CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM CONFERENCE

The U.S. Constitution provides the basic framework for how our government is structured, and defines the relationship between the federal government, the states, and all people within the United States. Any movement that wants to make systemic and fundamental change in this country --and that takes itself seriously-- must grapple with the fact that the United States is not currently a functioning democratic republic.

The Constitutional Reform Conference at the 2013 Democracy Convention will provide space for attendees to discuss, debate and strategize how to ensure that the growing U.S. democracy movement takes itself seriously enough to attempt to write our political and cultural victories into the governing law of this country.

The Move to Amend coalition is the principle convener of the Constitutional Reform Conference. Contact Move to Amend at info@movetoamend.org for more info.

If you haven't already done so, be sure to register now!

Full Conference Agenda Below:

CONVENTION OPENING PLENARY with Gar Alperovitz

KEYNOTE: Gar Alperovitz on “The Next American Revolution”

with Medea Benjamin as the MC and Wisconsin Welcome by Bryan Kennedy

Date: 
August 7, 2013 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Location

Madison Masonic Center
301 Wisconsin Ave
Session type: 
Keynote
Speaker(s): 
Bryan Kennedy
Speaker(s): 
Gar Alperovitz
Speaker(s): 
Medea Benjamin

Framing the Move To Amend Message: Speaking to People's Hearts and Minds

This training will focus on how our minds work, and the implications of this for communicating
effectively with the public, elected officials and others. We will learn about how public issues are framed, as well as the roles that narrative, emotion, tone and statistics play in successful communication. Our main focus will be on improving how we talk about corporate personhood and other Move to Amend-related topics, but the tools we’ll learn can be applied to any issue. So, all are welcome to attend.

Date: 
August 8, 2013 - 11:00am - 12:30pm

Location

Madison College D429
Session type: 
Workshop
Speaker(s): 
Egberto Willies
Speaker(s): 
Kaja Rebane

Home Rule: Using Local Government to Build a Stronger Democracy Movement

This session will explore the history and practice of using local governments to achieve social progress, strengthen local democracy, and to defeat corporate power, racism, and militarism. We will also learn more about how and why state, federal, and global legislatures and courts are being used to suppress and destroy local democracy. The struggle between local democracy and corporate capitalism is becoming more important every day. Get ready and get more engaged.

Date: 
August 8, 2013 - 11:00am - 12:30pm

Location

Madison College D433
Session type: 
Workshop
Speaker(s): 
Ben Manski

Giving the People Constitutional Power Over War: Rediscovering the War Referendum Amendment

What can we learn from the history of the 1930s-era campaign for a War Referendum Amendment, together with the 1970s-era People Power Over War Amendment, both of which would have established a deliberative national referendum process on war?

Date: 
August 8, 2013 - 2:00pm - 3:30pm

Location

Madison College D425
Session type: 
Workshop
Speaker(s): 
Ben Manski
Speaker(s): 
David Swanson

The Rights Race: An Interactive Exercise Exposing What Happens When a Corporation is a Person with Constitutional Rights

The Rights Race is a popular education exercise designed to get people literally moving (a kinetic
exercise) while learning about human rights, corporate rights, and the U.S. Constitution.  It is based
on the work done by Brazilian activist scholar Augusto Boal, founder of “Theater of the Oppressed.”

Date: 
August 8, 2013 - 2:00pm - 3:30pm

Location

Madison College D429
Session type: 
Workshop
Speaker(s): 
Daniel Lee
Speaker(s): 
Egberto Willies

CONVENTION ROUNDTABLE PLENARY

One delegate from each of the nine Democracy Convention conferences join in an animated discussion of the years ahead in the U.S. democracy movement.

Inn on the Park, 22 S. Carroll, Wisconsin Hall

Date: 
August 8, 2013 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Session type: 
Panel
Speaker(s): 
Ben Manski
Speaker(s): 
George Friday
Speaker(s): 
Jill Stein
Speaker(s): 
Leah Bolger
Speaker(s): 
Leland Pan
Speaker(s): 
Margaret Flowers
Speaker(s): 
Norm Stockwell
Speaker(s): 
Richard Monje
Speaker(s): 
Roshan Bliss
Speaker(s): 
Victoria Collier

Dangers of Corporate Personhood: It’s Way Beyond Just $ in Elections

An examination of how the influence of corporate power extends well beyond the electoral realm and why the fixes which focus only on elections are inadequate steps towards ensuring that we have a functioning democracy.

Date: 
August 9, 2013 - 9:00am - 10:30am

Location

Madison College D429
Session type: 
Workshop
Speaker(s): 
Daniel Lee
Speaker(s): 
Michael Greenman
Speaker(s): 
Shahid Buttar

Engaging Congress with Integrity & Authenticity: Learning to Coalesce and Exercise “People Power” to Hold Elected Officials Accountable to the Movement

Over 500 jurisdictions have now passed resolutions and initiatives to call for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. In this session we will discuss using resources to bring this issue to our members of Congress, including, but not limited to, using town hall meetings in August, appearances by the member in the district, and meetings with the member and using digital cameras, videos, and tweets to gain support for a constitutional amendment declaring that corporations are not people and money is not political speech.

