Jennie C Spanos

Why I support Move to Amend

I have a deep passion and focus on environmental and social justice issues. This organizing leads me to collaborate with various intersectional grassroots movements building for a just and sustainable future. 

The power reaped from the insane notion of corporate constitutional rights exists in tandem with structural oppression and environmental degradation and is found as a cause of so many injustices. Move to Amend and the #WeThePeopleAmendment strikes at the root of that reality.

 


How I've supported Move to Amend

  • Exciting Conversation with Dr. Riki Ott

    You're personally invited to come connect and engage with MTA founding member and organizing powerhouse, Dr. Riki Ott (and other movement leaders) during this month's exciting Eco Net Call. 

    Dr. Ott is a marine toxicologist, activist, author and former commercial fisher ma'am.

    Ott has long opposed the legal doctrine of corporate constitutional rights and has been advocating for amending the U.S. Constitution to clarify that corporations do not possess human rights. She argues that corporations use personhood to seek extraordinary privileges. She cites, for example, Exxon's attempt to re-enter Prince William Sound—after being banned from the area by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990—by claiming a Fifth Amendment right.

    An "epiphany" about corporate personhood came to Ott during the struggle against Exxon, during which she sought to answer the question: "How did corporations get so big that they can manipulate the legal system?'

    After the oil Spill she asked herself, "Do I know enough to make a difference. And Do I care enough?" 

    Read more

  • published Mayday 4 Money for a Just Transition in Announcements 2024-05-09 08:19:06 -0700

    Mayday for Money for a Just Transition

    As we continue to move further into climate collapse and through other violent impacts of our pay-to-play system of government, it is imperative that we boldly connect the dots of corporate seizure of inalienable constitutional rights that are meant for human beings, to work and stand in allyship with individuals and organizations that have a vision and strategy for a transition to a just future. 

    Move to Amend has always focused on getting at the roots of problems, to end corporate personhood and build a vibrant democracy that values people over profits. Since its inception, we have grown into a coalition of hundreds of organizations and hundreds of thousands of individuals committed to social, environmental and economic justice and we have achieved that by thinking outside the realm of what we’ve been taught to believe is possible and exploring big questions as well as unsettling truths.

    Controlling money creation over generations has made giant (banking) corporations so strong they have succeeded in corrupting the courts into highjack our constitutional rights as if they were living, breathing, jailable human beings.

    You well know that corporations now spend all they want on politicians and media, shielded from public accountability.

    But it doesn’t have to be this way! That is why we are working to firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations (including banks), are persons entitled to constitutional rights as proposed in the We the People Amendment (HJR 54).

    Our coalition partners, at Alliance for Just Money have issued a distress call for our predatory system of money, which is structurally incapable of serving our people and planet. 

    Corporate controlled media will not raise up the issues and solutions so organizing with people and allied organizations and raising our voices in public spaces is vital to make the direct link between furthering the issues and solutions we all care about and abolishing “corporate personhood”. This is how we are going to build a movement strong enough to address the magnitude of the problem.

    We invite you to join us in answering their Mayday for Money for a Just Transition March Call-to-Action in Chicago, May 18!  

    It's crucial that we take action in moments like this, Jennie. 

    Will you start a $5 monthly donation to help us raise up our visibility to keep the pressure on Congress to end corporate personhood and unlimited money in our elections?

    Yes, I'll chip in monthly.

    Read more

  • published MayDay4Money for a Just Transition in Announcements 2024-04-26 07:49:23 -0700

    Mayday! Mayday! Just Money for a Just Transition

    Just Money for a Just Transition

    Move to Amend is joining Alliance for Just Money in Chicago! May 18 -19 2024

    Controlling money creation over generations has made giant (banking) corporations so strong they have succeeded in corrupting the courts to highjack our constitutional rights as if they were living, breathing, jailable human beings.

    Banks are not people! Money is not speech!

    Corporations can now spend all they want on politicians and media, shielded from public accountability. But it doesn’t have to be this way!

    Alliance for Just Money has issued the distress call for our dreadful system of money, which is structurally incapable of serving our people and planet. 

    Will you join us in answering the Mayday Call to action May 17-19, 2024, in Chicago. 

    Earth is warming and its species, oceans, and ecosystems are dying. Our government and people are drowning in debt; wealth inequity is growing exponentially, both locally & globally; wars are multiplying; and we are told that there is simply not enough money to care for people and planet!!

    Following the money, leads to banks that decide how new money that they create out of thin air will be used. A bank will create money to buy your town's bonds for workforce housing or other public goods, but only if your town pays high enough fees and interest to compete with banks’ juicier profit centers like weapons, high-end mortgages, and fossil fuels.

    That is why Move to Amend is collaborating with Alliance for Just Money to make the connection between corporate constitutional rights and our monetary system. Together we can achieve a just, transparent, democratic, and sustainable money system that is accountable to the people.


    Let us know you're coming - RSVP here to stay connected:  https://www.movetoamend.org/mayday4money

    Read more

  • Railroaded: Derail Corporate Rule & Advance Real Democracy

    Public Action Tool Kit for May 10th in your Community. 

