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This document is the consolidated notes from 28th Amendment Town Hall Meetings organized by the major topics that patrons raised at each meeting. Text in italics indicates a direct quotation from a participant.

We invite you to continue the conversation and to add your ideas through your own version of the 28th Amendment. We ask that you read our amendment, review the consolidated town hall notes below and then write and submit your own amendment.

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Labor Reform

  • Democratizing the workplace.
    • - To create a real democracy in our country, we need a real democracy in our workplaces - MS 839.
  • Workers should have seats on the boards of companies
  • Hazard pay for workers during pandemics.
    • - Codetermination board (like in Germany)
    • - If you have a public company, employees have X% of board seats - including political support - Williamsburgh

Political Reform

  • Abolish/reform the electoral college
    • - The electoral college no longer reflects the will of the people – Beorum Hill/Gowanus
    • - The Electoral College supports the two-party system, which are both bought out by big corporations. – New Utrecht
  • Abolishing gerrymandering.
  • Mail-in/Electronic voting
  • Institute a popular vote
  • Eliminate voter suppression
  • Campaign finance reform – limits on spending and private big donors.
  • Close the revolving door between politics and the lobby industry
  • More forums where young people have input in governmental decision-making.
    • - We need outlets for young people, in particular, to participate in civic engagement. I don’t see sustained engagement among young people. How many of these protesters are otherwise engaged in civic life? - Sunset Park
  • The voting age being lowered to 16
    • - Already at 16 … you can drive, you can get married, you can get a national insurance number, you can drink wine or beer with a meal if you are with someone over 18, you can join a trade union …This will also increase voter turnout, and make people develop the habit of going each year to vote. - Brooklyn Friends School
    • - A lot of the laws being made are going to be affecting us. - Brooklyn Friends School
    • - Some people might argue that our brains are not developed yet and that is a reason not to lower the age - But, precisely because our brains are still developing, our brains are also flexible. We are able to see things without as much tension and controversy. We are open to new opinions – not all of us, but a lot of us. - Brooklyn Friends School
  • Ensuring the effective right to vote for prisoners and felons
  • Abolish Citizens United Ruling.
    • - Reclaim the idea that only people are capable of speech, - BedStuy
  • National Election Holiday.
  • Automatic voter registration and voting by mail.
  • Clarify the impeachment provisions of the Constitution.
  • Abolish the Senate, transfer all the duties to the House, and increase the number of representatives based on the population of each state.
    • - This increases representation in proportion to population, without disproportionate representation from smaller states. – East Flatbush
  • Impose congressional term limits.
  • Public financing of elections.
  • Minimum age to run for Congress should be lowered.
    • - Our representatives are too old to represent younger citizens! – Fort Greene
  • Make voting compulsory.
  • Representation for citizens of D.C. and Puerto Rico.
  • Create a 4th Branch of government.
    • - Citizens’ assembly with the power to make law – Flatbush
  • Allowing ranked-choice voting.
  • The Senate must publicly present their reasoning for voting on a bill.
    • - Wealthy Senators blocking stimulus bill as people suffer. Let me know if you’re really ‘for’ me or not! You should have spent the hours researching the bill, so tell me why you’re for or against it. - Williamsburgh
  • Campaign Finance Reform.
    • - Campaign finance can seem like a small piece of governmental workings, but the current system shows how we don’t have representation in government. People don’t have money to run a campaign. It takes millions. And it takes time. And people don’t have access to networks. So, in the end people just buy campaigns. It is not a system that allows for true representation of voices. – Cobble Hill
  • Tie federal aid to voter turnout to incentivize voting/ all voting should have a paper trail.
    • - People who are directly affected by issues should be present in these debates, and perhaps in the votes on such legislation as well. We need a people’s debate whenever an issue comes up. And we need different structures for proposing legislation. – Canarsie
  • Children should be registered to vote at birth.
  • Institute a voter holiday.
  • Make representation completely proportional to population.
  • Institute an allowance for political contributions, where everyone has a set amount of contribution that they can donate to a candidate. – East Flatbush
  • Require all elected officials to complete civic engagement/community service as an adult and during their tenure.

