Senate Joint Resolution 19 is a proposed Constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizens United, but it doesn’t address corporate constitutional rights at all.
Move to Amend has vowed that we will not support any halfway measures that don’t amend the Constitution in two necessary ways:
Make clear that only human beings, not corporations have Constitutional rights;
Make clear that money is not speech and campaign spending can be regulated.
Tens of thousands of volunteers across the nation have been building a grassroots movement over the past four years from the bottom up. This movement came from everyday people taking this issue to their city governments, to town meeting debates, to candidate forums, to newspaper opinion pages, and to the ballot box directly. Nearly 600 cities and towns have now passed amendment resolutions.
Polling shows 80% of the American public believes that corporations should not have the same rights as people. State legislatures have been pressured to stand up as well, with 16 states passing resolutions calling for an amendment. “Ending Corporate Personhood” was a major theme in the demands that came from Occupy encampments across the country.
The plan is that this amendment will get a vote in the Senate this year – before election season. We cannot allow a proposal that doesn’t address corporate constitutional rights to get traction – the amendment must match the demand of our movement: “A Corporation is Not a Person! Money is Not Free Speech!”
Fill out this form to send a message to the authors of SJR19 – let them know that Corporate Personhood MUST be included in the language of the amendment.
Noam Chomsky is the voice of the current generation. Many people discovered him as he showed up at a teach in at Occupy Wall Street, and a new generation found a voice who corporate media has ignored. He is right, both parties serve the monied class and it is not the democracy we were raised to believe we live in, it is an oligarchy. Share if you agree.
“While voting in the Irish marriage equality referendum yesterday it occured to me how much the United States could learn from Ireland about democracy.
First was the fact that this was a refrendum on changing our constitution, making that document a living, adaptable thing capable of change, growth and development. Contrast that with the rigidity of the US constitution, ever-fixed, unchanging and worshipped on it’s historical pedestal and incapable of progression within the current US politcal climate.
That political climate is also a major difference between Irish and US democracy. Ireland’s campaining and campaign-finance laws made this a fair competition, with both sides having fair access to the media and with special interests minimised. Perhaps as a result (and with a few, minor, exceptions), Ireland’s marriage referendum was conducted in an air of civility, respect and even humour, not just in the media, but in Facebook conversations and Twitter feeds. America can learn from this.
Finally, I was impressed by how easy and fair it is to vote in Ireland. Registration is easy and heavily promoted without regard to party, and even if you’re not registered you can just swear an oath that you’re elegible. There are almost no lineups at polling stations (media reported that SOME stations had lineups to the door at peak times). Everybody has access to the counts where votes are counted.
The ‘greatest country in the world’ could learn from this example.” GC
A new coalition called Move To Amend is working to abolish corporate personhood in the US; they’re working at the local and state level to pass laws to undo the work of Citizens United, the Supreme Court ruling that equated money with speech.
His sign said, “Tax The 1%” Then he blew his own brains out.
“On the kind of beautiful sunny day when hope springs eternal, an older gentleman wearing a backpack walked over by the fountain in front of the Capitol Building in Washington DC. And a sign. According to people who saw him, it said simply: “Tax The 1%”
The police captain on the scene who addressed the news cameras eerily avoided the question, mumbling that it was “something about social justice,” as if he were annoyed to address any specifics. So we know nothing else. Not even a name was given. A dog run over by car might have gotten more respect and news coverage than this unknown man.
What kind of a society have we become? A man decides to commit suicide as an act of political courage, and is dismissed by both the police and media as unworthy of further examination?
When a man in Tunisia set himself on fire in protest of the draconian taxation and intimidating police enforcement of the state (not unlike in Ferguson and most American racially and financially motivated policing toward black Americans) it led to the Arab Spring.