    The Call to Action

    Thank you for organizing a public action in your community to raise up the "birth of corporate personhood"– a vigil, rally, press conference, picket, or march – at a Congressional office, court building, corporate headquarters or other symbolic location:

    • To educate the community on why ending corporate rule is so much more than simply reversing Citizens United and corporate money spent in elections
    • To advocate for passage of the We the People Amendment, HJR54
    • To organize people and allied organizations to make the direct link between furthering the issues and solutions they care about and abolishing “corporate personhood.”

    Click on Tool Kit headings below for templates and details!


  • published match creation spring 2024 in Donate 2024-04-16 20:51:17 -0700

  • published match creation spring 2024 in Donate 2024-04-16 20:15:46 -0700

  • published CA letters to senate candidates 2024 in California 2024-04-09 11:58:03 -0700

    Ask our California Senate Candidates to sponsor Senate Version HJR 54

    To get our We The People amendment passed, we need a Senate Companion Bill to HJR 54.

    Who better to ask than our California Senate Candidates.

     

     

    208 signatures

    Please add your signature below to the letters asking just that! Let’s show our support to keep our democracy intact.

    Click links to read the letters. 

    Senate Candidate Garvey Letter

    Senate Candidate Schiff Letter

     

    Add signature

  • A Very Unhappy Birthday: Money Ruled Free Speech

    Forty-eight years ago today, the Supreme Court ruled in Buckley v. Valeo (1976) that restrictions on campaign spending were a violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

    They really said that MONEY, which is PROPERTY, is the same as FREE SPEECH.

    Most of us learned about the absurd Supreme Court doctrines of "money = speech" and "corporations are people" in 2010, when the Citizens United ruling came down.

    But the Buckley v. Valeo (1976) case that set the "money = speech" precedent was not about corporations -- it was about one individual's belief that campaign finance laws were a violation of his first amendment rights to express himself.

    Read more

  • Facebook for Affiliates

    Sabina Khan and Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap from Move to Amend National cover how to use Facebook and Twitter to promote your MTA group and keep your supporters informed, including interfacing with the Move to Amend website and Nationbuilder database.

    Additional Resources:

     

    Category: 


  • published social-media-101 in Media & Communications Toolkit 2024-01-03 17:05:59 -0800

    social-media-101

    Sabina Khan and Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap from Move to Amend National cover how to use Facebook and Twitter to promote your MTA group and keep your supporters informed, including interfacing with the Move to Amend website and Nationbuilder database.

    Additional Resources:

     

    Category: 


  • Writing LTEs and OP-EDs TRAINING

    LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (LTEs) 

    Why are they important?

    • Newspapers print letters they consider newsworthy.  Publication indicates to members of Congress (MOCs) and others that this is an important topic.
    • The volume of letters submitted indicates the community’s level of interest. The more LTEs you submit, the more likely one will be published. 
    • Even in today’s digital world, our MOCs use LTEs to get a pulse of what’s happening in their district.  MOCs review letters in their hometown papers every day, especially those that mention the MOC by name.  Pro tip: mention your MOC to praise or request support.
    • LTEs provide MTA visibility in the community and as a way to find new members.

    What articles or opinion pieces should I respond to?  Use this hierarchy:

    1. Editorials and front-page news
    2. Staff-written columns (i.e. by the newspaper’s own columnist)
    3. Locally-written op-ed
    4. Syndicated columnist
    5. Inside news stories
    6. Editorial cartoons
    7. Other letters to the editor.

    How do I write a letter to the editor?   Follow this formula:

    To get a feel for what has been successful, review LTEs that have been published but generally

    • Ask yourself—What is my message and how does it relate to the article that was in the paper recently?
    • Reference the story or a specific part (line, thought, etc.) of the story.  A short reference praising the writer or paper works well.
    • Transition quickly into how it relates to money as speech or corporate constitutional rights.
    • Propose a solution—the We the People Amendment, HJR54.  This is the meat of your message.
    • Present a call to action, e.g., write your MOC to support the WTP Amendment.
    • Close creatively  and with strength by employing a rhetorical device such as repetition, a play on words or closing the circle from the letter’s beginning.

     

    Do’s and Don’t’s :

    • Check the newspaper’s editorial page or website for directions and follow them.  Some require you to use an online form for electronic submissions, others accept submissions by email. Find out the maximum number of words allowed and stay within this limit.  LTEs are often 150-250 words in length.
    • Timing is important. The sooner you submit a letter the more likely it will be published.  Submit a LTE as early in the day as possible.
    • Try to incorporate the use of metaphors and wit, but always be respectful and avoid negativity.  Disagree without being disagreeable.
    • Don’t raise hot button issues unnecessarily.
    • Stay on point and don’t try to say too much. Only make one or two points in the LTE.
    • Don’t lecture or regurgitate the facts.  Write conversationally.
    • Use dire warnings judiciously and ALWAYS couple warnings with a solution, The We the People Amendment, HJR 54.
    • In the subject line of your email put “Re:(name of story and page#).” Letter editors will appreciate this time-saving practice.

    Misc.

    • Not everyone should sign their letter as being a volunteer with MTA because editors tend to lump all letters from one organization together and therefore may only choose one.
    • Newspapers often limit the number of letters by a single writer that they will publish over a certain time span.

    I got published! Now what?

    • Thank the letter editor.
    • Notify MTA by emailing your letter to [email protected] with the date of publication and name of the newspaper.
    • Send a copy of the letter to your MOC.

