Long ago and far away, a coffee group of recently retired professionals realized that all of them had seen way too much government corruption, environmental destruction, lack of accountability, and disregard for the needs of citizens. Maybe, they thought, they could do something. Something big. Could they? Probably not. How can concerned citizens of modest means confront the wealthy, corporate forces that own their elected public policy officials?
They committed to try, starting with at least two dozen problem issues. For nearly two years, they met every Tuesday morning, distilling, strategizing, and writing a proposed amendment to the state constitution. The final version requires full disclosure of every source of funding spent to influence a state election, prohibits influencing public officials with gifts and perks, and establishes a state ethics commission.
Three months before the election, seeing a picture of his friend's grandmother on a campaign flyer, a teen said her democracy work was "bad ass." So three BadAss Grandmas campaigned all fall throughout the state, in search of public support, the state's best caramel rolls and sausages, social media posts, and fun. The Ethics Amendment passed.
When the BadAss Grandmas went to a national democracy convention to receive a Courage Award, other attendees urged them to help build a movement. In sisterhood with many other badass women around the world, we aim to become a swiftly rising tide of diverse non-partisan badass citizens of every age and gender. Each of us does what we can to unrig the rigged systems that powerful anti-democracy bullies have created.
What's your superpower? Become a fully informed voter and help with elections? Convert your coffee group into a force for The People? Start a democracy book club? Call out corruption? Support organizations that are doing the work with your time, talent, and treasure? You could start with Represent Us and the League of Women Voters.
We have no meetings or dues. To be a BadAss Grandma, just wear our t-shirt! It makes people smile, and it starts great conversations to raise awareness and build support. People of any age or gender are welcome! We are non-partisan, anti-corruption,and pro transparency, voting rights and voter-responsive government.