Working Together for Real People Power

Why I support Move to Amend

Friends,

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

  • TEXAS: Jim Hightower invited speaker on ending corporate rule/big money in elections on Dec 7

    Jim Hightower, "America's #1 Populist" (of the justice, democracy and peace variety!) and former Texas Agricultural Commissioner, is the invited speaker at the launch of the Texas Move to Amend Network.

    The virtual program will be Wednesday, December 7 at 7 pm CT. 

    RSVP below

    Outside groups spent a record $1.6 billion in the 2022 midterms. Each election cycle since 2010 continues the upward trend. Most of that funding has little-to-no transparency. The total cost of the state and federal midterm elections are projected to exceed $16.7 billion.

    Wealthy donors, corporations, and special interest groups have long influenced elections. Citizens United just legalized it.

    Move to Amend was formed in direct response to the Court’s 2010 decision. 

    We are a coalition hundreds of thousands strong. We are committed to: 

      • Social and economic justice

      • Ending corporate rule, the corrupting influence of big money in elections and 

      • Building a vibrant democracy that is genuinely accountable to the people, not corporate interests.

    We’ll discuss our work in the Lone Star State, ways to get involved, and an upcoming training on meeting with your U.S. Representatives.

    We hope to see you there!

    Move to Amend Texas

    WHEN
    December 07, 2022 at 7:00pm
    WHERE
    virtual
    11 rsvps rsvp

  • Halloween is over but the connections between inflation & corporations remain haunting

    There’s no single cause of inflation. Among the past and current factors are the pandemic, supply chain disruptions, and the war in Ukraine.

    Corporate actions also contribute to inflation. These are four ways corporations and inflation are related – not all of which are economic.

    Read more

  • What to expect from the U.S. Supreme Court and Move to Amend

    The 2022-23 Supreme Court term began on October 3. 

    Since John Roberts became Chief Justice in 2005, the “Roberts Court” has made numerous decisions undermining democracy and basic rights on voting, partisan gerrymandering and campaign finance, reversing decades of work by prior Courts. This includes Citizens United v. FEC in 2010.

    Read more

  • published Initial Signatories in About 2022-10-13 11:36:46 -0700

    Initial Signatories

    Move to Amend launched publicly on January 21, 2010 upon the Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United. The individuals listed below signed the original "Motion to Amend":

    We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United, and move to amend our Constitution to:

    • Firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.
    • Guarantee the right to vote and to participate, and to have our vote and participation count.
    • Protect local communities, their economies, and democracies against illegitimate "preemption" actions by global, national, and state governments.

    Initial Signatories:

