Most of us have spent years believing that we could elect people who share our values and priorities and make a difference – but the flood of ‘big money’ unleashed by Citizens United has gotten in the way of “We The People."
Last year’s midterm election was the most expensive in the history of our democracy – 4 billion dollars spent protecting the powerful and the privileged. The outcome reaffirmed that corporations are people and money is speech, and our democracy and political system was again sold to the highest bidders.
At TakeItBack.Org we believe there is another way. A more direct way – using ballot initiatives to drive reform because successful office seekers and holders simply can’t. They are too beholden to the wealthy special interests that fund their campaigns.
While it's clearly still important that we devote energy and funds to trying to elect good candidates, the truth remains that ‘big money’ wins most of these elections and that is why TakeItBack.Org believes it is vitally important that we now turn out attention in earnest to placing and winning populist ballot initiatives in the states that allow them.
And if you don't live in one of these states, the ballot initiative process still can impact you, and here is why: if we can place and win populist reform ballot initiatives, it will apply pressure on other entities to act.
It's no coincidence that initiatives mandating increases in the minimum wage passed in four red states in 2016 AND that Wal-Mart, McDonald's and Target soon followed suit.
It’s no coincidence that the progress we have made with civil rights and now marriage equality, came from the grassroots.
Similarly, if we can pass initiatives focused on reforms dealing with anti-corruption/campaign spending and anti-gerrymandering, then we can put pressure on other states--and the “People’s Congress” – to do the same.
Frankly, as long as John Boehner and company control the US House of Representatives, is it likely that much is going to get done in Congress anytime soon? Sadly, the answer is no, and to believe otherwise is the political equivalent of believing in Santa Claus.
TakeItBack.Org will happily support candidates that support our populist values and overturning the loathsome Citizens United decision, but our focus will be on using direct democracy to Take Our Country Back!
Dueling John Boehner to a draw in the U.S. House has value, but winning progressive ballot initiatives in the states is much more doable and valuable due to the momentum that we are already building starting in South Dakota and moving beyond.
So, we invite you to join us in our grassroots quest to advance these values and in the fight to take our country back and put it to work for everyday folks. The powerful and the privileged will always find a seat at the table of our democracy – but who ever thought they would end up owning it.
We need to get our country working again – state by state by state, until Washington gets the message--just as they have with minimum wages. People united against Citizens United, will never be defeated if we rise up together. The 99% has the power to end run the 1% and change the course of our democracy.
Please join us, either in the streets with a petition if you live in South Dakota, or with a contribution, if you don't.
If we stick together, who knows how far we can go!