    OPINION PIECES AND OP-ED’S

    • The term “op-ed” means opposite the editorial, where opinion pieces are frequently found.  
    • Much of what has been said about LTEs also applies to op-eds, except they are longer, typically 650-850 words.  
    • Who can submit an op-ed?  Who is getting published?  Some newspapers require that the op-ed author have some expertise or experience re the op-ed topic.  Research your paper’s policy.
    • Has the paper covered your topic?  Extensively?  Recently?  Does your piece express a new or different viewpoint?  Research past editorials and op-eds.
    • Why now?  What makes your op-ed especially newsworthy now?
    • Newspapers want to publish original op-eds submitted exclusively to them.  Depending on the paper’s policy, it may be OK to submit them elsewhere several days after publication, if appropriately attributed.  
    • Don’t submit the same op-ed to many papers at the same time.  Coordinate with  your affiliate or others in your area to make sure ONLY ONE PERSON submits the op-ed to each paper.  Also submit it beforehand to national MTA National [email protected]  [Subject: ATTENTION: LETTER TO THE EDITOR/ OP-ED – CITY, STATE] to prevent double submissions.
    • Sometimes MTA will provide you with a template op-ed.  This means others throughout the country will also try to get it published.  You must modify it so it’s different, e.g., by adding information about local conditions or issues or how the op-ed issue is particularly affecting your area.

     

    *Much of the preceding material was borrowed from Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s “Writing Effective Letters to the Editor” (http://community.citizensclimatelobby.org/cclu/writing-effective-letters-to-the-editor/). 

    It has been edited and additional material added.  Permission from CCL Executive Director Mark Reynolds.  MTA thanks CCL and Mr. Reynolds for their cooperation.


  • Draft Letters to the Editor / OpEd on Citizens United Anniversary

     

    SAMPLE LETTERS

     

    Overturning Citizens United isn’t enough

    Dear Editor,

    The January 21, 2010 Citizens United decision has unquestionably reduced democracy in our country.

    Total election spending was $14.4 billion in 2020, up from $5.3 billion in 2008, according to Open Secrets.The super rich and corporations were major sources of this flood of increased election spending, drowning out the political voices of the public majority unable to politically contribute. 

    It’s a mistake, however, to believe that:

    1. The constitutional doctrine that political money spent in elections equals “free speech” began with Citizens United. “Money is speech” goes back to the 1976 Buckley v. Valeo Supreme Court ruling.

    2. The corporate “right” to spend money in elections began with Citizens United. That originated with the 1978 Supreme Court First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti case.

    3. “Corporate personhood” began with Citizens United. That started in the 1880’s and currently includes the Supreme Court declaring First, Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment corporate constitutional rights that were intended solely for human persons. 

    Citizens United is simply the latest in a long line of anti-democratic Supreme Court decisions that have empowered the super rich and corporations to trump the ability of We the People to make decisions protecting our lives, communities and the natural world. Needed is not simply a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, but rather the We the People Amendment (HJR54) that would abolish the “money equals speech” and “a corporation is a person” bizarre constitutional doctrines. 

    END WITH ONE OR THE OTHER SENTENCE

    Representative firstname lastname is a HJR54 legislative co-sponsor and should be congratulated.

    Representative firstname lastname should be urged to legislatively co-sponsor HJR54.

    word count - 249 / 247 (depending on version)


    Dear Editor,

    The anniversary of the Citizens United vs. FEC Supreme Court decision is coming up on January 21.  It will be fourteen years since that damaging ruling was made.  

    Since that time, campaign spending has vastly increased and we are assaulted by superficial messages on our televisions, radios, newspapers, phones, computers, newspapers and billboards every election season.  It has become distressingly difficult to find out what the actual issues are or hear any meaningful discussion of the issues facing our nation, states and communities.

    Over more than 100 years, Supreme Court rulings have given human rights to legally chartered companies and organizations and expanded the definition of free speech to include unlimited spending on political speech i.e. campaigning. 

    What’s a voter to do?  We need to put the people back in We the People! The We the People Amendment (House Joint Resolution 54) has been introduced in Congress.  Please encourage your Representative to co-sponsor it.

     word count- 156

    OR please thank your Representative for being a co-sponsor.

     word count- 156


    Dear Editor,

    January 21 will be the fourteenth anniversary of the unpopular Citizens United Supreme Court decision.  Many people think that decision was when the money floodgates for campaign spending opened, but in fact there is a much longer history to the problem.

     Over more than a hundred years, Supreme Court rulings have expanded the definition of “person” to include fictional legal “persons” like corporations and organizations.  This has resulted in large corporations and organizations using their much greater resources than the average voter to influence legislation to the point where We the People have less and less to say about our own governance.

     The We the People Amendment, correcting this undemocratic situation, has been introduced in Congress. My Representative _________  _______ is a cosponsor  of the Amendment (House Joint Resolution 54) and I thank _(him/her/them)_for taking a stand.  I hope you will too.

     word count- 144 

     

    OR My Representative ___________  ____________ is not yet a co-sponsor of the Amendment (House Joint Resolution 54).  I am asking _(her/him/them)_ to sign on as a co-sponsor and I hope you will too.

