The first Continental Congress was held in 1774 in Philadelphia after 12 of the 13 North American colonies elected delegates to petition King George III to redress grievances caused by the so-called "The Intolerable Acts." The colonists sought a voice in Parliament if they were to be taxed and subject to laws passed by that legislature. The King of course ignored the petition and after the Revolutionary War was won, the founding fathers of the United States ensured that the new Constitution gave the American people the right to petition their government for a redress of grievances. This petition power was to be ignored at the peril of those who governed.
Now, 238 years later, the American people again find their government indifferent to their pleas for long overdue change. Therefore, this upcoming July 2 nd , 3 rd and 4 th , a new Continental Congress, comprised of 878 delegates from all 435 congressional voting districts in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Territories will convene in Philadelphia to draft and ratify a petition for redress of grievances to be served on the government.
All United States citizens and lawful permanent residents who have reached the age of 18 may run for delegate and/or vote in a "special election" of delegates being held the weekend of June 1st. The special election will take place online and each prospective delegate and/or voter must register at http://www.thenationalgeneralassembly.org/voter-registration/ on or before May 25, 2012. When the online polls open on June 1st, each registered voter will be emailed an "e-ballot" to select two delegates from their Congressional district to attend Continental Congress 2.0 in Philadelphia. Anyone may view the current list of registered delegate candidates and read their campaign profiles using an interactive map or zip code search at http://www.thenationalgeneralassembly.org/ Once elected, the 878 delegates will travel to Philadelphia and meet for three days during the week of July 4, 2012 to ratify a petition of grievances which has been work in progress since October 2011 (www.the99declaration.org/fulltext).
It is anticipated that the final petition for redress of grievances will demand, among other things, an immediate Constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court's heinous decision in Citizens United v. FEC; the complete removal of all private money in federal politics to be replaced with a 100% publicly financed campaign system; uniform election rules in every electoral precinct to ensure that all eligible voters have access to the polls, ending the disgusting practice of gerrymandering and guaranteeing that any American who wishes to run for office will not be impeded by state or local rules, or the behavior of the two entrenched political parties who have sold our democracy to corporations and the ultra wealthy in exchange for money, gifts, and promises of lucrative employment in the private sector on the other side of a so-called "revolving door"; ending all above-the-law perks and benefits to public servants and criminal prosecutions of government employees and politicians engaged in insider trading; a total restructuring of the banking, commodities and securities industries including the immediate reintroduction of the Glass-Steagall Act, implementation of the "Volker Rule" and enforcement of the Dodd-Frank Act to curb unbridled speculation; reform of the federal reserve banking system and offering the "discount window interest rate" on loans to be made directly to small business owners, students, and homeowners; a moratorium on all residential foreclosures pending a thorough independent investigation into the origination of each these mortgages; new regulations to respond to currency manipulation and dis-incentivize the outsourcing of American jobs; Medicare for all who reside in the United States to reduce healthcare and pharmaceutical costs and improve quality of care; an immediate recall of all combat troops from Afghanistan and ending perpetual war for profit by restraining the military industrial complex; a streamlined tax code that does not favor special interests, the top 10% of wealth owners and equitably distributes the tax burden on all citizens by eliminating unfair loopholes, deductions, exemptions and corporate tax evasion; enforcement of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act to end the mega-monopolies that have insidiously deposed our republican democracy since the end of World War II; new stringent regulations monitoring mortgage backed securities and the other speculative instruments that directly caused or contributed to the recent worldwide financial crisis, recession, record unemployment, millions of foreclosures and trillions of dollars in economic losses; student loan debt refinancing, adoption of new laws to make a college education affordable and an emergency rescue of the public education system as a national security priority.
Our politicians are either unable or unwilling to regulate themselves or protect us from economic predators like those who nearly led us into a second great depression in 2008. Many politicians are the unabashed paid agents of corporations, political action committees and the top 1% of wealth owners. The corporations and people who control these concentrated sources of wealth hire lobbyists and others to ply our politicians with gifts, money, inside financial information, promises of future benefits and unlimited campaign funding so they sellout to do their clients' bidding. The United States of America is no longer a republican democracy. It is a poorly functioning corporate oligarchy. Through our own apathy and complacency, we have allowed our government and economy to be hijacked by professional corporatists who unceasingly crave money and power for its own sake regardless of the consequences. Fortunately, Americans are awakening and the Continental Congress 2.0 and resulting Petition for Redress of Grievances is one of many steps being taken by average people to "reboot" our democracy.