Date: 
August 9, 2013 - 9:00am - 10:30am

Location

Madison College D433
Session type: 
Workshop
Speaker(s): 
Joan Stallard
Speaker(s): 
Lee Ketelsen
Speaker(s): 
Steve Spitz

Engaging and Relating to the next United States Social Forum (USSF): Developing a Strategy to Move from Convergence to Coherence

The U.S. Social Forum is both an event and a process.  As an event, it is one of the largest gathering of social change agents in one place - over 20,000 folks in Atlanta in 2007 and again in Detroit in 2010. And it will be reconvening in 2015!  As a process, it is lead by groups traditionally marginalized in the U.S.-- people of color, women, indigenous peoples, queers, immigrants, low-income white folks. Come learn how to get involved in the work leading up to U.S. Social Forum III.

Date: 
August 9, 2013 - 11:00am - 12:30pm

Location

Madison College D433
Session type: 
Workshop
Speaker(s): 
David Cobb
Speaker(s): 
George Friday

Guardianship of Future Generations and Writing Earth Rights into Law

Date: 
August 9, 2013 - 11:00am - 12:30pm

Location

Madison College D406
Session type: 
Panel
Speaker(s): 
Carolyn Raffensperger
Speaker(s): 
Linda Sheehan
Speaker(s): 
Ruth Caplan
Speaker(s): 
Sherri Mitchell

Justice Stephen’s Dissent: A Theatrical Monologue

Actor Lois Sabo-Skelton will perform James Allison’s monologue, “Justice John Paul Stevens
Dissents!”  Based on Stevens’ 90-page dissent in Citizens United, Appellant v. Federal Election
Commission (2010), the monologue will last about 40 minutes, present the basic legal and political
issues raised by the ruling, and be followed by Q&A led by the author.

Date: 
August 9, 2013 - 11:00am - 12:30pm

Location

Madison College D429
Session type: 
Workshop
Speaker(s): 
James Allison
Speaker(s): 
Lois Sabo-Skelton

Engaging the Faith Community into Move To Amend: Unitarian Universalists as a Case Study

The June 2013 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Denomination (UUs) voted “in Plenary” in Louisville, KY to officially support and encourage appropriate actions towards an amendment to the constitution specifically to “eliminate corporate personhood” and “money as speech”. They voted to work at both the grass roots and national organizational levels. Given the fact that endorsing a constitutional amendment to restore democracy is a “trans-partisan” issue and poses no threat to the non-profit status of supporting organizations, UUs felt it was timely to create such a coalition within the faith communities in the United States.

Date: 
August 9, 2013 - 2:00pm - 3:30pm

Location

Madison College D429
Session type: 
Workshop
Speaker(s): 
Colin Sykes
Speaker(s): 
Michael Greenman

Article V Constitutional Convention: A Blessing, a Curse, or Both?

There are two ways to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution-- A) Two-thirds of both the
Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States Congress can propose specific language, or B) Two-thirds (at least 34) of the states can call for a national  constitutional convention  There is a growing movement calling for a national constitutional convention. This session will explore the pros and cons of such a convention and mechanics of how it might happen.

Date: 
August 9, 2013 - 4:00pm - 5:30pm

Location

Madison College D429
Session type: 
Workshop
Speaker(s): 
Dan Marks
Speaker(s): 
David Cobb

Evening Social at Osaka House

Evening Social at Osaka House (505 State St) hosted by the Economic Democracy and Representative Democracy Conferences

Date: 
August 9, 2013 - 9:00pm - 11:00pm
Session type: 
General

A Constitutional Right to Vote

Date: 
August 10, 2013 - 9:00am - 10:30am

Location

Madison College D436
Session type: 
Workshop
Speaker(s): 
Bob Fitrakis
Speaker(s): 
David Cobb

Using the Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom (WILPF) Corporate Personhood Timeline and Study Guide as Education Tool

Building on this first step by UUs, participants will discuss how to approach the various faith communities represented among our national MTA coalition to form a powerful collaboration that will accelerate progress towards a meaningful and effective amendment.

Date: 
August 10, 2013 - 9:00am - 10:30am

Location

Madison College D429
Session type: 
Workshop
Speaker(s): 
Marybeth Gardam

Building a Multi-Racial Democracy Movement

Amending the U.S. Constitution will require a broad, deep and educated social movement committed to social justice.  This panel is designed to explore how to build that movement in an accountable, productive and positive manner.

Date: 
August 10, 2013 - 11:00am - 12:30pm

Location

Madison College D332
Session type: 
Panel
Speaker(s): 
Cheri Honkala
Speaker(s): 
David Cobb
Speaker(s): 
George Friday

Engaging State Legislators in Move To Amend

So far 16 states have passed resolutions calling for a constitutional amendment in the wake of the Citizens United decision. Recently the Minnesota Senate passed the “We the People Act,” a Move to Amend sponsored resolution that calls for an end to both corporate personhood and the idea that political spending is speech under the First Amendment. Efforts are also underway in other states. Participants who want to launch their own state legislative resolutions campaigns will be off to a good start after this workshop!

