Greg Coleridge published Summary of Testimony from Cleveland Heights’ 8th Annual Democracy Day in Ohio News 2021-02-05 13:39:55 -0800
(Public Hearing hosted by Cleveland Heights City Council and held virtually on January 28, 2021)
Almost 100 people virtually attended Cleveland Heights’ 8th Annual Democracy Day, with 20 people testifying before City Council members Khalil Seren, Michael Ungar, Mary Dunbar, Davida Russell and Melody Hart. Council Vice President Seren presided.
Public testimony began with the announcement that in November 2020, Painesville became the latest Ohio city to vote for a citizens’ initiative calling for a 28th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The amendment they stipulate clearly states that corporate entities do not have the constitutional rights of human beings, and money, not being speech, can be regulated in political campaigns. In addition, the Painesville initiative establishes regular Democracy Day public hearings like the one here and in many other cities, for citizens to testify before their local officials about the need for the amendment.Read more
Greg Coleridge published LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: END DARK MONEY in Alaska News 2021-02-02 19:40:36 -0800
Published in Anchorage Daily News, 01/29/2021
According to Bloomberg News, President Joe Biden’s winning campaign took in $145 million in so-called “dark money” donations, compared to only $28.4 million such donations spent on behalf of Donald Trump’s losing bid. Biden’s campaign ultimately raised $1.5 billion.
While citizens can donate as much as $2,800 to a candidate in a federal election, that donation is publicly reported on the candidate’s Federal Election Commission Reports. Wealthy individuals who want to donate more (in many cases, a whole lot more) can donate to political nonprofit groups that are under no obligation to release their sources of funding. Those nonprofits can spend to support their preferred candidates or funnel it to candidate’s Super PACs. That’s a whole lot of influence! Million-dollar donors get their phone calls answered and maybe get their favorite legislation passed. Those millions of dollars are able to drown out the voices of regular Americans.
Remember all the post cards from Dan Sullivan and Al Gross? Much of their funding came from outside interests seeking to influence our Alaska elections. The majority of Americans across the political spectrum are fed up with this system. Please call our Congress members and ask them to support campaign finance reform limiting dark money donations.
— Julie Olsen Board Member, Move To Amend Alaska Anchorage
Greg Coleridge published Institutional corruption erodes representative government in Alaska News 2021-02-02 19:38:26 -0800
Opinions Anchorage Daily News 01-16-21
Should Alaska enforce its current law limiting contributions to SuperPACs on a par with limits on individual contributions to candidates’ campaigns?
The Alaska Public Offices Commission stopped enforcing that part of the law in 2012 in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United, reasoning that since the political expenditures of SuperPACs are independent of candidate campaigns, they do not raise the prospect of corruption. Between 2008 and 2018, unregulated independent expenditures increased from 3% to 36% of campaign spending in our state, and two-thirds of this new money was from Outside donors. Including the ballot measures, independent expenditures for the 2020 election exceeded $23 million! This flood of big money into Alaska elections should alarm every Alaskan. We are sick and tired of Outside interests telling us how to run our affairs, and we are exhausted by the bombardment of negative ads and mailers. This is an issue for Alaskans across the political spectrum, conservatives and liberals alike. Big Union and Big Tech contributions are just as problematic as Big Oil or Koch Industries contributions.Read more
Greg Coleridge published Cleveland Heights Democracy Day Public Hearing in Ohio News 2021-01-30 06:00:14 -0800
Video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eYstCiLOOY&t=721s
Greg Coleridge published Democracy Day Is Jan. 28 In Cleveland Heights in Ohio News 2021-01-25 06:39:00 -0800
The annual meeting gives residents a chance to voice their opinion on money in politics and other pressing issues.
Chris Mosby, Patch Staff | Posted Fri, Jan 22, 2021
CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, OH — Democracy Day will be held Jan. 28 in Cleveland Heights, the city announced.
Eight years ago, voters in Cleveland Heights passed Issue 32, which declared support for a 28th Constitutional Amendment, which would say corporate entities are not people and do not have Constitutional rights. The passed legislation also said money does not qualify as speech and money spent on elections should be regulated.Read more
Greg Coleridge wants to volunteer 2021-01-21 11:16:33 -0800
Our campaign goal is to secure 150 co-sponsorships for the #WeThePeopleAmendment (House Joint Resolution 48) before the end of 2022.
