Endorse the Bill of Rights for a New America

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We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men and women are created equal, that they are endowed by their existence with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.--That to secure these rights, governments are instituted amongst the people, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their safety and happiness. We have long arrived at a moment in our nation’s history where that right must be exercised. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

Indigenous peoples have been stripped of their dignity and wealth by a United States that stole their land and pillaged their people violently. America’s initial sin has yet to be corrected.

African Americans have been subjected to chattel slavery followed by a 13th amendment, which paved the way for criminality to become the new slavery, and Jim Crow laws, which were used to further beat down the African American on a state-sponsored level that prevails to this current day.   

The LGBTQ+ community is still fighting to enjoy their right to peaceably exist and live life on their own terms. People are still fighting for the right to marry who they love and be referred to by their preferred pronouns.

The disabled community is still fighting for proper access to the convenience that a 21st century America could have to offer.

Women are still fighting for the right to make the same wages as their male counterparts for the same work and for the rights to regulate their own bodies. These same women are also constantly subjected to fear for their safety in a society that advances rape culture by propagating the notion of being cautious instead of encouraging people to be decent individuals.

Hardworking immigrants are fighting for their right to enjoy the promise of the American dream free of persecution. Non-criminals are sitting in detention centers fighting just to have a respectable place in this America.

Muslims are fighting for their right to peacefully practice their religion in light of post-911 xenophobia and the sensationalism of such by even some of our top government officials. There are over a billion innocent believers being made out as people to be feared because of a few bad actors.

In one of the most advanced nations in the world, black women have been denied their right to bear life without losing their lives at the hands of a healthcare system that does not account for their essential needs.

In one of the most advanced nations in the world, a justice system has robbed individuals of their right to liberty by leaving them out of the political process and substantive opportunity upon their return to society.

In one of the most advanced nations in the world, homelessness and joblessness has robbed countless Americans of their right to the pursuit of happiness.

To the extent that the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness articulated in the Declaration of Independence have not yet been administered so as to be enjoyed by all Americans, we demand a new social contract that will avail such an opportunity for justice.

For too long, we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury.  On the backend of the devastating history of conflict and oppression that has led us all to this point in humanity, we realize now that the only way forward is to uproot the entirety of America in favor of a system that values us all. Some leaders act as if the prospect of such a system is impossible. We must not lend ourselves to this conclusion. Humanity has the same ability to manufacture a future of equity and prosperity as it has had in times past and currently to artificially generate a legacy of hatred and oppression. The vision of the forefathers was imperfect in a way that necessitates a need to start anew.

It is the moral obligation of those in positions of social influence to advance proposals as a means of addressing clearly existing societal injustices. For those situated in privilege, it is their moral obligation to use that privilege to make the world the kind of place where all of our children can grow old in peace. In accordance with these obligations, the Concerned Citizens of DC humbly submit a proposal for a Bill of Rights for a New America.

On this 4th day of July in 2020, we do hereby declare the following basic human rights in the new America:

Amendment I

Every American shall have the right to full participation in the American democracy.

·         Automatic voter registration for all Americans on 18th birthday.

·         Eliminate photo ID/ Exact name match requirement for voting.

·         Recognize election day as a holiday (locally and nationally).

·         Eliminate the electoral college.

·         Create a publicly funded election system.

·         Retroactively vacate sentences of non-violent drug offenders and restore their voting rights if lost.

·         Recognize DC as the 51st state with HR 51's advancement through the Senate.

·         Initiate referendums in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam and Virgin Islands and other US territories to revisit the historical status of each and determine if it is still in accordance with the will of the people.

Amendment II

Every American shall have the right to live in their community with dignity and safety.

·         Establish housing as a basic human right.

·         Legalize and decriminalize marijuana and entheogenic plants.  

·         Remove all symbols of racism and oppression in schools and cities.

·         Federal ban on conversion therapy for minors.

·         Federal ban on the anti-homeless construction of architecture in public spaces.

