SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 4th

Largest Political Reform Gathering in Recent U.S. History Wraps in New Orleans

Jennifer Lawrence, Ed Helms, Kerry Washington,

Republican and Democratic Members of Congress Headline

Record Number of Political Reform Measures Planned in 2018

More than 1500 Attended from all 50 States

“This is an epic fight between good and evil for the soul of our democracy, and we’re hell bent on winning” – Summit organizer Josh Silver

 

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – (February 5th, 2018) The Unrig the System Summit in New Orleans concluded on Sunday by showcasing the largest set of state and local political reform campaigns since the 1970s post-Watergate era. More than 1,500 summit participants from all 50 states convened to draw battle plans for campaigns to end gerrymandering in Ohio, Michigan, Utah, Missouri and Oklahoma; ethics and campaign finance reform in South Dakota, North Dakota, Alaska, Massachusetts, Arizona, Colorado, California and New Mexico; voting and election reform efforts in Florida, Maine and Nevada, and dozens of other legislative and legal fights happening in cities and states from coast to coast.

 

“This is an epic fight between good and evil for the soul of our democracy, and we’re hell bent on winning,” said Josh Silver, co-founder and director of RepresentUs, the nonpartisan anti-corruption group that organized the Unrig the System Summit. “There is a major democracy movement on the rise, and opponents of reform will stop at nothing to defend the status quo.”

 

Reform opponents attacked RepresentUs for supporting government transparency with a full page attack ad on January 31 in the Washington Post.

 

“The fact that bogus special interest front groups are spending real money to attack us is a sign that the burgeoning movement to unrig the system poses a direct threat to the corrupt status quo,” continued Silver.

 

RepresentUs organized the event to build a post-partisan political reform movement that believes government should work for everyday Americans and their families, not just the rich and powerful.

 

“We’re seeing strange bedfellow coalitions of conservatives, independents and progressives forming and leading the charge for reform across America,” said Silver. “For decades both major political parties have failed to clean up politics so now the people are taking reform into their own hands.”

 

The marquee event of the summit was “Unrigged Live!”, hosted by Jennifer Lawrence, with comedians including Tig Notaro and Nikki Glaser, iconic music from The Preservation Allstars, and compelling speakers from across the political spectrum. U.S. Representatives Mike Gallagher (R-Wisconsin) and Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) closed the event on Sunday will a call for bipartisan cooperation to advance political reforms.

 

“What gives me hope is not what’s happening in Washington, but what’s happening and the feeling and the energy and the message that we’re getting from the people,” said U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii).

 

“In the Marine Corps we would say, ‘You ride to the sound of the guns,’ which basically means that if you see a problem, you don’t ignore it, you don’t punt, you try and fix it,” said U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wisconsin). “And while I think we have different hypotheses about what is exactly wrong with our system, we can all agree that it is producing suboptimal outcomes, and I have got to believe we can be doing better.”

 

The Unrig the System Summit was held at Tulane University in New Orleans from February 2-4 and millions more participated in the event online.

 

RepresentUs, the organizer of the Unrig the System Summit, is the nation’s largest grassroots anti-corruption campaign, bringing together conservatives, progressives and everyone in between to pass anti-corruption laws in cities and states around the country.

 

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Graehme Morphy, GraehmeM@wk-pr.com, 310-205-0618

Marsha Olson MarshaO@wk-pr.com, 310-205-0618

Andrea Holland AndreaH@wk-pr.com, 310-205-0618

 

RESOURCES:

Live streamed sessions

Previous press releases

Pull quotes

SATURDAY NIGHT – UNRIGGED LIVE!

 

REPRESENT.US PRESENTS ‘UNRIGGED LIVE!’ AT THE ‘UNRIG THE SYSTEM SUMMIT,’ HOSTED BY JENNIFER LAWRENCE

LIVESTREAMED SHOW FEATURED INSPIRING WORDS BY SENATOR NINA TURNER,

RICHARD PAINTER, AND KNOCKOUT COMEDIC PERFORMANCES BY

TIG NOTARO, NIKKI GLASER, AND ADAM YENSER.

 

Link to Livestream

Photos available at GettyImages.com

 

New Orleans, LA – February 3, 2018 – Day two of the “Unrig the System Summit” closed out the night with a star-studded show as RepresentUs welcomed thousands of viewers to watch “Unrigged Live!” at Tulane University. Facebook’s livestream of the event has since gone viral.

