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Proxies for Citizens is a game changer.
Polls consistently show that a solid majority of Americans favor a long list of critically needed legislation: a federal job guarantee, access to affordable health care, as a right; a proper response to the existential threat posed by global warming, lower prescription drug prices; universal background checks and an assault weapons ban; codification of Roe v. Wade to keep abortion safe, legal, and rare; et cetera, et cetera…
Extensive research into the correlation between the will of the people and the acts of Congress indicates that: “The preferences of the average American appear to have only a miniscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.” In other words, within the system that is in place, none of the legislation favored by a majority of the people is likely to be passed into law. Certainly not anytime soon.
Proxies for Citizens will let the people of America vote on legislation, albeit indirectly. The will of the people will then determine what legislation is enacted. As soon as we implement a system of proxies for citizens in both houses of Congress, all of the legislation favored by a majority of the people will be enacted immediately. And the same thing is true of any state legislature that implements a system of Proxies for Citizens.
Once a citizen or a candidate fully understands how extremely powerful proxies can be in making America a more perfect democracy, it remains only to act upon that knowledge. While all of us should go on working as hard as we can to support the issues and causes in which we believe, we need to realize that we must reform the system if we want our political activism to matter. When contacted by candidates or when contacting candidates, in addition to discussing issues of concern, citizens need to make the idea of reforming the system through proxies for citizens a primary focus of the conversation.
Citizens need to make it clear to candidates that support for Proxies for Citizens is a necessary condition for their support and their vote. Candidates who understand what a powerful reform Proxies for Citizens represents should make it easy for citizens to identify them as Champions of Democracy, by making their support for proxies loud and clear. We encourage candidates to feature a statement of support for Proxies for Citizens prominently on their campaign website. We encourage candidates to include clear, strong statements of support for Proxies for Citizens in their standard stump speech and to bring the subject of proxies up at every opportunity.
Political organizations that recruit and endorse candidates need to take a lead role in the effort to make the 2022 election a referendum on democracy – and to make sure democracy wins by making Proxies for Citizens a focal point of this year’s election.
Nearly all Americans believe in democracy. Unfortunately, many members of Congress and state legislatures do not. They have been corrupted by campaign contributions from corporate interests and tax-averse billionaires. They give lip service to democracy but serve the interests of their corporate benefactors.
Aristotle once observed that a politician, once elected, behaves as if they have a terminal illness and staying in office is all that will keep them alive. Too many politicians believe (with considerable justification) that raising enormous amounts of money is the key staying in office. We must convince them that no matter how much money they raise, they will be voted out of office if they do not support the reforms that are needed to make America a more perfect democracy. It will take a massive grassroots movement of millions of concerned citizens to do that.
To be successful, a movement must be broad and inclusive. We need voters from both major political parties, every minor party, independents, and other political organizations across the political spectrum to join forces in support of democracy. We need to make it clear to incumbents in Congress and state legislatures that we intend to make the 2022 election a referendum on democracy. If they support the reforms we are promoting, they can count on our support. If they do not support our reforms, they can count on any challengers who do support our reforms having broad support from voters across party lines.
None of us need to stop working on other issues that matter to us personally, but we must temporarily shift our primary focus away from other issues, especially the "wedge issues" that divide us (abortion, gun control, gay rights, immigration, etc.) and keep our eyes on the prize - to make America a true democracy. Narrowing our focus in this manner will allow us to work together toward the common goal of living up to the ideals upon which our nation was founded and establishing a government of, by, and for the people. By focusing our living up to the noble ideals upon which our nation was founded, we can be a force for healing and unity as we work together across the partisan divides and other ideological differences, to make America more democratic.
One of the major victories for democracy won by the populists and progressives of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was to get the initiative, the referendum, or both, implemented in various forms in 26 states. The initiative gives citizens the power to propose and pass legislation (including constitutional amendments in some states) without the involvement or approval of the state legislature. Governors cannot veto ballot proposals approved by voters. A referendum is the submission of a measure passed or proposed by a legislature or by the initiative process to a vote of the citizens. The details vary from state to state.
Citizens in states with the initiative could (and should) enact "Representation for All" acts or implement ranked choice voting through the initiative process if the state legislature fails to do so.
States with the initiative for both statutes and constitutional amendments and referendums include Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, and South Dakota.
Florida, Illinois, and Mississippi have the initiative for constitutional amendments but no initiative for statutes and no referendum.
Citizens in the following states have the initiative or referendum, but no initiative for constitutional amendments:
States with the initiative for statutes and the referendum, but no initiative for constitutional amendments include Alaska, Idaho, Maine, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
Maryland and New Mexico have the referendum, but the referendum can only be used to veto legislation passed by the state legislature.
If you want to get involved in our grassroots efforts to make America a more perfect democracy, please provide your email address. You will receive occasional emails with calls to action and updates regarding our progress. You will never be asked for a financial contribution. Your contact information will not be shared.