Date: 
August 10, 2013 - 11:00am - 12:30pm

Location

Madison College D429
Session type: 
Panel
Speaker(s): 
Kaja Rebane
Speaker(s): 
Lee Ketelsen
Speaker(s): 
Mark Halvorson

Move to Amend Petition Gathering

Collect petition signatures at the Madison Farmers Market in support of a statewide advisory referendum to ask the Wisconsin State legislature and Wisconsin's Congressional delegation to clarify these 3 things in the United States Constitution:

1. That money is not speech

2. That corporations are not entitled to the same rights as natural persons

3. That Congress and the states can limit election-related spending to ensure that all citizens, regardless of wealth, can express their views to one another and their government on a level playing field.

 

 

Date: 
August 10, 2013 - 12:30pm - 2:00pm

Location

Madison College D429
Session type: 
General

The Role of Elders within Move To Amend

Elders have a unique perspective and gifts to bring to the Move to Amend effort. This session is meant to open a discussion about defining a role for ourselves as elders and how to apply our gifts and perspective in strategic and helpful ways. The discussion will be in a fishbowl format with participation by all encouraged. The goal is to emerge with a beginning outline of the role of elders in Move to Amend and next steps.

Date: 
August 10, 2013 - 2:00pm - 3:30pm

Location

Madison College D429
Session type: 
Workshop
Speaker(s): 
Margaret Koster

The Role of Students/Youth within Move To Amend

An open discussion to assess the role of youth in bringing about real systematic change. How does this role differ? What do the youth need from the elders in the movement? What steps can we take to make sure that our movement is intergenerational?

Date: 
August 10, 2013 - 2:00pm - 3:30pm

Location

Madison College D433
Session type: 
Workshop
Speaker(s): 
Daniel Lee

Do We Need an Entirely New Constitution?

This panel will posit that the United States needs a new guiding document with the weight of law that enshrines our responsibilities and rights as individuals and collectives within U.S. boundaries.
Starting with with the premise that all human needs should be constitutionally enshrined into rights and responsibilities, the session will identify those human needs, rights and responsibilities; gain guidance from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; integrate the international frames of political and civil vs. economic, social, and cultural rights; provide examples of revolutionary constitutional efforts; and show how the U.S. Supreme Court has so undermined our human needs that a 28th amendment and new U.S. Constitution are inevitable.

Date: 
August 10, 2013 - 4:00pm - 5:30pm

Location

Madison College D429
Session type: 
Panel
Speaker(s): 
Egberto Willies
Speaker(s): 
George Friday
Speaker(s): 
M Adams
Speaker(s): 
Richard Hobbs

Why Corporations (Including Non-Profits) Don’t Possess or Need Constitutional Rights

Some people want us to believe that non-profit corporations possess constitutional rights. Others mistakenly say that Citizens United gave labor unions new constitutional rights. Attend this workshop to understand why corporations (whether for-profit or not) and other artificial entities don’t have, and don’t need, constitutional rights.

Date: 
August 10, 2013 - 4:00pm - 5:30pm

Location

Madison College D433
Session type: 
Workshop
Speaker(s): 
Ben Manski
Speaker(s): 
David Cobb

Local Food Democracy Reception

Sample and purchase local produce from South Central Wisconsin

Madison College Downtown Patio ~ Organized by Family Farm Defenders

Date: 
August 10, 2013 - 4:30pm - 5:30pm
Session type: 
General

Evening Social at The Rigby

Evening Social at The Rigby (119 E Main St) hosted by the Earth Democracy Conference. Head-Roc and Ryan Harvey will be performing.

Date: 
August 10, 2013 - 7:00pm - 11:00pm
Session type: 
General
Speaker(s): 
Head - Roc
Speaker(s): 
Ryan Harvey

CONVENTION CLOSING PLENARY: Call to Action

The keynote address will be followed by a facilitated discussion to give each conference a chance
to share the big ideas that came out of their event as well as the next steps everyone can take to further the democracy movement in the months and years ahead.

Date: 
August 11, 2013 - 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Session type: 
Keynote
Speaker(s): 
Debra White Plume

Liberty Tree Foundation

The Democracy Convention is a project of Liberty Tree. Liberty Tree is uniquely committed to building a new democracy movement for the U.S.A.. We provide vital support to grassroots campaigns for democratic reform in many areas of American life, and bring those campaigns together to form a united movement for democracy.

Move to Amend

Move to Amend is a coalition of hundreds of organizations and tens of thousands of individuals committed to social and economic justice, ending corporate rule, and building a vibrant democracy that is genuinely accountable to the people, not corporate interests.

We are calling for an amendment to the US Constitution to unequivocally state that inalienable rights belong to human beings only, and that money is not a form of protected free speech under the First Amendment and can be regulated in political campaigns.

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ABOUT THE CONVENTION

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ABOUT LIBERTY TREE

The Democracy Convention is a project of Liberty Tree, a strategy center uniquely committed to building a new democracy movement for the U.S.A.. Liberty Tree supports and unites campaigns for democratic reform across many areas of life. Liberty Tree logo

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