Working Together for Real People Power

Why I support Move to Amend


I’ve been privileged during my life in many ways. Near the top of the list has been the opportunity to work and become friends with incredible people across the country who’ve selflessly shared their time, talents and treasures to help others and to change the underlying conditions that harm people, places and the planet. 

The separate and increasing numerous and interrelated economic, social, political and environmental problems that have been blatantly exposed in 2020 share several root causes. One of them is that people lack fundamental rights to make important decisions affecting their lives. This absence of our right to decide is due to a sad truth: we’ve never lived in an authentic democracy/democratic republic. We the People have never included all the people.

Making matters worse has been courts granting corporations constitutional rights (“corporate personhood”) that overturn passed laws and the constitutional right of wealthy individuals and corporate entities to spend huge sums of money to influence elected officials and public policies. Both prevent our ability to protect our health and safety and the welfare of our communities, country and ecosystem.

This needs to fundamentally change. That’s why I work and support Move to Amend, calling for the We the People Amendment and for real democracy. Please help me reach my personal goal of raising $5000 by the end of the year to support our efforts.

I’ve been working to end corporate constitutional rights for 25 years -- before most people ever heard of “corporate personhood” and more than a decade before the Citizens United Supreme Court decision. It began when it struck me that all the peace, justice and environmental problems I was working on for a social action organization in Ohio wasn’t addressing the core issues of: Who governs? Who decides? Who has the power to determine the kinds of laws and regulations we have? The answer to all these questions was “Not us, not people."

Past and present “surface” problems will never be solved unless we address the root solutions of abolishing corporate constitutional rights (“corporate personhood”), big money in elections (caused by the constitutional doctrine that money in elections equals free speech) and democratizing our Constitution. This will only happen by building a grassroots and racially, gender and age diverse democracy movement -- which is Move to Amend’s mission. Over 700 communities across the country have passed resolutions and initiatives in the spirit of the We the People Amendment while 75 Congressional Representatives are Amendment cosponsors. 

We don’t chase the headlines or shift our strategy based on where major foundations this year want to put their money. We’re able to focus on root causes because we’re politically and economically independent -- not funded by corporations, big foundations, political parties, governments or billionaires. Instead, we depend on our supporters to help us continue the work.

The pandemic may have financially hit you hard. It did us. All staff, including me, worked as volunteers and went on unemployment for many months. It’s critical we get back on track for the start of 2021.

Please make an investment (it’s more than a donation or contribution) to help us together work for real people power to achieve justice in all their forms, a livable world and authentic democracy.

Thank you for considering.

Onwards and Upwards! 

How I've supported Move to Amend

  • [OHIO] Kent Democracy Day Public Hearing

    This will be the 8th Democracy Day in Kent

    Yard sign for Kent citizens initiative calling on Congress to pass the We the People Amendment and create "Democracy Day" public hearings. The  2015 initiative passed with 64% of the vote.


    Wednesday, October 4, 6pm ET
    Council Chambers, Council Chambers, Main Fire Station, 320 South Depeyster St., Kent


    I am hoping for a great turn-out either to present or learn about speakers’ perspectives on the proposed 28th Amendment to the Constitution – the “WE THE PEOPLE AMENDMENT” (HJR54)  – which would legalize democracy by freeing “we the people” from corporate rule and get the money out of politics and elections.

    A well-recognized summary is that the proposed amendment would remove personhood from corporations and eliminate that money is a form of speech. We want to repeal the Citizens United Supreme Court decision.

    So, the bottom line is the public hearing before City Council will be about how corporations have abused democracy and taken control of our political and financial lives in the name of capitalism, renamed “corporatism.”

    Why? Because corporations control democracy. They are the winners and, in many respects, we are the losers. Capitalism is about making “big and dark money” that is accumulated by the plutocrats at the top and not shared with “we the people.”

    There are lots of perspectives on this issue at MOVETOAMEND.ORG to help give you ideas in order to prepare your 3-5 minute talk to City Council.  

    Looking forward to seeing you at the Democracy Day public hearing! 

    -- Bill Wilen

    October 04, 2023 at 6:00pm
    Kent Council Chambers, Council Chambers, Main Fire Station, 320 South Depeyster St.

