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Vicki Barnes is the Minnesota State Coordinator for American Promise, a cross-partisan, non-profit grassroots organization that advocates for the 28th amendment to the U.S. constitution. By overturning the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling, the 28th amendment would ensure free and fair elections by empowering voters to control the increasing influence of big money in American politics.
As a new grandmother, Vicki realized that unless ordinary citizens demanded change to limit runaway spending by the wealthy, big corporations, and special interests, her grandchildren would not inherit the country they deserved. Since moving to Minnesota in 2016, and before that in Wisconsin, Vicki has been a volunteer activist educating citizens and organizing them to engage their legislators on resolutions calling for Congress to act.
In this podcast, Vicki explains why money in politics is the key issue to be addressed. If citizens press for common sense limits on election spending and lobbyists, she believes many long-standing issues affecting the public interest will get solved. Vicki describes the challenges of bridging the partisan divide and gaining support in rural areas and among conservatives. She found that opposition to huge out-of-state election spending is something all sides agree on.
As a lifelong volunteer on civic issues, Vicki explains her journey to seek training and learn how to organize from the ground up. The American Promise chapter in Minnesota now has over 200 members, with a core group of 40 activists who have successfully gained approval for 4 local resolutions in support of the 28th Amendment, with 5 more in the works.