 

Hosted by Jennifer Lawrence, the evening celebrated a democracy movement on the rise with comedy, music, and inspiring messages on the future of politics. Lawrence even welcomed the likes of Kerry Washington, Adam McKay and Ed Helms via video with messages of support for the movement.

 

In her opening remarks, Lawrence told the audience, “We believe that our democracy could use some work; because we all believe that our government, that we pay for, with our taxes, should work for us… It’s time to come together. American taxpayers do not deserve to pay into a system that is rigged against them,” she continued, “F**k that!” She shared a personal story that reminded the audience “to never stop rooting for each other and… that as a united front, there is nothing we cannot conquer… even Mom at Christmas, or especially a wedding.”

 

In a series of speakers who called for uniting across the aisle, nation’s top ethics watchdog Richard Painter honed in on the issue, calling for, “small dollar donors to have a meaningful role in this system.” He went on to callout the Koch brothers and the Mercers in a fiery speech that ignited the crowd.

 

Senator Nina Turner closed out the evening with an impassioned plea to the American public to “leave your political affiliation at the door” in this fight. She proclaimed, “that any leader of the United States who benefits from dividing us, doesn’t deserve our support.”

 

The evening also featured a powerful message from Desmond Meade, Chairman of Floridians for a Fair Democracy. Meade shared his harrowing journey from drug addiction, homelessness and imprisonment to becoming a successful and educated lawyer who couldn’t practice law because of his past. Meade’s political committee successfully collected over one million signatures to get the Voting Restoration Amendment on the ballot in November 2018 in the hopes of gaining his own right to vote.

 

Other highlights included RepresentUs Founder and Director Josh Silver, who provided valuable insight about the real solutions to issues like money in politics, ethics and accountability, voting and elections, and creating fair districts. He went on share that this summit was actually the first time some of the key players in the fight against gerrymandering were able to connect in person and work together to strengthen their campaigns. Astronaut Ron Garan, whose mesmerizing visual experience in space reminded us all that we are one united human race.

 

The audience was brought to their feet by live music from Ali Blake, HoneyHoney, and New Orleans’ legendary Preservation All-Stars. The evening also featured the first ever “Courage Awards” for four individuals who have shown personal sacrifice and courage in their efforts to put a stop to corruption.

 

The “Unrig the System Summit” is the first-of-its-kind, three day summit convening the brightest minds in organizing, policy, journalism, and culture and includes three days of workshops, presentations, documentaries and face-to-face talks. The event is focused on real solutions for the future of money in politics, gerrymandering, voting reform, Citizens United, transparency and more. It will feature panels and workshops on policy, campaign strategy and communications, and include performances from the world’s top entertainers, both in music and comedy. Full list of speakers here.

 

“People are crossing partisan and ideological divides to find concrete solutions to America’s political crisis. The democracy movement is on the rise, and becoming an unstoppable force in American politics,” said RepresentUs Communications Director Tzipora Lederman.

 

Unrigged Live! is made possible by generous support from Producing Sponsor Triptyk Studios, with additional support from Creative Artists Agency and Preservation Hall.

 

The Unrig the System Summit is made possible by grant support from Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Overbrook Foundation, Lodestar Foundation, and Bridge Alliance.  Many thanks to our sponsors: Center for Secure and Modern Elections, CrowdPAC, Proxy.Vote, Creative Artists Agency and End Citizens United.

 

ABOUT REPRESENT.US

RepresentUs is the nation’s largest grassroots anti-corruption campaign, bringing together conservatives, progressives and everyone in between to pass powerful anti-corruption laws in cities and states around the county. For more information, visit http://represent.us.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

WOLF KASTELER PUBLIC RELATIONS:

Graehme Morphy

GraehmeM@wk-pr.com

 

Marsha Olson

MarshaO@wk-pr.com   

 

Andrea Holland

AndreaH@wk-pr.com

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 3rd

ANTI-CORRUPTION SUMMIT UNITES REPUBLICAN, DEMOCRAT OFFICIALS, ACTIVISTS IN CALL FOR SWEEPING OVERHAUL OF BROKEN POLITICAL SYSTEM

REPUBLICANS REP. GALLAGHER, FMR. REP. WAMP AND

DEMOCRATS REP. GABBARD & FMR. OH SEN. TURNER UNITE TO ‘UNRIG THE SYSTEM’

 

Unrig The System Summit is the largest nonpartisan anti-corruption summit in U.S. history

Link to Livestream

New Orleans, LA – February 3, 2018 – More than 1,500 activists from all 50 states and across the political spectrum gathered at Tulane University in New Orleans for the Unrig the System Summit. A highlight of the event was the display of post-partisan unity at a panel titled “Reform Across the Aisle” that included Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wisconsin), Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), former Rep. Zach Wamp (R-Tennessee) and former State Senator and current president of Our Revolution, Nina Turner (D-Ohio). It was moderated by Chief of Policy, Programs and Strategy for Issue One, Meredith McGehee.