  • Gaveling Down the Rabble: How 'Free Trade' is Stealing Our Democracy -- book discussion (Session 2)

    Book Discussion

    October 3 / November 14 / December 5 [all Tuesdays]

    5pm PT | 8 pm ET 

    [October 3 Discussion: Chapters 3 & 4]

    Facilitated by Greg Coleridge, Move to Amend Co-Director

    Purchase the book HERE

    Register below


    In Gaveling Down the Rabble, author/activist Jane Anne Morris explores a century and a half of efforts by corporations and the courts to undermine local democracy in the United States via the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution as a “free trade” model – later adopted globally by corporations to subvert local attempts at protecting the environment and citizen and worker health.

    Gaveling Down the Rabble is essential reading for understanding the background of the current struggle for U.S. democracy — local, state and national — against growing corporate power and how we can challenge it.

    The U.S. Supreme Court has been cutting our local, state and national democracy off at the knees — in the name of "free trade" — by usurping the power to make public policy from our elected representatives in the Congress and the state legislatures and by giving power to corporations over citizens.

    By erecting a "free trade" zone in the U.S., corporations and their champions on the Supreme Court have seen to it that "we do not have a chance of building a democracy." Morris looks at what substantive democracy should look like, and how far from that ideal the Supreme Court — without consent of Congress — has moved us.

    What other people are saying about Gaveling Down the Rabble

    Purchase the book HERE

    October 03, 2023 at 5:00pm

  • [OHIO] Shaker Heights Democracy Day Public Hearing Testimony

    September 11, 2023

    With passage of Issue 95 in Shaker Heights in November 2016, the voters of Shaker Heights supported a 28th amendment to the U.S. Constitution saying that money is not speech and that corporate entities do not have constitutional rights which were intended for natural persons only.  Passage of the issue also established a biannual public forum called Democracy Day where individuals could speak before the mayor and city council of Shaker Heights about how money in politics and the construct of corporate personhood are undermining our democracy with the purpose of informing our state and congressional legislators of the will of Shaker Heights voters to establish the We the People Amendment.

    Read more

  • Biennial Shaker Heights Democracy Day rules again in ‘23, letting off a little corporate steam

    Updated: Sep. 19, 2023, 7:23 p.m. Published: Sep. 19, 2023, 6:21 p.m.

    SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio -- City Council hosted its biennial Democracy Day earlier this month -- which Shaker residents overwhelmingly voted into existence back in 2016 -- seeking to reverse the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens vs. United ruling.

    This in turn led to the “Move to Amend” initiative, seeking a return to the days when corporations were not considered people and money was not equivalent to free speech -- meaning that political campaign contributions could again be regulated.

    It’s an opportunity to speak out in recognition of our democratic heritage and principles,” protesting the landmark 2010 decision “as well as other rulings opposed to our democracy,” Mayor David Weiss said before turning the floor of council chambers over to Organize Ohio Executive Director Larry Bresler, serving as emcee.

    Read more

  • Ensuring a livable world requires “cutting off corporate power at its source”

    A massive “March to End Fossil Fuels” is this Sunday in New York City. More than 700 organizations, including Move to Amend, have endorsed the event, prior to the United Nations Climate Ambition Summit. Mobilizations will occur around the world, part of a growing global escalation to end fossil fuels. 

    Watch us LIVE on  YouTube  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

    Read more

  • TRAINING: Promoting Laws to Reduce Corporate Power and Increase Democracy


    Move to Amend’s primary goal has always been to end the influence of money in politics and corporate constitutional rights through a constitutional amendment based on the conviction that only change achieved through an amendment is lasting.

    Yet, Move to Amend has never opposed strategic legal steppingstones. These are more immediately attainable proposed laws that expand democratic possibilities, especially those that directly reduce the power of corporate entities from hijacking the political process. Reforms, however, should always be put in context: that they are mere laws that can be legally reversed and can’t overturn the constitutional doctrines that a corporation is a person and political money equals free speech.

    Many Move to Amend supporters have asked what they can do if they’ve already worked with others to pass a ballot initiative or municipal resolution, secured organizational endorsements, circulated the MTA petition and organized educational programs. While there’s ALWAYS more of these that can be achieved, statutes (laws) restraining corporations, particularly at the state level, offer several differing strategic opportunities.

    The 90-minute training will be on Zoom Wednesday, October 11 at 5 pm PT / 8 pm ET
    RSVP now to save your spot!