Social Welfare Reform

  • Government should provide food, water and shelter.
    • - Everyone needs to at least be OK before just a few people thrive. - MS 839.
  • Affordable housing.
  • More affordable treatment for drug and alcohol addiction.
  • Universal Basic Income
    • - Give the people more opportunities to be able to thrive. – Brooklyn in Solidarity, 27 May
    • - To live means to walk on the planet with life force in you, but it does not mean you are happy, or healthy ... it does not mean anything. In my mind, what is important is that people are happy and healthy and feel like their needs are met. Our government does not always consider us as human beings with the right to be able to thrive, instead they just see us as beings with a right to live. We need to have a culture of giving and helping other people. – Brooklyn in Solidarity, 27 May
  • Government should provide items that ensure the individuals safety if they cannot afford it themselves.
  • Make public assistance more accessible.
  • Invest in more public housing (instead of condos).
  • Rent should be suspended during times of crisis.
  • Mandatory housing for people who are homeless.
    • - There needs to be a right to housing! With thousands of empty hotel rooms, why is anyone being forced to sleep outside. – New Utrecht
  • Moratorium on evictions during pandemics.
  • End homelessness.
  • Another stimulus check.
  • Ensure access to government services.
    • - People who do not have access can’t get to many things that they need - So perhaps the important thing is access to government services - e.g. a neighbor of hers needed to print a form to get access to some government help and could not do so. – Brooklyn Friends School
  • More robust job training transition programs for people whose jobs are made redundant to technology, or cultural imperatives.
  • Balancing military spending with what we spend on art and the community. – Flatbush
  • Congress members shouldn’t be able to invest in companies.
  • Limit the electoral season, to three months before election day.
    • - Eliminate political ads, and to have all ballot status candidates get a set amount of free airtime to make speeches to the public.
  • Universal Basic Resources (different from universal basic income)
    • - I would propose universal basic resources (not universal basic income). If people were given the resources that allow them to pursue their true passions, rather than just a paycheck, I think this would actually improve productivity and innovation. Universal basic is a way to provide for resources, but actually providing universal basic resources skips the middleman.

Criminal Justice/Legal Reform

  • Police Reform

    • When police are being trained about when to arrest people, and on the basis of what, they should be trained that you don’t discriminate just on the basis of how someone looks – Boerum Hill/Gowanus
    • The 28th Amendment should address police brutality. That’s all – Friends Town Hall.
    • The problem with police is that its’s ass-backwards. We’re at war with people who should be protecting us. I’m not in favor of not having police…. I want to be safe. But we need to rebuild the entire police force, so that they are no longer our enemies. – Macon
    • Put responsibility on police officers and hold them accountable when they inflict harm.
    • Immediate end to police brutality and the murder of black people. – Creatives in Residence
    • Move the police to rubber bullets only.
    • I would beg the president to draft rules of engagement for all police, secret and unsecured, and military…wherein violence is the last rule acted on. I’m a veteran, and I struggle with the fact that we as a society have “evolved” to a place where we have clean running water, transportation access, education at our fingertips… and yet we are a society who still resolves to violence as a first course of action to solve a problem. – Sunset Park
  • Prison Reform

    • Stop putting kids in cages for doing graffiti and smoking weed. – Brooklyn Friends School
    • Put people who are in for non-violent offenses in safer situations. - Brooklyn Friends School
    • Fix the Thirteenth Amendment to abolish slavery in prisons.
    • Eliminate for profit prison system.
      • - The prison-industrial complex and the values that underpin it - We need to ask ourselves about the people who break the rules: how do we support them; how do we help them become productive members of society. - Canarsie
    • Re-evaluate the use of cruel and unusual punishments in prison.
    • Eliminate the death penalty.
      • - Something so irreversible shouldn’t be legal; how is taking their life the solution? – Calhoun School
    • End pre-trial detention.
    • Prison should focus on rehabilitation.
    • Protect people from government violence.
      • - Protection for families who experience violence from government officials. Verbal abuse, physical abuse from cops, there should be legal protection them. – Brooklyn in Solidarity, 27 May
    • Eradication of the prison industrial complex.
    • Equal application of the law – no exceptions for people in power (police).
    • No private prisons.
    • Do we have prisons to protect the public? Or for revenge? – Brownsville
    • Prepare prisoners for society.
      • - People go to prison to become better prisoners. – Brownsville
    • Court packing should be made illegal.
      • - I think we need to change the number of justices in SCOTUS – New Utrecht
    • Remove Civil asset forfeiture.
    • I’m nervous about the government telling us how to live our lives.
    • We need to reaffirm the 8th Amendment’s protection against excessive fines when it comes to jailing debtors.
      • - There’s no understanding of socioeconomic differences and what ‘excessive’ (for fines) means as times change. – Williamsburgh
    • A national popular referendum: if ¾ of the population supports an amendment, it’s passed. – Williamsburgh
    • Implementing a restorative justice model.
      • - The Constitution says that we have inalienable rights, but that isn’t true. If you have a criminal record, in some states, your right to vote is taken away. The Constitution needs to protect those rights, like the right to vote. – Youth Impact

