OLYMPIA, WA — This November, citizens in the state of Washington will have the opportunity to vote on Initiative 735, a ballot measure calling for Washington’s congressional representatives to propose a federal constitutional amendment clarifying that constitutional rights belong to natural persons, not corporations, and money is not protected political speech.
Thousands of volunteers from the WAmend coalition have led the fight in Washington State to limit undue corporate power and influence expanded under the Supreme Court’s ruling in 2010’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. WAmend’s efforts resulted in over 337,000 signatures collected last year to put this initiative on the ballot, bearing similar language to California’s Proposition 59, also up for a vote this November, as well as similar resolutions introduced in the Ohio legislature in September.
Initiative 735 has the support of many local and national organizations including Move to Amend, Sierra Club, Common Cause, and more than a dozen labor unions. At least fifteen city councils have passed resolutions against Citizens United and many members of the state legislature, congressional delegation and other public officials have also voiced their support, including Governor Jay Inslee. The full list of endorsements is available at www.wamend.org/endorsements-all.
“I-735 represents an amazing opportunity for voters in Washington to add their voices to the growing movement of people rejecting the excessive influence of big corporations in politics and demanding genuine democracy of, by, and for We the People, not wealthy interests,” said Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, National Director of Move to Amend. “Democrats, Republicans, Greens, Libertarians, and Independents overwhelmingly agree on this issue: corporations should not have the same rights as human beings and money is not equal to free speech. It’s time for Congress heed our call and take action to pass this 28th Amendment.”
Move To Amend is a national coalition of over 400,000 people and thousands of organizations working to pass a constitutional amendment to overturn Supreme Court cases creating the doctrines of corporate constitutional rights and money as speech. Their We The People Amendment was introduced into Congress as House Joint Resolution 48 on April 29, 2015.
Throughout the country, citizens are raising awareness to the threat of unfettered corporate power to the democratic process, with over 700 communities passing local resolutions and over 300 ballot measures in support of a 28th Amendment. Seventeen state legislatures have made similar calls, including: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and New York.
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Move to Amend representatives are available for interviews with the press. To arrange an interview, please contact press [at] movetoamend.org">press [at] movetoamend.org or call 916-318-8040.