October 19, 2008 · Lessig
Just over 6 months ago, I agreed with Joe Trippi to help start a movement for fundamental reform in Congress. We understood that this was a long term project. But as we felt then — and as the events of the last 6 months only confirmed — we face, as Al Gore has put it, “a democracy crisis.” And until we fix this, we won’t fix any of the critical problems that face our society.
Many of you urged me to do this. And so I’m asking now for a favor in return. We’ve started. We’ve made important progress. But we need you now to help us make an important mark before this election comes to an end.
Our first project has been to get Members of Congress as well as candidates for Congress to take a stand on our issues of reform. We don’t demand that they agree with any particular reform (yet). We simply call upon them to have the courage at least to say where they stand.
The five people you see pictured above are the first five Members of Congress to take a stand: Barney Frank (D-MA), Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), Jim Cooper (D-TN), Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), and John Tierney (D-MA). Four Democrats, and one Republican have signed a pledge to support planks in our platform for reform. These 5 are joined now by more than 150 challengers who have taken a stand.
That’s a start. But it’s not good enough. And so I’m asking again: please help us get Members and candidates to take a stand. You can join our “pester” campaign by clicking here, and we’ll make it extremely easy for you to write, or call, or email members or candidates who have not yet taken a stand.
This should be a simple thing in a democracy: Tell us, candidate, what you believe. It should be a hard thing to hide from. Yet in the politics of today, the simple thing is to hide. Help us make the simple hard.
Meanwhile, here’s a link to the latest version of the Change Congress talk.