NEWS AND NOTES
July 28, 2012
COACHELLA CITY COUNCIL
AGREES TO PUT
RESOLUTION ON FUTURE AGENDA
There May Be An Initiative
On November 6 Ballot
Move To Amend and Occupy Coachella Valley united Wednesday night to end corporate personhood. The groups gave oral testimony before the Coachella City Council. About ten people attended the regularly scheduled Coachella City Council meeting. A total of seven people spoke for three minutes each under public comments.
After listening to the presentation the council agreed to place a resolution about corporate personhood and campaign finance reform on a future city council agenda for action. A proposed resolution modeled after Portland Oregon’s resolution was sent to Mayor Eduardo Garcia in April. A fresh copy of the resolution along with the ballot initiative for Salt Lake City Utah was sent to the city after the council meeting.
Coachella becomes the second city in the Inland Empire to place this subject on a council agenda. The city of Redlands adopted a resolution a few weeks ago. Coachella adopted a foreclosures resolution a couple of months ago that contained a whereas clause critical of the Citizens United Supreme Court case. Move To Amend wants a resolution that covers the issue of corporate personhood too.
The proposed resolution calls for an initiative on the November 6 ballot. This would be a good election cycle to place this initiative on the ballot because progressives are expected to vote in large numbers because of the presidential race. It would require a lot of campaign work to pass a ballot initiative but there are good odds it could be adopted in Coachella. In Coachella campaigns are conducted door-to-door and the people do not want unlimited campaign contributions from corporations going to candidates.
Move To Amend thanks the Mayor and city staff for their professionalism and courtesy. Move To Amend selected the city of Coachella to be the first city in the Coachella Valley to receive this proposed resolution. Coachella was the only city in the Inland Empire to adopt a resolution calling for an end to the Iraq War. Likewise Coachella was the first city in the valley to adopt a resolution on foreclosures.
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Thursday, July 05 2012
California Legislature Approves Resolution Opposing Citizens United Ruling
AJR 22 By Wieckowski and Allen Seeks to Restore Balance to Campaign Finance Spending
Sacramento - California today became the largest state in the nation urging Congress to draft a constitutional amendment to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court's controversial Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling.
The state Senate voted 24 to 11 to approve Assembly Joint Resolution 22, authored by Assemblymembers Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) and Michael Allen (D-Sonoma). The 2010 court ruling ignored long-standing precedent and allows corporations and unions to spend unlimited amounts of money to support or oppose candidates. The state Assembly passed the resolution in March.
The ruling and subsequent legal decisions have led to the creation of roughly 600 Super PACs and multi-million dollar donations from wealthy special interests. It allows corporations to donate from their general treasuries. The California labor movement and public interest organizations such as Public Citizen, Common Cause, Credo Mobile, and CalPIRG supported AJR 22. There was no registered opposition to the resolution.
"Today's vote sends a clear message that California rejects this misguided ruling made by the conservative activists on the Supreme Court," Wieckowski said. "The Legislature's action and the 50,000 Californians who wrote in support of AJR 22, show that it is time to restore sanity to our campaign finance laws. If Congress doesn't act, our electoral process will be more dominated by millionaires and billionaires and their concerns will drown out the voice of common Americans."
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg praised the Senate's passage of AJR 22.
"I'm proud that the California State Senate passed AJR 22, memorializing our disagreement with the Supreme Court's Citizens United v. FEC decision and calling upon the U.S. Congress to act to overturn the decision," Steinberg said. "Since the decision, large corporations and the wealthy have dominated campaign spending. We must tip the scales back to a balance that once again gives a strong voice to the people."
Public Citizen President Robert Weissman, a staunch critic of the ruling, described the importance of amending the constitution.
"Unless we aim to turn over control of our elections to Karl Rove, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Sheldon Adelson and a very few others, we need a constitutional amendment to reset our campaign finance system and to re-establish the principle that democracy means rule by the people, not giant corporations."
Both President Barack Obama and Arizona U.S. Sen. John McCain have heavily criticized the Supreme Court's opinion.
Proposed amendments have already been introduced in the U.S. Congress. Hawaii, New Mexico, Maryland, Vermont and Rhode Island have also passed resolutions through their legislatures.
Supporters of AJR 22 include California Labor Federation, California Nurses Association, California Church Impact, California League of Conservation Voters, Free Speech for People, Consumer Watchdog, California Teachers Association, California Professional Firefighters, International Forum on Globalization, People for the American Way, Laborers Local 777 and 792 and the city councils of Davis, Berkeley and Santa Monica.
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MTA LEADERSHIP TEAM:
Chair: Tom Swann
Vice Chair: Carolann Bouldin
Secretary: Carolyn Krause
Treasurer: Steven Kong
Resolutions Committee Chair: Nancy Gutierrez
Application For Membership
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