    Adrienne Maree Brown, Ruckus Society
    Alec Loorz, Kids vs Global Warming
    Andrew Kimbrell, International Center for Technology Assessment
    Andy Gussert, National Trade Activist
    Anne Feeney, musician
    Baldemar Velasquez, President, Farm Labor Organizing Committee
    Ben Manski, attorney, Exec. Director, Liberty Tree
    Benno Friedman, photographer
    Benson Scotch, former Staff Counsel to Sen. Leahy, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee
    Bill Fletcher, Exec. Editor, BlackCommentator.com
    Bill McKibben, founder, 350.org
    Bill Moyer, Backbone Campaign
    Brad Friedman, Publisher, The BRAD BLOG
    Bill Scheurer, Editor of PeaceMajority Report
    Brad Thacker, Be The Change USA
    Brett Bursey, Exec. Director, South Carolina Progressive Network
    Brett Kimberlin, Director, Justice Through Music
    Brian McLaren, Christian activist & author
    Bruce Gagnon, Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space
    Carl Davidson, Progressive America Rising
    Carolyn Oppenheim, Shays 2
    Carolyn Raffensberger, Exec. Director, Science & Environmental Health Network
    Charlie Cray, Center for Corporate Policy
    Chris Kromm, Executive Director, Institute for Southern Studies
    Dal LaMagna, founder, Tweezerman, Inc.
    Dave Wells, formerly Board of Directors, Sierra Club
    David Cobb, initiator of 2004 Ohio Recount
    David Gespass, president, National Lawyers Guild
    David Korten, author of When Corporations Rule the World
    David Rovics, musician
    David Swanson, AfterDowningStreet.org
    David Wells, Jr., Nashville Urban Harvest
    Dean Myerson, Executive Director, Green Institute
    Deborah Mokma, Publisher of Sentient Times
    Diane Wittner & Margaret Flowers, Chesapeake Citizens
    Dr. Jill Stein, candidate for Governor of Massachusetts
    Ed Garvey, attorney at law, editor, FightingBob.com
    Emily Levy, Velvet Revolution
    Fran Korten, Editor, YES! Magazine
    Frank Arundel, activist
    Gary Zuckett, WV Citizen Action
    George Friday, National Coordinator, IPPN
    George Martin, United for Peace & Justice
    Georgia Kelly, Praxis Peace Institute
    Glen Ford, Executive Editor, BlackAgendaReport.com
    Greg Coleridge, NE OH American Friends Service Committee
    Howard Zinn, historian
    Jackie Cabasso, Executive Director, Western States Legal Foundation
    James Gustave Speth, Distinguished Senior Fellow, Demos
    Jan Edwards, writer
    Jane Anne Morris, author, Gaveling Down The Rabble
    Jeff Cohen, founder, FAIR
    Jeff Milchen, founder, ReclaimDemocracy.org
    Jeffrey Short, Ph.D., Pacific Science Director, OCEANA
    Jerome Scott, League of Revolutionaries for a New America
    James M. Cullen, editor of The Progressive Populist
    Jill Bussiere & Sanda Everette, Co-Chairs, Green Party of the U.S.
    Jim Hightower, author, columnist, and radio commentator
    Joan Russow, PhD Global Compliance Research Project
    Joel Bleifuss, Editor & Publisher, In These Times
    John E. Peck, Executive Director, Family Farm Defenders
    John Nichols, Washington Correspondent, The Nation
    John Rensenbrink, President, Green Horizon Foundation
    John Stauber, author, Weapons of Mass Deception
    Jonathan Frieman, Co-founder, Center for Corporate Policy
    Jonathan Tasini, candidate, U.S. Senate, NY
    Josh Healey, Youth Speaks Josh Lerner, The New School for Social Research
    Josh Silver, Executive Director, Free Press
    Judith Pedersen-Benn, Unitarian Universalists for a Just Economic Community
    Kai Huschke, Envision Spokane
    Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County
    Karen Dolan, Cities for Progress
    Katherine Forrest, MD; Co-Founder, Commonweal Institute
    Ken Reiner, inventor and founder, Kaynar Corp.
    Kevin Danaher, Executive Co-Producer, Green Festivals
    Kevin Zeese, Executive Director, TrueVote.US
    Leah Bolger, CDR, USN (Ret), Bring the Guard Home! It's the Law.
    Lewis Pitts, Lawyer, Legal Aid of NC
    Lisa Graves, Executive Director, Center for Media and Democracy
    Lori Price, Managing Editor, Citizens for Legitimate Government
    Luis A. Cuevas, National Director, Progressive Push
    Makani Themba-Nixon, Executive Director, The Praxis Project
    Margo Baldwin, Publisher, Chelsea Green
    Mark Crispin Miller, author, Fooled Again
    Mary Zepernick, Program on Corporations Law and Democracy
    Marybeth Gardam, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
    Matt Nelson, Just Cause
    Matt Rothschild, Editor, The Progressive
    Maya Schenwar & Matt Renner, Truthout
    Medea Benjamin, co-founder, Code Pink
    Michael Albert, Z Communications
    Michael Bonnano, OpEdNews
    Michael Marx, Corporate Ethics International
    Michael Shuman, attorney, economic, author of "The Small-Mart Revolution"
    Mike Ferner, President, Veterans for Peace
    Mike McCabe, Executive Director, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
    Mimi Kennedy, actress, activist
    Miriam Simos, Starhawk, activist and writer
    Nancy Price, co-chair, Alliance for Democracy
    Nick Pavloff, Jr., Gulf of Alaska Aleut from Kodiak Island
    Norman Solomon, author, co-chair, Healthcare Not Warfare campaign
    Patrick Reinsborough, SmartMeme
    Paul Saginaw, founder, Zingerman's, Inc.
    Prof. Peter Gabel, School of Law, New College of California
    Prof. Victor Wallis, Managing Editor, Socialism & Democracy
    Rabbi Arthur Waskow
    Rabbi Michael Lerner
    Rep. Michael Fisher, House of Representatives, Vermont
    Rev. Edward Pinkney, Black Autonomy Network Community Organization
    Rev. Lennox Yearwood, President, Hip Hop Caucus
    Richard Mazess, Prof. Medical Physics, UW-Madison, CEO of Lunar Corp & Bone Care Intl.
    Riki Ott, Executive Director, Ultimate Civics
    Robert McChesney, professor, co-author, The Death and Life of American Journalism
    Ronnie Cummins, founder, Grassroots Netroots Alliance
    Sally Castleman, Election Defense Alliance
    Sam Smith, Editor, Progressive Review
    Sarah Manski, CEO, PosiPair.com
    Shahid Buttar, Rule of Law Institute
    Ted Glick, climate change activist
    Ted Nace, author, Gangs of America: The Rise of Corporate Power
    Theo Yang Copey, activist
    Thom Hartmann, nation's #1 nationally syndicated progressive talk show host
    Tia Oros & Christopher Peters, Seventh Generation Fund for Indian Development
    Tiffiniy Cheng, Executive Director, A New Way Forward
    Tim Carpenter, Executive Director, Progressive Democrats of America
    Tom Hayden, activist
    Ward Morehouse, chair, National Lawyers Guild's Committee on Corporations

