TO: Alliance Chapter Contacts
FROM: Jim Ace, Clean Elections Campaign Program Coordinator
RE: Chapter Survey on Clean Elections (Please allow 30 minutes for this
DATE: February 12, 2001
I look forward to four years of burning Bush with you. As Program
Coordinator for the national action campaign on Clean Elections, my first seven
months with the Alliance for Democracy have been focused on organizing Democracy
Brigades and developing relationships with strategic allies. Since the winter
cold has settled in, the Alliance staff and I have taken time to evaluate the
campaign's achievements and challenges, and plan for 2001.
One of our main focuses for the Clean Elections campaign in 2001 is to
support and engage the Alliance chapters. We designed this survey to find out
how to better serve your needs. How can we help you? What do you need? We also
seek your opinions and ideas, and offer this survey as a chapter activity for
your next meeting as a way of gathering your input.
CLEAN ELECTIONS CAMPAIGN - OVERVIEW
The primary organizing model for the national campaign last year was the
DC-based Democracy Brigade program.
Since October, 1999, we've held six Democracy Brigade actions, in
which nearly 100 people were arrested and dozens of others participated as
support persons. "Brigadiers" included teachers, lawyers, health care
professionals, food producers, grandparents and parents, writers, and people
from many other walks of life who joined together in their desire to see
sweeping changes in our system of campaign financing.
The Alliance is the first organization to apply the use of nonviolent direct
action to fight for campaign finance overhaul. Many of our sister organizations
have lent us their support through their co-sponsorship of specific Brigades,
and/or through active participation on the part of their members.
In 2001, we'd like to expand the program outside of Washington, D.C.
Based on feedback from AFD Chapters and Brigade veterans, there's a desire
to bring these actions to people's local communities. Simultaneously,
we'll be working to get more extensive media coverage. Clearly, these
actions have not yet altered the national political landscape. However, their
impact has rippled through the reform movement by stretching the debate to
include full public funding as a credible goal.
CAMPAIGN GOALS FOR 2001:
Continue to legitimize the use of creative confrontation and nonviolent
action, and continue to create opportunities for people to participate in them
Change the language from "campaign finance reform" to "ending political
bribery" and continue to inject the full public funding message.
Confront donors and politicians that participate in "legalized" bribery and
conflict of interest.
Collaborate with our membership base and strategic allies.
CAMPAIGN PLANS FOR 2001
* Anti-Bribery Organizer's Manual for AFD Chapters (due out
* Bribery In America booklet (due out soon!)
D's month-long march around U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Fall,
* Democracy Brigade actions at state Capitols (whenever you
* Democracy Brigade video (due out soon!)
In light of the $3-4,000,000,000 raised during the 2000 election cycle,
it's clear that ending political bribery and replacing it with full public
funding of elections is essential to ending the corporate domination of the
We'd like your help in shaping and molding the program for the year
2001 and beyond. With this in mind, please make and distribute copies of the
following survey for your chapter members, and please answer the questions
together as a group at your next meeting, allowing about 30 minutes for the
activity. When you've completed the survey, please mail it to Jim Ace,
Alliance for Democracy, 681 Main Street, Waltham, MA 02451 or fax it to
If you have any questions about this survey or the 2001 Campaign, please
don't hesitate to call me at the national office, 781-894-1179. (I'm
moving to the East coast this month and will be joining the staff at the
national office in Waltham, Massachusetts.)
Thank you so much for everything you've done to advance yours and the
cause of democracy in this country. I look forward to your helpful feedback,
insights and ideas. I'm also looking
forward to talking with you on the Clean Elections conference call on March
8th, 9 pm EST.
Jim Ace, Program Coordinator, Clean Elections Campaign