THE PLAN TO GET US TO A CONVENTION
This is a Prospectus for Investors that describes our operating plans for 2020-2021, culminating in a Planning Conference of states in 2021. This conference will lay the groundwork for a Convention currently anticipated for 2023. The Prospectus also includes funding requirements, a review of the Act 2 leadership, a list of collaborating organizations, and financial projections of Act 2 Inc for 2020 and 2021.
Rediscovering the Land of the Free Through a Convention of the States
Building the Reform Network
Planning Conference – August 2021
A Systemic Breakdown
The 1780s were a heady and important time for our country. Early in the decade, Americans had enjoyed the sweet fruit of their war for independence as the war was ended and peace established. In March 1789, our first President and Congress were elected to office. The newly adopted Constitution divided power among the branches and levels of government, while guaranteeing essential protections to the American people. The world had never seen anything like it.
Against this backdrop, President Washington delivered America’s first inaugural address, noting that the “preservation of the sacred fire of liberty” and the “destiny of the Republican model of Government” are “entrusted to the hands of the American people.” How well do we measure up to that ideal today?
The introduction to this website summarized five major areas of concern in our federal government today, so we won’t repeat them here; it ended with this statement:
When we honestly and realistically face the facts, we must acknowledge that we are in an existential crisis that could determine whether we remain a vibrant republic with a promising future or a tired nation whose best days are past.
But the choice is ours to make: we can ignore all of the warning signs and continue to drift into a twilight zone of national decay or we can assert the People’s sovereign power and impose new rules on Washington: rules of accountability, discipline, transparency, civility, and the rule of law.
Here is the reaction to our governmental problems of one legislative leader:
“The time is right for the states to exert the constitutional authority provided to them by the Constitution’s framers and to propose amendments that could set us on the right path again. For there is far more to fear from state inaction against a dysfunctional and overreaching federal government than there is to fear from states banding together to address some of America’s most pressing problems."
Linda Upmeyer, Former Iowa Speaker of the House
A Second Act for America
Conscious of our nation’s grave challenges and aware of the limitations of politics as usual, Act 2 was established in 2014 to bring together all 50 states to discuss, develop and promote vital reform measures at the national level. Our founders, Frank and Carol Keeney, sought to ignite a rediscovery of federalism, local control, and prosperity for all people, while ensuring that American citizens feel heard and truly represented by their elected officials. This renewal will be the second act of our political drama.
Our Strategy for Success
In recent decades, fierce partisanship has gripped the federal government and rendered it incapable of initiating meaningful bipartisan reform. The burden falls on “We the People” to step up and cure the dysfunction in Washington. We must initiate the action to transform this dysfunctional mess into an effective, efficient governing body. We are the last best hope to save our republic and way of life for future generations of Americans.
Rather than dwelling on highly charged issues, we believe that our government’s brokenness can be fixed by laying the groundwork for stronger discipline, better transparency, and greater effectiveness. Act 2 suggests that there are two keys to successful reform:
The states must call for an open convention pursuant to the Constitution’s Article V that will consider all suggestions for constructive reform, rather than calling a restricted-agenda convention.
The reforms must be focused first on systemic government changes that will transform Washington into an effective government that encourages collegial debate, rather than continuing to be drawn into endless partisan clashes on policy issues.
After we have completed the transformation of Washington through these reforms, we will be better positioned to deal with policy issues in a constructive atmosphere.
Act 2 will focus our efforts first to reach out to three blue states and three red states to build consensus on a non-partisan platform for federal government reform; from this base we will work to expand the network of states that support calling a convention. Then we will follow with a planning conference in August 2021 at the Ohio State Capitol in Columbus to lay the groundwork for a full convention of states in 2023 to consider reform amendments.
Only a convention will reinvigorate freedom and individualism in our country while restoring the vitality of the civic institutions that are most capable of solving our challenges. No longer can we hope to mend our country together by playing “political small ball.” It’s time for strategic thinking and hard work. It’s time to be ambitious, to repair the republic, and to restore the American dream for all generations.
The Constitution, Article V
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.
The Constitutional Amendment Process
In Article V, the writers of the Constitution gave us two ways to amend the Constitution in order to implement government reforms: (1) the action may be initiated in Congress by a two-thirds majority vote in both the House and Senate, or (2) it can be started by the states if two-thirds of them (34) agree to call a convention to consider reforms. In either case, a proposed amendment must be subsequently ratified by three-quarters of the states (38) to become law. This high bar for ratification ensures that the American public broadly supports the change, which is the mark of a strong, vibrant democracy.
