Colorado Initiative - What Should We Do?

* * * NOTE: Input voting has closed for this item. Thanks for your support and feedback. We heard from nearly 2000 of you about this matter.

We have decided to stay neutral on Prop 65. We don't want to mislead our supporters and support something that falls seriously short of the change needed, but we also won't be spending resources to oppose the initiative.

We encourage Colorado voters to lend support (volunteer, donate, spread the word) about our initiative in Pueblo County that actually calls for an amendment that would get corporations out of the Constitution and big money out of politics. Learn more here: http://reclaimourrights.nationbuilder.com/ * * *
 

Dear Supporter,

For two years, MTA Affiliates across the country have been working long hours to get resolutions passed and to build a movement of real, everyday people who want an end to all corporate constitutional rights and the doctrine that money is speech.

You know better than anyone what a grassroots movement needs, and we need your advice.

When Move to Amend formed after the Citizens United ruling, we did so as a group of community organizers who have spent the better part of our lives educating and organizing people to fight corporate rule and build a real democracy.

We did so as a group of people who believe that systemic change is truly possible, and that it can only happen though a grassroots movement that emphasizes the perspective of people most harmed by that system.

And finally, we did so as a group of people who know we will only get one chance at a Constitutional amendment, and that it has to be a comprehensive one that would actually move us forward, and be commensurate with the level of work required to get an amendment passed. The amendment must abolish all the rights that corporations have been erroneously given, and it has to reverse the doctrine of money as speech.

Since the day we formed, there have been groups who have said we were asking for too much. They said that our movement was impractical, unfundable. They told us that a narrow amendment was all we could get. They told us to work in the halls of Congress, not in towns across the nation.

These groups refused to join the Move to Amend Coalition. But when the movement against corporate personhood began to catch on, they started new campaigns, forming groups that addressed only Citizens United or the corporate first amendment “rights”.

Now Common Cause has informed us that they will be running a statewide ballot initiative in Colorado, one of our strongest states, after first telling us they weren’t going to make a push in Colorado [link is to PDF download to text of the resolution]. [link is PDF download of text]

The Colorado resolution calls for reversing Citizens United and allowing government to limit campaign spending. It does not address the many other rights corporations have been given, nor does it reverse money as speech.

Clearly, this language does not go far enough, but Common Cause, People for the American Way, Public Citizen, and other national organizations are moving forward and are asking Move to Amend to help supply volunteer labor.

We have to make a choice:

  • We can join in their ballot push, knowing that it doesn’t go far enough and we likely won’t get to go back and get a resolution, which addresses all the issues; that they will go forward, with or without us, and that this is an opportunity to reach people (though we need to figure out how to expand the discussion, and welcome your input on this). NOTE: we have been very clear up to this point that Move to Amend will not put our name on measures that don't explicitly call for an end to corporate constitutional rights AND money as speech, for fear that advocating lesser meaures will dilute the message and public education.
     
  • We can stand aside and continue with our local work, pushing for a state resolution that includes all corporate rights but acknowledging they will get there first with a weaker resolution.
     
  • We can actively refuse to participate, educating people about the differences between the amendment strategies and why the Move To Amend language and strategy is superior and making clear why a strong resolution would be a better solution.

As our grassroots organizers on the ground, we feel you know what is best.

Can you take a minute now to respond to this poll and tell us which option you support?

Our movement is at a critical juncture, and we need, you, our base to help us decide how to move forward. We will have to make decisions about our values and our strategies many times to come, and we want to start that process right. 

Thank you for your work, and your support,

Ashley Sanders, Ben Manski, Daniel Lee, David Cobb, Egberto Willies, George Friday, Jerome Scott, Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, Laura Bonham, Nancy Price, and Stephen Justino

Move to Amend National Executive Committee

* * * NOTE: Input voting has closed for this item. We will post our decision ASAP. Thanks for your support and feedback. We heard from nearly 2000 of you about this matter. Thanks! * * *