An increasing number of activists have been walking from Los Angeles to Sacramento in an effort to bring attention to the crisis created by the corruptive influence of money in politics. The march, dubbed the California March for Democracy, is being lead by Kai Newkirk of 99Rise – the man who was arrested for standing up and speaking out against corruption in the first-ever video-captured protest inside the Supreme Court chamber in February.
The march kicked off on May 17th in Los Angeles. Thus far, the marchers have walked over 350 miles, over the mountains, across the desert, and through California’s Central Valley. Long-time activist Dolores Huerta and attorney Lawrence Lessig joined the marchers as have many others as it gains momentum in its approach to Sacramento.
Their goal, once they arrive, is to deliver a simple demand to California’s leaders: publicly acknowledge the crisis of money-in-politics corruption and take immediate action to end it. If the legislators do not act on the demand, the marchers plan to nonviolently occupy the Capitol until the leaders respond.
Organizations such as Progressive Democrats of America, the Courage Campaign, and the California Nurses Association have endorsed the march, urging their members to participate. 99Rise, the organization that spearheaded the campaign, plans to arrive at the Capitol in 7 days.
According to their itinery, they will be at the First Unitarian Universalist Church 2737 Pacific Ave, in Stockton tonight – Tuesday June 17th at 7:00pm. They are urging people join them. 99Rise is not requiring that every participant walk. The organization is inviting all to come whether they arrive via foot, bicycle, motocycle, car, horse, or plane.
If there is no way you can join the march in Sacramento or before, you can still help by calling or visiting the offices of your state assemblymember and state senator to ask them to support the march and meet its demands. The march is calling for the legislature to pass three bills, each of which has passed through one chamber already:
AJR1, a formal call for a federal Article V Convention to propose a Constitutional Amendment to establish that money is not speech, corporations are not people, and Congress can regulate and prohibit political spending.
SB1272, the Overturn Citizens United Act, which would place a question on the November ballot giving California’s voters the chance to formally instruct the US Congress to propose such an Amendment and the California legislature to ratify it.
SB52, the California DISCLOSE Act, which would start reining in unlimited, anonymous big money in elections by requiring the top 3 funders of any political ad to be prominently revealed within it.
Dr. Bill Honigman and Judy Hess
PDA CA Co-Coordinators
A recent study published by Princeton and Northwestern Universities concludes that policymaking in the United States is dominated by the interests of well-heeled individuals or business interests and that the average American holds little sway at the end of the day. That conclusion shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s been paying attention particularly in light of the Citizens United and McCutcheon rulings.
As a publication that endorses democratic processes, the LA Progressive holds the notion that our democracy will never truly represent the people until we stop the influence of big money. We urge our readers to support this worthy cause. You can access their site by clicking California March for Democracy.
Publisher, LA Progressive