Healthcare Reform

  • Right to be healthy.
    • - If healthcare is not part of the pursuit of happiness, I don’t know what is. – Crown Heights
  • Universal healthcare – for citizens and noncitizens alike.
    • - When health insurance is tied to your job, that isn’t sufficient to protect people. – New Utrecht
    • - Preventative medicine needs to be included in the conception of healthcare. – New Utrecht
  • Mandatory 2-year audits of our emergency/pandemic health response systems.
  • Uncouple healthcare from employment.
  • Vegetables and healthy food should be much cheaper and more accessible to all people.
  • Hospitals should be built to accommodate accessibility.
  • If a vaccine is found for Coronavirus, it should be free. – Brooklyn in Solidarity
  • Waive all medical debt.
  • Government regulation of the quantity of pharmacies, hospitals and health stores as well as placing a cap on the number of fast-food stores in a neighborhood.
  • The elderly need educated [health] advocates.
    • - We can’t allow the healthcare system to allow older people to die, because they are older. There need to be checks and balances where everyone, regardless of age, is given the same healthcare. – Macon
  • Countering the spread of misinformation.
  • Evaluate doctors based on the health outcomes they provide.
  • Pharmaceutical companies can’t run ads.
    • - This should be outlawed. Medication decisions should be a conversation between a patient and a doctor. - New Utrecht
  • Empowering a leader to head the crisis response.
    • - Empower the Surgeon General to marshal forces and get to work solving the pandemic. – Bedstuy
  • Address discrimination in ventilator distribution and care related to people with pre-existing conditions. – Bedstuy
  • Illness intervention vs. wellness infrastructure. – Bedstuy
  • Shift to a community-based healthcare system.
  • Enfranchise Urban food desserts

Socio-economic and Fiscal Reform

  • Address the income gap.
    • - We need something that ties the top tier of pay to the minimum wage – New Utrecht
  • Eliminate racial and gender disparities in pay.
  • Limit to the amount of debt you can accumulate.
    • - An absolute stopping point - Berkeley Carroll School
  • Companies that have a history of share buybacks shouldn’t be able to ask for bailouts.
  • Bailout small business over mega corporations.
    • - It should be that those small businesses that contribute so much to making business about the people. – Brooklyn Friends School
  • Every dollar you earn should be taxed very, heavily. – Brooklyn Friends
  • Constitutionally mandated minimum income.
    • - With a ratcheting mechanism so that continuous revision isn’t necessary. - Flatbush
  • Cap on how much somebody can earn.
  • Citizens should decide how their taxes are spent.
    • - I don’t want the taxes I pay to fund the endless wars. – Crown Heights
    • - I have kids, I’d like to fund education and the arts, and not the military. People want to participate in a more meaningful life, making where their taxation goes meaningful could do that. - Canarsie
  • Invest in infrastructure.
  • A cap on the lifetime acquisitions of an individual or their family.
  • Place a cap on greed.
    • - Language that would establish that anyone who becomes a billionaire has done so by exploiting working class communities, which ends up sucking money out of our public projects, our educational system, our public housing system, which desperately need these resources. - Macon
  • If we make less than $40-60k per year we shouldn’t be taxed.
    • - I feel resentful that the government wants to take more of my money …The government is taking our money but not reinvesting back into us, the people! - Macon
  • Closure of tax loopholes for corporations.
  • Amendment to allow for a wealth tax.

