Grassroots Momentum Builds Toward Passage of a Constitutional Amendment

LOS ANGELES, CA – Next week the Los Angeles City Council will vote on a resolution that calls on Congress to amend the Constitution to clearly establish that only living persons -- not corporations -- are endowed with constitutional rights and that money is not the same as free speech. If this resolution is passed, Los Angeles will be the first major city in the U.S. to call for an end to all corporate constitutional rights. 

The campaign in Los Angeles is the latest grassroots effort by Move to Amend, a national coalition working to abolish corporate personhood. “Local resolution campaigns are an opportunity for citizens to speak up and let it be known that we won’t accept the corporate takeover of our government lying down," said Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, a national spokesperson for Move to Amend. "We urge communities across the country to join the Move to Amend campaign and raise your voices.” 

Earlier this year voters in Madison and Dane County, Wisconsin overwhelmingly approved ballot measures calling for an end to corporate personhood and the legal status of money as speech by 84% and 78% respectively. In November voters in Boulder, Colorado and Missoula, Montana both passed similar initiatives with 75% support. 

“We are experiencing overwhelming support for what may be a historic turning point in restoring a voice to the voters and setting an example for the rest of the country," stated Mary Beth Fielder, Coordinator of Move To Amend LA. "This action would provide the basis for overturning the recent Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.”

Move to Amend volunteers in dozens of communities across the country are working to place similar measures on local ballots next year, including West Allis, WI, a conservative suburb of Milwaukee where last week local residents successfully qualified a measure for their spring ballot.

Move to Amend’s strategy is to pass community resolutions across the nation through city councils and through direct vote by ballot initiative. “Our plan is build a movement that will drive this issue into Congress from the grassroots. The American people are behind us on this and these campaigns help our federal representatives see that we mean business. Our very democracy is at stake,” stated Sopoci-Belknap.

The campaign in Los Angeles is endorsed by a growing list of organizations including Common Cause, Occupy LA, LA County Federation of Labor, Physicians for Social Responsibility, The Environmental Caucus of the CA Democratic Party, Southern California Americans for Democratic Action, MoveOn LA, Progressive Democrats of the Santa Monica Mountains, Democracy for America, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Strategic Actions for a Just Economy, AFSCME 36, LA Green Machine and California Clean Money Campaign.

For a complete list of all resolutions passed to date see: Read Move to Amend's proposed amendment here:

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 It might not need a constitutional amendment. The ruling that corporations are entitled to free speech protections of a person, is based upon the 'legal fiction' that corporations are persons. I think that the legal fiction can be 'corrected' statutorily. The fiction was created to allow corporations, as entities, to be sued and to sue. Legislation to allow that and to redefine corporations as non-person entities would knock out the underpinning upon which the 'Citizens United' relied to allow them free speech protection of a person.

The Supreme Court voted that Corporations and Unions were to be considered "people." I don't see anything here that would neutralize the Union's influence. Any organization or company with a competitive edge over the public is a threat to our freedoms and liberties. We need a level playing field here. I am a member of 3 unions, and I support their core cause and reason for existence, but they should not be tied directly to the personal bank accounts of Congress.

If the Citizen's United decision had been an interpretation of a federal statute, you would be correct that a Consitutional Amendment may be unnecessary.  But in Citizen's United, SCOTUS's holding is based on their interpretation of the words "person" and "speech" in the First Amendment of the Consitution. 

SCOTUS's ruling expanded the word "person" in the First Amendment to apply to corporations, and expanded the word "speech" in the First Amendment to apply to money.  Since all statutes must be consitutional to be valid, any mere statute which limits SCOTUS interpretation of these words would be Unconstitutional, and therefore void; we judge our statutes' validity against the Consitution, not the other way around.

