Resolution Against Citizen’s United

At our last meeting, the Club discussed endorsing language proposed by Ray Sortuno opposing Citizen’s United. Betty Brown brought forward a resolution from the organization Move to Amend that many other clubs, organizations, City Councils, etc have endorsed. The members present agreed we should consider endorsing this resolution at the June meeting.

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.

Club members present at the June 23 meeting can make amendments to this language and/or vote to endorse it. The Club should also consider what the next course of action should be. Should the Club take the resolution to the El Cerrito City Council?