Sedona Amendment No. 3 ETHICS

In twenty workshops held to date in Sedona, Arizona, approximately 450 older, wealthier, white residents, fairly balanced by gender and political inclination, drafted the following constitutional amendment, and over 75% agreed it would make the third biggest difference in upgrading and strengthening—and restoring their trust and confidence in—the American democratic process.

We hope to hold more workshops around the nation to increase the diversity of Americans included. These proposals are expected to evolve over time and you are invited to

  • Take our short survey where you can express your support or opposition to the following and provide constructive suggestions to strengthen the proposal
  • Host a workshop in your community
  • Join the team committed to ensuring the integrity of the convention process

The remaining two Sedona Amendments can be found here

Sedona Amendment No. 3 ETHICS

(rev Tu 2018-11-13, BCH) pdf copy

  1. WHEREAS, democracies fail when they lose the trust and confidence of the people, and
  2. WHEREAS, trust and confidence in the American democratic process is now at, or near, an all-time low,[i] and
  3. WHEREAS, America now ranks 21st in the world in terms of actually being democratic[ii] and of the Americans polled: [i]
  • Over 8 out of 10 believe Members of Congress accept bribes from lobbyists (81%)
  • Almost 2 out of 3 don’t believe Members of Congress tell the truth (65%)
  • Almost 7 out of 10 believe Members of Congress are disloyal to their constituents by favoring special interests (66%)
  • Almost 7 out of 10 believe Members of Congress should be restricted from lobbying after leaving office (66%)
  1. WHEREAS, in a representative democracy, the people put an enormous amount of trust in their elected representatives and other government employees, and
  1. WHEREAS, our nation’s founders expected this extraordinary degree of trust to be comparable to that of a trustee of the public trust, and
  1. WHEREAS, trustees of a trust are held to the highest fiduciary standards of ethical conduct including, but not limited to
    • Always putting the interests of the constituents ahead of those of the public servant
    • Loyally, honestly, fairly, and equally representing the interests of every constituent
    • Avoiding even the appearance of self-dealing or conflict of interest—including allegiance to a political party [iii]

THEREFORE, the people of the state of ____________ hereby approve the following amendment to their state constitution as well as the U.S. Constitution

The people shall have the right to the highest ethical standards honored by political candidates and those in government—including, but not limited, the fiduciary standards of ethical conduct including, but not limited to,

  • Always putting the interests of the constituents ahead of those of the public servant
  • Loyally, honestly, fairly, and equally representing the interests of every constituent
  • Avoiding even the appearance of self-dealing or conflict of interest—including allegiance to a political party

The Intention of the Drafters

To guide and support those needing to interpret this provision in the future, it is the intention of the drafters that

  • “Those in government”: shall include, but not be limited to, every government employee, contractor, vendor or agent
  • Sanctions: Reckless or intentional violations, or three negligent violations, of this provision shall result in candidate removal from the ballot and permanent loss of government employment or contracting, if any.

[i] https://thepeoplesconvention.org/polling/

[ii] http://thepeoplesconvention.org/democracy-index-the-economist-intelligence-unit/

[iii]  https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1978999

pdf copy