Clevelanders could vote on whether corporations should be people

July 6, 2016
Emily Bamforth

CLEVELAND, Ohio - Clevelanders could vote in November to call on the U.S. Congress to pass a constitutional amendment declaring that corporations are not people and cannot spend unlimited amounts of money in political campaigns.

Move to Amend, a national group pushing to overturn a 2010 Supreme Court decision, submitted a petition Wednesday to Cleveland City Council. The petition has 8,906 signatures, well over the 5,000 required for formal consideration.

The ordinance would call for an amendment to the United States Constitution to overturn the ruling and establish a public hearing on the matter in the city every other year for 10 years.

More than 650 communities, 20 in Ohio, across the country have adopted resolutions or ballot measures regarding the issues. Voters have approved the issue in Cleveland Heights, Chagrin Falls, Lakewood, Bedford Heights and other Northeast Ohio towns.

Previous coverage: Chagrin Falls final votes support that corporations are not people
Chagrin Falls voters support Move To Amend's campaign that corporations are not people.

If passed, Cleveland would be the largest city in Ohio to have such an ordinance. Right now, that's Toledo.

"It would be a huge deal," Chris Stocking, Cleveland Move to Amend co-chair, said. "To get that amount of signatures here, it's amazing."

Stocking said eventually the group could focus on getting a state-wide initiative passed.

"Our voices as everyday people aren't getting heard," Stocking said. "(This issue) cuts across party lines."

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