In twenty neutral and nonpartisan workshops held in Sedona, Arizona, This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Sedona1-300dpi-300x2251-1.jpgapproximately 450 older, wealthier, and whiter residents, fairly balanced by gender and political inclination, drafted three proposed constitutional amendments, and over 75% of them AGREED they would make the biggest difference in restoring their trust and confidence in our American democratic process.

This is the third of their three proposals and is known as Sedona Amendment No. 3 ETHICS UP in Government. The other two Sedona Amendments can be found here

  1. Purpose of the Proposal
    Establishing the highest ethical standards for those in government
    2. Recitals
  • WHEREAS, trust and confidence in the American democratic process is now at, or near, an all-time low,[1] and
  • WHEREAS, democracies/republics fail when they lose the trust and confidence of the people, and
  • WHEREAS, the United States now ranks 25th in the world in terms of actually being democratic[2], and
  • WHEREAS, of the Americans polled, approximately [1]
  • 8 out of 10 believe members of Congress accept bribes from lobbyists (81%)
  • 2 out of 3 don’t believe members of Congress tell the truth (65%)
  • 7 out of 10 believe members of Congress are disloyal because they favor special interests (66%)
  • 7 out of 10 believe members of Congress should not lobby after leaving office(66%)
  • WHEREAS, in a representative democracy, the people put an enormous amount of trust in their elected representatives and government employees, and our nation’s founders expected the representatives to serve as “trustees” of the “public trust”, and
  • 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[3]
  1. Proposed Constitutional Amendment

THEREFORE, the people of the state of ____________ hereby approve the following amendment to their state constitution and 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 to, the fiduciary standards of ethical conduct which include

  • 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 the appearance of self-dealing or conflict of interest—including allegiance to a political party
  1. The Intention of the Drafters

The following is provided to guide those needing to interpret this provision in the future.

  • “Those in government” shall include, but not be limited to, every government employee, contractor, vendor, volunteer or agent
  • Enforcement – Enforcement of this provision shall be delegated to a strictly independent, nonpartisan, nonpolitical Department of Public Integrity within the judicial branch and whose Director shall be appointed by two thirds of the members of the Supreme Court. The department shall set and publish guidelines and penalties and enforce criminal and civil sanctions sufficient to deter future violations by anyone. This may include removal from office, or candidacy, and permanent loss of government employment, contracting or benefits.

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

[2] https://thepeoplesconvention.org/democracy-index-the-economist-intelligence-unit/

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