July 3, 2012
Kudos to Raleigh, N.C., for Passing a Resolution Calling for a Constitutional Amendment to Overturn Citizens United
Statement of Jonah Minkoff-Zern, Senior Organizer
Public Citizen’s Democracy Is For People Campaign*
Note: Public Citizen’s Democracy Is For People Campaign local activist Michael Eisenberg worked with Raleigh Action Committee and North Carolina Voters for Clean Elections to develop and move forward a resolution calling for a constitutional amendment.
Today, by a vote of 6-2, the Raleigh City Council passed a resolution calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and return fair elections and constitutional rights to the people.
We strongly urge the North Carolina Legislature to follow suit. If it does, North Carolina will join a growing number of state legislatures calling for an amendment.
Already, we have seen the damaging effects of Citizens United. The 2010 midterm congressional elections were swamped with corporate cash. To date, nearly $170 million of outside spending has been recorded in the 2012 elections. A record amount of money – some say as much as $8 billion – is likely to be spent on this year’s federal election cycle, with a large amount of that coming from corporations.
The more beholden our elected officials are to corporations, the worse off our democracy will be. People throughout the country understand this and are beginning to rise up and call for change. Elected officials in nearly 300 cities and towns have passed resolutions calling for a constitutional amendment; eight have been passed by North Carolina cities such as Chapel Hill, Durham, Asheville and Carrboro.
Five state legislatures – those of Hawaii, New Mexico, Vermont, Rhode Island and Maryland – have stated 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.
North Carolina’s lawmakers should do everything they can to support those efforts. Passing a resolution quickly would be a great start.
Learn more about Public Citizen’s Democracy Is For People Campaign.