How to get big money out of politics


Grassroots strategies to end the corrosive role of big money on the U.S. political process will be the topic when Wambui Gatheru, outreach manager for American Promise, addresses the monthly meeting of the Democratic Council of Martha’s Vineyard (MV Dems) on Saturday, April 13, at 9:30 am at the Howes House (Up-Island Council on Aging), 1042 State Rd., West Tisbury. The program is free, and all are welcome.

According to a press release, American Promise is a nationwide, cross-partisan organization working to enact a 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would make it possible to set reasonable spending limits in our elections, so that all Americans can participate effectively in self-governance at all levels. Its strategies include building consensus for the amendment locally and nationally and holding elected officials accountable.

A Massachusetts affiliate of American Promise, called People Govern, Not Money, gathered more than 100,000 certified signatures to put Question 2 on last November’s ballot. The measure passed by almost 1.9 million votes. It established a citizens commission to draft the proposed 28th Amendment. After a two-month nomination period, the citizens commission is now being formed. In coming months it will hold public hearings around the state, then make its report by Dec. 31. Gatheru’s talk will include a progress report on this effort.

The MV Dems’ goals include supporting and promoting local, state, and national Democratic candidates; educating, engaging, and informing voters about the Democratic platform and current issues; and encouraging and facilitating voter communication with public officials regardless of party affiliation.

The MV Dems meet at 9:30 am on the second Saturday of every month at the Howes House. To find out about upcoming meetings and other events, email to get on the MV Dems mailing list.