City of Toledo
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Zoom Virtual Meeting
The purpose of the Public Hearing is for:
The Public Hearing will examine the impact of political contributions of corporations, unions, PACS and Super-PACS on the City, as well as other issues that arise from the Supreme Court's decisions to give corporations the rights of real persons.
DEMOCRACY DAY ESSAY CONTEST
For Democracy Day 2020, a committee encouraged students at the college and high school level to research and express their views on corporate personhood. The contest went out to High School teachers and College profressors to offer to their students.
The writing prompts were used to generate the essays.
A winner was selected from each the college and high school level.
Media Literacy and Democracy
From public awareness of a candidate to media buying power, the spread of misinformation, and media literacy education, campaign spending can be an indicator of an election’s outcome. However, there is a mixed opinion in scholarly articles which examine whether or not a candidate’s likelihood of winning an election can be linked to the amount of money spent during an electoral competition. According to Bonneau (2007), in State Supreme Court elections, an incumbent’s campaign spend does not influence an election’s outcome; however, a challenger’s spending can impact the results (p. 497). Other scholars, such as Nice (1987), have posited that campaign spending is more effective for certain political parties than others. More research is needed on the links between campaign financing and electoral outcomes.
An additional area of inquiry must include the ways in which mass media advertising impacts public awareness of political contenders. Capitalistic systems do not promote a democratic society. Media and advertisements are dominated by those with the largest buying power, which could influence voters’ political awareness and positions. Links between awareness and financing are not the only issue when examining the connections between money and mass media. DeMarrais et. Al. (2019) wrote, “In short, the rise of news and fake news across social media and the ability to spread false information across many platforms demand that we understand how the platforms are used and how they ought to be used” (p. 317). The spread of misinformation by the most affluent candidate or party can be just as impactful as standard campaign advertising.
Research regarding media literacy for adults, educators and students will also be conducted. DeMarrais, et. Al. (2019) said, “Because the majority of Americans get their information from local television news, what becomes important is consideration of who owns the majority of that news medium” (p. 317). I believe that a public understanding of the implications of media ownership on society has lain fallow and is fertile ground for work by activist scholars.
Questions that need to be addressed include: Does the amount of money a candidate spends impact the outcome of an election overall? How does media spending influence a race? Can media literacy and an understanding of who owns the media impact these outcomes? What are the implications of these questions on a democratic society? One potential framework to provide a lens for discourse on the topic could include Beane and Apple’s (2007) “values and principles of democracy,” which include the “open flow of ideas” and “critical reflection and analysis.” Without an understanding of financing and media influence on election results, these democratic principles will be unachievable. I urge Toledo City Council to support efforts to support public awareness of media ownership and its impact on democracy, as well as supporting media literacy within the general citizenship.
- Apple, M. and Beane, J. (2007). “The Case for Democratic Schools.” In Apple, Michael W. and James A. Beane. 2007. Democratic Schools: Lessons in Powerful Education (pp.5-8, 14-19).
- Heinemann Bonneau, C. (2007). The Effects of Campaign Spending in State Supreme Court Elections. Political Research Quarterly, 60(3), pp. 489-499.
- deMarrais, K., Brewer, T. J., Herron, B., Atkinson, J. (2019). Philanthropy, Hidden Strategy, and Collective Resistance (p. 317). Myers Education Press. Kindle Edition.
- Nice, D. (1987). Campaign Spending & Presidential Election Results. Polity, 19(3), pp. 464-476. The University of Chicago Press on behalf of the Northeastern Political Science Association.
Democracy Day Essay
Feb. 25, 2020
I am not a politician, nor am I an activist. Simply put, I am a citizen. Some days, I feel like that title holds more weight. It is the sacred duty of all citizens to uphold the law and to revise the law when it is corrupt. A corporation is not a citizen. But through the justice system, five Supreme Court judges determined in their ruling on Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that corporations have personhood. “Corporate personhood” grant corporations constitution rights and legal standing, something previously reserved solely by the people. These rights allow Marathon Petroleum to give $2.5 million to politicians in Washington, D.C. The Tobacco Industry exercises its rights by slipping $29,400 in Kevin McCarthy’s back pocket. Each back scratch and under the table handshake is legal, protected by the First Amendment right to free speech. Defined by the Constitution, freedom of speech is the ability to talk and express freely without fear of punishment. However, companies convey free speech through donations and money. Actions like these give businesses power over our elections and officeholders. Corporate America has put a price tag on our elections, and it’s in the billions. Compromised representatives threaten our democracy. The law is no longer objective, and it is the people that suffer the consequences, not corporations. All of this begs the question; Are your representatives for sale?WHENOctober 21, 2020 at 5:30pmWHEREZoom virtual event
passcode 141736, phone dial in USA 888 204 5987 US Toll-free
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Greg Coleridge published OHIO: Painesville Issue 1: Grassroots group pushing to send message against corporate campaign contributions in Ohio News 2020-10-19 09:51:36 -0700
OHIO: Painesville Issue 1: Grassroots group pushing to send message against corporate campaign contributions
PAINESVILLE, Ohio — The Center for Responsive Politics preliminarily projects the total cost of the 2020 election cycle to be $10.8 billion, roughly a 50% increase in spending compared to the 2016 election when adjusted for inflation. If the projections hold true, political spending this election cycle would equal about a third of Ohio's annual budget ($32.4 billion). As large sums of money and political influence have largely become synonymous with one another, a small but passionate group in Painesville is trying to put a stop to it.
