Cleveland Heights voters proclaim corporations are not people

November 7, 2013
Chanda Neely

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio –- Cleveland Heights voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly sought a Constitutional amendment to reverse a 2010 Supreme Court decision allowing corporations unlimited spending in political campaigns.

According to unofficial results from the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, more than 77 percent of voters cast ballots in favor of the initiative, which requires the city to inform federal and state officials that Cleveland Heights wants a Constitutional amendment ending rights for corporations and overturning the legal doctrine of money being considered equivalent to speech.

“The voters of this city have said they’re tired of not being heard, of politicians spending their time chasing big corporate donors and working for them instead of us, that it's time to go beyond apathy and cynicism and do something to fight back,” said Sally Hanley, of Move to Amend, the group that placed the issue on the ballot.

“Cleveland Heights joins the hundreds of other cities all over the country that are part of the movement to say that only humans are people and have constitutional rights."

Move to Amend volunteers in July submitted petitions with more than 2,400 valid signatures to place the initiative on the ballot.

The city will be required to hold an annual public hearing to examine the impact of big money in politics on American democracy. The clerk of council then must write to federal and state representatives summarizing the results of the meeting and remind them that Cleveland Heights voters want a Constitutional amendment to reverse the 2010 Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court.

Similar ballot measures passed in Brecksville and Newburgh Heights last year.

The first public hearing in Cleveland Heights is expected to be held sometime in January.

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