·         Universal background check requirement for the purchase of firearms.

·         Create a national protective order registry.

·         Federal ban on purchase of firearms by any individual listed in the registry with a protective order against them.

·         Federal ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines.

·         Mandate stricter compliance with the ADA nationwide to ensure access to the tools, assistance, and support services necessary to promote autonomy and dignity free of barriers.

Amendment III

Every American shall have the right to basic healthcare.

·         Medicare for all

Amendment IV

Every American shall have the right to create their own merit free of systemic institutional barriers.

·         Comprehensive commitment to a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants already in the country not guilty of a violent offense who can prove residence.

·         Federal “Ban the Box” law to open up employment opportunities for returning citizens.

·         Create a pathway for all felons to be restored full voting rights based on certain steps.

·         Federal ban on discrimination against hair styles and textures associated with race, including but not limited to locs, braids and twists, in academic and employment settings.

·         Reword the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery entirely through the elimination of the prison labor system.

Amendment V

Every American shall have the right to earn a livable wage.

·         Mandatory minimum wage of 15.00/hour

·         Eliminate the gender and race wage gaps in favor of a merit-based system that provides equal pay for equal work.

Amendment VI

Communities shall have the right to police themselves or to be policed by a body which is representative of justice.

·         Community Policing Model Proposal

o   Disband police nationally in favor of community based, unarmed emergency first responders for non-violent requests for assistance.

o   Disband police nationally in favor of a tactical unit of emergency first responders armed with non-lethal force for potentially violent requests for assistance.

o   Disband police nationally in favor of a tactical unit of first responders armed with lethal force for requests for assistance that have confirmed the threat of immediate violence.

·         Immediate Policing Enhancements

o   Establish a national police conduct registry accessible to the public.

o   Eliminate qualified immunity for law enforcement.

o   Mandatory mental health assessments for law enforcement.

o   Change federal hiring standards for law enforcement officers to require at least an Associate’s degree.

o   Establish criminal liability for law enforcement officers who watch idly as other officers break the law.

o   Automatically terminate and charge any officer involved in extreme bodily harm or death of an individual where body cameras were mandated by the department but were not turned on during the encounter.  

o   Federal ban on loophole that allows officers to have sex with suspects in custody in over 30 states.

Amendment VII

Every American has the right to live free of exacted hatred.

·         Acknowledgement of white supremacy as terrorism federally by U.S Justice Department, Federal Bureau of Investigations and US Department of Homeland Security.

·         Pass HR. 1585 in the Senate. [Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019 (VAWA 2019)]

·         Pass the Equality Act, to protect the LGBTQ+ population better.

·         Disband ICE in favor of less militarized immigration regulatory framework that does not strip those seeking citizenship of dignity.

·         Release all immigrants in detention centers not guilty of violent offenses.

Amendment VIII

Every American has the right to a quality education without unnecessary burdens.

·         Eliminate the presence of law enforcement from primary and secondary schools.

·         Revamp social studies curriculum to teach about key components of character education (e.x. consent, bullying, gender identity, drugs etc.)

·         Retroactive college debt forgiveness.

·         Free college and university for all residents.

Amendment IX

Every American shall have the freedom to marry and raise a family.

·         Right to marry for all, regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation.

Amendment X

Every American shall have the right to true due process.

·        Eliminate the cash bail system.

·         Ban non-disclosure agreements and eliminate statutes of limitation where the facts at the heart of the proposed case and controversy amount to facts that a reasonably prudent person would expect could lead to criminal liability.

It is accordingly our request that the American people be set free in the ways enumerated in the aforementioned amendments and in more ways which are to be articulated at some later point, and that the men and women of this free society shall have and keep all of these liberties, rights, and concessions, well and peaceably in their fullness and entirety for them and their heirs, of us and our heirs, in all things and all places forever.

Respectfully Submitted,

The Concerned Citizens of DC