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Lawrence Lessig to Call for Elizabeth Warren Presidential Bid, Deliver Major Run Warren Run Speech

In an upcoming speech in New York, Lessig will outline why we need Sen. Elizabeth Warren in the presidential race and why she is best positioned to tackle money in politics.

NEW YORK — In a major speech scheduled for April 20, 2015 in New York City, Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig, one of the nation’s most prominent advocates for curbing the influence of big money in politics, will call for a presidential bid by Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

News of Lessig’s call for Warren to enter the race and his upcoming speech comes just days after the Boston Globe called on Warren to run in an unprecedented four-piece editorial and opinion spread.

In Lessig’s address—sponsored by MoveOn.org Political Action as part of the Run Warren Run campaign—he will assert that Sen. Warren’s voice would be a crucial addition to the Democratic primary in 2016 and make the case that she is uniquely qualified to address the growing and corrupting influence of big money in politics. The speech will follow a typical format for Lessig, who is known for talks that the New Yorker notes feature “fast-paced choreography of language and images.” Lessig joins a growing list of progressive leaders calling on Sen. Warren to run.

WHO/WHAT: Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig on why we need Elizabeth Warren in the presidential race—and why Warren is best positioned to tackle head-on the corrupting influence of big money in politics.

Lessig will be introduced by Van Jones, president of Dream Corps, and Zephyr Teachout, an associate law professor at Fordham University and former New York gubernatorial candidate.

WHEN: April 20, 2015 (Time to be announced)

WHERE: New York, NY

RSVP: To be notified with tickets become available, please visit www.runwarrenrun.org/lessigrsvp/

“I don’t know whether Elizabeth Warren will run,” Lessig wrote in a blog post announcing the speech. “I will respect her decision either way. But I do know this, because I saw it in the campaign to get her to run for Senate: there’s always been one thing, and one thing only, that could convince her to take on a challenge. Not glory. Not power. Just one thing: the recognition that her jumping in is necessary to make a difference. The more of us who speak up, the more clear it will be that this is just such a moment. That there’s a difference that only she can make, at a moment in our history when we desperately need that difference.”

“Today’s announcement that Lawrence Lessig is the latest sign of the growing coalition of Americans calling on Sen. Elizabeth Warren to run for president,” said Ilya Sheyman, executive director of MoveOn.org Political Action. “No one can speak to the unique ability of Sen. Elizabeth Warren to tackle the corrupt influence of money in politics, were she to run, better than Lawrence Lessig.”

In 2014, Lessig co-founded Mayay PAC, a political action committee focused on elected candidates to Congress who support major reforms to campaign finance. He is the director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University and a law professor at Harvard Law School. Previously, he was a professor at Stanford Law School, where he founded the Center for Internet and Society, and at the University of Chicago.

Lessig spent his early career working on intellectual property law, during which time he helped launch Creative Commons and was an early and outspoken proponent of Net Neutrality. Recently, Lessig has dedicated his time to fighting the corrupt influence of money in politics, launching the organizations Change Congress, Rootstrikers, and Mayday PAC. He serves on the boards of Democracy Café, the Sunlight Foundation, and Americans Elect.

In December, more than 81 percent of voting MoveOn members opted to launch the Run Warren Run effort, citing her work to fix a rigged political and economic system that is failing America’s families. Democracy for America members voted to partner in leading the Run Warren Run effort shortly after MoveOn’s announcement.

More than 300,000 Americans have signed on in support of the Run Warren Run campaign and have hosted more than 400 events–including house parties, rallies, and honk-and-waves across the nation. The Run Warren Run campaign website and launch video at RunWarrenRun.org tell the story of the Massachusetts senator, who has become known as a passionate advocate for giving all Americans a fighting chance in an economy rigged in favor of big banks and corporate interests.

MoveOn and Democracy for America have pledged to invest at least $1.25 million into the effort.

Photo: Flickr/Robert Scoble