To achieve this goal we have identified 135 priority targets based on the previous co-sponsorship of the amendment, Pledge to Amend signers, caucus membership, location (districts, where Move to Amend, has passed initiatives), and voting record/time in Congress.
If your Representative is not on the list below you can definitely still target them, but we suggest starting with the closest Rep to you and recruiting constituents in that District to hold a meeting with their target Representative (or their legislative staff).
Here's what you'll need to do:
- Choose which Representative you're focusing on (see below for the target list, or if your Rep isn't on the campaign target list you can elect to lobby them instead)
- Recruit 3-5 constituents to join you for the meeting
- Schedule the meeting (a Move to Amend national organizer will join you for this meeting)
- Organize a prep call to prepare
- Hold the meeting and ask your Representative to co-sponsor HJR48
- Follow up
- If they don't sign on, time to escalate your tactics! We will help you plan an appropriate action from bombarding their office with phone calls, to organizing a letter-writing campaign to dropping in at their house with Move to Amend petitions! We will work together to decide on any appropriate escalation.
We have provided you with all the tools and resources needed as well as organizing support. You will find the easy step-by-step instructions linked at the bottom of the page. Expect that this effort will take 2-5 hours a week.
TAKE ACTION WEBINAR: Pledge to Amendhttps://youtu.be/yjUWlekp1qU<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/yjUWlekp1qU" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>
--> View targets on a spreadsheet (Google doc, opens in new window)
***Click on each task for related templates and instructions.
STEP 2 -- Recruit 3-5 Constituents to Commit to Join a Meeting with the Representative
- Send an email blast to the Move to Amend list asking people to sign up for the meeting
- Recruit your friends and neighbors through social media, email or text messaging
- Phonebank or text bank the Move to Amend list to ask people to commit to joining the meeting
STEP 3 -- Schedule the Meeting
STEP 4 -- Prepare for the Meeting
- Post the meeting date and time to the Move to Amend website to help promote
- Review background information about the #WeThePeopleAmendment
- Line up a Move to Amend national organizer to join you for the meeting
- Hold a prep call to review meeting roles and make sure you are each clear on what you'll say and how to make sure to get to the ask
- Send a blast to constituents on the Move to Amend list a few days in advance to ensure the office gets calls to put the #WeThePeopleAmendment on their radar before your meeting
STEP 5 -- Hold the Meeting
- Follow an agenda because you'll only have 20-30 minutes
- Take good notes, keep track of any questions you get that you can't answer on the spot and commit to following up with the answer(s)
- Enter the details and notes to the Move to Amend national database
- Make a clear ask: Will you co-sponsor the #WeThePeopleAmendment (HJR48)?
STEP 6 -- Follow up!
- Send a thank-you email with any info requests to the staffer(s) and mail a thank you note to the Representative
- Send email blasts to constituents on the Move to Amend list asking them to call each week to keep the pressure up
- In 2 weeks send an email and/or call the office and ask for a response. Be persistent! Keep trying every 2-3 days until you get a response
STEP 7 -- Celebrate or Escalate!
- Often this is all it takes, especially for Representatives who agree with our goals. But if you don't have a commitment yet it is time to escalate your tactics. We will work with you to determine how to escalate appropriately, from stepping up the phone calls, to organizing a letter-writing campaign, to car parades around their office, to delivering Move to Amend petitions to their home, and more!
Ready to Sign Up?
Greg Coleridge published Toledo Council Resolves to Abolish Corporate Personhood in Ohio News 2020-11-18 12:51:07 -0800
For Immediate Release:
November 17, 2020.
Contact: Dennis Slotnick, Secretary Toledo Move to Amend
Email: [email protected] Phone 419-704-1863.
Toledo Council Resolves to Abolish Corporate Personhood
The text of the resolution is HERE
On Tuesday afternoon Nov 17th, Toledo City Council adopted, by a wide margin, a comprehensive resolution to denounce Corporate personhood and declare that money is not the same a speech. It is Resolution R 446. The Resolution R 449-20 was brought forth by Council members Komives, McPherson and Whitman.