    A few more than 144 words

     


    Examples of 2 letters published in a small local weekly asking people to come to a City Council meeting about a resolution supporting an amendment.                                                

    The Problem with Money    

    Dear Editor,                                                                                   

          Huge concentrations of wealth are wrecking economic and social infrastructure worldwide. Greed, the shadow side of money, is working its influence behind the scenes in politics. Recently, the rising monied aristocracy has been emboldened, no longer needing to deal with regulators in order to pocket politicians, This aristocracy can now step out into the open, because Campaign contributions can now be unlimited and elections can be even more easily bought. The Supreme Court has made this legal, moving against the common man by voting to give corporations the same rights as people and money the rights of free speech.

          I believe this example of misrule to be so egregious that all citizens, regardless of party allegiance, should be galvanized against it. Our local community should speak out with a resounding “no”! What do we do? We should think globally and act locally, re-imagining money and creating our own, as many communities are beginning to do both here and abroad. More importantly, for the moment, we need to turn back this recent Supreme Court ruling by supporting an amendment to the U.S. Constitution which would abolish corporate personhood and overturn the absurd ruling that political spending is the equivalent of free speech. Visit www.MoveToAmend.org. We in Willits can join the other governing bodies in the county that have passed a resolution calling for the return of our democracy and our elections back to us, the people, and reclaiming our sovereign right to self-governance. 

         Please join us Wednesday, May 14, at 6:30 pm at Willits City Hall.  We need a crowd. 

     word count- 266

     


    Dear Editor, 

    On May 14th the Willits City Council will be considering a resolution to join the nationwide movement to amend the US Constitution to end corporate personhood in accordance with Advisory Measure F passed by voters in Mendocino County in 2012 by a margin of 75%. The measure advised all governmental bodies in the county to pass a corresponding resolution to demand of our state and federal legislators that they initiate and pass the constitutional amendment. All other city and county governmental bodies in Mendocino County have already passed such resolutions except Willits.

    Why is this a local issue and why is it important, you might ask. 

     The US Constitution does not mention corporations nor their status with respect to personal constitutional rights. However, through a series of court decisions beginning in 1886, legal precedent has been established to allow corporations to claim all of the constitutional rights – e.g. as defined in the Bill of Rights – including right to privacy, equal opportunity and free speech. This precedent was finalized by the more recent Supreme Court ruling in the case known as Citizens United v. FEC, which not only explicitly confirmed corporate personhood but also equated monetary spending with free speech, thus overturning all campaign finance limitations that had been or could be democratically established by our elected officials. This outrageous ruling has effectively undermined any ability WE THE PEOPLE might have in determining our own lives. It has opened up the floodgates of corporate bribery and allowed the super wealthy to essentially turn our democracy into an oligarchy (AKA corporatocracy). 

     Among other things these misguided court determinations overrule any local (or even state and federal level) democratic decision-making when it comes to preventing some undesirable corporate behavior, i.e. limiting their ability to run roughshod over us. They can and, in fact, have claimed that such decisions are an infringement on their “constitutional rights” to privacy, equal opportunity, and/or free speech and are thus null and void. Consequently local communities have been repeatedly rebuked when they have – with a majority vote – successfully passed a resolution denying corporations a permit to establish operations in their regions or even limiting their activities.

     The movement to amend the constitution is now well on its way and endorsed by voters with wide margins everywhere it has been put on a ballot. Hundreds of local communities and several states have already passed resolutions in support of the amendment. It is time for Willits to get on board. The groundswell to reclaim our democracy must continue and the Willits voters have already told their council we want to be part of it. The amendment will only become a reality if WE THE PEOPLE stand together to fend off the power the corporations currently wield over us.

     Come to the council meeting on May 14th and show your support for a constitutional amendment to end corporate rule through the phony guise of “personhood”. This is without doubt the most critical issue of our times.

     

     word count- 495 

     


    SAMPLE OP-ED 


    ​​What Hath
    Citizens’ United Wrought?  The View After 14 Years

    By John Fioretta, Esq. and _____________________

     On January 21, 2010 the Supreme Court decided the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case, which gave corporations and labor unions a First Amendment right to make unlimited independent contributions to support or oppose candidates for elected office.  Subsequent cases further eroded the federal Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act so individuals may now do so as well.  The result has been a flood of money into our political system fundamentally corrupting our democracy. 

    • In the 2010 midterm election, the first after Citizens United, total spending on all federal elections was over $4.9 billion.  It rose to more than $8.9 billion in 2022, a 181 percent increase. 

    • For the 20 years preceding Citizens United, non-party independent groups spent $750,000,000.  In the 10 years afterwards they spent $4.5 billion, a six-fold increase.   
             
    • During the decade before Citizens United, dark money groups—non-profits not required to disclose their donors—contributed $129,000,000.  In the decade following they gave $963,000,000, over seven times more.

     The Supreme Court’s majority opinion in Citizens’ United authored by Justice Kennedy stated that “[w]ith the advent of the Internet, prompt disclosure of expenditures can provide shareholders and citizens with the information needed to hold corporations and elected officials accountable…This transparency enables the electorate to make informed decisions and give proper weight to different speakers and messages.”  Citizens’ United v. FEC, 558 U.S. 310 (2010).  This statement didn’t reflect reality at the time and is even less accurate now.  By 2015 even Justice Kennedy said that the disclosure system was"not working the way it should" and criticized federal agencies for not requiring more disclosure.  

    What else hath Citizens’ Unite wrought?  Even more harmful impacts on the states. 

    • In a study of six states published in 2016 the Brennan Center found that gray money increased from 15 percent in 2006 to 59 percent in 2014 of all outside spending.  Gray money is “spending by state super PACs that reported other PACs as donors, making it impossible to identify original donors without sifting through multiple layers of PAC disclosures.” 

