City of Portland to Congress: We the People, Not We the Corporations
Sign this petition to send a strong message to Portland City officials and Congress that we need a U.S. constitutional amendment that makes clear that only PEOPLE are entitled to the rights of the U.S. constitution and money IS NOT speech!
On January 21, 2010, with its ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are people, entitled by the U.S. Constitution to spend unregulated and disclosed sums of money on elections. The Citizens United decision has led to unprecedented campaign spending on the part of multi-billion dollar corporations, drowning out the voices of We the People. When corporations have constitutional rights, peoples' rights become meaningless. How can one human being’s power to speak compare to a massive corporation’s ability to speak?
Mayor Sam Adams has issued a proposed resolution of the Portland City Council supporting an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that makes clear that corporations are not people and money is not speech.
We need to thank the Mayor for introducing the resolution and request two primary revisions:
(1) make clear that corporations are not entitled to ANY constitutional rights (currently the resolution says corporations are not entitled to the SAME rights as people)
(2) remove reference to the proposed amendments currently sponsored by Oregon's Congressional representatives as these amendments deal only with the issue of money as speech and not the issue of corporate personhood (i.e., these proposals need to be strengthened).
In addition, we need the City to refer an initiative to Portland voters so that we can make our voices heard on this critical issue.
Please include language in the resolution making clear that corporations are not entitled to ANY constitutional rights and remove references to the amendments proposed by Senator Merkley and Representatives Schrader, Blumenauer, and Defazio as they deal only with the regulation of money in politics and not the issue of corporate personhood.
The City should support a constitutional amendment that explicitly addresses the issue of corporate personhood AND regulation of campaign donations and expenditures.
In addition to passing a strong resolution, the City Council should refer this issue to the voters so that we can make our voices heard. This is the language that should be included on the ballot:
RESOLVED, the People of the City of Portland, Oregon call for 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