How would Americans react if these stories were given a full airing on the news? How many could relate to the sheer despair, his plea in addressing squarely the plight of economic inequality, or the implicit message that our present an economic system has a savage inhumanity as its core feature, and that feature grinds people down in the most undignified of ways and that the rich must stop gaming the system and pay their fair share? Our media chose to look the other way in speculation about any of these salient truths.” By Thirty Three and a Third/DailyKos
Movement to Abolish Corporate Personhood Gaining Traction
In the year and a half since the Citizens United decision, Americans from all walks of life have become concerned about corporate dominance of our government and our society as a whole. In Citizens United v. FEC, the U.S. Supreme Court (in an act of outrageous “judicial activism") gutted existing campaign finance laws by ruling that corporations, wealthy individuals, and other entities can spend unlimited amounts of money on political campaigns.
Throughout the country people have responded by organizing against “corporate personhood,” a court-created precedent that illegitimately gives corporations rights that were intended for human beings.
The movement is flowering not in the halls of Congress, but at the local level, where all real social movements start. Every day Americans experience the devastation caused by unaccountable corporations. Thanks to the hard work of local organizers, Boulder, CO could become the next community to officially join this growing effort. Councilmember Macon Cowles is proposing to place a measure on the November ballot, giving Boulder voters the opportunity to support an amendment to the U. S. Constitution abolishing corporate personhood and declaring that money is not speech.
At the forefront of this movement is Move to Amend, a national coalition of hundreds of organizations and over 113,000 individuals (and counting). Move to Amend is committed to building a grassroots movement to abolish corporate personhood, to hold corporations accountable to the public, and ultimately to fulfill the promise of an American democratic republic.
Boulder is not alone in this fight, nor is it the first community to consider such a resolution. In April, voters in Madison and Dane County, WI overwhelmingly approved measures calling for an end to corporate personhood and the legal status of money as speech by 84% and 78% respectively. Similar resolutions have been passed in nearly thirty other cities and counties. Resolutions have also been introduced in the state legislatures of both Vermont and Washington.
Despite the momentum, Move to Amend organizers know this won’t be an easy fight. Corporate America controls traditional media, and has invested heavily in politicians, lobbyists, and extremist groups to oppose our efforts. We can’t expect Congress to act, nor can we depend on the courts to solve a problem of their own making. We draw our strategy and inspiration from the great social movements of history.
The abolition of slavery, the struggle for women’s suffrage, trade unions, and the civil rights movement all started with grassroots organizing. The ruling elites denounced these movements as un-American, and they will make the same accusation against this effort. Others claimed that those movements went “too far,” and were unrealistic. Thankfully, folks before us did not quit or give up. They gained traction with solid strategy, unwavering commitment, and moral authority.
Move To Amend proudly identifies with this tradition of engaged citizen participation. Building momentum with local organizing and resolutions is our best chance of driving a constitutional amendment into Congress. Recent events in Boulder provide an example of this strategy in practice. Months of education, organizing, and advocacy by Boulder Move to Amend empowered Councilman Cowles to provide political leadership and prepared the community to respond.
Awareness of corporate personhood in Boulder is now higher than ever before. It is widely viewed as a mainstream issue, having earned the support of local Democratic Party leaders. Answering critics of the measure, Boulder County Democratic Party Chairperson Dan Gould recently told the Daily Camera that corporate personhood is an issue that must be addressed locally. “This is as important as municipalization, this is as important as school bonds,” he said. “This is immediate."
Move to Amend is gaining momentum rapidly in communities throughout the country precisely because the problems of corporate power are most evident locally. Developers seeking special favors pour money into elections. Big polluters avoid investigations and litigation by hiding behind their illegitimate “rights.” Bad employers lie to the public about unfair labor practices with no legal consequences. People see it every day. They get it and they’re ready to fight back. Move to Amend is here to help them do that with a strategy for long-term success.
Wolf PAC, we need your help now making phone calls and sending email!
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (April 26, 2012) – On the heels of successfully passing a resolution calling on Congress to amend the Constitution to overturn the Citizens United decision, three California Assemblymen are championing a resolution that goes one step further.
Assemblyman Michael Allen (D-Sonoma County), Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles), and Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) have filed Assembly Joint Resolution 32. If passed, this resolution – the first of its kind – will start the process of the States calling for a constitutional convention, which would be limited to amending the Constitution to limit corporate personhood and declare that money does not constitute speech and can be democratically limited.