On their ballots this November, Painesville voters will decide Issue 1, a proposed ordinance by petition that would declare the need for a constitutional amendment that would clamp down on political contributions by corporations, unions and Super PACs. The ordinance would also declare that money is not the equivalent of speech.Read more
Greg Coleridge rsvped for ONLINE: Fright Night - Racism, Corporate Power, and other Horrors. 2020-10-15 06:24:33 -0700
Fright Night: Racism, Corporate Power, and other Horrors
Film Screening & Discussion
Friday, October 30th
6pm Pacific / 9 pm Eastern
(The Zoom capacity for this event is limited to 100 participants.)
How do horror movies reflect culture, attitudes, and social values? How do they help people endure racism and oppression? Join Move to Amend as we screen classic cult and horror films and discuss together how these films highlight systemic racism and social justice issues in the United States.
--->To receive a Zoom link to join the movie screening and discussion, RSVP below and a link will be emailed to you.
Check out and share our Facebook event HEREWHENOctober 30, 2020 at 6pm
Greg Coleridge published OHIO: Kent Democracy Day forum is Wednesday in Ohio News 2020-10-06 10:13:18 -0700Kent Ravenna Record-CourierOctober 1, 2020https://www.record-courier.com/story/news/2020/10/01/kent-democracy-day-forum-wednesday-oct-7/5882696002/
Kent City Council will hold a virtual online version of its Democracy Day forum this year at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
It will be broadcast live on the City of Kent’s YouTube Channel. A link to view this meeting can be found on the City of Kent’s calendar located at www.kentohio.org.
Greg Coleridge published OHIO: Letter to the Editor: Urges participation in Democracy Day in Ohio News 2020-10-06 09:58:05 -0700Kent Ravenna Record-CourierOctober 4, 2020https://www.record-courier.com/story/opinion/2020/10/04/letter-editor-urges-participation-democracy-day/5882819002/
Our election system is broken because of the destructive influences of money in politics and the misguided notion that corporations may claim constitutional rights. With these rights they are able to spend tremendous amounts of “dark” money through organizations and PACS to support the candidates who will serve their needs. And their primary need is profit. While profits are essential in a capitalist system the needs of “we the people” should be primary since we are also a democracy.Read more
Greg Coleridge published Building a Real Democracy Movement in Ohio in Ohio News 2020-10-02 08:36:44 -0700
Move to Amend Ohio Network Quarterly Education Program
July 18, 2020
Debbie Silverstein, Statewide Director of Ohio’s Single Payer Action Network (SPAN), presented a plan to ensure healthcare for all Ohioans. Once enacted, the comprehensive plan will provide far better care for far less costs while providing jobs and training during the transition.
Markie Miller, Organizer of Toledo for Safe Water, described the improbable journey of a small group of local people to established the first Rights of Nature initiative in the U.S. Backed by the people of Toledo, attracting global attention, and startling corporations resisting the rights of both Nature and of The People, these intrepid citizens continue to fight for Lake Erie.
Video of program at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSakLo_trBo&feature=youtu.be
Greg Coleridge published Resisting the Corporatization of Education & Food in Ohio News 2020-09-29 08:09:13 -0700
Move to Amend Ohio Network Quarterly Education Program
September 26, 2020
William Phillis - Executive Director - Ohio Coalition for Equity & Adequacy of School Funding
Joe Logan, President, Ohio Farmers Union
Video of program at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9NC14n5nLY
Peoples Movement Assembly - Towards a Peoples Constitution
The moment is ripe for change. A global pandemic has left unprecedented numbers of people without jobs, housing and healthcare. A swell of uprisings against police brutality have further exposed the deeply rooted white supremacy in our institutions. For over ten years, we have been facilitating conversations with People across the US about imagining what constitutional renewal could look like in this country. Now we're leveling up.
