Sunday, December 9, 2012

Policy Groups Address Democracy Issues in DC Tomorrow


It’s a welcome development. Groups that primarily focus on promoting environmental, worker and civil rights issues are increasingly realizing that the system isn’t broken but fixed against them and their constituents. The result is the latest development in an ever widening national “democracy movement.”

Leaders from 75 organizations, including the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, the Communications Workers of America and the NAACP will meet in Washington, DC tomorrow, December 10, to address a range of issues that are blocking them from achieving genuine policy changes. The main blockages this coalition will explore will be the Senate filibuster, unrestricted political money and curbs on ballot access.

“Lots of people have had lots of different agendas, and it’s time to unite and bring together organizations that haven’t been good government groups, and start to engage in these process issues,” said George Kohl, a senior director at the Communications Workers of America (see story at http://www.rollcall.com/news/progressive_groups_branch_out_to_tackle_filibuster_big_money_voting-219538-1.html )

Hopefully, the coalition will seek to fix problems and not just symptoms. Too often “inside the beltway” groups begin and end at bandaid patches to what are large (and what has become ever widening) gaps in our political system that favors the wealthy and corporations at the expense of everyone else.

Move to Amend is a national coalition as well. It’s been around for 3 years. Many of the groups connected to it focus on policy issues. They believe that real policy reforms on (insert your favorite issue here) and real process reforms (i.e. ending the constitutional doctrines of corporate “personhood” and political money is equivalent to political speech) are inextricably linked. Only if We the People have the ability to define the political agenda can we expect to create just public policies.

May the December 10 DC meeting be a success…by focusing on fixing problems, not just symptoms.

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