Only People are People in Portland, Ore.
Yesterday, January 12, 2012, the Portland City Council kicked off the New Year with a victory for democracy by adopting a resolution addressing Citizens United and corporate personhood. (PDF) After all, corporations don’t merit the constitutional rights provided to people. I was pleased to testify along with representatives from Portland Move to Amend, Portland Alliance for Democracy, Occupy Portland, and numerous other Portlanders.
There was a good crowd, lively discussion, and overwhelming support in the Council Chambers. Thanks to Mayor Sam Adams for his work bringing this resolution forward. The resolution makes suggestions to improve constitutional amendments proposed by Senator Jeff Merkley and Representatives Kurt Schrader, Earl Blumenauer, and Peter DeFazio, but it is great these members of Oregon’s congressional delegation have this topic on their agendas.
The resolution is informative, tracing the legal history of Citizens United and the fiction that corporations are people. It also requires a legal assessment of the feasibility of placing a ballot measure on these topics for a popular vote by Portlanders.
What a great way to celebrate the upcoming 2nd anniversary of Citizens United.
UPDATE – Join in on some of the “no to Citizens United” activities around Oregon on January 20, the day before the second anniversary of Citizens United. In Portland, I’ll be a co-speaker focusing on the effects of Citizens United at the City Club of Portland’s Friday Forum. This talk will be aired statewide on OPB radio that evening at 7:00 pm. There’s also a rally at noon at Pioneer Courthouse Square. In Eugene, We the People Eugene is coordinating a rally from noon to five at the U.S. Court House at 405 E. 8th Avenue. I hope you can make it to one of the events!