The most salient part of the Resolution is: Therefore be it resolved that Toledo City Council hereby calls on our Ohio legislators, elected officials, and commissioners, etc. to join the tens of thousands of citizens, grassroots organizations and local governments across the country in the Move to Amend campaign to call for an Amendment to the Constitution to Abolish Corporate Personhood and the doctrine of Money as Speech and return our democracy, our elections, our communities to America’s human persons and to thus claim our sovereign right to self-governance.Read more
Greg Coleridge published Move to Amend initiative passes in Painesville in Ohio News 2020-11-04 09:18:17 -0800
Painesville citizens voted on November 3 overwhelmingly (78%) in support of a constitutional amendment to establish that corporations are not people and money is not speech. Painesville becomes the 26th community in Ohio and more than 675 nationwide to pass either a state or local citizen-driven ballot initiative or legislative resolution.
Greg Coleridge published Amicus brief to democratize Ohio ballot initiatives in Ohio News 2020-11-02 12:55:53 -0800
Move to Amend filed an Amicus brief in the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of filed last week in support of Plaintiffs-Appellants in Beiersdorfer v. La Rose, et al. (No. 20-3557). The lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of Ohio’s ballot access scheme for ballot initiatives. Plaintiffs from seven Ohio counties, representing Rights of Nature and corporate control ballot measures, sued the Ohio Secretary of State and Boards of Election officials in trial court for repeatedly keeping binding citizen-proposed laws and charters off the ballot despite satisfying procedural requirements, such as the requisite number of signatures.
Move to Amend supporters in Ohio and across the nation have used democratic citizen-driven ballot initiatives in several hundred instances as educational and organizing tools to call on Congress to pass a 28th U.S. Constitutional Amendment to abolish corporate constitutional rights and political money in elections as equivalent to First Amendment-protected free speech. This includes 12 Ohio communities -- which have also included a provision mandating annual or biennial municipal public hearings examining the local impact of money in elections and corporate rule.
Greg Coleridge published Summary of Toledo Democracy Day 2020 as a Success Story. in Ohio News 2020-10-23 12:21:17 -0700
On Wednesday October 21, Nick Komives, Toledo council member opened the fourth Annual event.
48 Zoomers were connect by virtual live zoom. We had 12 presenters and five council members present: Adams, Melden, McPherson, Komives and Gadus. Mayor Kapszukiewicz also joined and stayed for the 1 ½ hour duration. Each presentation averaged only five minutes and were concise, informed and articulate.
View the program at http://toledo.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=1&clip_id=983Read more
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 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
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 705 communities and states have passed public resolutions, as of December, 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 is 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.
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 has over the past several years published articles, fact sheets, comparison charts and a “White Paper” detailing how never-intended corporate constitutional rights have hijacked our democracy and caused widespread individual, community and environmental harms. Popularly and inaccurately referred to as “corporate personhood,” corporate constitutional rights are rights the Supreme Court invented for corporations under constitutional amendments originally intended solely for human beings.
The research has particularly focused on how corporate constitutional rights include more than the First Amendment free speech rights which have produced a tsunami of corporate political spending. They also include fictional corporate constitutional rights under the Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments as well as non money as speech rights under the First Amendment and other parts of the constitution.
Below is a listing of our most recent publications addressing corporate constitutional rights – all of which have been used to educate, advocate and organize.
Introduction to Corporate Constitutional Rights
Researching Corporate Rule / Corporate Constitutional Rights - an introduction to our work
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 - updated 2021
We the People Amendment comparison series - 117th Session of Congress
We the People Amendment comparison series - 116th Session of Congress
Independence Day and the Imperial CEO (July 5, 2021 column by Daniel JH Greenwood, professor of law at Hofstra University)
Big Tech Shouldn’t Be the Arbiter of Our Free Speech Rights: Corporations mustn’t be designated gatekeepers with the power to decide who gets to communicate and who doesn’t (February 26, 2021 Truthout article by Greg Coleridge)
PRESS RELEASE - Oct 21, 2020: Corporate Constitutional Rights Should Be Focus of Last Presidential Debate
PRESS RELEASE - Sept 30, 2020: Climate Crisis-Related Fires Fueled by Corporate Constitutional Rights
Corporate Constitutional Rights are Cancerous to Democracy (July 27, 2020 Common Dreams article by Judy Young and Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap)
Corporate Rule Transcends Citizens United - report published to mark the 10th Anniversary of Citizens United Supreme Court decision -- containing many of the above pieces
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.
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!