Saturday October 24th
10am - 3pm Pacific
1pm - 6pm Eastern
Sunday October 25th
10am - 1pm Pacific
1pm - 4pm Eastern
Join us for a two day, virtual, participatory process where we'll:
- Level up our understanding of rights, constitutions, constitutional renewal processes, corporate power, settler-colonialism, and codifying movement demands
- Have participatory small group breakouts to identify the current moment, envision a better world, and begin planning for how to get there
- Build coalitions, build community, share our experiences and ideas
- Synthesize our movement demands in a constitutional framework
- Be bold, visionary, revolutionary, and joyful
RSVP AND REGISTRATION INSTRUCTIONS AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE
What is a Peoples Movement Assembly?
The Peoples Movement Assembly is a participatory process which came to the US out of the World Social Forum, and has been used by many communities and assemblies for generations.
"The assembly is a constellation of social movement organizations and people that seek to govern themselves.
It is not a network, not a coalition, not an alliance, and not a political party. It is inclusive and not exclusive to one political line or ideology. It is a convergence of social forces.
The assembly process is based on the facilitation methodology of collective critical thinking and analysis, resulting in a synthesis that represents the sum organic total of all of the ideas and commitments. The social movement assembly results in action based on that synthesis.
The assembly is a decolonizing process. The assembly process is based on a theory of change that people can create processes that dismantle colonial and neocolonial systems while at the same time creating a new society.
At the heart of the assembly process is a project to dismantle patriarchy, racism, poverty, capitalism, oppression, exploitation, and violence while replacing those systems with movement governance and liberated institutions.
The assembly creates an open space for people to enter social movements and become active participants and leaders. The assembly is facilitated to encourage maximum participation in order to practice direct participatory democracy at the community level, within particular frontlines, and across social movements.
The assembly is multiracial, multigenerational, multi-ideological, and multi-gendered. The assembly brings all the voices together in a circular fashion and engages the thinking, experiences, and visions of all the participants in order to synthesize and collectively agree on action steps." - PeoplesMovementAssembly.org
This People's Movement Assembly- Towards a Peoples Constitution is a process designed for those who are ready to imagine a better world and a constitution that protects People and Planet, not corporations and profit.
This is not a space to debate if we should renew the constitution, but rather, what's our vision for a Peoples Constitution. The following assumptions are the starting point for this PMA. Please join us if you are at least mostly in agreement with these assumptions.
- The USA is not now, nor has it ever been a functioning democracy.
- The United States was founded on stolen land and built using stolen labor from enslaved people.
- The US Constitution was created by and for the wealthy elite of the era - excluding most people living on the land at the time of its crafting. Specifically, the Constitution was written to protect and represent white men with money and/or land.
- The US Constitution is a property rights document, not a human rights document.
- The US Constitution was used to perpetuate and legalize attempted genocide, white supremacy and racism, male domination over women, and class oppression. It took mass social movements—broad, deep, conscious, organized and educated—to make marginal improvements in this country. With each hard-won expansion of suffrage, the governing elite devised mechanisms to shrink what effect the vote could have.
- Any movement that wants to actually create a new world must create new institutions (including new legal institutions) that meet people's needs without destroying the planet that we depend upon for life itself.
- All law should be contingent on and subordinate to the highest laws -- unalienable rights shared equally by all. Because "unalienable rights" are /should be the things most highly valued by society and immune from regulation / limitation. The establishment, protection and enforcement of Unalienable Rights must be the constitution's reason for being and should direct freedom to govern in all things, in the hands of each community, except wherein a law would limit or violate anyone's Unalienable Rights.
- The constitution of any country at its best reflects its collective inspirations and aspirations. It defines the legal framework of how people structure their society -- politically, economically, and socially. Moreover, constitutions are moral or ethical documents -- designating what is right and wrong -- with profound implications on literally every aspect of the lives of people, their communities, country and the natural world.
- The US Constitution should be renewed or rewritten to account for new generations and circumstances, and should exist as a living document which reflects the challenges and opportunities of the times.
- In order to move towards new systems and a new foundational document, we must be bold and visionary in imagining a better world.
- The ultimate goal of mass movements is not only to change the culture, but to codify movement demands into laws and, more importantly, rights.
