This weekend is both the 3rd anniversary of the Citizens United decision and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. We’re working with a broad coalition of reform and civil rights organizations to sponsor memorial events highlighting the ongoing threats to our democracy both from big money and from organized voter suppression efforts.

We encourage you to find an event near you, and come to it:

Dr. King devoted his life to equality and justice for all people. In his 1963 “I Have A Dream” speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Dr. King said: “Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy.”

As we celebrate Dr. King’s life, we must also rededicate ourselves to the cause of democracy here in America. That cause continues in the face of the Citizens United ruling — a direct threat to the integrity of our elections – and in the face of voter suppression, as witnessed yet again in this past election. Further, the Citizens United anniversary is an important opportunity to reflect on how far our movement has come, and to consider what we can do next to advance our cause.

Below is a joint statement from the many organizations joining with us in sponsoring the events this weekend.

Money Out / Voters In Statement of Purpose

In November, citizens in every state came together to cast their votes for President, Congress, and other state and local offices. The right to cast those votes – to elect leaders who represent us – is at the heart of our democratic system. But that right is in danger.

Our system of fair and free elections is under attack on multiple fronts. The Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United opened the floodgates for special interest money and corporate influence in politics. At the same time, a rash of voter suppression laws in more than 30 states has threatened to make voting difficult, if not impossible, for millions of Americans.

Throughout the history of our nation, powerful politicians and interest groups have tried to block eligible voters from casting a ballot. For much of the twentieth century, they used literacy tests or demanded poll taxes. Today they ask for photo voter ID, or create restrictive voter registration schemes. These laws, combined with the challenge posed by limitless corporate influence, strike at the very core of our democracy.

Our nation’s history has been a journey towards true equality and the promise of a government of, by and for the people. Just as we have overcome many obstacles to achieve that promise, we are now committed to standing up against the pervasive, corrupting influence of an electoral system that auctions offices to the highest bidder and suppresses the vote of millions of Americans.

No matter what happened on November 6th, these threats must continue to be addressed. Together with our allies across the political spectrum, we pledge to fight for the rights of all voters in our nation and to move that much closer to creating a more perfect union. The future of our democracy depends on it.

Photo by spatuletail /