In many localities, groups of concerned citizens have approached members of their city or county council asking them to adopt a resolution denouncing corporate personhood and overturning the infamous Citizens United decision by the US Supreme Court that equates money with speech and allows unlimited spending on electioneering by corporate entities that are not even required to disclose their participation to voters.
Councils that pass such a resolution will be joining a growing list of more than 100 municipalities across the nation who have taken a similar stand against uncontrolled spending by transnational corporations and the Super PACs they have created to influence our elections.
A common concern expressed by local officials when asked to vote on such a resolution is “How does this affect our city?” Advocates must urge their officials to bear in mind that the idea of corporations having the same rights as persons under the Constitution has been used in the courts repeatedly and systematically to undermine and strike down laws that were enacted in cities, counties and states to protect local small businesses, to ensure the health and well being of their citizens, or to maintain the sustainability of the local environment.
Transnational corporations have only one motivation: profit. Their motto is, “We will do whatever it takes to extract, manufacture or sell our product at the greatest possible profit to our shareholders, and your laws can’t stop us.” They seek to use the twin notions of corporate personhood and money as speech to exercise power over the people and to choose their elected representatives for them.
Move to Amend supplies a toolkit for organizers seeking to get a resolution passed by their local city or county council. By passing these resolutions, municipalities will affirm this basic American truth: Our government should be of, by, and for the people; not of, by, and for the corporations.