Partnering OrganizationsIf your organization is interested in partnering, and to learn more about what that means, email Jessica@movetoamend.org.
PLEASE NOTE - THIS IS A TWO-STEP REGISTRATION PROCESS: Once you RSVP below, you'll receive an email directing you to register on zoom. You are not registered until you've done the second step.
We hope you'll join us for two days of imagining and planning for a more just and sustainable world - a world we want and deserveWHENOctober 24, 2020 at 10am - October 25, 2020 at 1pmWHEREOnline Zoom Gathering
Greg Coleridge published Corporate Exploitation of the Pandemic Video Presentation in Ohio News 2020-06-26 12:24:42 -0700
The current health and economic crises are exposing our nation's underlying and long-standing democracy crisis. While public attention focuses on meeting people's basic survival needs, big corporations and the rich are using the pandemic as cover to increase in multiple ways their profits and power.Read more
Greg Coleridge published Resolutions in Support in We the People Amendment 2020-03-27 10:37:23 -0700
Resolutions Passed by Localities and States in Support
Download list here
Individuals, organizations and communities support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution containing the two main components of the We the People Amendment: abolishing political money in elections defined as First Amendment-protected free speech and declaring corporations “are not persons” (or equivalent) and/or ending corporate constitutional rights.
Hundreds of thousands of individuals have signed our Motion to Amend petition, hundreds of local, state and national organizations have endorsed our cause, and 680 communities and several states have passed public resolutions, as of January, 2020. These resolutions were passed by elected political bodies (i.e. state legislatures, or county/city/town/village councils), residents who voted at Town Hall meetings, or by voters following organized campaigns by Move to Amend supporters across the country to secure sufficient legal signatures on an initiative petition.
Tens of millions of individuals live in the states and localities that have supported amending the Constitution to abolish “money as speech” and corporate constitutional rights.
Passing resolutions in public jurisdictions was at one time a key strategy of Move to Amend in raising public awareness, recruiting and training volunteers, applying political pressure for the We the People Amendment and building organizational power in coalition with others. While it remains a part of our work, our major strategies toward building power to pass the We the People Amendment and work for fundamental democracy have shifted.
These passed resolutions indicate this is not a fringe movement. Nor is it a movement with the singular goal to “end Citizens United” or only focus on getting big money our of elections from the super wealthy. Move to Amend is dedicated to educating and organize to terminate corporations rule. While only one step, it’s a critical one toward the realization of authentic democracy — for the very first time.
We believe that any constitutional amendment must mandate, not be optional or discretionary, that government shall have the authority to determine political campaign contributions and expenditures and that Constitutional rights are the rights exclusively of natural persons.
Constitutional rights were intended solely for human beings. Corporate entities are creations of the state and were intended to be tools to serve the public good.
Go here for information on how to organize a resolution campaign in your community.
Greg Coleridge published Corporate Constitutional Rights Resources in Learn More 2020-03-23 14:06:50 -0700
Move to Amend's Law & Research Committee
Articles, fact sheets, reports and charts produced by this committee
Researching Corporate Rule / Corporate Constitutional Rights - An introduction to our work
PRESS RELEASE: Sept 30, 2020: Climate Crisis-Related Fires Fueled by Corporate Constitutional Rights
THE CASE AGAINST CORPORATE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS: How Corporate Constitutional Rights Harm You, Your Family, Your Community, Your Environment, and Your Democracy
Part II: Corporate constitutional rights allowing corporations “right” not to speak and commercial speech “rights” conceal important information from consumers and employees, and expose children to tobacco
Corporate "Hijack" series
The We the People Amendment: The Constitutional Amendment to Counter Political Corruption and the Corporate Hijacking of the Constitution - "white paper" provided to elected officials and organizational leaders when asking for co-sponsorship or endorsement
We the People Amendment comparison series
Corporate Rule Transcends Citizens United - report published to mark the 10th Anniversary of Citizens United Supreme Court decision -- containing many of the above pieces
Corporate Constitutional Rights are Cancerous to Democracy (July 27, 2020 Common Dreams article by Judy Young and Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap)
Move to Amend's Model Corporate Code Working Group
We seek to create model state and federal statutes, consistent with Move to Amend’s "We the People" Constitutional Amendment, that can replace existing corporate codes and related statutes. Our goal is to redefine the relationship between artificial entities (e.g. corporations) and human society. We will draft model statutes that protect artificial entities from improper governmental overreach. Concurrently, we will place public controls on the ability of those entities to influence our democratic institutions, public officials, elections, communities, and the constitutional rights of human beings.