friends and neighbors in American Promise Associations (APAs) near you. If you or someone you know is interested in starting an American Promise Association in your community, contact Ben Gubits at beng@americanpromise.net.

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National: Our digital platform, AP Connect™ networks AP members and APAs to each other. This collaborative model helps newcomers get up to speed wherever they are in the country - in person and online. Curated content, legislative updates, and on-going conversations are all part of AP Connect.

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Our Team

Jeff Clements

President and Board Member

Jeff is a constitutional lawyer, and author of Corporations Are Not People: Reclaiming Democracy From Big Money & Global Corporations. He is the co-founder of Free Speech For People, a national, non-partisan, not-for-profit campaign to strengthen American democracy. He is also the founder of Whaleback Partners LLC, which provides sustainable financing to businesses in the local agriculture economy. He was a partner in a major Boston law firm and served as chief of a 100-person public law enforcement bureau in the Attorney General’s Office in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Jeff has helped to start and been a board member of many non-profit organizations and businesses. Today, in addition to the board of American Promise, he serves on the vestry of Trinity Episcopal Church in Concord, Massachusetts. Twitter: @ClementsJeff 

Ben Gubits

Associate Director - Citizen Engagement

A native of Colorado, Ben comes to American Promise with significant experience both in business and sales and in organizing, public policy and Citizen education and engagement. He has worked as Senior Sourcing Specialist with Monster.com and Hollister Staffing Inc., and previously served as Director of Professional Development with the National Council of History Education in Washington, D.C. Ben was Regional Field Director in a 2014 gubernatorial campaign, and has been an organizer in several campaigns. He is a graduate of Fort Lewis College in Colorado, and is currently a candidate for his Masters in Public Administration at Suffolk University in Boston.

Susan Muller

Events and Operation Director

Recognized as a reliable, energetic, and organized entrepreneur with strong business and leadership skills Susan is the Events and Operation Director at American Promise. Raised in Wisconsin, she earned her BA from Wheaton College and her MBA from Babson College. Susan started her career at Bank of New England, where she performed various roles including VP of Credit Services. Over the next fifteen years, Susan took her creative flair and strong graphics background to found and operate Custom Signs, Inc., and provided a full range of signage media to businesses and individuals. For the past six years, she was Tea Forté’s Trade Show Manager. In 2016 Susan joined American Promise to dedicate her strong promotional, business, and interpersonal skills to further a cause in which she believes.

Martha Stone

Communications Director

Martha Stone has created a body of work in professional marketing, development, and communications over 20 years in San Francisco, Baltimore, and Boston. She has redirected her business acumen to cultivate community by engaging and inspiring people to do good works. With a degree in English from Williams College, Stone has served as consultant, editor, strategist, artist, and humorist. Working for American Promise is one way she honors her parents’ service in the last century, and models acts of engaged citizenship for her children who will inherit this one.

Brian Muldoon

Digital Director

As a former Executive Director as well as Field and Data Director for the Massachusetts Democratic Party, Brian has developed experience in, and a love for, community organizing and grassroots campaigning. After leaving the Party, Brian received his J.D. from Suffolk University, held a senior staff position on the Martha Coakley campaign as a leader of its field and data program, and served for the past few years as a consultant on a wide range of political and issue oriented campaigns. Brian comes to American Promise with the goal of committing his political campaign experience to the cause of ending big money in politics. 

Joyce Sanchez

Citizen Engagement

From White House intern to Ohio Field Organizer, Joyce has dedicated herself to the betterment of our government and communities. As a freshman in college, she founded The 100 Collegiate Women of America, an empowerment organization that keeps women's rights and community service at its core. She graduated with over 250 hours of community service, having zealously given her time volunteering at home and abroad. At age 12, Joyce knocked on her first door for a campaign, in 2016 graduated from Georgia Southern University, and today, is excited to help end Citizens United as part of the Citizen Engagement team at American Promise.

Johannes Epke

Counsel

From his previous work on the 28th Amendment with Move To Amend, Johannes will oversee the organization of Writing the 28th Amendment (an interactive collaborative citizen project), add legal support to the ballot initiative and legislative initiatives in the Citizens Uprising, monitor and track our legislator scorecard and Congressional and State vote-count, and expand resources and information about for citizen leaders. Johannes is a graduate of Lewis & Clark Law School, and has practiced environmental law in California. 

