In January of 2010, the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of Citizens United against the Federal Election Commission (F.E.C.). This decision prohibited the government from restricting political expenditures by corporations and unions. Essentially it said that money equals free speech and corporations are people. It overturned campaign contribution legislation from the McCain–Feingold Act.
Citizens United v. F.E.C. allows corporations to spend as much money as they want supporting a candidate without declaring any of it. They can essentially buy a candidate. This purchasing of our politicians makes it harder for the average person to get a chance to actually have a politician listen to their concerns. Also, if a politician was brave enough to stand up for what people want, chances are come the next election cycle the corporations will fully support someone else who is willing to do as they are told. Citizens United v. F.E.C. is unAmerican and harms right-wing citizens, left-wing citizens, and centrists.
Since the Citizens United v. FEC court case activists have been working to get it repealed. In order to do so they plan to amend The Constitutions of the United States of America. There are various forms of the new amendment out there right now that all have the same thesis, corporations are not people and money is not free speech. But only one includes every tiny detail we need to end this sheenigan once and for all (you can read it here). It is endorse by a long list of oraganizations.
In order to amend The Constitution of the United States either two-thirds of both houses of Congress must approve the amendment or two-thirds of the states request a constitutional convention be held. At the convention three-quarters of the states must vote for it to be ratified. Right now a the group Move To Amend is creating a grassroots effort to expand awareness of this undemocratic, anti-democracy court decision, with the end goal being a constitutional amendment.
They are doing this by creating a grassroots education campaign to get real citizens, not corporations, involved in the political process. When people from all walks of life, from all over the country, and of all different political ideology come together for a common goal, we can make change.
According to "The Story of Citizen's United v. F.E.C.", 85% of American citizens believe that corporations play too big a role in the government. It is no lie that both the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street happened due to citizen outrage of the bank bailout. Eighty-seven percent of Democrats, 82 percent of Independents, and 68 percent of Republicans said they would support such an amendment.
All over the country citizen groups are pushing for local governments to call for a constitutional amendment to end corporate personhood and overturn Citizen's United v. F.E.C. Both Los Angeles and Boulder, Colorado have passed resoultions. In Wisconsin Legislators have introduced a Move to Amend Resolution. In Greenbelt, Maryland, and near by College Park, a small group of Resiliency activists have got then city council to pass measure showing their opposition to the Citizens United decision. They have joined in with New York City, Athens Ohio, Portland Maine, the states of New Mexico and Montana. Resistance is spreading and democracy is rising.
Move To Amend, according to a email correspondence, is a "grassroots organization. Our plan is to build local infrastructure first, educating the American public -- this includes formation of local/ municipal affiliates and resolutions. After building capacity, we will scale up to the state level and pass state resolutions. Then, after we have a critical mass, we will make a national push for a Constitutional Amendment."
There are many things you can do to help restore democracy and help Move To Amend. The easiest include following them on Facebook and Twitter. This week June 11th through the 15th has been dubbed "Resoultion Week," a week to spread awareness about corporate personhood, the destruction of our democracy, and to get more local cities to sign on to the resolution calling for a Constitutional Amendment. If you believe in democracy and the principal of one person one vote, and ask them to pass a resolution in your city that would call for a move to amend.
Also this year, on July 4th, Move to Amend is organizing around the country an event called "Declare Your Independence From Corporate Rule" it has the same goals as this weeks event but is celebrated on a national holiday. Later in the year, in Los Angeles there will be a regional conference for all activist to see how they can best move forward with restoring democracy. The conference will be held on October 19th, 2012 to October 21st, 2012.