CHAGRIN FALLS, Ohio – Chagrin Falls voters will decide in November whether to ask U.S. Congress to reverse a 2010 Supreme Court decision allowing corporations unlimited spending in political campaigns.
Becky Thomas, a resident in Chagrin Falls, organized the petition that put Issue 34 on the November ballot. If the issue is approved, council will hold public meetings every other year where residents can testify on the impact of political money. Officials would also send a letter to Congress detailing village residents' desire for an amendment.
"Maybe if there's a huge grassroots campaign the legislature will get the idea that people are fed up with the amount of money in politics," Thomas said. "Everyone is sick about how much money is spent in elections."
Thomas is a member of Move to Amend, a group of volunteers who want to amend the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which gave corporations the right to fund and participate in elections.
The group is working one community at a time to put pressure on Congress.
Lakewood and Mentor have similar issues on the November ballot. Brecksville, Newburgh Heights, Cleveland Heights and seven other Ohio cities have already passed Move to Amend measures.
"The Bill of Rights was intended for human beings," said Greg Coleridge, the coordinator for Ohio's Move to Amend efforts. "Political money is not equivalent to political speech. The people that have the most money have the most speech and that's not democratic."
There will be a debate Oct. 20 at the Chagrin Falls library to discuss the pros and cons of the issue. Thomas and Coleridge hope residents will learn more about the topic and vote yes.
"The main point is to get money out of politics," Thomas said. "Outside interests have so much control over local issues."