June 8, 2012
During Resolutions Week, People Throughout the Nation Rally for Constitutional Amendment to Overturn Citizens United
Week of June 11 Is Part of Nationwide Effort to Pass Local Resolutions Calling for a Constitutional Amendment to Rid Elections of Corporate Cash
WASHINGTON, D.C. – From Atlanta, Ga., and Corpus Christi, Texas, to Wichita, Kansas, and Irvine, Calif., people throughout the country will rally during “Resolutions Week” to show support for a constitutional amendment to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling.
Resolutions Week, which starts June 11, is part of a growing movement to rid elections of corporate cash by overturning the court’s decision, which gave corporations the green light to spend unlimited sums to influence elections. The Resolutions Week campaign is a push by Public Citizen and partner organizations to pass local resolutions nationwide that call for a constitutional amendment. These organizations want to make it clear that our Constitution and our democracy is for all people, not corporations and a few superwealthy campaign donors.
Throughout the week of June 11, activists in dozens of communities across the country will be holding events to showcase their resolution campaigns. At the same, additional resolutions are being introduced and advanced in many other locations. For example, in Wichita, Kansas, activists are holding a teach-in on the effects of the Citizens United decision. In Raleigh, N.C., activists are gathering at the state capitol to celebrate local resolutions passed throughout the state and call for a state legislative resolution to be passed. And in Berkeley, Los Angeles, and Irvine, Calif., educational forums and press conferences will be held throughout the week to demonstrate public support for a constitutional amendment.
“Citizens United enabled a small group of superrich individuals and giant corporations to dominate our elections. We saw their influence this week in the Wisconsin recall elections. That is only a taste of what we will see as we approach the presidential elections in November,” said Public Citizen President Robert Weissman. “People nationwide understand that it is vital we have a constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United and rescue our democracy.”
Already, more than 200 local governments have passed resolutions supporting an amendment. More than 100 members of Congress have backed an amendment, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Richard Durbin (D-Ill.). President Barack Obama also has voiced his support for an amendment. Since Public Citizen launched its Resolutions Week effort in late March, resolutions have been passed at a rate of approximately one a day or more.
Five state legislatures – those of Hawaii, New Mexico, Vermont, Rhode Island and Maryland – have shown support for an amendment. Resolutions have been introduced in an additional 21 state legislatures. California and Massachusetts appear to be the next states that will pass resolutions calling for an amendment.
Furthermore, more than 85 national organizations have called for a constitutional amendment, 17 of which are helping to organize Resolutions Week. More than a million people across the U.S. have signed petitions saying they back a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision. Public Citizen’s petition alone has more than 100,000 signatures.
“These local efforts – and the outpouring of support that we have seen – are a testament to how people are taking democracy into their own hands,” said Mark Hays, campaign coordinator for Public Citizen’s Democracy Is For People campaign. “They are pulling out the stops to build a movement for an amendment.”
Public Citizen and its partners in the Resolutions Week initiative are providing information to activists about how to approach local council members, how to get people involved and how to publicize their efforts. Organizational partners in this initiative include People For the American Way, Move to Amend, Corporate Accountability International, Main Street Alliance, Common Cause, Free Speech for People, Alliance for Democracy, Bullfrog Films, California Church Impact, the Coffee Party, Communication Workers of America, Democracy Unlimited, Get the Dough Out, Story of Stuff and U.S. PIRG. The initiative is also supported by the congressional offices of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and U.S. Reps. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), Donna Edwards (D-Md.) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.).