San Diego City Council Supports Constitutional Amendment

Media Contact:

December 7, 2012

John Smith (562) 237-3482

San Diego City Council Supports Constitutional Amendment

Council Votes Unanimously to Overturn Citizens United

SAN DIEGO – The San Diego City Council has passed a resolution urging Congress to begin the process of amending the US Constitution to overturn the controversial Supreme Court decision Citizens United v. FEC. The resolution, introduced on December 4 by Councilmember Marti Emerald, was adopted unanimously.

Kathay Feng, California Common Cause Executive Director, praised the action by the council, saying, “San Diego, the eighth largest city in America, has joined the national effort to reverse this unjust decision. The whole amendment process and the national coalition are gaining strength, gaining momentum.”

In 2010, The US Supreme Court ruled in the case Citizens United Inc. v. Federal Election Commission that corporations had the same rights of free speech as living citizens, as well as the right to raise and spend any amount of money in an election. The decision wiped out state campaign finance laws all across the country and opened the floodgates to vast amounts of money pouring into the political process.

Derek Cressman, Common Cause Vice President, observed that, “In deciding Citizens United, the Supreme Court made a disastrous mistake in their interpretation of the Constitution and now it’s up to the people to correct that mistake with an amendment. The good people of San Diego and their city council agree and they are now squarely behind the effort to amend.”

An amendment to the Constitution is already supported by a dozen states, including California, and hundreds of cities, including Los Angeles and New York.

John Smith, Common Cause organizer in Southern California, congratulated Councilmember Marti Emerald for her leadership in bringing this resolution to the San Diego Council. He also applauded the grassroots effort behind the resolution, which was led by the organization Money Out of Politics, and supported by Common Cause and the League of Women Voters. Said Smith, “This was a perfect example of how a small group of citizens can work with local government to achieve a goal. Now look for other cities and other states to realize the danger of Citizens United to our political system and to get behind the amendment.”

For additional information, or to schedule an interview with Common Cause, please call or email Southern California Organizer John Smith at 562-237-3482 or