Reclaim Democracy! works to create a representative democracy with an actively participating public, where citizens don’t merely choose from a menu of options determined by elites, but play an active role in guiding the country and its political agenda. We believe that one’s influence should be a direct result of the quality of one’s ideas and the energy one puts into promoting these ideas, independent of wealth or status.
We inspire citizens to make conscious choices about what role corporations should play in our society and to limit them to that role. We are a non-partisan, non-profit (501c3) organization and welcome the opportunity to work with all who share our goals. Learn more about our mission, vision, goals and values.
What We Do
Inform and Empower People
Through presentations, articles, single-issue primers, and skill-building workshops are all part of our outreach work. We serve as a resource for individual activists, groups, reporters, legislators, and the public. Central to our outreach is illuminating key pieces of our “hidden history” and the lessons we can learn from it, as well as offering concrete steps toward re-establishing citizen sovereignty.
Work for Constitution-level Change
While we realize the necessity of defensive struggles against corporate harm to our communities, environment, human rights and more, we strive to think and work differently. We believe that campaigns in which “victory” is defined as maintaining the status quo cannot produce needed systemic changes. We don’t limit ourselves to “politically realistic” goals. Instead, we seek transformations that will require broad and deep public education and grassroots organizing on a scale not seen in decades.
Ultimately, we aim to help drive a broad-based Democracy Movement that will effect at least three core legal changes–either through Constitutional Amendment or reversing Supreme Court precedent (see our proposed language for all three):
- Reverse the illegitimate precedent of granting Bill of Rights protections to corporations (see our Corporate Personhood page and Move To Amend).
- Reverse the precedent of equating political spending with constitutionally-protected speech (one article detailing this point: It’s Time to Overrule the Supreme Court); and
- Establish a constitutional right to vote.
In January, 2010, we and one dozen other allied organizations launched Move To Amend — the most serious campaign in U.S. history to revoke corporate personhood. We seized upon the Roberts Court’s predictable attack on democracy in Citizens United v FEC to launch this vehicle and we expect it to be a primary campaign for many years to come. (We’re extremely ambitious, but we recognize systemic change takes time and perseverance!)
Build Positive Alternatives
Recognizing that political democracy is inseparable from economic democracy, we work to support the proliferation and success of small, independent businesses, cooperatives and employee-owned firms rather than increased dependence on absentee-owned chains. (The American Independent Business Alliance now provides extensive support to help communities realize that vision).
Change the Language
This is essential because we cannot win a struggle defined by corporate language. We work to expose corporate manipulation of public opinion, by correcting misleading language such as “free trade” to describe global governance by corporate rules or using “consumer” where citizen is the appropriate term.
We aim to help lead the emerging Democracy Movement by framing issues from the perspective of citizens who take democracy (rule by the people) seriously. If you read closely, you will notice significant differences between the language we choose to frame issues and that of most other related organizations, but we’re pleased to see progress in this realm.
Build a Grassroots Democracy Movement
We provide personal support for grassroots leaders at the community level interest in organizing their communities, including email marketing support, fundraising and outreach tools, writing and a dedicated website section. We also suggest you contact Move to Amend if you seek to organize a local chapter.
Who We Are
ReclaimDemocracy.org was recognized by the IRS (pdf of approval letter) as a 501c3 non-profit organization in October of 2001. While we have a national office in Bozeman. MT, most of our work is done by volunteers dispersed around the country. All chapter organizers are volunteers.
More than 90% of our funding has come from individual donors, mostly in amounts of $100 or less, supplemented by sales of cause-related merchandise. Please contact us or call 406-582-1224 with any questions about our revenue or expenditures.
You can be a part of creating deep and lasting change by supporting ReclaimDemocracy.org today. We have a demonstrated track record of making a national impact on a shoestring budget. With your support, we will become a national force in creating a Democracy Movement. Our success depends overwhelmingly on individual supporters like you.
Please consider making a tax-deductible Donation now to support our vital work (and allow us to continue providing you the unique and free resources we offer on this site). Thank you!