    * organizations listed for identification purposes only


  • We're no longer working to introduce the 28th Amendment

    Did we get your attention? 

    The title suggests that we’ve ended our support for the We the People Amendment (HJR48).

    Nothing could be further from the truth!

    We continue to educate, advocate and organize wholeheartedly to pass the We the People Amendment to end political corruption due to money spent in elections that’s protected constitutionally as “free speech” and to end all forms of corporate rule due to corporations that’s protected constitutionally as “persons.” Both constitutional doctrines are bizarre and need to be abolished as essential steps toward We the People having the power to create policies that benefit us all, our communities and to ensure a livable world. 

    However, from this point forward, National Move to Amend will no longer refer to HJR48 as the “proposed 28th Amendment.” 

    Why? 

    Read more

  • Ending Dark Money in Elections is a Start

    Elections are not only about candidates and issues. They’re also, as always, about money. BIG money. 

    It’s estimated that total spending on the November midterm elections will top $9.3 billion, which will surpass the midterm record of $7.1 billion in 2018. 

    Political donations are made directly to candidate committees, organizations like political parties that donate to candidates, Political Action Committees (PACs), and Super PACS. They’re also made to “social welfare” organizations and trade associations, which by law don’t have to disclose individual or corporate/organizational donors. This “dark money” that shields donors is used to wage outside “independent” (i.e. not supposed to be coordinated with the candidates that they are supporting) campaigns –  most of which are used to fund distorting “issue” attack ads. Dark money spending is soaring in elections. Though difficult to compute, it’s estimated that dark money groups received $2 billion to $4 billion during the 2008 to 2018 election cycles.”

    Last week, Senate Republicans blocked efforts to pass the DISCLOSE Act, which would have forced the disclosure of corporate and billionaire donors of dark money sources. Earlier this month, however, the Democratic National Committee panel refused to allow a vote on banning dark money in democratic primary campaigns – despite an onslaught on dark money that flooded into democratic primary campaigns targeting more progressive candidates. 

