Strategy to Amend the Constitution
A STRATEGY FOR CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS
We begin with a question about two words, the words are “THE PEOPLE”, and the question is;- when was the last time you heard a politician utter these words;- “THE PEOPLE”?
If you cannot remember, that should tell you a lot!
The Occupy Wall Street movement has rightly focused national attention on the systemic deficiencies in our governmental processes. And the Move To Amend organization’s campaign to repeal the infamous Citizens United vs FEC Supreme Court ruling (which in effect, legalized the bribery of Congress) is absolutely justified. However, you must realize that asking Congress to do that, we are asking the very people who benefit directly from corporate campaign contributions to remedy that situation.
Congress will never do that, to illustrate;- you should be aware that, early in 2011 the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 359, which (if passed by the Senate) would repeal the Presidential Election Campaign Fund (H.R. 3463) – the $3.00 box you check on your income tax return – and our basis for public financing of all FEDERAL ELECTIONS – (explained in Amendment Proposals).
See info about H.R.359 at;- http://www.opencongress.org/bill/112-h359/.
Congress does not want ANY campaigns for federal office financed thru public funds – and you know why.
However, we need to do a lot more than that.
In our time, the most insidious threat to our Democracy is the infamous “Citizens United” decision, which put our Congress on the auction block for the highest bidder, and the gradual undermining of the average American’s access to the voting booth.
Throughout all human history, no government, no dictator, no ruler has ever voluntarily given up power because “it was the right thing to do.” No, power must be WRESTED from the “powers that be,” it has never worked any other way.
If “WE THE PEOPLE” are to gain control over our lives and how our government operates, we have to CIRCUMVENT Congress by getting the STATES to call for a Constitutional Convention for the purpose of amendments – and this may be a way to do that. The point has been made that there needs to be changes made in how our government operates – everyone gets it. Now, we need to move on to solutions.
There is this powerful new thing called “THE INTERNET” and it is perfect for our needs! We can dedicate ourselves to an internet email campaign to ALL State Legislators calling for a Constitutional Convention for the purpose of amendments by:
1) Creating a file of email addresses of ALL LEGISLATORS in ALL the STATES – made available to like minded people in ALL the STATES.
2) Asking like minded people you know in your State and other States to contact their legislators requesting a Constitutional Convention – and not just the legislators that represent YOUR DISTRICT. Send your request to ALL your State Legislators, if you can, (the actions of a State Legislator does not just affect his or her district – it affects the WHOLE STATE, so hence, they ALL are your Legislators).
3) Ask everyone you have asked, to do the same for everyone they know in their State and every other State (legislators’ email addresses will be published along with our Constitutional Amendments Proposals).
This will have to be a sustained effort by everyone, but does not have to be tedious or laborious.
a) Email YOUR DISTRICT LEGISLATORS and 5 others, if allowed, (some only accept an email if you live in their district) requesting a Constitutional Convention using our
“State Legislators” access page. Best to do this on a Saturday or Sunday so they see it Monday morning.
b) Wait a couple weeks for a reply, then email YOUR DISTRICT LEGISLATORS again and 5 others and continue this until you receive confirming response.
c) After all have been emailed, start over again until the general election in 2014 (then after the election, we start over again with the new Legislators). They may ignore your requests for a while, but as emails increase they will surely take notice. Be courteous and respectful in your language (you are asking for their collaboration – and there are laws against online harassment) and remember, you catch flies with a spoonful of honey than you can with a gallon of vinegar.
We are convinced this is the only way “WE THE PEOPLE” can take back control of our government.
d) We have legislator email addresses for every STATE that publish the email address (not all do). For those that do not, we have tried to indicate how you can contact those legislators. This information will be on the State Legislators page.
“All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent“– Thomas Jefferson.
Please read the “Amendments Proposals” and if you think this a worthy effort , contact your State Legislators and let them know.
This will be a grass-roots effort by the AMERICAN PEOPLE and the Constitution gives us the right to do it!
The image of the Constitution was purposely distorted because we believe the Constitution, itself, has been purposely distorted.
BALLOT INITIATIVE: Some states allow a Ballot Initiative by which the PEOPLE could implement a call for a Constitutional Convention, if your State does not – you should be concerned. A Ballot Initiative is one that is placed on the STATE BALLOT through an Initiative Petition by the PEOPLE of the STATE . Common names for an Initiative Petition are; Voter Initiative, Referendum, Proposition, Citizen Initiative or Recall. You may have been approached by a citizen outside a grocery store or other gathering, with a clipboard, asking for your signature – that is an Initiative Petition. To be placed on the STATE BALLOT, an Initiative Petition must contain a certain percentage (determined by the State) of signatures of voters registered in that State.