    • Why promote statutory/legal anti-corporate/pro-democratic reforms?
    • Description/rationale for 4 proposed state-level reforms 
      • Corporate Three Strikes 
      • Charter Revocation/Quo Warranto
      • Require Shareholder Vote Before Political Donations Made with Corporate Funds
      • Prohibiting foreign-influenced corporations from spending money in elections
    • The basics of lobbying at the state level
    • Sharing of available resources – and how we can help
    • Questions and discussion
    October 11, 2023 at 5:00pm

  • Move to Amend Leader Lawrence Abbott is “Unionist of the Year”

    Lawrence Abbott is one of Move to Amend’s most active, tireless, enthusiastic and effective volunteers locally in the Oakland Bay area, state-wide in California and nationally – serving on our Labor Caucus.

    A retired member of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Lawrence has also been extremely active in volunteering with his local labor federation: the Alameda Labor Council (ALC).

    Lawrence was recognized recently by the ALC as the “Unionist of the Year” for his tireless, enthusiastic, and effective volunteer activities. 

    click on the image or on the link below to watch his inspiring acceptance speech. 

    He touches on the importance of volunteering, the need for a powerful Labor movement to organize for justice in all its forms and the need for fundamental change – including enacting the We the People Amendment – to save the world!

    Read more

  • Labor is on the Move. Help workers Move – to Amend – this Labor Day!

    It’s been a “summer of strikes.” Workers across the country are on the offense, demanding better working conditions, benefits and pay – and opposing artificial intelligence.

    Current strikes include over 170,000 writers, actors and producers in Hollywood and across the country, thousands of food service workers in Las Vegas, thousands of city employees and thousands more of hotel workers in Los Angeles and nearly 2000 nurses in New Jersey. The strike of 340,000 workers at UPS yielded a tentative contract that is being voted on through next week.

    In totalthere’s been 233 labor actions in 352 locations in the U.S. since January 1, 84 in 141 locations since July 1. 

    Read more

  • Statement of the Move to Amend Ohio Network on the defeat of Issue 1

    We celebrate with many Ohioans the defeat of Issue 1 on August 8, but efforts to create an authentic democracy are ongoing.

    While it is true that Issue 1 was an indirect vote on abortion, the Ohio legislature’s proposed amendment was first and foremost an attack on direct democracy, the process by which citizens can use ballot measures to create (i.e. initiatives) or reverse (i.e. referendums) laws or recall (remove) elected officials as a means of holding state officials (i.e. legislators and the governor) accountable when they fail to govern in the best interests of the people.

    But it is also true that, as both supporters and opponents of Issue 1 pointed out, ballot measures can be—indeed, they are—manipulated by big money from the ultra wealthy and large corporations.  

    This is why the concept “one person, one vote” can never be a truly legitimate exercise of democratic principles until we abolish once and for all the misguided doctrine “one dollar, one vote,” established by U.S. Supreme Court decisions that money spent on political campaigns is a protected form of First Amendment free speech rights, first established in the 1976 Buckley vs Valeo decision.

    Read more

  • No time like the present as Cleveland Heights holds 10th annual Democracy Day

    Updated: Jun. 20, 2023, 8:12 a.m.

    At the podium in Cleveland Heights council chambers at City Hall, Carla Rautenberg served as moderator for the 10th annual Cleveland Heights Democracy Day, held June 7.Tom Jewell/Special to


    CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio -- Organizers of the 10th annual Democracy Day held at City Hall earlier this month pointed out that no money was exchanged for the people’s right to free speech.

    Read more

  • Testimony -- Cleveland Heights 10th Annual Democracy Day Public Hearing

    June 7, 2023 in Council Chambers
    Cleveland Heights City Hall
    40 Severance Circle, Cleveland Heights, OH 44118


    Carla Rautenberg, Cleveland Heights – Introductory Remarks

    WELCOME to the 10th Annual Cleveland Heights Democracy Day. Many thanks to City Council and Cleveland Heights voters who made this annual public hearing possible. In a happy coincidence, with moving our Democracy Day to June, we now share the celebratory spirit of Pride Month and Juneteenth!

    One update about the progress of our proposed Constitutional Amendment in the U.S. Congress. Rep. Pramila Jayapal reintroduced the We the People Amendment stating that corporations are not people and money is not speech, in the 118th Congress, with one important change: it is now House Joint Resolution 54. You will need that number, HJR 54, to track the resolution’s progress in the U.S. House. It was only re-introduced in April, and there are already 49 cosponsors. Please contact Congresswoman Shontel Brown and ask her to be the 50th co-sponsor of HJR-54!