    This comes on the heels of the massive $1.6 billion donation by a secretive Chicago industrialist to a non-profit run by Leonard Leo, the architect of the right-wing takeover of the federal courts – some of which will be spent on elections.

    Passing the DISCLOSE Act in Congress and a DNC ban on dark money in primary elections were missed opportunities. Both should happen next year. 

    The right to know the funding sources of political ads is a democratic necessity. But transparency by itself means little if mega wealthy individuals and corporate entities that don’t represent the interests of the vast majority of people are all the political voices we hear.

    Yes, “dark” money is a big problem. But so is “light” money.

    The never-ending increase in election spending – be it “dark” money or from sources we well know, is due to the decades-long constitutional ruling that political spending in elections by individuals and organizations is “free speech,” protected by the First Amendment. Abolishing “money is speech” is one part of HJR48, the We the People Amendment that with your help has secured, to date, 94 Congressional co-sponsors. 

    Yet, democracy is more than elections. It’s also about governing – the right to decide policies, plans and programs. 

    Abolishing “dark money” spending and even “money as speech” only impacts elections. Having more representative representatives by itself isn’t enough if they are limited or boxed in by constitutional limitations preventing them from improving people’s lives and communities.

    Corporate rule would remain potent even without First Amendment “free speech” rights due to the corporate hijacking of Constitutional Amendments that were intended to apply exclusively to human beings.

    Democratically enacted policies, plans and programs by representative representatives (or directly by individuals via ballot initiatives), for example, seeking to:

    √ Label harmful ingredients on food packaging have been overturned in court as a violation of corporate First Amendment “right” not to speak

    √ Ensure safe working conditions through regulatory inspections have been overturned in court as a violation of corporate Fourth Amendment search and seizure “rights.”

    √ Favor local businesses over chain stores have been overturned in court as a violation of corporate Fourteenth Amendment equal protection “rights.” 

    √ Saving the climate by forcing fossil fuels to be kept in the ground and not burned could be overturned in court as a violation of corporate Fifth Amendment takings “rights.”

    For these reasons, ALL corporate constitutional rights – not just First Amendment free speech – must end, as stipulated in the #WeThePeopleAmendment. 

    It’s not just dark money. It’s money as speech. 

    It’s not just elections. It’s governing –  the right to decide – which is unattainable so long as corporations possess constitutional rights. 

    Solidarity,

    Shelly, George, Leila, Daniel, Saleem, Jessica, Joni, Milly, Keyan, Jason, Jennie, Tara, Alfonso & Greg

    - Move to Amend National Team

     


  • Letter: Public invited to speak about money in politics at Democracy Day hearing in Kent

    Record Courier / Kent, Ohio / Sept 25, 2022 

    https://www.record-courier.com/story/opinion/letters/2022/09/25/kent-public-hearing-to-focus-on-corporate-money-in-politics/69512581007/

    Democracy Day public hearing

    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

  • The September 11 Lesson on Creating Change

    Much will be said, remembered and commemorated on this day, the 21st anniversary of the tragedies on September 11, 2001.

    While there are many lessons from what happened prior to, during and following that day, there’s one take-a-way that should never be forgotten: the political and economic power elite never lets a tragedy, catastrophe or crisis go to waste to further attempt to increase their political and/or economic dominance. 

    In the case of September 11, a major success in this vein was the Patriot Act, passed soon afterwards to supposedly enhance “national security” to catch “terrorists,” specifically Middle Eastern Muslims inside the United States. While some of its provisions were intended to address problems that predated 9/11, most of the others allowed the government to more easily and effectively violate the privacy rights of innocent citizens and residents. These included tracking the activities of people on the Internet, compiling credit and bank records and expanding the monitoring of phone and email communications. September 11 was just a pretext by the government to enact unprecedented violations of civil rights and surveillance expansion that were labeled as “un-American” prior to 9/11.

