Marchers demand "one person, one vote" political equality, an end to big money corruption in politics
California, USA – On May 17th, dozens of activists led by the grassroots organization 99Rise departed Los Angeles to embark on a 480-mile “March for Democracy” across the state of California to raise awareness and mobilize the public around the issue 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 prominent political organizations and activists including MoveOn, WolfPAC, Rootstrikers, Money Out Voters In, the Dream Defenders, and public intellectual, Noam Chomsky. Co-founder of the National Farm Workers Association and long time labor and civil rights leader, Dolores Huerta, will be walking a section of the march, as will Harvard University Professor of Law and political activist, Lawrence Lessig.
“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 interview and photo opportunities, please visit marchfordemocracy.org or contact Curt Ries at email@example.com or call (415) 847-5351. You can also follow us on facebook and twitter.
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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 began May 17th in Los Angeles and will conclude June 22nd in Sacramento. Marchers will are attending local events along the march route, which traverses 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 an itinerary of the march, go to http://www.marchfordemocracy.org/march_route
For the campaign's list of demands and featured endorsements, go to
To find out how to support the march, go to http://www.marchfordemocracy.org/volunteer
March Itinerary: 06/17/14 - 06/22/14
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 18th: DAY 33 - STOCKTON TO LODI
THURSDAY, JUNE 19th: DAY 34 - LODI TO GALT
FRIDAY, JUNE 20th: DAY 35 – GALT TO ELK GROVE
SATURDAY, JUNE 21st: DAY 36 – ELK GROVE TO SOUTH SACRAMENTO
SUNDAY, JUNE 22nd: DAY 37 – SOUTH SACRAMENTO TO CA STATE CAPITOL