Affiliate Spotlight - July 2024

Affiliate Spotlight: Sandy Bolzenius, Miami County, and Santa Clara County Affiliates Lead the Charge for Change

In a powerful display of grassroots activism, Move to Amend's dedicated leaders and volunteers have once again proven their unwavering commitment to ending corporate rule and advocating for a government that truly represents the people. This month, we shine our spotlight on two extraordinary efforts: Sandy Bolzenius' inspiring journey to Washington, DC, and the tireless advocacy of our Miami County, Ohio, team, and the determined efforts of our Santa Clara County, California, affiliates.

Sandy Bolzenius: A Voyage of Peace and Advocacy

Traveling over 400 miles from Columbus, Ohio, to the nation's capital, Sandy Bolzenius, the affiliate leader for Central Ohio Move to Amend, demonstrated the kind of dedication that fuels the Move to Amend movement. A veteran herself, Sandy joined forces with Veterans For Peace (VFP), an endorsing organization of Move to Amend, for a series of impactful events.

The VFP march began in Maine on May 7th, making its way down the East Coast. Sandy joined the march on July 4th, while Move to Amend co-director Alfonso had joined a day earlier on July 3rd in Annapolis, Maryland, for a potluck and screening of the documentary Crossings. The film, which chronicles women peace activists crossing the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea, was followed by a thought-provoking discussion led by Col. Ann Wright. The conversation addressed the ongoing RIMPAC military exercises and the broader implications of global militarization.

On July 4th, Sandy and her fellow activists took part in the Takoma Park July 4 Parade, a vibrant display of unity and purpose. The celebration continued with a communal lunch, fostering a sense of camaraderie among participants.

The marchers pressed on to Washington, DC, on July 5th, starting from Mt. Ranier, Maryland, and culminating in a solemn vigil at Lafayette Plaza in front of the White House. The day concluded with a gathering at Busboys & Poets, where activists celebrated the successful conclusion of PeaceWalk 2024 and prepared for the upcoming No to NATO, Yes to Peace events.

      Pictured: Alfonso Saldana, Mike Ferner and Sandy Bolzenius

During the No to NATO, Yes to Peace event on July 6th, Sandy delivered a compelling statement that resonated deeply with the audience: "Corporations are not people, and money is not speech." Her words struck a chord, prompting a member of Code Pink to engage in a meaningful conversation about the insidious connection between money, power, and war.

Sandy and Alfonso continued their advocacy on July 7th at the rally in Lafayette Square Park. Amidst the fervent speeches and spirited chants, they gathered petition signatures, furthering the cause of true representation for all.

The duo's dedication culminated on July 8th, as they embarked on a mission to Capitol Hill, visiting eight Congressional offices to lobby for H.J.R. 54, the We the People Amendment.

Each meeting was charged with urgency and determination as they conveyed a critical message: recent Supreme Court decisions have further eroded individual rights and bolstered corporate interests, making the passage of HJR 54 more crucial than ever. This amendment aims to ensure that corporations are not granted the same rights as people and to reaffirm that money is not speech. In our current political landscape, passing HJR 54 is essential to restoring the balance of power and safeguarding the voices of ordinary citizens. Their tireless efforts underscored the profound impact of grassroots activism and the transformative power of collective action.

Miami County, Ohio: A Beacon of Local Advocacy

Simultaneously, our Move to Amend Miami County team in Ohio has been making waves with their steadfast commitment to our mission. Their recent activities have showcased their ability to engage and inspire local communities.

At Troy's Juneteenth Celebration, the team not only collected signatures but also engaged in meaningful conversations with community members, including a candidate for Ohio's 15th Congressional District. Their presence at the event highlighted the intersection of racial justice and corporate accountability.

The Miami County team also made a significant impact with the Darke County Democrats in Greenville, Ohio. On June 26th, they presented a compelling program that culminated in the Democrats' endorsement of Move to Amend, demonstrating the growing support for our cause.

Additionally, the team successfully published an op-ed in the local paper, addressing the pervasive issues of plastic, convenience, and corporate power. This piece not only raised awareness but also sparked important conversations within the community.

Santa Clara County, California: Strategic and Persistent Advocacy

Our Santa Clara County Move to Amend (SCC-MTA) team has been equally impressive in their efforts to promote the We the People Amendment and engage with local and national organizations. Their recent meeting minutes highlight several key successes and action items:

  • Media Impact: Brian's letter to the editor was published in the Mercury News, advocating for the amendment to overturn Citizens United. His response effectively countered arguments against progressive constitutional interpretations by emphasizing that the Constitution does not equate corporate rights with human rights or money with free speech.
  • HJR 54 Cosponsors: The team is actively working to gain support for HJR 54 from Representatives Nancy Pelosi and Anna Eshoo. Efforts include coordinating with local advocacy groups, reaching out to political candidates, and drafting letters to influential lawmakers.
  • Organizational Outreach: The team is engaging with various organizations, including the South Bay Labor Council and the Unitarian Universalist Society of Justice, to garner broader support for HJR 54. Notably, the South Bay Labor Council has passed a resolution recommending that the national AFL-CIO endorse HJR 54.
  • Event Planning: Upcoming events include participation in Day on the Bay on October 13th and organizing Movie Nights featuring documentaries that explore corporate power and political influence.
  • Documentary Development: The SCC-MTA is working on a documentary series that delves into the history and impact of corporate constitutional rights. Episodes are currently under review by prominent figures like Thom Hartmann and Debra Winger.
  • Legislative Support: The team has drafted a letter of support for California bills SB 24 and AB 270, which aim to repeal the prohibition on public financing of campaigns in the state's general law cities.

Celebrating Success and Looking Forward

These achievements exemplify the dedication and impact of Move to Amend's affiliates. Sandy Bolzenius, the Miami County team, and the Santa Clara County team embody the spirit of grassroots activism, showing that collective action can drive meaningful change.

Join us in celebrating their hard work and commitment. Together, we continue to build a movement that challenges corporate power and advocates for a government that truly represents the people.

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