    • In the six states examined, full transparency of spending plunged from 76 percent in 2006 to 29 percent in 2014. 

    • From 2006-2014 Dark Money increased on average in these states by 38 times. 

    • Though legally required to disclose their donors, state super PACs often receive donations from Dark Money PACs which need not disclose theirs.  During the same time period such donations multiplied 49 times from under $190,000 to more than $9.2 million. 

    • Perhaps the worse impact of secret money at the state level is that when it can be tracked it is “traced back to such sources as a mining company targeting a state legislator who held a key role opposing quicker mining permits, payday lenders supporting an attorney general who promised to shield them from regulation, and food companies battling a ballot measure to add labeling requirements.”  In other words, when brought to light it can be shown to very directly affect policy-making.

    • Compared to federal elections, it doesn’t take as much money to have influence at the state level.  Therefore these large increases in Gray Money are particularly problematic. 

    Let’s let lobbyist and former Republican majority whip in the Arizona House of Representatives, Chris Herstam, sum it up: “In my 33 years in Arizona politics and government, dark money is the most corrupting influence I have seen.” 

    When one watches election ads on TV or social media postings regarding political campaigns it’s not difficult to imagine how all this new cash is used, negatively and often without the consumer knowing whose dollars are behind it.   So it isn’t surprising that in an October 2023 poll 72 percent of Americans said “there should be limits on the amount of money individuals and organizations can spend on political campaigns.”  Contrary to the Citizens’ United ruling merely 11 percent of those polled said persons and organizations should be able to spend unlimited amounts. 

    What can we do to stem this rising tide of Big, Dark and Gray Money to our elected officials, campaigns for public office, and elections?  Because Citizens’ United was decided by the Supreme Court and granted constitutional rights, the Court must reverse itself or we must enact a constitutional amendment overturning it.  Given the composition of the Supreme Court a constitutional amendment is the only realistic option.  

    The We the People Act, House Joint Resolution 54 in the present Congress, would overturn Citizens’ United and put the authority to regulate campaign finance back where it belongs, with the People’s representatives in Congress, as well as rein in corporate power (more at www.movetoamend.org).  Urge your federal representatives to co-sponsor this urgently needed anti-corruption measure. 

    Word count- 772 





    Talking Points on Corporate Constitutional Rights

     

    1. Democracy is founded on the premise that the People are the source of all power.

    2. We the People’ created corporations as tools to serve us, not themselves. As sovereigns we can regulate and restrict corporations as we see fit. The Supreme Court’s invention of constitutional rights for corporations has turned this fundamental principle on its head.

    3. For the first 100 plus years of our history, corporations were strictly controlled and had no constitutional rights.  Corporations could not even exist unless state legislation—called charters—created them.

    4. Statutes created corporations to give them the powers needed to conduct business for the peoples’ benefit. Logic dictates that corporations have only those rights granted them by statute. Statutes cannot create constitutional rights.

    5. Corporations do not need constitutional rights to conduct business. Logically, an entity created to serve people should not have the same constitutional rights as those people it is supposed to serve.

    6. Corporations are not mentioned in the Constitution. So the framers did not think they should have constitutional rights (CRs.) But, starting with the 1819 Dartmouth case, SCOTUS inserted corporations into the Constitution and progressively invented CRs for corporations, giving corporations most of the same constitutional rights as natural persons like you and me.

    7. The corporate constitutional rights doctrine created by SCOTUS is not supported by logic, history or law. SCOTUS has never explained why artificial entities like corporations should have the same constitutional rights as natural persons when corporations do not need CRs to do business and  have special advantages that individual persons do not have, e.g. perpetual life and limited liability.

    8. The Supreme Court's CCR jurisprudence has used ever shifting rhetorical devices and rationales for reaching the desired result in any given case. This incoherent and undemocratic  body of law exists in defiance of the purpose and plain meaning of the constitutional text. For example  SCOTUS “found" CCRs under the 14th Amendment, created to ensure the rights of former slaves, the text of which applies only to “All persons born or naturalized in the United States” which corporations cannot be. 

    9. The SCOTUS-created CCR doctrine fueled corporate power to the point that the modern multinational corporation is the most dominant institution on earth, dwarfing many countries in wealth, power and influence.

    10. This court-made CCR doctrine has allowed corporations to abuse and harm the human beings they are supposed to serve. In addition to using their so-called free speech rights under the First Amendment to buy politicians, corporations have used other CCRs such as the Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to undemocratically impose pollution, water contamination, environmental destruction, harm to workers and other assaults on unwilling local communities and individuals in derogation of local control, the police power, and democracy itself.

    11. A series of Supreme Court decisions created the same political free speech rights for corporations under the First Amendment as originally belonged only to  natural persons. This allows corporations to spend  enormous amounts of corporate money to influence politics, policy and who gets elected to public office.   This tsunami of unregulated, undisclosed money drowns  out the people’s voice which is neither heard nor heeded.*

    12. “A majority of people want reforms such as lower drug prices, greater\affordable health care,  climate change reduction, and infrastructure repair.” But what the people want rarely gets enacted because Congress relies on large donor and corporate campaign contributions which makes Congress beholden to their wealthy donors instead of the people they should represent. And, even if these reforms were enacted, they could be toppled if SCOTUS found they violated some corporation’s constitutional rights.  