Immigration Reform

  • Make it easier to get into the country.
  • Immigrants should have an easier path to come to the country and become citizens or take part in work residencies.
    • - America should be more considerate. - Brooklyn Friends School
    • - They need to be seen as humans, not as aliens. – Brooklyn Friends
  • Immigrants can run for President.
    • - - I am a 12-year-old immigrant. Adopted from South Korea. US citizen. I want to be president of the United States and have wanted to be President since I was 6 years old. I’m not allowed to be President, because I’m not naturally born here. Much of what is great about this country is immigrants!
    • - I think it is wrong that immigrants can’t run for president. - Canarsie

ERA /Reparations

  • Ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.
  • Reparations.
    • - The US paid reparations to survivors of the Holocaust they could have at least done something, anything, to rebuild black communities. - Berkeley Carroll School
    • - Reparations for the descendants of enslaved Africans [and Native Americans]. This catching up is hard as it relates to housing, education, everything. - Bedstuy
  • Violence based on identity should be defined as hate-crimes.
  • We need a Federal law that protects against discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation, and that protection should include everything: housing, military, jobs, healthcare.
  • Update treaties with Native Americans
    • - Ensure their voice is heard. The Native Americans. The U.S. government’s treaties with them have not been updated for even a century.
  • An amendment that holds government accountable for the things that they promised people over our history.
  • Give Native Americans tribes a seat or seats in Congress.
  • Make all states have protections against hate crimes.
  • LGBTQ rights.
    • - I am bisexual, and I do not feel protected in America for that reason.
    • - An equal rights provision mentioning women, but also LGBTQ rights.
    • - Why not make it wider and include more people and genders? – Cobble Hill
    • - Many kids who come out to their parents often get harassed or even thrown out with nowhere to go and nobody to turn to. – Sheepshead Bay
    • - There should be a law that says that everyone should be able to access healthcare and be treated. – Youth Impact
    • - Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. That’s inherently antithetical to the idea of inclusion! This keeps people from expressing themselves, and you prevent people from learning about people who aren’t like themselves. We need opportunities to learn about each other! The fact that a president, or an institution like the military, advocates for people hiding parts of themselves, that’s wrong and that needs to change. – Youth Impact
  • Give equal recognition and protections for women.
  • Change that language to be more inclusive – not just man or men.
  • There is a tendency to assume that if you look Asian, you don’t speak English and you don’t understand American democracy – Crown Heights
  • Remove taxes on feminine hygiene products.
  • Abortion Rights.
    • - Women should have the authority to decide what to do with their bodies.
    • - The idea that men can be making decisions about what women can do with their bodies needs to stop. - Berkeley Carroll School

Regulatory Reform

  • Remove/reduce the requirement for licensure to work in certain areas.
    • - Do we need to license florists and African hair-braiders? – Brownsville
  • Remove the ability for non-military people to access military grade weapons.
  • Ensure consumer protection rights from fraud/scams.
    • - I would like to see more buyers’ and sellers’ protections and rights included in the Constitution because it is during times like these where consumers are most vulnerable to things like fraud, robbery, and scamming. To ensure the safety of transactions there should be new rules to ensure safe exchange of money and products, which will be beneficial to the retail economy which is vital during this time. – Leon Goldstein High School
  • Modify the 2nd Amendment
    • - I would like the president to change the right to bear arms. I do not believe that assault weapons which are military grade should be accessible by non-military. Semi-automatic handguns and self-defense grade shotguns should be the only available weapons for home defense because of the insane amount of gun violence that has occurred in the US, which exceeds that of almost all other countries because consumers are able to access common assault weapons like the AR-15 – Leon Goldstein
    • - End school shootings. – Youth Impact
    • - We need better vetting for mental illness, and a better understanding for why people are getting weapons. - Youth Impact
    • - Tighter restrictions and enforced training around gun acquisition.
    • - Guns should not be allowed in cities.
  • Remove private interests from public policy. – Friends TH
  • Broaden the interpretation of the 4th Amendment
    • - Search and seizure should include seizure of labor, of environmental health. - Creatives in Residence

International Responsibility/Global Cooperation

  • During international crises, we should prioritize international cooperation with organizations like WHO.
  • Re-join the Paris Climate Agreement.
  • We’re one of only 3 nations who haven’t signed onto the Universal Rights of the Child – Brownsville
  • Expand the Constitution to protect/not harm international citizens.
    • - Given the history of what the U.S. has done in the late 20th century in Latin America I feel that, as an international citizen, I should be protected by your Constitution. – Bushwick/East Williamsburgh
  • Enshrine the principle, "First do no harm."
    • - This country has become so powerful in the last 250 years, it is not adequate to have a Constitution that only looks inward. The Constitution has to look to the rest of the world. – Bushwick/East Williamsburgh
  • Nuclear disarmament,
  • When we go to war under false pretenses, the people responsible should be prosecuted.
  • Limit foreign aid in crises.
    • - We need to support American residents before foreign citizens.
  • Right for citizens to compel their government to recognize that they are global citizens
    • - Things should be evaluated in terms of our global humanity. You should not be allowed to do things that harm humanity. – Crown Heights
  • Right to State secession.

