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actions & protests | corporate dominance

Ending Corporate Personhood

My summary of last night's meeting and the next steps towards ending corporate personhood.
Last night was our monthly meeting at First Unitarian Church. We meet on the 3rd Wed. of each month from 7-8:30pm. There is lots of action between meetings.

Last night's meeting was attended by approximately 15 people. We've collected nearly 600 signatures in the past 6 weeks since David Cobb visited Portland for a training and kickoff.

The long-term goal is to amend the US Constitution to make it clear that corporations are not people. Our near term goal here in Portland is to increase awareness of this issue and to allow the citizens of Portland to have a say in this matter.

We submitted a simple petition to the Elections division so we could gather signatures to get the question on the 2012 ballot. The wording was essentially something like: We the people agree that corporations are not people and, that money doesn't equal free speech.

Our request to put that question on the ballot was turned down because the city officials interpret the law that says the only thing you can use the referendum process for is legislation and our issue isn't legislative. We are investigating our options with respect to this process.

However, the city council can refer our issue to the voters bypassing the signature gathering process. We are exploring this avenue and will need to drum up political support to make it happen. Portland's City Council can refer our issue to a vote of the people by simply voting to make it happen. Boulder's City Council recently did this:  link to movetoamend.org. I'll have more to report on this later.

Upcoming actions:

Strategic planning session Saturday, 9/3
Signature gathering and tabling, every weekend through the fall at various community events.
Creative ways to increase support and awareness including viral videos, music, documentaries, signs, tabling, etc.
Op-ed writing
Radio and TV appearances

Please get involved. This is fun and easy.

homepage: homepage: http://www.movetoamendpdx.org/

Letter to the Editor 19.Aug.2011 12:59

Brian Setzler, CPA

The Constitution begins with "We the people" and not once mentions corporations. Yet, through a long series of court opinions, corporations now have Bill of Rights protections that are unassailable by "We the People." This would be funny if it weren't true.

Because corporations have distinct advantages over real humans (don't die, operate 24/7, can't be jailed, lack moral conscience, get special tax breaks, operate everyone at once, etc), they've come to dominate "We the people."

And because corporations got Bill of Rights protections from the judicial branch, there is no deliberative way for "We the People" to change or challenge these through the other branches of government. Short of a massive and unlikely Supreme Court reversal, there is only one way to fix this problem and that's through a Constitutional Amendment. Thankfully, people are working on this across the country including here in Oregon. Citizens can find out more by visiting www.MoveToAmend.org.