Monday, January 16, 2012

Activists help to strengthen and pass Portland OR city council resolution against corporate personhood

AfD'ers in Portland have helped the city pass a resolution against corporate personhood--here's their report:

On Friday, the Portland OR city council approved a resolution proposed by Mayor Sam Adams establishing as part of the city's Federal Legislative Agenda for the coming year that the city supports amending the constitutional to make clear that corporations are not people and that money is not speech.

Additionally they instructed the city attorney to research the requirements to refer a measure to the voters like that which Boulder, Madison and Missoula have already passed. Commissioner Fritz specifically indicated support for a referral.

The vote was 3 to 0 in favor with 2 commissioners absent. One of those was sick but had indicated his support for the resolution in emails to the public in advance of the hearing and vote.

The resolution text is available here.

Approximately a month ago the first version of the resolution was posted. That version needed work and modification. Members of Move to Amend, Alliance for Democracy, and Occupy Portland worked with the Mayor's staff to make the modifications needed to get the language right. While not all of our suggestions were accepted, most of them were and the Mayor acknowledged the work of our organizations, especially of Alliance for Democracy/Move to Amend members David Delk, Donna Noonan and Jeff Stookey.

Last Wednesday we had a rally at city hall prior to two of our members testifying before the council. Video of the three speakers at the rally is available here.

At the next meeting of Move to Amend we will discuss next steps. David Delk has already spoken with the Multnomah County Board Chair, Jeff Cogen, and he is interested in bringing a resolution to the county as well.

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