About Principles First
Principles First is a grassroots organization committed to rediscovering and championing principles in the 21st century.
Who we are
We are citizens from across America united by a shared commitment to a set of fundamental ideas and disillusioned with the current state of our politics. We resolve to speak out, take action, and hold our elected officials accountable.
Among our ranks, we count a wide range of ages, races, and socioeconomic backgrounds. This movement is for anyone who believes in a more principled politics driven by ideas instead of personalities.
We are also an entirely self-funded, volunteer organization – no one draws a paycheck or a profit off of our efforts. We think the profit motive is a fine tool for most things, but not for creating political change. We want you to join our cause and help end the grift of those who bend their message to paying audiences.
What we believe
Our organization formally promotes the principles laid out in our Declaration of Principles, which was drafted after three months of grassroots working sessions with our members across the country. Though the full Declaration includes fifteen principles, they cover six core themes:
- Love for America—its ideals & institutions
- Inherent dignity & worth of every person
- Free people & free markets
- The Constitution & rule of law
- Limited, effective, & accountable government
- Individual opportunity & responsibility
You can read the Declaration and become a Citizen Signee here.
Our objectives & how we fight for them
- Accountability (principled politicians): Principles are all that bind politicians once they are in office. We make sure politicians are aware of our principles and adhere to them.
- Principles First Score: We will publicly score each elected official’s performance in upholding and living out our principles. The scoring procedure will be transparent and elected officials will be notified.
- Open Letters & Issue Advocacy: We will continue speaking out and taking action on specific issues when they arise. We have submitted two such letters already to members of Congress – one in opposition to the president’s emergency declaration to fund the border wall and the other in opposition to the emergency declaration to unilaterally level 25% tariffs on Mexican imports.
- Renewal (principled communities): The battle for principle starts locally. Our fellow citizens have to buy in to them or politicians will never listen. We engage our communities, enlist them in the fight, and amplify our voices together.
- Citizen Signees: We will gather force behind our principles by asking citizens to sign on to support our Declaration and send a message to elected officials.
- Grassroots action: We will organize local chapter events that have a meaningful impact on the political process. Collectively we will block walk, attend townhalls, and make it easy to contact officials on key issues.
- Community service projects: We plan to live out our principles. As part of that commitment, our chapters will gather for volunteer service projects in their community on a bimonthly basis.
- Reform (principled government): We put our principles into practice by advocating for reforms consistent with our Declaration of Principles.
- Policy summits and panels: From time to time, we will host conversations with distinguished guests about putting our principles into practice via legislation.