Education Reform

  • We need education reform. We are cherry picking people to succeed and that is not right. We need to bring back vocations. A lot of people can’t afford college or are not geared to go to college. A lot of people are geared for a more hands-on education. Bring vocations back into primary and secondary school. – Crown Heights
  • Right to literacy.
  • Equal protection is great, but everyone does not have an equal chance at quality education.
  • Free/affordable college education.
  • The government has a responsibility to educate all their people.
    • - The average working-class person in the US is far less educated that working-class folks in pretty much every other developed people! - Boerum Hill/Gowanus
  • A college degree should be as accessible as a gun permit.
  • Mandatory civics classes in public school.
    • - When we grow older, we should already have knowledge about how government works before we are adults. Participating in government issues should be normalized. So, it is not hard to be citizens anymore. – Brooklyn Friends
  • Transition programs for corporations that “at one point served a purpose”. -
  • Wipe out student loans debt or put an expiration date on it.
  • Institutionalizing multilingualism.
  • Right to public education.
  • Fund schools according to need.

Digital/Tech Rights

  • The internet should be a human right.
  • Internet protections.
    • - Private companies shouldn’t be able to have and sell your information without limits. - Berkeley Carroll School
  • Ensure equal access to the internet and other technologies necessary to thrive.
  • Increase privacy protections.
  • Reduce the threat of AI to job security and fraud.
  • Provide internet access to everyone.
  • Protections for digital identities and online personal information – Flatbush
  • Citizens should control their own data.
    • - Corporations own terrifying amounts of data on human beings. The EU has taken meaningful action in this space, but the US has not. – New Utrecht
  • First Amendment should be updated to reflect the dangers of cyberbullying.
    • - People are being bullied to the point of suicide online
    • - There is a problem with how people choose to communicate over the internet. The Founding Fathers couldn’t have contemplated the internet. The result is harassment toward marginalized communities – Leon Goldstein High School

National Defense

  • We need to plan for pandemics and climate change disasters.
  • Renounce weapons of war.

Climate Change

  • Polluting should be outlawed.
    • - If it does harm to the environment, it can’t be allowed to exist – New Utrecht
  • Make it possible (and financially feasible) for all households to affect the climate in a good way.
  • Place a cap on greenhouse gasses and carbon emissions.
  • Provide a public platform for scientists to be heard.
  • Protecting the earth and the environment.
    • - I’d like to see more about protecting the earth in the Constitution, as well as people of course, but I feel the earth is very much part of us as a people.
    • - Protect the environment, in perpetuity, for future generations. – E. Flatbush

Civil Reform

  • Constitutional mandate to produce art
    • - Forcing art through the machinery of capitalism subverts its purpose in many ways - Flatbush

Presidential Reform

  • Lower the age to run for President.
    • - We should lower the age of the President! We need diversity of age in the election – New Utrecht
  • The president needs to be a role model for the world.
  • The President’s advice should be fact-checked.
  • Always place people over profit. – Boerum Hill/Gowanus
  • The president should not be allowed to spread fake news. - Brooklyn Friends
  • We need a president who sees the humanity in people – Brooklyn Friends
  • The President needs to focus on relocating jobs in industries that are dead. – Brooklyn Friends
  • Regulate/place limits on pardon power.
  • It is time that we live up to this country’s mission statement. – Brooklyn in Solidarity
  • I want the next president to display more activism around police brutality. – Brooklyn in Solidarity
  • You should treat everybody as if they are your sibling If you are the President, that basically means you are the voice of all the people. You should think about everyone in the country as family. If you are the president, America is your family. – Brooklyn in Solidarity
  • The Presidents cannot lie about hazards or wars.
    • - People died because the president refused to acknowledge the virus until it was too late, when we could have spent that time preparing for the virus – Brooklyn in Solidarity
  • The most ingenious part of the original Constitution was the clause that gave the war powers to Congress and not the President. But ever since WWII this has been eroded and ignored. We need to call attention to this and reaffirm this commitment. – New Utrecht
  • Submitting tax returns, health checks, revealing conflicts of interest, etc., needs to be enshrined as a mandate for presidents
  • Public input for cabinet member appointments.
    • - We can’t afford to have people with no experience in these positions! These positions and their departments are being funded by taxpayer dollars, and they need to be accountable. - New Utrecht
  • Indicting a sitting president should be possible
    • - We need to make that possible. We need to hold presidents accountable for illegal activity while they are in office. – New Utrecht
  • A competency requirement for the occupant of the Oval Office. – Bedstuy
  • The 28th Amendment should have a stricter guideline for how the President sends across his messages on social media.