    Back by popular request this year, we have a Ohio Democracy vs. Corporations Quiz. This is not a “gotcha” quiz. It’s a more of a “teaching” quiz, so the answers are given on the back of the sheet. I’ll read the first question now, then we’ll have five more interspersed with public testimony. I hope you find them interesting. This first question actually is a repeat from last year, so a few people might recall it and remember the answer.

    1. Early legislative acts in Ohio created corporations one at a time, through petitioning the General Assembly, and stipulating rigid conditions. These privileges, not rights, included which of the following?
    2. Limited duration of the charter or certificate of incorporation
    3. Limitations on how much land a corporation could own
    4. Limits on capitalization, or how much owners could invest in the corporation
    5. Charters were restricted to specific, stated purposes, so a new purpose required a new corporate charter.
    6. All of the above.

    And the answer is: e. All of the above.


    Full report --

  • Will the Supreme Court overturn Citizens United?

    Is this a legitimate question given several recent Supreme Court decisions? Are a majority of Justices shifting ideologically toward more “democracy” and/or less inclined to side with property and more with people?

    The answers are an emphatic NO.

    Why not?

    Last month, the High Court made two decisions upholding the federal Voting Rights Act by striking down laws in Alabama and Louisiana that discriminated against African Americans in the drawing of Congressional maps. In both cases, congressional districts were drawn (or “gerrymandered”) by state officials to concentrate as many African Americans in as few districts as possible. Both were clear voting rights wins!

    In addition, the “Supremes” in another somewhat surprising decision ruled last week against North Carolina Republicans who used a fringe legal argument, called the “independent state legislative” theory, to defend the drawing of congressional maps that heavily favored Republicans in elections. The ruling affirmed the right of the state supreme court to consider suits challenging the clear gerrymandered legislative action. Another win for voting rights!

    That’s about it. 

    Read more

  • Proposed “right” of corporations to vote in local elections

    Like any invasive plant that will destroy a garden if not ripped out, corporate “rights” continue to quickly spread throughout our culture and institutions causing massive democratic damage.  

    The latest example would give corporate entities the "right to vote" in Seaford, Delaware. The sacred principle of “one person, one vote” would become “one person/entity/one vote” if a state law is enacted permitting the “CITY'S ABILITY TO AUTHORIZE ARTIFICIAL ENTITIES, LIMITED LIABILITY CORPORATIONS' PARTNERSHIPS AND TRUSTS TO VOTE IN MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS HELD IN SEAFORD.”

    Every artificial entity in Seaford would be able to cast one vote if the law passes. Limited Liability Corporations (LLCs) are structured, in part, to shield the identity of their owners. This means a person living in another state or another country could cast a vote representing the LLC in Seaford in its local elections.

    This law already exists in two tiny Delaware communities. Seaford is significantly larger. 

    Read more

  • Ballot initiatives are important tools to promote ending corporate rule: Vote NO on Issue 1

    Move to Amend has used ballot initiatives across the country to promote abolishing corporate constitutional rights and money defined as free speech – the core components of the We the People Amendment, HJR54.

    Citizens from coast to coast for more than 10 years have collected signatures to place on local and state ballots initiatives calling on Congress to take action. Ohio could possibly do the same in the future.

    Citizen-driven ballot initiatives are examples of direct democracy – people taking charge in creating laws that bypass elected representatives. 

    However, the ballot initiative as a viable democratic tool for direct democracy (including holding elected officials accountable), as currently defined in the Ohio Constitution, is under direct assault.

    Issue 1 would raise the bar in significant ways to make it nearly impossible to pass ballot initiatives – which are already difficult.

    State Issue 1 would gut our citizen-initiative rights and make it harder to promote abolishing corporate rule.

    Please take action in these 2 ways.

    1. VOTE NO ON ISSUE 1. The election is August 8. Early voting begins on July 11.

    2. Spread the word. Here’s a link to a sheet to distribute to friends, neighbors, anyone. Each sheet, when cut, produces 4 fliers. Please share far and wide!

    Thank you for taking action to send this anti-democratic measure to a well-deserved flaming defeat. 

    Vote NO on Issue 1 and distribute the flier to everyone you know.

  • Summary of Testimony from Cleveland Heights’ 10th Annual Democracy Day

    Eighteen people testified before Cleveland Heights City Council and the public, with Council President Melody Hart presiding in council chambers at city hall. Mayor Kahlil Seren and Councilors Anthony Maddox, Davida Russell, Craig Cobb, Tony Cuda and Gail Larson were also in attendance. Councilor Janine Boyd was absent.

