FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Californians March For Democracy Across Nation's Largest State
Marchers trek 480 miles from L.A. to Sacramento to demand an end to big money corruption
Los Angeles, CA – On May 17th, a group of activists led by the grassroots organization 99Rise will depart Los Angeles to embark on a 480-mile “March for Democracy” across the state of California to raise awareness about the influence of big money in politics. They plan to complete their march at the state capitol building in Sacramento on June 22nd, where they will demand that the state legislature publicly acknowledge what they are calling “the crisis of corruption” and take immediate action to end it.
“This nation was founded on the principle of one person, one vote,” said Kai Newkirk, co-founder and organizer of 99Rise. “Generations of Americans have shed blood, sweat, and tears to make that principle a reality, from the abolitionists to women’s suffragists, to supporters of The Civil Rights Movement. But now their hard work and sacrifice is being systematically undermined by the out-of-control political spending of a small wealthy elite. It’s time for our generation to step up and do whatever it takes to reclaim democracy for the people of this country. That’s why we’re marching to Sacramento,” Newkirk explained.
The statewide march comes on the heels of two Supreme Court decisions—Citizens United vs. FEC and McCutcheon vs. FEC—that have further enabled wealthy donors to contribute even larger sums to candidates running for political office. 2012 was the most expensive election in the country’s history, with a price tag exceeding 6 billion dollars, but with only 0.4% of Americans contributing more than $200 to political candidates, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Newkirk recently made headlines for his interruption of Supreme Court proceedings and his subsequent arrest, the first time such an act of civil disobedience has been caught on video.
The 480-mile march dubbed the “California March for Democracy” is endorsed by a number of citizen groups and political organizations including Money Out Voters In, WolfPAC, and Rootstrikers. Lawrence Lessig, a leading public intellectual, political activist and founder of Rootstikers.org will be walking a section of the march, as will Dolores Huerta, a long time labor and civil rights leader.
“The fight against political corruption is one that must be taken up by a movement of citizens,” remarked Lessig. “It will take an army of ordinary people, from both the left and the right, doing the hard work that is needed to fundamentally reform our government and restore our democracy. No matter how difficult, how impossible it may appear, we must have hope. We have to fight.”
For more information about 99Rise and the California March for Democracy, including how to participate in the march, visit marchfordemocracy.org or contact Curt Ries at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (415) 847-5351.
About 99Rise & The California March for Democracy
99Rise is calling for a mass movement of escalating direct nonviolent action to get big money out of politics and reclaim democracy for the 99%. The California March for Democracy will begin May 17th at Los Angeles City Hall with a rally and commencement ceremony. Marchers will be attending local events along the march route, which will traverse California’s central valley, passing through Bakersfield, Fresno, and Stockton on its way to the state capitol.
99Rise is demanding that the California state legislature call for an Article V convention to amend the US constitution to get big money out of politics and guarantee political equality. If the state legislature fails to call for the convention by the time marchers reach Sacramento on June 22nd, activists plan on nonviolently occupying the capitol until the campaign’s demands are met.
For a preliminary itinerary of the march, go to http://www.marchfordemocracy.org/march_route
To find out how to support the march, go to http://www.marchfordemocracy.org/volunteer