UPDATE: The final vote to get this on the ballot is tomorrow -- Tuesday, January 29th! The city attorney has drafted language for the city council to vote on and it's exactly the type of model that we will want to promote to other cities across California and the entire country. We cannot emphasize enough how significant this will be for the movement if it's on the ballot. The May 2013 Election will be the runoff for the mayor of LA -- the time when turnout is highest in the city -- so millions of people will be voting on this question. View the City Council Agenda.
Want to come out and support tomorrow at City Hall? RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to write a letter of support to council? Email to email@example.com
Stay tuned for the breaking news yesterday to hear how the vote goes!
Original Post on January 17, 2013:
Yesterday was a great day at Los Angeles City Hall. Voters may get a say on whether corporations are people. Forty activists came out to testify in support of a motion from Council Member Richard Alarcon to place an initiative on the May 2013 ballot to instruct LA elected officials to pass a federal constitutional amendment overturning Citizens United v. FEC and eliminate artificial corporate constitutional rights. The motion passed! Because of all the testimony and calls and emails to council members before the meeting. A great testament to grassroots organizing.
Common Cause, the State PIRGs and many other organizations worked to pass similar measures in the November 2012 General Election in Colorado and Montana and cities like San Francisco and Chicago. All the ballot measures passed with a margin of at least three-to-one.
"Corporations are not people, and should not be allowed to spend unlimited dollars to support candidates and influence political campaigns," said Councilmember Alarcon. "This ballot initiative gives the residents of Los Angeles the opportunity to send a loud message to the President, Congress and our Federal elected officials that the people of Los Angeles want constitutional reform and support overturning the egregious Citizens United decision."
"Today's action demonstrates that the Los Angeles City Council understands the seriousness of this issue and is willing to let voters speak out about it directly," said Derek Cressman, Director of the Campaign to Overturn Citizens United with Common Cause. "Voter instruction ballot measures have historically played a very significant role in bringing about constitutional amendments," he added.
We still have another hurdle in City Hall to officially get this on the ballot -- one more vote on the final language the city attorney writes. So I'll certainly keep you updated on that! But, if you want to get started on the grassroots movement in LA to overturn Citizens United before then, you should come out to our 3rd anniversary of Citizens United rally on the South Lawn of City Hall on Saturday, January 19th from 2-4pm. RSVP Here.