Emily Mulder

Communications & Research analyst

Emily comes to American Promise with significant experience in journalism and communications from the University of the District of Columbia, the private sector and positions of increasing responsibility with the Family Online Safety Institute in Washington DC and London UK. She will research, organize, curate, and disseminate the Citizen Connection Center, with key data and stories on the progress towards winning a 28th Amendment and strengthening American democracy, as well as expand our media reach, support American Promise’s member-connection and citizen leader network, and be a resource to journalists, political representatives, and the public for accurate information about the 28th Amendment and money in politics. 

Our Board

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Jeff Clements

President and Board Member

 

 Jeff serves as President of American Promise. He has practiced law for three decades in public service and private practice, and is the author of Corporations Are Not People: Reclaiming Democracy From Big Money & Global Corporations. He is also the founder of Whaleback Partners LLC, which provides sustainable financing to businesses in the local agriculture economy. Previously, Jeff has been a partner in a major Boston law firm and served as chief of a 100-person public law enforcement bureau in the Attorney General’s Office in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Jeff has helped to start and been a board member of many non-profit organizations and businesses. Today, in addition to the board of American Promise, he serves on the vestry of Trinity Episcopal Church in Concord, Massachusetts. Twitter: @ClementsJeff 

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John Wass

Board Chair

 

John is a corporate executive and entrepreneur whose body of work includes leadership in the early days of Staples, one of America’s most well-known office supply retailers. He helped expand the company from 3 stores to over 1000 outlets. He managed development programs including a prototype store, the B2B business unit, and a $10B global supply chain. John also co-founded and built a state-of-the-art healthcare information company, which he sold to Cardinal Healthcare. He now serves as CEO of Profit Isle, Inc.

 

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Michele Sutter

Board Member

 

Michele is a teacher, former story editor at HBO, theater artist, and producer who co-founded Money Out, Voters In, (MOVI) in California: a non-partisan, all-volunteer organization dedicated to the establishment of a 28th Amendment.With Michele’s dedication, MOVI’s efforts were critical to the passage of a Los Angeles municipal ballot measure calling for an amendment resolution and in 2016, her team led the campaign for the successful statewide Proposition 59 in California that instructed elected officials to vote to overturn Citizens United v. FEC.

2016 National Citizen Leadership Conference

American Promise hosted the first-ever National Citizen Leadership Conference in 2016 with over 300 citizen leaders from 40 states, with a program with 60 speakers and panelists on hand to make history.  

The following clips provide a glimpse of the formal programs and discussions surrounding the 28th Amendment:

FAITH & MORALITY & THE 28th AMENDMENT KEYNOTE by KATHARINE HENDERSON

FAITH & MORALITY & THE 28th AMENDMENT PANEL DISCUSSION

"A CALL TO SERVE" JOE GOODWIN

EVERYDAY CITIZEN LEADERS by NINA TURNER (3 min)

"TITLES ARE GOOD BUT PURPOSE IS BETTER!" NINA TURNER KEYNOTE 

The 2016 National Citizen Leadership Conference: Together We Win

Together We Win was our theme, our strategy, and our mission in hosting this gathering to prepare for the 28th Amendment.  An amendment is a bold action handed up by the people and demands that we deliberate on our strategic approach, expand our capacities to engage and inspire others in our communities, and collect the tools we need to be most effective in our shared work to create balance in our politics and government with people, not money.  This is what we did:  

        • Celebrated progress, citizen leadership, and congressional courage
        • Listened and learned in an environment of civility and patriotism
        • Networked with fellow citizens across the movement and across the country
        • Shared meals, ad hoc conversation, collaborative art, music, and live theatre
        • Built energy, strategy, and unity for the work ahead

In this time of Constitutional crisis, with over 80% of Americans in agreement, the Conference provided the setting and structure for us to talk to one another, to listen to one another, and to return to our communities equipped to do likewise. 

We have collected tools and materials that we hope will inform and inspire you to join this historic cause. 

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Become an AP Citizen.

CONFERENCE IN REVIEW (6 min)

SHE CAN'T EVEN VOTE... (48 sec)

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