    13. SCOTUS has used two contradictory analogies to give free speech rights to corporations.

        

    One, the association or partnership analogy imagines that the corporation is a mere aggregation of its shareholder members and merely speaks for them. But shareholders do not own the corporation, they own stock in it. Also, many shareholders are corporations themselves.  This theory is flawed on several grounds. Because corporate law imposes a fiduciary duty on corporate officers to maximize profits, its officials cannot make decisions that represent the values of any human being. Human shareholders have values and interests other than maximizing the corporation’s profits.  Also, the corporation’s wealth derives from many other stakeholders, e.g., its employees and consumers, with divergent interests of their own. The corporation misappropriates the wealth contributed by these stakeholders when it spends corporate money to influence politics and policy. The association theory is also inconsistent with limited liability.

     The other, entity theory, is that the corporation is an independent entity, separate from its human members. As such, it is an independent speaker with its own views and that denying or restricting its voice violates the First Amendment because the public is denied the ability to hear what the corporation has to say. (Note: it turns out that the  human public only gets to hear what the corporations want them to hear while, because of the right not to speak, the public does not get to hear what they want to hear—e.g, what’s in the products we use.  This theory is also flawed because corporations cannot exist without being created by a government which lacks the power to create CRs.

        SCOTUS has used both of these contradictory theories in the same case—e.g., CU.

    *Cite  https://scholar.princeton.edu/sites/default/files/mgilens/files/gilens_and_page_2014_-testing_theories_of_american_politics.doc.pdf See also, professors Joshua Kalla and Ethan Porter,“Politicians Don’t Actually Care What Voters Want.” A two year survey revealed that “an overwhelming majority of legislators were uninterested in learning about their constituents views” and that “for most politicians, voters’ views seemed almost irrelevant.https://osf.io/c2sp6/ . For a brief description of this study, see “Politicians Don’t Care What youThink”, N.Y. Times, OP-ED, A-23, July 11, 2019.

     


  • East India Company Founding Anniversary

    The East India Company was founded on this date in 1600. It was chartered (i.e. licensed) by the British Crown to trade in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia and later with East Asia. It eventually became the largest corporation on earth.

      East India Company flag, 1801

    The company achieved not only its main purpose of facilitating economic trade (involving spices, tea, silk, opium… and slaves). It was also given the authority to colonize and rule. The corporation was in essence the government over large parts of India that extended British imperialism with the capacity to administer laws and collect taxes. It had its own army that was twice the size of the British force to enforce laws and to quell popular uprisings. 

    ______________________

    On this "corporate rule" anniversary, please make a New Year’s resolution to (re)commit to working together to affirm our rights over corporate "rights." Start by generously contributing to our end-of-year financial match drive. We urgently need to reach our goal to start 2023 on a strong footing.

    ______________________

    The corporation’s trade monopoly in parts of the world included the monopoly of tea sales in the American colonies, thanks to the Tea Act passed by the British Parliament. This sparked the “Boston Tea Party” in December, 1773.

    Over several centuries, the corporation and the British Crown and elites in the government worked hand-in-hand to economically, politically and militarily plunder people and resources.

    There is no single corporation today as dominant as the East India Company at its peak - though ExxonMobil Corporation, for example, may be close. However, business corporations collectively are much more powerful today in determining economic, political and military policies -- and impact virtually every aspect of society.

    Read more

  • Move to Amend Reports on What the (BLEEP) Happened to Detroit

    July 27, 2015

    Move to Amend brings you voices from the movement to amend the Constitution through our internet radio program. Every Thursday at 5pm Pacific/8pm Eastern. This is a call-in program. Call (646) 652-2345 and press 1 to participate.

    TUNE IN TO MOVE TO AMEND REPORTS EVERY THURSDAY NIGHT AT 5pm PACIFIC / 8pm EASTERN.

    Get reminders about shows so you never forget to tune in - go here and click the "Follow" link in the middle of the page.

    This July marks one year since the city of Detroit proceeded to shutoff water for tens of thousands of low-income households behind on their bills, an act the United Nations condemned as a human rights violation. Under Michigan's Public Act 436, also known as the "Emergency Manager Law," the democratic process has been suspended for Detroit and other Michigan communities under the guise of improving their "financial management." For decades, Detroit has served as a testing ground for how private corporations can takeover local governments, privatize their public infrastructure and services, and pillage community resources absent any form of accountability to the people who live here. This has become a model for the corporate takeover of cities around the United States to pursue their own versions of Michigan's "Emergency Manager Law."In solidarity with the people of Detroit, we are spending this month highlighting their community's struggle for social, economic, environmental and cultural justice. Each week, we will feature local residents, community organizers, and cultural activists struggling with the dangerous effects of corporate rule and how they are working to transform Detroit into a self-governing, sustainable community with a healthy culture.  

    July 9th

    In the face of corporate rule over media and entertainment, young and upcoming artists are struggling to support themselves with their skills and talent without having their cultural products appropriated and used up by exploitative music executives. Local artists, producers and community organizers Bryce Detroit, Piper Carter, and Greg "GMAC" Mckenzie join us to provide an introduction to entertainment justice.Bryce Detroit is a composer, music producer, performer, curator and entertainment justice activist. For the past 3 years, he has led an intergenerational charge to ‘bridge the gap’ between Detroit’s legendary musical pioneers and the city’s young emergent innovators. As founder of Detroit Recordings Company, and co-founder of Detroit Afrikan Music Institution, he uses entertainment arts to promote new Afrikan and Indigenous legacies, cultural literacy, and new music economies. As a prominent community advocate, Bryce works as the Director of Commons Relations for East Michigan Environmental Action Council, serves as a founding member of Oakland Avenue Artists Coalition and the Detroit Future Youth Network.  

