Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Boulder CO voters say no to corporate personhood, "money as speech"

Voters in Boulder overwhelmingly approved a non-binding resolution calling for an amendment to the Constitution ending corporate access to personhood rights and defending the right of municipalities to regulate campaign donations.

The ballot question, Question 2H, won by a near 3 to 1 margin, according to the final count, with 18,392 ayes to 6,556 votes against.

The measure asks:

"Shall the People of the City of Boulder adopt the following resolution: RESOLVED, the People of the City of Boulder, Colorado call for reclaiming democracy from the corrupting effects of undue corporate influence by amending the United States Constitution to establish that:

1. Only human beings, not corporations, are entitled to constitutional rights, and

2. Money is not speech, and therefore regulating political contributions and spending is not equivalent to limiting political speech."

Congratulations to local voters and to the coalition Yes on 2H, which brought together organizations and individuals in support of the measure. Local media coverage here.

Update! We just got the following press release from Boulder Move to Amend, Boulder Yes on 2H and Move to Amend:

BOULDER, CO - Last night Boulder became the second city in the nation to pass a ballot measure calling for an amendment to the US Constitution that would state that corporations are not people and the legal status of money as free speech. At midnight, with 93% of the ballots counted, the measure was handily winning with 74% of voters in support.

Boulder's campaign is the latest grassroots effort by Move to Amend, a national coalition working to abolish corporate personhood. "From Occupy Wall Street to Boulder, Colorado and every town in between, Americans are fed up with corporate dominance of our political system," said Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, a national spokesperson for Move to Amend. "Local resolution campaigns are an opportunity for citizens to speak up and let it be known that we won't accept the corporate takeover of our government lying down. We urge communities across the country to join the Move to Amend campaign and raise your voices."

Earlier this year voters in Madison and Dane County, Wisconsin overwhelmingly approved similar measures calling for an end to corporate personhood and the legal status of money as speech by 84% and 78% respectively. Next week voters in Missoula, Montana will have an opportunity to vote on a similar initiative in their community. Move to Amend volunteers in dozens of communities across the country are working to place similar measures on local ballots next year.

"Today's 'corporate personhood' referendum in Boulder, Colorado is the latest message from the American people to state and federal legislators on the need for a Constitutional Amendment," said Congresswoman Donna Edwards (D-MD). "The Supreme Court's misguided Citizens' United ruling burst open the floodgates of corporate spending in our elections, but it also unleashed a wave of public outcry over the need to put individuals, not corporations, in control of our elections. The results from today are just one example that we must take action to protect our treasured democracy."

Edwards introduced a bill last month for a Constitutional amendment that would overturn the controversial Supreme Court's ruling in the Citizens United case.

"Working on this campaign was electrifying," said Scott Silber, a local Move to Amend organizer in Boulder. "We had such an outpouring of enthusiasm from our community. Folks were so thrilled to finally have an opportunity to have their voices heard and resoundingly call for an end to corporate corruption of our democracy. From here we're taking the campaign to Denver, and then on to Washington, DC."

Move to Amend's strategy is to pass community resolutions across the nation through city councils and through direct vote by ballot initiative. "Our plan is build a movement that will drive this issue into Congress from the grassroots. The American people are behind us on this and our federal representatives will see that we mean business. Our very democracy is at stake," stated Sopoci-Belknap.

Here's a complete list of all resolutions passed to date.

Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, National Field Director, (707) 362-0626, Move to Amend
Scott Silber, Boulder Move to Amend, (510) 485-6586
Elena Nunez, Boulder Yes on 2 H Campaign, (720) 339-3272

No comments: