We The People: Press Release
Co-Founders & Press Contacts: Jeffrey & Catherine Peters
Web Site for more information: www.WeThePeople-WTP.org
Embargo: 00:01 AM Saturday, August 5, 2000
We The People convene first Citizen's Cabinet and announce the "Boston Tea-V Party" on October 2nd to protest the two party October 3rd Presidential Debate
WHO: Granny D, 15 distinguished citizens, and We The People Presidential candidate, Jeffrey Peters
- Attended and convened first Citizen's Cabinet Meeting of We the People;
- Announced "Boston Tea-V Party" to protest the exclusion of third party Presidential candidates Ralph Nader, John Hagelin, Jeffrey Peters, Harry Browne and others from the October 3, 2000 televised presidential debate in Boston, MA.
- TVs will be dumped into Boston Harbor in protest (and retrieved in an environmentally responsible fashion).
WHERE: The Boston Tea Party site on the Congress Street Bridge in Boston, MA.
WHEN: Monday, October 2, 2000 at 12:00 noon.
WHY: Because it's time for the progressive and centrist 3rd party presidential candidates to unite and protest the tyranny of the two party system and the TV network's control of debates.
We The People's presidential candidate, Jeffrey Peters, convened the first Citizen's Cabinet in history. The Cabinet's conclusion: it's our country, and we want it back! The strategy: to unite the progressive and centrist third party candidates and citizens' movements to win the power to govern. The tactic: We the People will convene the Boston "Tea-V" Party on Monday, October 2nd to protest the exclusion of third party candidates from the televised Presidential debates. TVs will be dumped into the Boston Harbor, and will be retrieved in an environmentally safe fashion. We The People will invite other progressive and centrist third party candidates and citizen movements to attend and speak at the October 2nd Boston TV Party held at the Boston Tea Party Ship at Congress Street Bridge.
In addition, the Citizen's Cabinet proposed positive governing changes that would take big money out of politics and return this country to its roots: a government of, by, and for the people. These positive changes included: genuine Clean Money Campaign Finance Reform with public financing for public service, and the Direct Democracy Initiative of one person, one vote.
This was a multi-party Citizen's Cabinet, with citizens currently or formerly being members of the Democratic, Republican, Green, Reform, and Natural Law parties, as well as members of citizen movements: the Alliance for Democracy, and the Independent Progressive Political Network. As stated in the Preamble to the Constitution: the first purpose of We The People is to create "a more perfect union".
Granny D (Doris Haddock), the matriarch who marched across America reclaiming our democracy, participated in the Citizen's Cabinet, along with Robert Morris Mustard, Jr. (whose ancestor Robert Morris helped to finance George Washington's Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War), and E-Don Rott, the father of the Worker's Prosperity Act -- plus numerous educators, scientists, authors, activists and business people. Citizens came from as far away as California and Texas to join New Yorkers and New Englanders from NH, VT, Maine, Massachusetts and Connecticut. They met for two days in Jackson, NH, named after Andrew Jackson. They met in the spirit of Jackson who said: "Equal opportunity for all, and special privilege for none!".
One of the Cabinet members, Gus Jaccaci, inspired the group by speaking as Thomas Jefferson's 21st century "twin." All fifteen distinguished citizens discussed what they like and dislike about our current government, and how We The People would govern differently, if we were in power.
How we would govern differently if We The People were in power:
- We would begin by enacting genuine Clean Money Campaign Finance Reform as our number one priority, thus leveling the "playing field" for all qualified candidates; this Reform would include free TV time one month before the elections for qualified candidates;
- By enacting The People's Prosperity Act; this would bridge the gap between the rich and the poor by encouraging a "livable wage" and a "piece of the action" for all American employees;
- By enacting The Direct Democracy Initiative; this would allow the people to vote for Federal laws, in the same way that the people vote for state laws - now in 24 states that have the "initiative and referendum" process; Democracy needs to be more available to every citizen;
- By enacting Universal Catastrophic Health Insurance, so that no citizen would be forced into poverty or bankruptcy by an unexpected, expensive illness like cancer;
- By paying off the national debt which costs $250 billion a year in interest payments, one of the top 5 government expenditures;
- By making voting easier, with proper security measures, allowing voting by mail, phone, and computer with instant registration on election day, with photo ID and proof of residency; institute "Preference Voting" so every vote counts;
- By requiring the Federal Government to purchase solar and hybrid, alternative fuel vehicles for its huge government owned fleet of vehicles; this would have the effect of lowering the price of alternative fuel vehicles to the consumer;
- By requiring minimum, bio-degradable packaging; by prohibiting the production of any sort of nuclear or plastic waste which we do not know how to dispose of safely;
- By adopting the recommendation of former military officials and the Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities - to stream line our defense cutting our military budget by 15%, or US $40 billion, and transferring that money to improve education with better pay for teachers, smaller classes, and new technology in the classrooms.
- By making college education "free" to all students in exchange for time spent in community service with four years of college in exchange for four years of community service, and/or 100% low interest loans with reasonable repayment schedules;
- By bringing back the CCC- Civilian Conservation Corps, in combination with a National Service Program, so the draft becomes "service to country" and not just military - all citizens would be required to give time to their country between high school and college;
- Common sense Gun Policy - each citizen has the right to bear arms according to the Constitution; we each also have the obligation to understand how to correctly use, store and care for any weapon in our possession. Guns are tools not toys - children should be taught age appropriate information on care, safety, and use/non-use - from primary school through high school. We support safety locks, background checks and waiting periods at the time of purchase, and do not support the sale of automatic assault weapons to the general public.
- Consider and discuss regulating, taxing, and legalizing all non-lethal drugs in conjunction with well run programs of education, medical support, and information for users; the profit and crime motives would be taken away by setting-up purchase and distribution pharmacies or government regulated businesses much like the current state liquor stores.
Additional results of We The People's First Citizen Cabinet Meeting were as follows-
What we like about our current government:
- Our current government effectively provides for the common defense;
- Our Founding Documents: The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution;
- America as an exemplary, democratic and spiritual leader in the world;
- Our system of checks and balances;
- Our smooth transfer of power after elections;
- Our Social Security system that cares for the elderly.
What we dislike about our current government:
- Big corporations and big labor unions get big tax breaks and big contracts, while ordinary citizens get ignored;
- Everything is for sale;
- To run for office, you must sell your soul, or be very wealthy;
- Our system does not encourage unity except in time of war;
- Special interests have stolen our elections;
- Our government is not "user friendly"; its too big and impersonal;
- Our government invades our personal privacy;
- Our government puts people in jail who have not committed violent crimes.
- Our government "lies" to us about balancing the budget when it steals money from the Social Security Trust Fund; it "lies" to us about paying off the national debt - the national debt is now $5.6 trillion dollars, larger than the $4 trillion national debt Ross Perot rightly warned us about in 1992!
In conclusion, We The People rededicated ourselves to a rebirth of democracy all across America. Our mission is to revive and re-ignite the spirit of America, the great spirit of love that replaces cynicism with hope, alienation with inspiration, and apathy with action, exemplary action. As Granny D said, "As I was looking out of the plane, I was awed at what a long distance I was going to walk, but I did it - so, We The People, don't give up, we can do it, too!"
We The People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the Unites States of America.