Page 2 - May-June 2012

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May/June 2012
Public Citizen News
and create opportunities with them to take
action. I am surprised by our momentum.
If you told most people just a year ago that
today there would be dozens of members
of Congress supporting a call for an amend-
ment, hundreds of local resolutions intro-
duced and multiple states considering them,
we would have been surprised.
Q: What was the most rewarding
thing about organizing the protests
around the second anniversary of
Citizens United
(Jan. 21, 2012)?
HAYS:
The demonstrations around
the second anniversary of the
Citi-
zens United
decision were a whirl-
wind of activity. When we set out
to make these events happen, we
wanted to make sure we “put the
amendment campaign on the map”
by making it visible on the national
stage. We set out with a goal of 100
actions nationwide. Instead, there
were over 350 actions held. The
fact that we could be part of making
so much happen is really exciting.
Q: What is the toughest thing about working
on this campaign?
HAYS:
Advancing a constitutional amend-
ment is a tall order. Some people are hesi-
tant, but most people are excited and see it as
a huge possibility — like the sky is the limit. I
think it’s challenging finding a way to grapple
with important and complex ideas embedded
in the amendment but also realizing that we
are building public support and momentum
now. It’s trying to balance the big picture
with the here and now.
Q: Do you have any advice for those people
who want to get involved in the movement?
Where should they go to get involved?
HAYS:
Folks who are looking to get involved
in our campaign should visit our website at
www.DemocracyIsForPeople.org. Or they
can check out the latest on our local
resolutions campaign via
www.ResolutionsWeek.org.
— Compiled by Heather Arkwright
Mark Hays, coordinator for Public Citizen’s
Democracy Is For People campaign, is not
just a longtime advocate for social change.
He also is an accomplished musician, a long-
distance cycler and an avid foodie.
Hays graduated from the New England Con-
servatory of Music with a bachelor’s degree
in classical vocal performance and from Tufts
University with an English de-
gree. He joined Public Citizen
in August 2011 after working
for six years as a researcher,
advocate and strategist for
Corporate Accountability
International, a Boston-based
group dedicated to challenging
corporate abuse.
“When I first started out as
an organizer, I saw firsthand
how corporate lobbyists and
corporate-funded front groups
exercise undue influence over
elected officials,” Hays said.
“It was pretty outrageous how
deep the influence went and
how much money these big
companies spent to derail commonsense
legislation that was in the public’s best inter-
est. That experience made me want to work
on campaigns where I could work with others
to take on corporate power more directly.”
Working for the Democracy Is For People
campaign gives Hays that opportunity to
confront corporate power. The campaign is
pushing for a constitutional amendment to
overturn the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling
in
Citizens United v. Federal Election Com-
mission
, which allows corporations to spend
unlimited amounts of money to influence
elections. Momentum for a constitutional
amendment is growing among local, state
and federal lawmakers, as well as activists
(see page 1).
Q: Have you been surprised by the growing
response and support for a constitutional
amendment?
HAYS:
Our team is pleased but not entirely
surprised by the growing support for an
amendment. We knew it was out there. The
key was finding a way to connect with people
In this issue
Vol. 32, No. 3
Government and financial reform
Win! STOCK Act becomes law ..................................... 1
SEC should require companies
to disclose political spending . ................................... 5
Public Citizen: JOBS Act opens door for fraud risk....... 5
Wall Street lines campaign coffers
to pare back Volcker Rule ......................................... 12
House passes bill that restricts patients’ rights ......... 13
Democracy
Public Citizen generates local support
to undo
Citizens United
.............................................. 1
Commercialism
Hospitals should stop giving
infant formula freebies. .............................................. 1
Energy and Environment
Texas wind power reaches record in April ...................4
Pain at the pump: For Americans to get long-term relief,
we need to break our dependence on oil .....................8
Litigation
Win! Court upholds new warnings
on cigarette packages ................................................. 7
Win! FDA must address antibiotic crisis
in livestock . ............................................................ 14
Win! Local government drops lawsuit
against Occupy Chattanooga . .................................. 14
Globalization and trade
WTO attack on U.S. teen anti-smoking law
highlights dangers of “trade” pacts ........................... 10
Health and safety
Win! Wyoming hospital informs
surgical patients about infection risk.......................... 11
Public Citizen recommends
“Rebuild the Dream” .................................................15
“Food Fight” . ...........................................................15
“Boomerang” . ..........................................................15
Other
Get to Know Public Citizen ......................................... 2
President’s View ........................................................ 3
Stand Up for Main Street . ........................................... 7
In the Spotlight ........................................................ 10
Public Citizen crossword ...........................................15
1600 20th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20009 • (202) 588-1000 • pcmail@citizen.org • www.citizen.org
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President
Robert Weissman
Public Citizen Inc. Board of Directors
Jason Adkins (chair), Barbara Ehrenreich, Joan Claybrook, Andrew S.
Friedman, Jim Hightower, Joy Howell, John Richard, Anthony So,
Robert Weissman (ex officio)
Public Citizen Foundation Board of Directors
Robert C. Fellmeth (chair), Jim Bildner, Mark Chavez, David Halperin,
Annie Leonard, Steve Skrovan, Cynthia Renfro, Robert Weissman
(ex officio)
Directors
David J. Arkush, Congress Watch; Angela Bradbery, Communications;
Helen Katz, Development; Tyson Slocum, Energy; Tom Smith, Texas;
Joe Stoshak, Chief Financial Officer; Lori Wallach, Global Trade Watch;
Sidney M. Wolfe, M.D., Health Research; Allison Zieve, Litigation
Editor
Bridgette Blair
Get to Know Public Citizen
An ongoing series profiling Public Citizen staffers and leaders
About the contributors
Heather Arkwright
is a Public Citizen communications intern.
Bridgette Blair
is editor of Public Citizen News.
Greg Beck
is a Public Citizen attorney.
Angela Bradbery
is Public Citizen’s communications director.
Kendall Breitman
is a Public Citizen communications intern.
Allison Fisher
is outreach director for Public Citizen’s Energy Program.
Carol Geiger
is office and support manager for Public Citizen’s Texas office.
Dana Gittings
is a Public Citizen communications intern.
Barbara Holzer
is Public Citizen’s broadcast and marketing manager.
Dorry Samuels
is Public Citizen’s press office coordinator.
Robert Weissman
is Public Citizen president.
Mark Hays