 

Excerpts from the “Reform Across the Aisle” panel from the Unrig the System Summit:

  • “Something is happening here,” said Wamp. “The American people are not going to tolerate it anymore. Change is coming, we can feel it. Neither party has an exclusive on integrity or ideas. We’re all people, we’re all Americans, we’ve got to work together from this point forward.”
  • “This is about us as human beings,” said Turner. “We weren’t birthed into the world as a democrat or a republican or a libertarian or as green party. We were birthed into the world as thinking, feeling human beings who desire to live a good life, and that’s what we’re about at Unrig.”
  • “In the Marine Corps we would say, ‘You ride to the sound of the guns’, which basically means that if you see a problem, you don’t ignore it, you don’t punt, you try and fix it,” said Gallagher. “And while I think we have different hypotheses about what is exactly wrong with our system, we can all agree that it is producing suboptimal outcomes, and I have got to believe we can be doing better.”
  • “Getting to the heart of how corrosive an effect money has on our politics and really regaining that voice and trust and confidence of the people, that’s how we can begin to get back to a government of, by, and for the people,” said Gabbard. “Hold leaders accountable, hold candidates accountable. Don’t blindly vote down party lines.”

 

The sold-out “Unrig the System Summit” kicked-off Friday morning. The saturday plenary started with a spoken word performance from Director of Grassroots Advocacy for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Shahid Buttar.

 

“This is a crisis that calls for the pounding of feet on pavement, for a boldness and an audacity that hearkens to the founding of this country,” said Joshua Graham Lynn, Managing Director for RepresentUs, the nation’s largest grassroots anti-corruption campaign,

 

Other Saturday morning plenary speakers included Letitia James, New York City Public Advocate, Fox News Host Steve Hilton, Social Justice Advocate, Anita Earls, Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter, American Business Leader Katherine Ghel, and the Executive Director of California Common Cause, Kathay Feng, who got a standing ovation after recognizing the work that many states have taken on to end gerrymandering in their districts.

 

“Attendees came out of this session so pumped up about the movement,” said Tzipora Lederman, RepresentUs’ Communications Director. “People are crossing partisan and ideological divides to find concrete solutions to America’s political crisis. The democracy movement is on the rise, and becoming an unstoppable force in American politics.”

 

The Unrig the System Summit includes three days of workshops, presentations, documentaries and face-to-face talks with some of the brightest minds in organizing, policy, journalism, and entertainment. The event is focused on real solutions for the future of money in politics, gerrymandering, voting reform, Citizens United, transparency and more. It will feature panels and workshops on policy, campaign strategy and communications, and include performances from the world’s top entertainers, both in music and comedy. Full list of speakers here.

 

The Unrig the System Summit is made possible by grant support from Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Overbrook Foundation, Lodestar Foundation, and Bridge Alliance.  Many thanks to our sponsors: Center for Secure and Modern Elections, CrowdPAC, Proxy.Vote, Creative Artists Agency and End Citizens United. Special thanks to the Unrigged Live! producing sponsor Triptyk Studios.

RESOURCES

Media Advisory Day 1

Photos        

Pull Quotes

Unrig the System Website; Unrig the System Facebook Page

RepresentUs Website

RepresentUs Facebook // Page:@RepresentUs

RepresentUs Instagram  // Handle: @RepresentUs

RepresentUs Twitter // Handle: @representus

 

MEDIA CONTACTS:

WOLF KASTELER PUBLIC RELATIONS:

Graehme Morphy            Marsha Olson                Andrea Holland

GraehmeM@wk-pr.com         MarshaO@wk-pr.com            AndreaH@wk-pr.com

 

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 2nd

 

“UNRIG THE SYSTEM SUMMIT” KICKS OFF WITH
JENNIFER LAWRENCE, BUDDY ROEMER, TREVOR POTTER, LAWRENCE LESSIG,
TARA HOUSKA, KAREN HOBERT FLYNN AND RON SUSKIND

The cross-partisan opening plenary featured an interview between Lawrence and President of Campaign Legal Center and former FEC Chairman (and Stephen Colbert’s super PAC lawyer) Trevor Potter about the best ways to bribe politicians…legally.

