The Failed Drug War: Shadow Conventions Spotlight Issues Parties Won’t Touch

Press Release July 31, 2000

In the wake of the major parties’ little noted and highly scripted platform proceedings, an unprecedented coalition of Democrats and Republicans, community activists and political leaders, comedians and celebrities affirmed their commitment to a powerful alternative to the party conventions.

Shadow Conventions 2000: A Citizens’ Intervention in American Politics will counter the conventional by focusing on issues that the parties just won’t touch. The Shadow Conventions will parallel the upcoming Republican and Democratic National Conventions, pre-programmed forums that relegate issue debate into obscurity.

“The parties’ flimsy and farcical platform process points up the vacuum at the center of what we call our political debate. Their addiction to massive doses of campaign cash has distorted our policy priorities and led to the neglect of critical issues,” said nationally syndicated columnist Arianna Huffington, one of the conveners of the Shadow Conventions 2000. “The Shadow Conventions are a citizens’ intervention to give voice to millions of Americans currently shut out of the national debate.”

Held in Philadelphia and Los Angeles parallel to the party conventions, the Shadow Conventions will focus on three linked issue areas

A young woman holds a sign that says "End the Drug War."

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