On the anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, two pro-democracy human rights groups, Democracy Unlimited and Move to Amend, today launched a project to envision a more democratic and just U.S. Constitution. Toward a People’s Constitution is a website created to provide an inclusive and participatory arena for a respectful, vigorous and strategic discussion to create an authentic people’s constitution.
The effort is based on the growing realization that many of the current major crises our nation is facing — inadequacy of providing basic human needs, the contested 2020 election, corporate rule, climate and ecological destruction, declining public trust in government, growing illegitimacy of the Supreme Court and lack of basic rights still for women, people of color, the LGTBQ community and others — all are rooted in a flawed Constitution and multiple judicial decisions.
“The United States is in profound crisis,” stated Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, National Director of Move to Amend. “The scale of these ongoing, if not growing and intersecting, crises must be matched by a solution of an equivalent scale that goes far beyond electing representatives, passing laws and creating regulations. It requires Constitutional changes that address the core human and ecological realities of the present.”
Toward a People’s Constitution seeks to dispel the dominant cultural mindset that the Constitution is comparable to a sacred text and considered for the most part indisputable and beyond the right of We the People to seriously examine.
“It is time for us to take our Constitution into our own hands and make sure that the human rights of everyone left out by the original framers are explicitly acknowledged, as well as envision what a foundational document that is relevant to the realities of humanity right now would say,” stated Sopoci-Belknap. “Thomas Jefferson believed every generation should revisit a country’s foundational institutions and make sure they serve the people. On that point, he was absolutely right.”
The project will include ongoing speakers and panels, share information from past and present efforts in the U.S. and around the world on constitutional renewal, and invite and engage participants to share and discuss ideas and proposals for ways to make the Constitution more relevant to democratically, justly and sustainably address the systemic problems of our nation and world.
The project will also build upon the several People’s Movement Assemblies organized by participants of both sponsoring groups over the years, including a recent Peoples Movement Assembly, where more than 100 people collectively discussed and envisioned what a currently relevant Constitution might contain.
This process is open to all individuals and organizational representatives who feel that self-governing people should take charge of their conditions. For more information and to join this process, go to www.PeoplesConstitution.US.