March 17, 2016

On Tuesday, March 15 nearly 64% of Toledo’s citizens voted YES on ISSUE 1 in support of a constitutional amendment to abolish corporate constitutional rights and money as speech. 

As a result of this initiative, Toledo will hold its first annual Democracy Day in 2017 - a public hearing on the corrupting influence of moneyed interests in politics that the Mayor and at least one member of City Council must attend.  Afterward, the Mayor is required by law each year to send a letter to our elected representatives in Congress on our behalf urging them to pass a Constitutional amendment declaring that corporations are not people and political contributions are not free speech (meaning they can be capped/regulated).

This was a significant demonstration of grassroots democracy even if the corporate media has not deemed this effort and the result newsworthy to this point.  Over 34,000 Toledo voters made the deliberate choice to support a constitutional amendment to abolish corporate constitutional rights and money as speech!  We grassroots activists think that this achievement IS newsworthy, if not only for the efforts of so many volunteers who worked two years to get this on the ballot, but more importantly for the over 50,000 voters with the conviction to think that voting on this issue mattered.

The media blackout on reporting the ISSUE 1 result has clearly demonstrates that in a “fixed” system the only way to bring about positive change is through continual grassroots movement activism. The fact that the “money” issues trumped the real democracy issue in local media coverage just proves the point that we have a long way to go to reclaiming democracy in this country.

"This petition drive and ballot initiative are part of a larger movement to end corporate personhood and limit money in politics." stated Doug Jambard-¬Sweet, Issue 1 Campaign Manager.  "With the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the case of Citizen's United six years ago, corporations now can give unlimited and undisclosed contributions to political campaigns.  This has had the effect of flooding the political contests with PAC and super-PAC money."  With this victory, Toledo becomes the largest city in Ohio to pass such an initiative.  There are over 200 cities and communities in the U.S. that have already done so. 

Toledo Move to Amend wants to take this opportunity to also thank all of those volunteers who devoted their time and talent to this campaign! BRAVO! Now let’s keep the movement going year round. That is how we break apart this "fixed" system and bring the kind of change that can only come about by grassroots efforts like this one.