Move To Amend Lakewood Initiative Considered by City Council Committee

September 5, 2013
Trudy Hutchinson

Lakewood City Council has referred the citizens initiative known as Move To Amend to the Rules and Ordinances Committee for consideration. The initiative seeks to establish a city ordinance that would create an annual Democracy Day at which Lakewood residents would have a community conversation about money in politics.  The Move To Amend initiative is part of a nation-wide movement that seeks to pass an amendment to the United States Constitution that establishes that artificial entities like corporations and unions are not people and money is not speech. The amendment would restore the ability of the government to regulate money in political campaigns.

In gathering support for the initiative, petition circulators explained Move to Amend to Lakewood voters and emphasized that a Constitutional amendment is needed to override a series of court decisions that unleashed the power of large sums of money from corporations and other artificial entities to influence the outcome of our elections. Most voters recalled the resulting barrage of PAC and SuperPac political advertising that accompanied the 2012 political campaigns.

Gayle Wellman circulated petitions for the Move to Amend campaign in Lakewood. In that process she noted that people were concerned about what is happening in our election process. She recalls that when she heard that the Supreme Court held that corporations are people and had inalienable Constitutional rights she thought, "What can we do about this? When I heard about Move to Amend I was elated and relieved to know there was some recourse...an uphill battle for sure...but if we do nothing, what then?" Gayle Wellman goes on to say that she feels strongly about the educational value of Democracy Day.

The iniative and referendum processes are provided for in Lakewood's City Charter as opportunities for citizens to play a direct role in the government of Lakewood. Likewise, Lakewood Democracy Day provides a forum through which voters have a face-to-face conversation with elected officials about the will of the people. The Lakewood Democracy Day is an example of voters in politics...not money in politics.