Moral/Cultural Imperatives

  • Bring the Constitution to the street.
    • - At the moment, the Constitution is too preachy, it does not come to the citizen in an accessible way. It has to be palatable. The Constitution and the right to vote has to be accessible to the sanitation guy, the delivery guy - Canarsie
  • Right to happiness opposed to merely the pursuit of it.
  • Recognition and protection of everyone’s humanity.
  • Entrenching ideas of fraternity.
    • - It can be hard to understand that we still have a responsibility to one another, even while the government has largely failed in its response to care for our neighbors.
  • Reconcile our exploitive history as a country
  • We should remain engaged with the world, even in times of great fear and panic. International interconnectivity is something we [need] to entrench. – Macon
  • The idea that billionaires have earned their wealth is a complete lie. – Macon
  • I think what we all are trying to say without saying it, is that the globe, as a whole, we’ve all grown up, whether emotionally or mentally, we have matured beyond these little words, we know we can be better. – Bushwick/East Williamsburgh
  • What we need is a brand-new Constitution written from the bottom up. We should start with how we view ourselves as a society today, completely fresh. We are not in the enlightenment now, … we are not a Jeffersonian agrarian society, we are no longer a country of 3 or 4 million people. We need a document that reflects 2020. – Bushwick/East Williamsburgh
  • Make it easier for grandparents to help their grandchildren across different states with different laws – NYCHA Seniors
  • My dad lost his job because of this pandemic. I don’t know how he will recover. People need to stay home right now. We need to commit as a community to overcome this.
  • Perhaps we should remove private interests from public policy. – Friends Town Hall
  • Accountability across our government in order for people to have access and for democracy to exist. We need more accountability for committee members and council members. – Friends Town Hall
  • I don’t believe the constitution respects [the] humanity of the elderly – Friends Town Hall
  • We need are transition programs to teach people new skills, so that they can be “put back into the market and be productive citizens. – Friends Town Hall
  • No child has anything to do with this. No child can deserve being hungry. It is your own business if you want to spend a billion dollars on a house or a campaign – or, at least now it is your own business – but it is not right if people are starving.
  • Corporations should not be able to have the kind of influence or control that they have now over what goes on in government, related to food, medicine, water, etc. – Fort Greene
  • I have found it concerning that we’re shifting toward protecting economic rights more quickly than our efforts to protect vulnerable populations. – Fort Green
  • Commitment to caring for one another.
  • This crisis has shown that we have the capacity to feed everyone, but we lacked the will previously. -Flatbush
  • I think that more folks would get involved in politics if they could see themselves reflected in politics. We need to show folks that they can be a part of this. – New Utrecht
  • If citizens are being forced to work, the legislators need to be at work, too. – Bedstuy
  • If we create a legal safety net for shareholders, it makes sense that we’d do the same for workers. - Williamsburgh
  • Our Constitution is too brittle for a changing world; we’ve gone from an amendment every few years to one every few decades. – Williamsburgh
  • We can do these programs when we’re not making money, so once we’re making money again, these programs should be easy to recreate. – Williamsburgh
  • It is hard to address the problem of self-interested politicians with a constitutional amendment. - Williamsburgh
  • We shouldn’t have to choose between the better of two evils all the time. – Williamsburgh
  • Shift our thinking toward underserved populations, especially those with substance abuse and mental health issues. We need to give these people a real hand up. It’s easy to give someone a bus pass – it’s harder to get on the bus and show them how to ride it. – Williamsburgh
  • The crisis has introduced tension into our culture. We hear a lot of words like diversity and inclusion, but our constitution is exclusive. This speaks to American exceptionalism. We claim for ourselves so much more than is our share” - The constitution needs to be recast so that everyone can be at the table. – Crown Heights
  • We need to be self-sufficient as a country, as a community, etc. We need to get back to basics. – Crown Heights
  • We see third world conditions in the press, in the city we live in. The homeless situation in San Francisco is incredible.
  • The American dream is not working. – Crown Heights
  • What has been lost is a reverence for humanity. We don’t know what we lost in disadvantaged people, because they never got a chance. This might require that we overthrow capitalism rather than democracy because underlying all of these problems is the idea that we are here, first and foremost, to make money. – Crown Heights