But, there is a major “road-block” to the States submitting a call for a Constitutional Convention for the purpose of Amendments – it takes two-thirds (34) of the States to do that. There are 25 States where “THE PEOPLE” have NO access to an Initiative Petition – they have given up that ability, so that ANYTHING that is submitted to THE PEOPLE for approval has to originate in the State Legislature (they have given up the right to govern themselves).
However, all is NOT lost – your State Legislators work for you, and they can be influenced by you thru public pressure, maybe thru this email campaign, or letters, or phone calls, (if we want it to happen- we can make it happen).
“I believe in the Initiative and Referendum, which should be used not to destroy representative government, but to correct it whenever it becomes miss-representative.” – President Teddy Roosevelt
Check – http://www.citizensincharge.org/about-ir/initiative-rights-by-state and your state for initiative info.
The state of Utah allows an ONLINE Initiative Petition – the ONLY state to do so! YOU GO UTAH!!!
P.P.S. – Most state Legislative sessions begin in January/February ending in May or June; see “2017 State Legislative Sessions” at – http://www.ncsl.org/research/about-state-legislatures/2017-state-legislative-session-calendar.aspx
This is the Legislative Sessions for 2017 but sessions do not routinely change from year to year, so successive sessions are likely to be the same.
We had a question – “If we are emailing legislators during their recess, would anyone be there to receive them?”
So, we decided to do an experiment. We sent 2 emails to each State House and Senate that we have email address for (a total of 160 emails), asking “Is it possible to contact a State Legislator through email during recess of the Legislature?” We wanted to determine what percentage would be rejected as “un-deliverable.” We got 39 actual reply’s from legislators or their aide, 104 no response , and 18 rejected as “un-deliverable,” which is 11% of the total sent. That means 89% of the emails were received or will be received by the legislators when they contact their office – (even though they are in recess).
We got a direct answer to our question from a Kansas Legislator who told us, “We are asked for an address to forward both U.S. postal mail and e-mails. I opted to keep my legislative account open, and try to check it fairly often. Others have their e-mail forwarded; some have listed (I have done this) a personal e-mail on their legislative contact information.” So, It looks like we can expect that those “104 no response” emails have been forwarded or are sitting in the legislators’ in-box to be retrieved when they contact their office.
As an added test, we sent an email to a known INACTIVE email address – it was returned “un-deliverable” immediately.
So, with a success rate like that (89%), and if the same holds true for legislators nationally, we believe we can start our email campaign and run it year-round; and make no mistake, it may well take a number of years to get two-thirds (34) of the State Legislatures to call for a Constitutional Convention for the purpose of Amendments.
So, this will have to be a sustained effort by everyone if we are to succeed.
However, if we start this campaign right-away, maybe we can get some states to propose legislation for a Constitutional Convention in the current State Legislative Session.
(The State Legislators page will be updated after each State Legislature Election).
Ask yourself this question – “Where will our country be in another 50 to 60 years if changes are NOT made?”
We are rapidly becoming a 3rd world country – peoples of means (those with money), and the rest of us!
We are not alone in believing that there needs to be changes made to our Constitution – retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens (1975 – 2010) also, thinks now is the time for some changes. Take a look at what Justice Stevens has to say at;- http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/01/28/1360644/-Justice-Stevens-Pens-Six-Amendments-to-Tune-Up-Constitution?detail=email
To be sure, as Justice Stevens has pointed out, making amendments to the Constitution will be a very arduous (and some say impossible) endeavor, but the framework for doing exactly that ALREADY exists, Article V (Article 5 – Mode of Amendment) of the Constitution tells us, in part;- Congress, “on the application of the Legislatures of two-thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for purposing Amendments.”
The Framers of our Constitution could not have possibly anticipated what our country would be like in the future, and they realized that. Hence, in their wisdom, they provided a process for making changes to the Constitution and they gave part of that process to “THE PEOPLE”, if we choose to apply it.
Our Constitution has served us well for over 225 years, but it is over 225 years old – the world was a very different place 225 years ago.
Now, through the magic of the Internet and Email, we have the ability to supplicate to our State Legislators asking for a Resolution calling for a “Constitutional Convention For The Purpose Of Amendments.” Virtually all State Legislators have an email address, so this could be the way for us to contact them with our request.
To those who say it’s impossible we posit this;
Question – How to accomplish a task that is known to be impossible?
Answer – Give the job to someone WHOM DOESN’T KNOW IT’S IMPOSSIBLE!