     

     

    Piper Carter is a Community Organizer in the Environmental Justice, Maker Space, Food Justice, and Entertainment Justice communities living inside Detroit. As an Image Maker, Piper is also the Co-Founder of the Foundation of Women in Hip Hop, a Founding member of the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition, Multimedia Artist for Jessica Care Moore’s Black Women Rock, a Founding member of Cosmic Slop a Michigan based Black Rock Coalition, and Adult Ally for Detroit Future Youth.

    Gregory McKezie, also abbreviated as GMAC,  is a father, community activist, entrepreneur, emcee and producer.  GMAC released "Laidbackness" from his label Impeccable Projects, Inc. in 2011 and will be releasing "Furious Styles" in 2015.  Stemming from his own words: “When I was 19, I vowed to speak the truth when I rap," the lyrical content in GMAC's albums are rooted in Pan African nationalism, the urban black experience, and “reality in progress” from the multitude of activities he engages. He has performed with many artists across generational lines from artists such as Dead Prez to Last Poets. His principal training is in Accounting, but he is an avid reader of African history and quantum physics. His community affiliations include Coalition for Justice and Respect for Black Life, Detroit Black Community Food Security Network, Alkebu-lan Village, Inc., African Source Movement and Restoring the Neighbor Back to the Hood.  The past two years, he served as co-chair of the African Liberation Day Planning Committee. 

     

    Click here to listen to this week's show.
     

    July 16th

    In a media industry dominated by a handful of corporations, women struggle against a corporate patriarchy which undervalues their skills and cultural contributions, even as they profit from media content reinforcing the objectification of their sex. This week features local organizer and poet Tawana “Honeycomb” Petty talking with us about how women are uplifting their voices and resisting sexism in Hip Hop culture.


      Tawana Petty is a mother, award winning activist, social justice organizer, poet and author. Tawana is committed to social justice and youth advocacy, and is heavily engaged in transformative visionary organizing on the ground in Detroit. She is a board member of the James and Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership and a member of Detroiters Resisting Emergency ManagementWe the People of Detroit, the People’s Water Board Coalition and The Foundation of Women in Hip Hop. In addition to Tawana’s social justice work and community organizing, she performs and speaks across the globe. She has been a featured guest on several local and national radio programs including the Tavis Smiley Show, NPR/WDET, and Occupy Radio. Her work and writings have also been featured in the Huffington Post, The Michigan Daily, The Michigan Citizen, on Shetroit.com, on truth-out.org and in Red Pepper Magazine (UK). Tawana, also known as Honeycomb on stage, is the author of Introducing Honeycomb and is currently working on her second book, due out this year.

    Click here to listen to this week’s show.
     

    July 23rd

    As thousands of Detroit residents struggle over basic rights to water and other public resources, the community continues to fight for their right to self-determination over their environment. We talk with Ahmina Maxey of Zero Waste Detroit and William Copeland of the East Michigan Environmental Action Council about their ongoing struggle for environmental justice in Detroit.

      Ahmina Maxey is a community activist in Detroit, Michigan working for the environmental health and protection of her community. As the Community Outreach Coordinator of Zero Waste Detroit coalition, she advocates to increase recycling participation in the city and shut down the Detroit incinerator.  Ahmina has experience working in the environmental justice field, having worked as an Associate Director at the East Michigan Environmental Action Council (EMEAC), and Research Assistant at the Multicultural Environmental Leadership Development Initiative.  In her work at EMEAC, her responsibilities included health and environmental justice policy, advocacy, and outreach work. She has worked with City Council members on measures to improve Detroit’s air quality, leading to the passage of numerous laws protecting the environment and health of Detroiters. Ahmina is a graduate of the University of Michigan, earning her Bachelor of Science in the Program in the Environment in 2007.

     

      William Copeland is an organizer and cultural worker from Detroit. He works as EMEAC's Climate Justice Director. He served as one of the local coordinators for the 2010 US Social Forum, organizing over 300 Detroit-area volunteers to host 20,000+ activists and community change agents to 5 days of workshops, panels, concerts, and work projects. He also worked as lead organizer of the 2011 Detroit 2 Dakar Delegation to the World Social Forum held in Dakar, Senegal. He has significant affiliations with the healing justice movements in Detroit and nationwide and is also currently working on creating the D.Blair Theater Space in the Cass Corridor Commons. Copeland serves on the board of the US Solidarity Economy Network. Will See dropped his first solo hip-hop CD "The Basics" which includes EJ anthems such as "Water Power" "Take tha House Back" and "Respiration."available at http://willseemusic.bandcamp.com/ His second project is a spiritual mixtape called SOL SWGGR found at http://www.audiomack.com/album/will-see/sol-swggr.   

    Click here to listen to this week’s show.
     

    July 30th

    Unelected officials are privatizing public services and selling off community assets in Detroit and other Michigan communities, and local residents are doing what they can to fight back against corporate rule. We talk about organizing within Detroit’s black community and how they are building a self-determining community with local organizer and cultural activist Will Copeland.