  • A Constitution can reflect who we have become. – Cobble Hill
  • We need to have someone in leadership that inspires us to our highest values even if we know we are really bad at achieving it. – Cobble Hill
  • For the founders, protecting their property was about keeping human beings and stolen land for themselves; we have not interpreted equality to really mean equality for all. We need to revisit our language and state our intentions clearly in the Constitution so that it does not come to mean something else. – Cobble Hill
  • This country has to regain the idea of happiness and how to cultivate it and the way to happiness is through solidarity. Solidarity paves the way to happiness - It is not only our right but our duty to live up to this expectation. – Cobble Hill
  • There is a fear that collective action will make you lose liberty, and our leadership also spreads this fear. What we need is a clear vision and a clear articulation of how working together can lead to more freedom not less. – Cobble Hill
  • As a first-generation American, he shared how his parents never felt included in the country. – Cobble Hill
  • I would like to see language in the Constitution that recognizes the interconnectivity of America with other nations, and also the interconnectivity of communities, states, and all of us. – Cobble Hill
  • The Coronavirus has made it clear that the notion of borders is ridiculous. The virus does not follow borders, and neither does climate crisis or economics. – Cobble Hill
  • The irony of the current moment is that the people who are saving the country and keeping it going are the most vulnerable and we don’t take care of them. The minutiae of what makes our country work: driving trucks, delivering food and medicine, cleaning. These people don’t have healthcare or support while the rich people leave the epicenters and go to their country houses. – Brooklyn Heights
  • The biggest problem in this country, at local, state and federal level, is the entrenchment of politicians - It does not matter what party they are – they get too comfortable and it is bad for the country. – Canarsie
  • I think we don’t need patch number 28 on an old garment. It is outdated, threadbare, no longer pertinent to the times in which we live. The present year, ladies and gentlemen, is 2020. We are selling ourselves short with our current Constitution. We need to start out with a brand-new fresh constitution, without any reservations. Documents like Constitutions need to respond to the moments and the times. – Canarsie
  • The pillars in this country was built by immigrants. You have to include them and not constantly blaming them. When you do that you are eroding the bedrock of this country – Canarsie
  • How do we imagine human beings in this country? How will we make the best self emerge in every citizen? – Canarsie
  • We’re spending so much money on expensive technology, but we can’t even provide basic services to people who need it! – Youth Impact
  • Burn your passports! Open borders. – Creatives in Residence
  • Being black in this country, fearing for our lives on a day to day basis just isn’t sustainable. – Creatives in Residence
  • The preciousness with which we regard American identity has to go – Creatives in Residence
  • It doesn’t feel that the Constitution is adequately speaking to this moment. In all of this, I feel very small. – Sunset Park
  • When I arrived here, I learned about racism (I’m from Jamaica). When I encountered that, I pushed myself to do more work. No matter what I did it never stopped the police form pulling me over, harassing me, harassing my partner. Voting happens once every four years. And then those voters go away. This anger and rage, of the protester, it comes from a lifetime of struggle to get adequate resources, education, medical care… just because of the color of your skin. I’m still trying to process… what would I change in the Constitution, given that it doesn’t even support me as a human being. – Sunset Park
  • The thing that needs protecting right now, is the Constitution from itself. Right now, the Constitution says that there is a system of checks and balances, but what happens when people have figured out how to game the system. What do we do when the system has failed us? The first thing we could do is to say that the Constitution needs to be reviewed every five years, or so. When parts of the Constitution are failing, you scrap it and try again. The best part of the Constitution is the preamble. Maybe we just start there. We need to reexamine this from the beginning and give us provisions that allow us to continue to do that over time. – Sunset Park
  • We can’t give that power to this disrupter who doesn’t know anything about politics or anything. To meet like this together, to try to make changes, that’s the only thing that’s going to work. We have to have hope for our family and our kids. If we don’t, it’s game over. Don’t let this guy win. We gotta stay focused. We can’t be reactors. We’ve got to be planners – Sunset Park
  • We need a gross happiness index. – Sunset Park
  • It’s time for a “new birth of freedom” – Calhoun School
  • We need to remake the country. – Calhoun School

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