It is obvious that the most direct route for reform is through Congress; the state option was provided to ensure that the People have a way to redress their grievances if Congress is unwilling or unable to act. But because of changes that have occurred in the workings of Congress in recent years, it appears that the congressional option is not viable today and reformers must work through the state legislatures. The occasional bill for reform that is introduced in Congress is for show; no serious effort for reform is being made there. As a consequence of these dynamics, the state approach has been adopted by virtually all of the citizen reform groups, including Act 2.
Historically, we have never needed to resort to a convention to accomplish desired reforms. Whenever Congress saw that the mood of the country favored a reform they jumped to the head of the parade and initiated the amendment action. But the evidence does not indicate that Congress will do so in today’s harsh political climate.
Today our federal government is gridlocked, dysfunctional, and in desperate need of repair. The American people should be storming the doors of our legislative bodies, demanding remedial action. We must not allow fear-peddling opponents of reform or pedantic scholars, regardless of their good intentions, to hinder our efforts to achieve constructive, meaningful reform. The voice of the People, calling for a convention of states to propose amendments under Article V of the Constitution, must be respected and honored. If we fail to act, we may be remembered as the generation that presided over the death of the American Experiment.
Fundable Projects 2020-2021
Building the Reform Network, 2020-2021
During 2020 and 2021, Act 2 will lay the groundwork for a convention of states that encourages the best thinking of the nation and resolves the most pressing problems of our day. It would replace a process of ineffective, wasteful activity with a clear and efficient one that cuts to the quick and fixes our broken government once and for all.
We will develop communication networks to reach legislators in all 50 states, engage thought leaders, build support of legislative leaders, help them extend that support to the full assembly and senate of each state, and finalize plans for a Planning Conference to be held in August 2021.
The two-year project budget is:
Personnel expense . . . . . . . . . . . $165,000
Travel to build network . . . . . . . . . 45,000
Professional fees . . . . . . . . . . . . 30,000
Media development. . . . . . . . . . . . .15,000
Core Leader expenses . . . . . . . . . . .12,000
Major Organization meetings / fees . . . .12,000
Website upgrade . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7,000
Administration . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14,000
Planning Conference—August 2021
We expect that 40 or more states will participate in this conference, which will consider such topics as: strategy for gaining convention resolutions from 34 states; plan for accreditation of delegates representing the states; recommendations for committees to study proposed amendments; election of officers to conduct convention business; rules of conduct for the proceedings; and the funding of the convention in 2023.The cost estimate for the Planning Conference is:
Event Space . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$50,000
Personnel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60,000
Media and Tech . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40,000
To make it easy for the states to participate, Act 2 intends to do the heavy lifting in funding the conference.
Next Stop – the Convention in 2023!
In recent years, a growing body of civic organizations have sought government reform following Article V of the Constitution. Some of these organizations have a partisan orientation, which limits their ability to build the non-partisan support that meaningful reform requires.
Act 2 believes that reforms must be non-partisan to be successful, and it has insisted on finding non-partisan solutions to our problems. In working toward a convention of states, it continues with this non-partisan approach.
We have cultivated relationships with the following organizations and groups, which are committed to using their own broad reach and influence to help make the convention a reality.
This includes (in alphabetical order):
American Constitutional Foundation – Conservative
American Legislative Exchange Council – Conservative
American Promise – Cross Partisan, Leans Liberal
Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force – Conservative
Compact for America – Conservative
National Conference of State Legislatures – Leans Liberal
State Innovation Exchange – Progressive, Liberal
The Heartland Institute – Conservative
U.S. Term Limits – Non-Partisan
Wolf-PAC – Non-Partisan
Act 2 Inc
Projected Income and Expense Statements
Donations 300,000 450,000
Total Income $300,000 450,000
Salaries and Taxes 120,000 120,000
Contractor Fees 45,000 45,000
Total Personnel Expenses $165,000 165,000
Article V Planning Conference 150,000
Professional Fees 27,000 33,000
Conferences & Meetings 12,000 12,000
Membership Fees 12,000 12,000
Travel and Network Building 45,000 45,000
Total Professional Expenses $96,000 252,000
Website 10,000 4,000
Media Management 15,000 15,000
Other Marketing 2,000 2,000
Total Marketing Expenses $27,000 21,000
Printing 5,000 5,000
Mailing and Shipping/Supplies 2,000 2,000
Office Expense/Phone 5,000 5,000
Total Services Expenses $12,000 12,000
Total Expenses $300,000 450,000