    Read more

  • Video: Dennis Kucinich on Pulling the Plug on FirstEnergy Corporation

    FirstEnergy’s headquarters in Akron. Source: Google Maps.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nU9Gildl8mU&t=3s

    August 23, 2022

    Presentation by and discussion with Dennis Kucinich

    Former Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio State Senator, U.S. Congressperson and Presidential Candidate

    Author of The Division of Light and Power

    Sponsored by Ohio Move to Amend

    [email protected]

    *********

    Read more

  • Build Solidarity with Unions this Labor Day

    Labor Day is a terrific opportunity for Move to Amenders to make personal and issue connections with working members of Labor Unions and other working people. Many fundamental rights and protections of working people (e.g. the weekend, 8-hour work day, collective bargaining, end of child labor, employer-based health coverage, workplace safety) came into being because working people organized powerful movements that created positive change.

    Read more

  • A Movement Coopted - Going beyond a “Citizens United Amendment”

    It's happening again...

    You may have received a recent mailing from a national group calling for reversing the 2010 Citizens United vs FEC Supreme Court decision. Enclosed was this U.S. map showing by state the number of communities that have passed resolutions, in this case, supporting a “Citizens United Amendment.” 

    The number of resolutions totals more than 800.

    The map is extremely misleading. It gives the impression that the resolutions primarily address Citizens United

    Wrong. 

    The reality is that the vast majority of the passed resolutions by municipal governments and citizens at the ballot box affirm that the rights protected under the U.S. Constitution are the rights of natural persons only or end corporate constitutional rights or corporate personhood and some variation that money spent in elections is not First Amendment-protected free speech. Most don’t directly mention Citizens United. 

    Read more

  • Supreme Court Threatens EPA Regulations to Benefit Fossil Fuel Corporations

    Credit: iStock/kamilpetran

    by Jasmin Enciu

    The Supreme Court is set to decide one of the most consequential environmental cases it has heard in decadesWest Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency will address whether the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) shall continue to have the authority to regulate the levels of greenhouse gas emissions. This case puts the EPA in an extremely vulnerable position. VOX News reporter Ian Millhiser even stated, “West Virginia could wind up permanently hobbling the government’s ability to fight climate change.”

    West Virginia threatens all government regulations that protect the public, not just the EPA. It is also concerning since the Supreme Court has recently taken an anti-agency regulation stance on many cases. The court has used the “major questions doctrine” in these instances to prevent agency actions from addressing important issues. For example, they recently struck down the CDC’s coronavirus eviction mortarium, which paused evictions for Americans who were suffering and not able to make rent due to the rise in COVID-19 cases. The Majority opinion stated: “It is indisputable that the public has a strong interest in combating the spread of the COVID-19 delta variant…but our system does not permit agencies to act unlawfully even in pursuit of desirable ends…it is up to Congress, not the CDC, to decide whether the public interest merits further action here,”

    Read more

  • published Ohio Democracy/Corporation History Quiz in Ohio News 2022-06-27 08:04:29 -0700

    Ohio Democracy/Corporation History Quiz

    This was part of the "testimony" presented at the Cleveland Heights Democracy Day Public Hearing on June 9, 2022

    Ohio’s history is not just about “the mother of Presidents”, where and when its wartime battles took place, or which Ohioans flew into space. Its hidden part is the story of the struggles of the many people who sought to amake the basic decisions affecting their own lives free from external control. It’s also the story of the few who imposed control over Ohio’s majority of people and resources using the business corporation as their primary vehicle. These stories are enormously relevant today. The first seven questions and answers below are excerpted from Citizens over Corporations: A Brief History of Democracy in Ohio and Challenges to Freedom in the Future, available from [email protected]

    Read more

  • People’s Hearing for a Factory Farm Moratorium - video

    click on image to go to video

    Patrick Bosold, Move to Amend activist, presents at the 1 hour, 36 minute mark.


