March Meeting Preview

Regular Club Meeting

Tuesday, March 24

Zion Presbyterian Church

6:00 p.m.

545 Ashbury Ave

The next Club meeting will be on Tuesday, March 24. We will host will host the Superintendent of the West Contra Costa Unified School District, Dr. Bruce Harter and School Board Member Todd Groves. Both will provide brief updates on the School District and participate in an open Q&A session with the public following their remarks.

We will be rescheduling the legislative update meeting with guest Assembly member Tony Thurmond to later date.


February Meeting Recap

by Carla Hansen

The February meeting was dedicated to Club business. Club members prioritized ECDC-led initiatives and finalized the 2015 Calendar.

Here are the top four initiatives Club members want to work on this year. Each initiative will have a Committee of Club members and Executive Board members to help drive and achieve the objective. We need volunteers for each initiative. If you’re interested in joining one (or more), please contact Club President Carla Hansen at

  1. Encourage City Council of El Cerrito to pass Citizen’s United resolution (see page 3) supported by the Club;
    • Requires Club members to show up at City Council meetings to speak at public comment or write letters to Council members to support the resolution.
  2. 2. Draft and support a Living Wage Ordinance for the City of El Cerrito.
    • Requires research of other Cities and stakeholder/community outreach campaign
  3.  Increase voting access and clean-up voter rolls.
    • Requires coordination with the Central Committee and League of Women Voters and direct voter outreach.
  4. Advocate for increased homeless services in the City of El Cerrito.
    • Requires lobbying the County and elected officials and possibly partnering with other neighboring Cities.

Citizens United Resolution

by Carla Hansen

The Club voted to endorse the following resolution in June 2014. To refresh everyone’s memories, here it is again. We’re hoping to bring this resolution forward to the El Cerrito City Council and will engage in an outreach campaign to support its passage.

WHEREAS, the U.S. Supreme Court has granted corporations personhood status, free speech and other protections guaranteed to living humans by the Bill of Rights and the 14th Amendment, yet historically corporations were created as artificial entities that were subordinate to our democracy, the El Cerrito Democratic Club asserts that corporations are not natural persons with human rights but artificial entities created by our government; and

WHEREAS, although corporations have made important contributions to society, they may exist simultaneously in many nations, use court granted “corporate rights” to get laws and regulations that protect people weakened or overturned, put profit ahead of any other concern, and use money derived from consumers and employees to lobby for statutes that endanger democracy, human values, and ecological survival; and

WHEREAS, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Patrick Leahy stated that the ruling “will allow major corporations – who should have law written to control their effect on America – to instead control America;” and former Republican senator Warren Rudman wrote, “Supreme Court opinion notwithstanding, corporations are not defined as people under the Constitution, and free speech can hardly be called free when only the rich are heard;” and former Senator Chris Dodd pointed out that “money is not speech,” that “corporations are not people” and that “a constitutional amendment is necessary to fully restore the trust and voice of the America people.”

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the El Cerrito Democratic Club calls for freeing democracy from corporate control by calling for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to establish that: 1. Money is not speech, and 2. Corporations are not natural persons and not entitled to constitutional rights.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the El Cerrito Democratic Club calls on others to join the movement to amend the U.S Constitution in actions that defend our right to self-governance.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the El Cerrito Democratic Club requests that our appropriate elected representatives introduce and or support a constitutional amendment that contains both of these principles, or introduce motions to include these principles in related constitutional amendments.

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