A Supreme Court interpretation of Consitutional language can only be changed in two very specific ways:  1)  A new Amendment is passed and ratified which expands, limits, or changes that interpretation, OR 2)  SCOTUS can overturn their own decision.

i just deleted my message before sending it... 

here's a newnew one!


firstly gsabram i agree... just because someone calls powdered shit "coffee", doesnt mean everyone else thinks it is...

still, if that "person" sells you a box of "coffee", how can you claim they didnt?

q- how can two wrongs make a right?

a- definition

time to wake up and smell the coffee for what it is


you are NOT a PERSON by the same definition to which is described a corporation, you HAVE a person



it's the most silly thing to be slave to it, because friends it's all just make believe


thanks gsabram

hi everyone take care of everyone, especially the ones with weapons, take extra special care with them


The decision in Citizens United had nothing whatsoever to do with corporate personhood, other than to mention it in a brief side comment. The First Amendment states "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press". That means by anyone or anything. It doesn't matter whether the emitter is an individual, a corporation, an animal, a robot, or a space alien. "No law" means "no law", and even if there were no First Amendment, there is no power delegated to Congress or the states to abridge speech or the press. No delegated power means they are not allowed to do it, even without a prohibition added for emphasis. No exceptions whatsoever, under any rationale. Even if the heavens fall.

Voters have an absolute and exclusive duty to decide for themselves whom they will heed in deciding how to vote. It is an arrogant imposition on the part of anyone to try to interfere with that choice, and when attempted by government, it is tyranny and unconstitutional.

See blog article.

The notion that somehow "corporate personhood" is the problem and needs to be abolished is abysmally foolish, ignorant, and stupid. It reflects a profound incomprehension of the fundamentals of law that have been painfully evolved over more than 2000 years.

One more time:


Repeat that to yourself 1000 times, reflecting on it each time, until it is burned into your consciousness.

Each individual is not one person, but many. In each of many roles we are a legally distinct person, each with its own rights, powers, and duties, and only a role, not the actor, can appear as a party in a court of law. Anything else would destroy the foundations of law of any meaningful kind. Moreover, it would be a denial of our right to associate to impede us from acting with one another in concert as a single person. That would be tyranny. And people acting in concert is the essence of what a "corporation" is. It means, literally, a "co-operation".

The problem, as complex as it is, is basically the same general problem we have always had: Excessive and unbalanced concentrations of power. That has two main components:

1. Organizations that are too large, and emergent behaviors that function like organizations even if they are not formally organized.
2. Imposition of fiat currency on all of us by statutes that make legal tender of something other than gold, silver, energy, or other physical assets, abetted by us acquiescing in that imposition.

Yes, concentration of excessive power in large corporations is a problem, but that has nothing to do with them being corporations. It would be the same problem if they were sole proprietors or just herds of players all playing the same strategy at the same time. It has largely been that herd behavior that has prevented shareholders of large organizations from reining in their managers and their foolish and dangerous practices. Greed can be good if many players each play a different strategy. When they all make the same moves together the result is disaster. It makes no difference how or whether they are formally organized, because the results are the same.

Thoreau and Gandhi had specific, well-defined objectives. For Thoreau it was to end the war with Mexico. For Gandhi it was to end British rule of India. What do the Occupiers seek? They seem to neither know or care to make the effort to learn.

They are like a dumb animal in distress who utters inarticulate cries of distress. But how can anyone respond to that? A physician might ask an articulate patient questions, or conduct tests, to try to make a diagnosis. But the physician is out, and even if he were in, he doesn't have a clue what to do, because he is part of the malady.

Make no mistake. We are all stupid here. We confront a challenge that requires almost all of us to be vastly more intelligent and knowledgeable than human beings can ever hope to be individually. The only chance we have is to become more intelligent and knowledgeable collectively, but the only institutional framework that might enable that to happen has been largely abandoned: the framework set forth by the Constitution of 1787-91, as originally understood. Either we return to strict compliance with it, and other nations do likewise, or we will descend into a new Dark Age from which civilization may never again emerge.

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