  • Outline for People’s Hearing on Factory Farms

    Patrick Bosold – Move to Amend | Saturday, June 18, 2022 | Ames, IA

    How did Iowa come to be so burdened with CAFOs? What do special interest money in our political process, and constitutional rights for corporations, have to do with the situation we find ourselves in today?

    A report by the Environment Iowa Research & Policy Center in 2011 included an analysis of agribusiness campaign contributions and lobbying expenditures. The findings included:

    • Over the 2000-2010 decade, ten large agribusiness interests gave $35 million to congressional candidates – led by the American Farm Bureau, which gave $16 million.
    • Agribusiness interests gave more than $120 million to state-level candidates, party committees and ballot measures, including $250,000 in campaign contributions to Governor Terry Branstad in the last election of the 2000-2010 decade.
    • From 2005 to 2010, the 10 leading agribusiness interests spent $127 million lobbying Congress and federal agencies, fielding 159 lobbyists in 2010.
    • Monsanto and the American Farm Bureau led the pack, fielding 80 lobbyists in Washington, D.C., in 2010.

     

    More recently, Iowa, Gov. Kim Reynolds, who has received $300,000 in campaign contributions from Iowa Select, fought to keep meat packing plants open during the COVID pandemic, prioritizing agribusiness CAFO operators like Jeff Hansen and Iowa Select, who would lose millions if their CAFOs became overloaded with market-ready animals. At a 2019 gala for the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation, Republican Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds contributed an afternoon’s tour of the capitol and governor’s mansion, led by Reynolds herself. Iowa Select requested her presence at the 2019 gala the day after Reynolds won her election — likely aided by the Hansens’ six-figure campaign contribution.

    Read more

  • Experts Join Farmers, Advocates and Legislators For People’s Hearing on Urgent Need for Factory Farm Moratorium in Iowa

    For Immediate Release: June 18, 2022

    Contact: Phoebe Galt, Food & Water Watch, [email protected]

    Experts Join Farmers, Advocates and Legislators For People’s Hearing on Urgent Need for Factory Farm Moratorium in Iowa

    Speakers gave two hours of testimony on water quality, public health, market consolidation, and effects on farmers, agriculture, and rural communities

     AMES, IA — On Saturday, farmers, experts, advocates and legislators gathered at the Ames Public Library for a people’s hearing on the urgent need for a factory farm moratorium in Iowa. The event came on the heels of yet another legislative session without action in Des Moines on the state’s factory farm crisis, and one month after the release of a new Food & Water Watch report, The Hog Bosses,” detailing the agricultural consolidation crisis in Iowa farm country.

    Absent legislative action on the issue, advocates from the Iowa Alliance for Responsible Agriculture, a coalition of more than 25 organizations united against factory farming in Iowa, hosted the two-hour people’s hearing to present constituent demands and expert perspectives on the necessity of a factory farm moratorium in Iowa. Hours of testimony reflected the diverse criticisms of the industrial factory farming model, and highlighted local impacts on the lives of Iowans from all corners of the state. Topics discussed included water quality, public health, market consolidation, and the impacts factory farms have on community members’ quality of life and on farmers’ ability to make a living.

    A recent poll commissioned by Food & Water Action found that 95% of Iowa voters support rules that make it easier for small farmers to compete with large agricultural corporations, and a 2019 study found that 63% of Iowa voters support legislation to stop factory farm expansion and corporate monopolies in our food system.

    Food & Water Watch Senior Iowa Organizer John Aspray, Chair of the Iowa Alliance for Responsible Agriculture issued the following statement:

    “The factory farm system is crushing Iowa. For decades, Iowans have seen independent family farms forced into bad contracts with corporate giants in order to survive, small businesses shutter their doors, and our waterways and drinking water devastated by this model of industrial agriculture. 

    “Today, community members, farmers, and experts from all across Iowa came together to bear witness to the tremendous suffering our people, state, and environment are undergoing at the hands of corporate agribusiness and their legislative enablers. Our hearing underlined the criticisms of a model that many of our legislators have been too weak to confront.