     William Copeland is an organizer and cultural worker from Detroit. He works as EMEAC's Climate Justice Director. He served as one of the local coordinators for the 2010 US Social Forum, organizing over 300 Detroit-area volunteers to host 20,000+ activists and community change agents to 5 days of workshops, panels, concerts, and work projects. He also worked as lead organizer of the 2011 Detroit 2 Dakar Delegation to the World Social Forum held in Dakar, Senegal. He has significant affiliations with the healing justice movements in Detroit and nationwide and is also currently working on creating the D.Blair Theater Space in the Cass Corrido

    r Commons. Copeland serves on the board of the US Solidarity Economy Network. Will See dropped his first solo hip-hop CD "The Basics" which includes EJ anthems such as "Water Power" "Take tha House Back" and "Respiration."available at http://willseemusic.bandcamp.com/. His second project is a spiritual mixtape called SOL SWGGR found athttp://www.audiomack.com/album/will-see/sol-swggr

     

    Click here to listen to this week's show.

     

    Move to Amend Reports is hosted by Laura Bonham and Egberto Willies, members of Move to Amend's National Leadership Team. Executive producer is Keyan Bliss. Production team is Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, Keyan Bliss, Laura Bonham and Egberto Willies.


  • published 2023 eoy c3 2023-12-15 11:54:03 -0800

  • published Building Democracy Auction 2023 2023-12-13 10:45:51 -0800

    Building Democracy Auction 2023

    Your support is so critical in the fight to getting the We the People Amendment passed. Move to Amend is funded by grassroots donations from people like you. We are committed to maintaining our independence and our integrity and we need your support to make it possible! 

     

    Register now at GiveButter.com to bid on incredible items and contribute to the movement for a more equitable future: https://givebutter.com/c/movetoamend/auction

    Join our End of Year auction hosted on GiveButter.com – an opportunity for you to contribute to our movement and snag some fantastic items in the process!

    Browse through our incredible array of items in the auction – from unique handmade crafts to exclusive experiences. Your bids directly fuel our grassroots movement. Explore the Auction Now

    Make your bids now and spread the word! The auction ends soon, and we encourage you not to wait until the last minute to secure your favorite items.

    May be an image of text

     

    Here's how to Register on GiveButter:

    1. Visit GiveButter.com and click "Sign Up" in the top right corner.
    2. Fill in your details to create an account.
    3. Verify your email address to complete the registration process.
    4. Once registered, explore the Move to Amend auction and start bidding!

  • published auction 2023 2023-11-21 18:36:53 -0800

  • The Get Foreign Money Out of California Elections Act - Support AB 83

    Citizens United opened a loophole: Foreign governments, foreign businesses and foreign individuals can invest in U.S. corporations, and those corporations can spend unlimited amounts from their corporate treasuries on U.S. elections. 

    The clock is now ticking with less than a month to pass AB 83, The Get Foreign Money Out of California Elections Act out of the Assembly!

    AB 83, the Get Foreign Money Out of California Elections Act, (add your name below) closes the loophole that allows foreign money to pour into California campaigns, candidates, political parties, PACs, Super-PACS and ballot measures “indirectly", undermining our capacity for self-governance...

    3,218 signatures

    When the U.S. Supreme Court decided that corporations could spend unlimited amounts of money from their corporate treasuries in U.S. elections (Citizens United v FEC, 2010), they justified the decision by saying that U.S. corporations were “associations of citizens.”

    However, over 40% of all the shares held in US corporations are held by foreign investors, not U.S. citizens, living outside of the U.S. These corporations then spend millions in California elections, even though U.S. election law stipulates that no foreign money is allowed in U.S. elections, contributed either “directly or indirectly.”

    Citizens United opened a loophole: Foreign governments, foreign businesses and foreign individuals can invest in U.S. corporations, and those corporations can spend unlimited amounts from their corporate treasuries on U.S. elections.

     AB 83, the Get Foreign Money Out of California Elections Act, closes the loophole that allows foreign money to pour into California campaigns, candidates, political parties, PACs, Super-PACS and ballot measures “indirectly", undermining our capacity for self-governance.

    Earlier this year, Minnesota closed the loophole, prohibiting multinational corporations from spending money on state elections. We can do the same in California. Multinational influence is a threat to U.S. sovereignty and to our national security – international interests can easily, and often do, diverge from U.S. interests. There should not be any foreign money in our elections.

    Join us in support of AB 83 and urge the California Assembly to pass this legislation and close this loophole immediately.

     Sign now in support of AB 83, the Get Foreign Money Out of California Elections Act.

    Add signature

  • published match fund creation 2023 2023-11-11 06:17:39 -0800

  • Recruit Your Friends to Join You in Promoting Statutory Reform Campaign

    Copy and paste the Personal Tracking Link below to social media and/or send it out in an email or text message to ask your friends to join your Pro-Democratic/Anti-Corporate Power Statutory Reforms Campaign. Start inviting people who live in your state ASAP! 

    Here is example text to post to invite your friends to join you:

    I'm working with Move to Amend to reduce the power of corporate entities from hijacking the political process.  Will you join this important campaign with me?

    Start recruiting

Jennie C Spanos

Jennie C Spanos

In a democracy, the people rule!
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