20 people spent all day Saturday at the First Unitarian Church in downtown Portland training to help the movement to limit corporate personhood. The training was lead by David Cobb, a former practicing attorney and former 2004 Green Party presidential candidate. Cobb has been working on the corporate personhood issue for nearly a dozen years and shared a tremendous amount of knowledge and expertise about both the history that brought us to this point in time and the current state of the campaign.
Because corporations have been given human rights through legal opinions and court cases, the only way for us to strip corporations of their human rights is through a constitutional amendment or, a reversal of a variety of Supreme Court decisions. Amending the constitution will likely take 10-20 years.
In the meantime, an effort is underway to get local initiatives on the ballot across the country asking voters whether they believe corporations should be given human rights as enumerated in the Bill of Rights. This is something we could accomplish in Portland over the next 2-3 years. Polling shows that this measure wins 80/20 or better across all political groups.
We are just in the formative stages and will be developing the beginning of a strategic plan on Wed. night, 7-9pm, at the First Unitarian Church.
In addition to the campaign, one goal mentioned was to have this be a litmus test for political candidates: Do you believe corporations deserve the protections of our Bill of Rights?
You can sign the petition at MovetoAmend.org to get plugged in.