    “Iowa legislators must listen to us, their constituents, as we state loud and clear that it is high time to put an end to factory farms’ relentless growth in our state. We must pass a factory farm moratorium in Iowa and our federal representatives must pass the Farm System Reform Act.”

    A full quote list from event participants is below. A recording of the event is available here.

     

    Read more

  • Summary of Testimony from Cleveland Heights’ 9th Annual Democracy Day

    Public Hearing hosted by Cleveland Heights City Council and also livestreamed on June 9, 2022

    [click on image to watch the hearing]

    It was announced that U.S. House Joint Resolution 48, “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, has attained 94 co-sponsors in 117th Congress, an all-time high. Members of the Ohio Congressional delegation Marcy Kaptur and Tim Ryan are co-sponsors. Cleveland Heights and other 11th district citizens who have been actively lobbying Rep. Shontel Brown to co-sponsor hope that she will do so soon.

    Read more

  • published OHIO: Ohio Advocate Podcast in Ohio News 2022-06-06 09:52:26 -0700

    OHIO: Ohio Advocate Podcast

    May 29th, 2022 Show

    The Ohio Advocate

    Matt and Justin give an update on the redistricting battle in Ohio, and discuss Starbucks unionization efforts, police surveillance networks, the fight to get marijuana legalization on the ballot this year, and issues with Youngstown's water meters.

    Kathleen Caffrey interviews Greg Coleridge from Move to Amend Ohio about their efforts to reduce the effect of money in politics, and their current fight to revoke FirstEnergy's corporate charter.

    https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/may-29th-2022-show/id1615298248?i=1000564411534

     


  • published Summer Signature Saturdays 2022-05-23 11:55:56 -0700

    Summer Signature Saturdays

    There are two ways to create change: by having lots of organized money or lots of organized people. Since MTA isn’t flush with cash from billionaires or business corporations, our route to build power to help create real democracy is to recruit and organize people at the grassroots. 

    That’s why we’re organizing Summer Signature Saturdays

    We need to add more people to our base. Our goal is to recruit 10,000 more supporters by the end of the summer – which will get us to 500,000. 

    How do we recruit more supporters? 

    The major way over the next several months is to designate one Saturday each month for Move to Amend volunteer leaders (like you!) to spend at least 1 hour collecting signatures on our Motion to Amend petition

    • The top 2 individuals who collect the most signatures that day will receive a cool MTA t-shirt to wear  – maybe for the next time they go out to petition!
    • MTA affiliates who organize several individuals to petition and submit signatures all together will be recognized on our website and in our monthly newsletter.

    Check out the Leaderboard here!

    The next Summer Signature Saturday is this Saturday!

    Can you commit to collecting signatures wherever you this Saturday? Feel free to recruit one or more friends!

    If so, email [email protected]

    Where to petition in your community

    Public places to petition: farmers markets, festivals, parades, sidewalks in commercial districts, your neighborhood, libraries, post offices, bus stops, parks

    Petition tips

    • Place petitions on clipboard or sturdy piece of cardboard with a large clip
    • Try to get 1 sheet of signatures from your family members, friends or neighbors – even if they’ve already signed – and place the full sheet on top. The first few signatures are always the hardest when the petition is blank. Having a full sheet from the start will make it more comfortable for people you approach to sign when they see several have already done so.
    • Consider taking 2 sets of petitions. This saves time if you come across 2 or more people and they are more likely to sign
    • Use only black or blue ink. No red ink or pencils. Take one or more extra pens
    • Ask people to PLEASE PRINT CLEARLY
    • Quickly check after each person has signed to make sure you can read all the information. If necessary, fill in for them what you can’t read
    • Please encourage that at least name, city, zip code and email are filled in. Emails allow us to send educational and action updates – including how to get more involved.
    • Don’t petition in the rain. Rain and paper are a bad combination.

    Want to participate but cannot get out this weekend?