Link to Livestream

New Orleans, LA – February 2, 2018 – The sold-out “Unrig the System Summit” kicked-off today as former Louisiana Governor and US Presidential candidate Buddy Roemer welcomed over 1,500 attendees to Tulane University. Both the mainstage and overflow rooms were filled beyond capacity with leaders from across the political spectrum, including politicians, political thinkers, cultural figures and grassroots activists, eagerly awaiting to join an active cross-partisan dialogue addressing how to collectively fix political corruption in the United States. #UnrigTheSystem was also a top trending item on Twitter throughout the day.

 

Award-winning actor and activist Jennifer Lawrence was warmly welcomed to the stage where she spoke with the President of Campaign Legal Center, former FEC Chairman, and Republican, Trevor Potter. Potter also happens to be the lawyer behind the creation of Stephen Colbert’s infamous Super PAC, “Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow.” He is known for his ability to articulate the legality and ease of circumventing laws governing Super PACs in this country and Lawrence left no stone unturned in an extraordinary conversation about just that, leaving the audience invigorated. Lawrence simply proposed in summation, “bribery is legal in America, corruption is legal in America,” to which Potter confirmed.

 

Tara Houska, renowned Native American Tribal Rights Lawyer, then took the stage to describe her harrowing experience at the North Dakota Pipeline. She explained that even her time in the White House and on Capitol Hill couldn’t prepare her for the corruption she witnessed firsthand in North Dakota. Houska pointed out that “we recognize that something is wrong… and that people don’t hold the same rights that corporations do.”

 

Karen Hobert Flynn, President of Common Cause, followed with an impassioned speech about cities and states leading the charge for political reform and the importance of a reflective democracy. Harvard Social Engineer in Residence, Renaldo Pearson, then went on to reveal the seven deadly sins of American Democracy proclaiming that “non-violent, direct action is not the liberal or conservative thing to do, it is the RIGHT thing to do.”

 

Lawrence Lessig, Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School, as well as author and journalist Ron Suskind, separately concluded the plenary program. Both Lessig and Suskind paid special attention to the integrity of the movement. Lessig called for “a better political movement, one that steps to the side and above partisan politics.” Suskin ended the day on a high note, reminding attendees that “unless we agree on our fundamental principles, we’re lost.”

 

“This was an incredible kickoff to Unrig the System. People are crossing partisan and ideological divides to find concrete solutions to America’s political crisis,” said Tzipora Lederman, RepresentUs’ Communications Director. “The democracy movement is on the rise, and becoming an unstoppable force in American politics.”

 

“Unrig the System” will include three days of workshops, presentations, documentaries and face-to-face talks with some of the brightest minds in organizing, policy, journalism, and entertainment. The event is focused on real solutions for the future of money in politics, gerrymandering, voting reform, Citizens United, transparency and more. It will feature panels and workshops on policy, campaign strategy and communications, and include performances from the world’s top entertainers, both in music and comedy. Full list of speakers here.

 

Unrig the System Summit is made possible by grant support from Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Overbrook Foundation, Lodestar Foundation, and Bridge Alliance.

 

Many thanks to our sponsors: Center for Secure and Modern Elections, CrowdPAC, Proxy.Vote, Creative Artists Agency and End Citizens United. Special thanks to the Unrigged Live! producing sponsor Triptyk Studios.

 

ABOUT REPRESENT.US

RepresentUs is the nation’s largest grassroots anti-corruption campaign, bringing together conservatives, progressives and everyone in between to pass powerful anti-corruption laws in cities and states around the county. For more information, visit http://represent.us.  

 

RESOURCES

Media Advisory Day 1

Photos Day 1

Pull Quotes

Unrig the System Website; Unrig the System Facebook Page

RepresentUs Website

RepresentUs Facebook // Page:@RepresentUs

RepresentUs Instagram  // Handle: @RepresentUs

RepresentUs Twitter // Handle: @representus

 

MEDIA CONTACTS:

WOLF KASTELER PUBLIC RELATIONS:

Graehme Morphy Marsha Olson Andrea Holland

GraehmeM@wk-pr.com MarshaO@wk-pr.com AndreaH@wk-pr.com

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