    U.S. House Joint Resolution 54, “Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States providing that the rights extended by the Constitution are the rights of natural persons only,” and also establishing that money is not speech, was introduced in the 118th Congress two months ago by Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and a number of co-sponsors. Attendees were urged to contact their Congressperson, Rep. Shontel Brown, asking her to co-sponsor HJR-54. (Update: on the date of the hearing, June 7, the resolution had 49 co-sponsors. As of June 13, HJR-54 had 53 co-sponsors. Rep. Brown was not among them.)

    A strong theme this year was the preemption of public goods and public functions by corporate actors for profit and other forms of private gain. In Ohio, this extends to state government preempting local laws to serve the interests of corporations and entire industries.


    Read more

  • published Clarence Thomas crows his innocence in Announcements 2023-06-09 05:22:08 -0700

    Clarence Thomas crows his innocence

    U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas claims it’s no big deal that he received lavish gifts and travel for more than 20 years from billionaire Harlan Crow. They claim they’re just “dearest friends.” Thomas crows that his friend “did not have business before the court.” Crow crows he’s never received anything in return. 

    Read more

  • Help stop corporations from preempting local democracy

    Question: What do the following realities have in common: raising the minimum wage, protecting worker safety, controlling money in politics, preventing fracking, regulating guns, providing paid leave, providing municipal broadband, outlawing loan sharking, rent controls, increasing business taxes, and even banning the use of plastic bags?'

    The answer is, of course, preemption – the overturning of local laws by either a state legislature or federal court. Local laws intended to protect the health, safety and welfare of local residents and communities – whether enacted by local elected officials or citizen-driven ballot initiatives – are invalidated. 

    Hundreds of these and other laws across the country are being challenged across the country. 

    Read more

  • May 4 - Guns & Gavels: Kent State, Haymarket Massacre & Corporate Rule

    Violence comes in many forms: gunfire for sure, but also striking gavels. 

    Thirteen unarmed students were shot, four killed, by the Ohio National Guard at Kent State University on this day in 1970 during a peace rally opposing U.S. expansion of the Vietnam war into Cambodia. It marked the first time students were gunned down at an anti-war event in U.S. history. The massacre sparked organized walkout strikes by roughly 4 million students at colleges, universities and high schools across the nation that had been called on May 1. It resulted in an upsurge in public opposition to the Vietnam war. 

    Read more

  • South Euclid holds fourth biannual Democracy Day while striving for elusive 28th Amendment

    South Euclid Democracy Day organizer and emcee Madelon Watts speaks to those assembled for the biannual event Tuesday at the South Euclid Community Center. (Jeff Piorkowski, special to


    SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio -- In 2016, 77 percent of South Euclid voters approved Issue 201, which called for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution declaring that only human beings, not corporations, are legal persons with constitutional rights, that money is not equivalent to speech and that regulating political contributions and spending is not equivalent to limiting political speech.

    Issue 201 also stated that, in order to see through the potential 28th Amendment to the Constitution stating the above goals, a Democracy Day Public Hearing event would be held every two years, during which residents would make their claims as to why corporations are not people.

    Read more

  • OHIO: Democracy Day Public Testimony | Toledo


    Dennis Slotnick

    Today we are gathered to proclaim that a for-profit Corporation is not the same as a person and that money is not the same as free speech.

    I speak for all the members of the two cosponsoring groups: Our Revolution in Northwest Ohio and Toledo Move to Amend. Thank you City Council for the recent passage of Move to Amend resolution and Medicare for all Resolution coming partly as a result of Democracy Days 2021 and Democracy Day 2022. You now join 22 states, and 800 cities and towns, who have also passed Move To Amend resolutions.

    These communities understand what President Jimmy Carter declared. Let us take a moment to honor President Carter as he has just entered hospice care in Georgia. These are some of his words about the Citizens United 2010 Supreme court decision:

    • Citizens United has turned America into an “oligarchy with unlimited political bribery.”
    • Citizens United “violates the essence” of our democracy and represents “the biggest change in America” since he was elected in 1976.
    • Citizens United has left everyday Americans “cheated out of” the chance to make their lives better.
    • Citizens United has led to “a complete subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors.”
    Read more

Greg Coleridge

Greg Coleridge

Democracy, justice and peace organizer; Move to Amend Outreach Director; Program on Corporations, Law & Democracy Principal
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