    Another way to engage is by asking people to sign the petition via your personalized link. Everyone that signs the petition from your link will be credited to you.

    You can find your personal recruiter link here: https://www.movetoamend.org/recruit

     

    Email [email protected] if you plan to collect petition signatures . We’ll send further details before the date.

    Thank you for helping Move to Amend grow and build power for helping create real democracy!


  • NewburghHeightsOH: Democracy Day Public Hearing Report

        

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Introduction to Newburgh Heights Democracy Day

    Carla Rautenberg, Cleveland Heights

    Good evening. It’s a privilege to be here in Newburgh Heights for your 2022 Democracy Day public hearing. Thank you, Councilwoman Traore, City Council members and Mayor Elkins, for inviting members of Cleveland area Move to Amend chapters to attend tonight.

    As some of you know, but others may not, the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision of 2010 led to a national movement to take back the U.S. Constitution after it was usurped by the twin demons of corporate personhood and money being considered free speech. The national, non-partisan organization leading that movement is called Move to Amend. We have proposed, and convinced Congress members to co-sponsor, House Joint Resolution 48, which supports the We The People amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It essentially states that 1. Corporate entities are not people and therefore cannot have constitutional rights and 2. Money does not equal free speech. This message resonates with citizens across political boundaries and across the country.

    Newburgh Heights joined this movement early on. In 2012, Brecksville and Newburgh Heights were the first two cities in Ohio whose citizens voted for ballot issues declaring support for such a constitutional amendment! The issue you and your fellow Newburgh Heights citizens passed—by a 73% yes vote! – is an ordinance declaring support for the We the People Amendment. It also established regular public hearings like this one, informally called Democracy Days, at which citizens can testify to the harms caused by corporations having never-intended constitutional rights, and by money being considered free speech.

    As trend-setters, you should be very proud because since then, Ohio voters have passed ballot initiatives similar to yours in:

    Defiance and Cleveland Heights, in 2013

    Chagrin Falls and Mentor, in 2014

    Kent, in 2015

    Toledo, South Euclid and Shaker Heights, all in 2016

    and Painesville, in 2020

    In 2016, the City of Cleveland passed an ordinance supporting the We the People Amendment and establishing biannual Democracy Days for 10 years. In addition, 12 Ohio city governments have passed resolutions calling on Congress to introduce the We the People Amendment. Because of all this support in her Congressional district, we were able to persuade Rep. Marcia Fudge to co-sponsor HJR-48 in the 116th and 117th Congresses. We are lobbying Rep. Shontel Brown to follow in her mentor’s footsteps and do the same. 90 co-sponsors have now joined the lead sponsor, Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington state.

    Meanwhile, we are wondering: how can First Energy be allowed to stay in business after it paid $60 million to Ohio legislators to directly defraud all of us – Ohio taxpayers? You might think the Ohio Constitution offers no remedy for this, but it specifically provides for revoking the charter of a corporation that acts beyond its authority. Bribery and money laundering certainly qualify. So Ohio Move to Amend is asking CAN WE PULL THE PLUG ON FIRST ENERGY? We will hold a virtual forum on this topic on Saturday, May 14 at 10:00 a.m. in order to explore:

    • Could we do it? If so, how?
    • Is it even a good idea?
    • Without First Energy, where and how could we get our electricity?
    • Any other implications?

    We’ll pass around a sign-up sheet for those who would like more information about this, and/or our other activities.

    You may have heard various politicians talk about passing legislation to deal with corporate power or money in politics. That won’t do it. Any laws attempting fundamental reform of the U.S. political system can and will be ruled unconstitutional. The Supreme Court precedents began way before Citizens United in 2010 and in fact date back to 1886!

    Only passing a constitutional amendment like U.S. HJR-48 will allow us to reclaim our government from the control of multi-national corporations and wealthy individuals.

    Now, my colleague David Berenson and I would like to share a little 5-minute skit about corporate personhood we hope you will enjoy.

    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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