Jan. 16, 2015
Albany Rally to Mark Fifth Anniversary of Citizens United
Activists to Call for New York to Become 17th State to Support a Constitutional Amendment to Curb Campaign Spending
WHAT: A rally on the fifth anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling. Hundreds of activists will urge the New York Legislature to make New York the 17th state to call for a constitutional amendment to overturn the decision and get corporate money out of politics. New York came close last year with a majority of the Assembly and 28 state senators signing a letter to Congress calling for an amendment.
The disastrous Citizens United decision gave corporations and the wealthy the green light to spend unlimited sums to influence elections. And spend they did. Since 2010, election spending in New York elections has skyrocketed, with the majority of the funds coming from out-of-state organizations – some of which don’t disclose their donors – and the rest coming from a very small pool of wealthy donors.
Momentum for a grassroots movement to overturn Citizens United through a constitutional amendment is growing in New York. So far, 20 local municipalities, representing nearly 10 million people, have called for an amendment, including New York City, Albany and Buffalo. On Wednesday, hundreds will rally in the Legislative Office Building then march to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State address with their signs and banners.
The rally is part of a day of events being held throughout the country to mark the fifth anniversary of Citizens United and highlight the need to overturn it. Other events include a press conference on Capitol Hill by congressional lawmakers, who will reintroduce measures to curb spending in elections, as well as protests and events throughout the country.
WHEN: The rally will take place at 11 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 21. Activists will march to the State of the State address at noon.
WHO: New York State Sen. Daniel Squadron
New York Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy
New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli
Jan Rhodes Norman, member, American Sustainable Business Council
Joe Mayhew, New York legislative and political coordinator, Communication Workers of America
Jonah Minkoff-Zern, co-director, Public Citizen’s Democracy Is For People Campaign
Ansje Miller, eastern states director, Center for Environmental Health
Angelica Clarke, co-founder, Capital Area Against Mass Incarceration
WHERE: Rally at “the Well” of the Legislative Office Building, 198 State St., Albany; march to the Convention Center, South Mall Arterial, Albany
VISUALS: A large 45-foot by 45-foot Pay 2 Play monopoly board, which depicts the political process, has been traveling around the country and will be at the rally site from 10-11 a.m.