LAKE COUNTY, Calif. – Like-minded citizens in Lake and Mendocino Counties are now circulating petitions promoting nothing less than an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to end “corporate personhood” and reestablish a government of, by and for the people.
Collaboration between Lake and Mendocino counties is not new but their simultaneous participation in an initiative process to change national politics is.
At the time the U.S. Constitution was adopted, state governments limited corporate influence through charters that defined their activities and lifespan.
Further, corporations were not allowed to make political contributions and lobbying was prohibited.
Fast forward to January 2010, when the U.S. Supreme Court voted 5 to 4 to uphold lower court precedents establishing the concept of “corporate personhood” and extending to corporations the same constitutional rights as “natural persons.”
Among other things, the Citizens United decision empowered corporations to challenge existing campaign spending limits.
Many Americans believe that it is time for “We the People …” to join together to demand a constitutional amendment to defend democracy from the undue influences of corporations and unrestrained political spending.
Toward that end, grassroots organizations across the nation are working to raise awareness and solidify citizen support through local activities such as petitions, resolutions and ballot measures.
Volunteers in Mendocino and Lake County just began gathering signatures to qualify advisory measures for the November ballot.
Both measures ask if voters will stand with the Move to Amend campaign and communities across the country to defend and distinguish their role in this democracy as distinct from the influence of legal institutions such as corporations by amending the United States Constitution to firmly establish that:
Only human beings, not corporations, are endowed with inalienable, constitutional rights; and
Money is not speech, and therefore fair regulation of political contributions and spending is not equivalent to limiting political speech.
Both advisory measures also direct state and federal representatives to enact resolutions and legislation to advance this effort.
Registered voters in both counties can help place these advisory measures on the November ballot by signing a local petition.
Petitions will be circulated in Lake County until mid-May; Mendocino petitions until early June.
If you have trouble finding a local MTA petition or would like to help gather signatures, please contact Margaret Koster in Mendocino County at 707-459-5970 or mendomovetoamend [at] gmail.com and Jackie Armstrong in Lake County at 707-274-2459 or lakemovetoamend [at] gmail.com .
Move to Amend is a nationwide grass roots campaign that already enjoys the support of hundreds of organizations and nearly 200,000 individuals.
Through its Web site and barnstorming tours, Move to Amend encourages folks to form local affiliates and return authority for our democracy to the voters.
Mendocino and Lake Counties are among 74 Move to Amend affiliates in 27 states.
For more information about local and national Move to Amend activities, visit www.movetoamend.org.