Ballot measures in BOTH Newburgh Heights and Brecksville passed. Voters in each community supported calling on Congress to support a 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution declaring:
- Only human beings, not corporations, are legal persons with Constitutional rights, and
- Money is not equivalent to speech, and therefore, regulating political contributions and spending does not equate to limiting political speech.
A second provision of each ballot measure calls for a local community-sponsored public hearing where residents can testify on the impact of political contributions by corporations, unions, and Super PACs on their community.
While similar in these ways, the measures were different…and historic in Ohio.
NEWBURGH HEIGHTS becomes the first city in Ohio to pass a Move to Amend initiative placed on the ballot by the Mayor and Council. Rather than simply pass a Resolution, Newburgh Heights deliberately chose to let the people decide. And did they ever - by 74%!
BRECKSVILLE becomes the first city in Ohio to pass a Move to Amend initiative placed on the ballot via citizen initiative. Despite active opposition by the power structure in this "conservative" community, the measure passed with 52% of the vote.
Congratulations to the people of both communities who voted Yes! Congratulations to Newburgh Heights Mayor Trevor Elkins and Newburgh Heights council for their prophetic decision to place this issue on the ballot and educate residents. And congratulations to Citizens for Transparent Politics in Brecksville, co-founded by Rose and Jack Petsche, for their tireless work to gain ballot access and wage an educational campaign.
May their victories inspire others elsewhere to wage campaigns to pass resolutions, organize citizens initiatives and call on councils to place similar measures on their local ballots to let the people decide!