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Reboot Democracy Movement

Short Version

(note: we will soon change the name of this movement from "reboot")
In 2008, millions of Americans pitched in to elect Barack Obama President and sent him to DC
with a mandate to make Washington work again for ordinary Americans. Eight years of Bush had
left our country with two wars, an economy in a downward spiral, and halls of Congress littered
with lobbyists working overtime to make giant corporations even richer. The desperate state of
the country inspired unprecedented participation in the historic election, and all over the country
people worked overtime to win back Washington for struggling Americans.

Two years later, we've learned that reclaiming our country requires more than just electing the
right President. After the election the corporate special interests doubled down, making sure that
their CEOs and profits are protected in every deal that goes down. The recent health care victory
taught us we can make progressive change, but it's still incredibly hard because corporate
lobbyists hold power not just over Republicans but all of the Washington DC culture. Ordinary
Americans have started to wake up and demand that the principles that founded our nation rule
our democracy again.

But now the Supreme Court has given corporations even more power by allowing unlimited
spending in elections, so they can try to buy their friends seats in Congress. As a result, in
addition to facing more uphill battles to move forward, we now have a serious risk of
going backwards on the biggest issues confronting hard-working Americans: a bungled
economy, an increasing wage disparity, and legislation full of giveaways to giant corporations at
the expense of everyone else. They're even talking about repealing the health care bill we just
passed. And Wall Street is just gearing up to protect their massive profits--even as they are still
spending the tax payer bailout money.All this while so many Americans are struggling to make
ends meet, provide for their families, and create a country that reflects American values of equal
protection under law. The disparity will only get worse if we don't act now to rewrite the
rules by which Washington operates.

Corporate special interests will always have more money than us, but when faced with a crisis in
democracy, Americans have shown time and again that people-power can triumph. Every hard-
won progressive leap forward in this country has had a movements of committed people driving it.
Winning women the right to vote, establishing a minimum wage, the Civil Rights Acts and
establishing Clean Air standards--all of these monumental triumphs started with the actions of
committed communities around the country. As Barack Obama said when elected, "Change
doesn't come from Washington, Change comes to Washington."

Hard-working Americans are outraged at the revelation of just how deep the elite corporate
interests have their tentacles in the halls of Power and Washington DC. And that outrage means
we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to fundamentally rewrite the rules so our government
works for us--the way our founders intended--and not for the corporate elites.

It's time to take back our country, reboot our democracy, and kick corporate elites out
of Washington once and for all by rewriting the rules that Washington plays by. To do
this, we're going to organize in our communities to build a giant and vibrant movement that
our elected officials can't ignore. We'll work within that movement to beat back laws that put
corporations in the driver's seat of our democracy. And we'll hold elected leaders--
Democrats and Republicans alike--accountable if they aren't willing to stand up to corporate
interests and side with the people to create a level playing field in Washington and around the
country. Finally, together we'll demand that progressive principles govern the political
agenda in Washington so we have a country that rewards the middle class and working
Americans over corporate elites.

What will this actually look like?

Within every movement in our nation's history were campaigns that sought to fulfill the just
goals of the movement. As an example, the civil rights movement main goal was an integrated
society. Given the multipronged nature of the problem of legal segregation it required specific
campaigns- the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Greensboro, Nashville, and Tallahassee sit ins, the
Birmingham summer, the Freedom rides, Selma, etc- each of which had specific goals meant to
put a nail in the legal system that was Jim Crow. Sometimes these tactics were meant to
overturn laws in courts, others were meant to expand voter rolls, and still others were meant to
pass legislation at the local, state, and national levels. The point is movements are made up of
campaigns which are part of a broader strategy with often different tactics to achieve the
movement's goals.

With our Reboot movement, we will begin our efforts with a campaign that seeks first to raise the
alarm of undue corporate influence in our politics.

Corporate Influence Campaign

1. The election The health care fight taught us that we can make progressive change, but it's
super-hard because corporations and their lobbyists still have too much power in DC.

2. Now, the Supreme Court has given corporations even more power and thrust America
into a whole new world of unlimited corporate spending on elections.

3. As a result, we face a serious risk of going backwards on the biggest issues facing hard-
working Americans and repeating the mistakes of the past: a bungled economy, an increasing
wage disparity, and legislation full of giveaways to giant corporations at the expense of everyone
else. They're even talking about repealing the health care bill we just passed.

4. To rescue our economy and save our democracy, the solution is a giant movement to put
people back in charge of our government. Every time we have won something in this country
for the people, it has been through movements (examples--women's right to vote, minimum

How will this happen on the ground?

a) organizing in our communities to identify and expose the problem and demand that our
voices be heard (organizing and visibility events)
b) beating back laws that increase the corporate influence over our democracy
(constitutional amendment/legislation like the Fair Elections Act)

c) electing leaders who are accountable and getting rid of ones who aren't (electoral strategies)

d) constructing a progressive economic agenda that will level the playing field for hard
working Americans