Bipartisan Support for Our Common Purpose Recommendation
Atlanta, GA | February 10, 2022 — The Carter Center, American Promise, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (Academy), and the Partnership for American Democracy (PFAD) announce today that President Jimmy Carter has joined the majority of Americans across the political spectrum in his support for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The amendment, proposed in the American Academy of Arts & Sciences’ Our Common Purpose report, would address the explosive rise in election spending, related issues of systemic corruption, and civic distrust and division.
“Like an overwhelming majority of Americans, I support a constitutional amendment to end the domination of high finance in politics and give voice to all Americans,” President Carter said. “As we approach the 250th anniversary of our nation’s independence, ratifying this proposed constitutional amendment would renew and preserve the cherished democratic ideals of the founders.”
President Carter’s call for a constitutional amendment was welcomed by leaders across the political spectrum, including Republican former senators Olympia Snowe (ME) and Alan Simpson (WY).
Senator Snowe said: “As President Carter has expressed, we need to repair the Constitutional foundation for election spending reform so that all Americans may participate in self-government as equal citizens. I am glad to join President Carter and millions of Americans in the urgent, cross-partisan work to bring about this fundamental change.”
Senator Simpson said: “I thank my friend President Carter for joining us in this great cause for America and our future. American Promise is uniting all Americans, regardless of our politics, to protect free speech, representation, and effective republican government for every American. We must swiftly ratify this For Our Freedom Amendment.”
President Carter’s support, based on his long-standing public leadership on the need for campaign finance reform, follows the inclusion of the amendment as one of several key and urgent recommendations from the bipartisan Commission on the Practice of Democratic Citizenship convened by the Academy to strengthen American constitutional democracy. The Academy is committed to working to make significant progress on the Commission’s recommendations. Last year, with the formation of the Partnership for American Democracy—a non-partisan organization galvanizing an ideologically diverse coalition of leaders, sectors, and networks in support of an inclusive, constitutional democracy—many of the report’s recommendations are also being advanced through a coalition of nearly 100 organizations and institutions driving measurable progress as we approach the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.
“The Academy’s bipartisan commission conducted nearly 50 listening sessions across the country and across the political spectrum to develop the recommendations in Our Common Purpose. One of the most consistent concerns expressed was about the role of money in politics and a sense that ‘one person, one vote’ has become ‘one dollar, one vote,’” said Academy President David Oxtoby. "President Carter’s support for a constitutional amendment to address money in politics helps us move toward a stronger democracy for America.”
The Partnership for American Democracy (PFAD) works closely with high-impact diverse sectors, institutions, networks, and leaders with the mission of facilitating our collective capacity to strengthen and safeguard democratic institutions, processes, norms, and values to secure a strong, resilient, and inclusive constitutional democracy in the United States. “President Carter's leadership in endorsing a strategy to reduce the corrosive and out-sized influence of money in our democracy is an important validation of the bold reforms we need to reinvigorate American democracy and the power of citizens to drive that process,” said PFAD CEO Diana Aviv.
For the past five years, American Promise, a national non-partisan organization has worked with citizens across the political spectrum to build support for the amendment. So far 22 states — including Illinois, Nevada, Virginia and more— have passed resolutions calling for the amendment, and voters in six states — Montana, Colorado, Alaska, California, Washington, and Massachusetts — have approved citizen initiatives.
American Promise President Jeff Clements said: “At American Promise, we’re Americans with a lot of different political views, but we’re working together to win the next amendment to the U.S. Constitution. We thank President Carter for his leadership and faith in the continued ability of the American people to overcome obstacles and accomplish worthy and big goals together. None is more worthy than renewing the future of republican self-government and our constitutional democracy.”
American Promise Vice President-Outreach, Dr. Jessica Hare, said of President Carter’s support: “No problem affects so many people and so many aspects of the social and emotional needs of Americans — or wrongly concentrates power for the few — than the concentration of massive money in our political system. We thank President Carter for standing by the American people, who overwhelmingly support this amendment regardless of political affiliation, and have demonstrated that support time and again, whether by voting on ballot measures, working to pass local and state legislation, or in surveys.”
American Academy of Arts & Sciences: Alison Franklin, (617) 576-5043, firstname.lastname@example.org
American Promise: Jeff Clements, (617) 281-5350, email@example.com
Carter Center: Soyia Ellison, (404) 420-5124, firstname.lastname@example.org
Partnership for American Democracy: Mollie Bowman, email@example.com