THIS WEEK In The Halls of Power: In-School advertising, globalization, Richard Cordray & nationwide mobilization to reverse Citizens United v. FEC
It’s just Monday and we have already been so busy! Earlier today, Public Citizen’s Commercial Alert program issued targeted warnings to a number of different school districts and school boards, including the State of Hawaii School Board, that are currently considering in-school advertising proposals to raise revenues.
“Children already are surrounded by near-constant advertising that promotes consumerism and commercial values,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. “But the ubiquity of advertising is not a reason for allowing corporate naming rights and in-school advertising to persist; it is a reason why children need a sanctuary from a world where everything seems to be for sale.”
Elizabeth Ben-Ishai, campaign coordinator for Public Citizen’s Commercial Alert project, which you can follow on Twitter @CommercialAlert, added:
In-school advertising and marketing schemes convey market rather than civic values and impede the ability of schools to function as open spaces where ideas are freely exchanged and the next generation of public-minded, conscientious and virtuous students can grow.
Meanwhile, Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines director Peter Maybarduk is gearing up to speak about patent rules tomorrow at the Georgetown University School of Law. Lady Liberty hopes you’ll make note that the folks at Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines program are now on Twitter! Please follow them at @PCMedsAccess to catch their take on today, the 10th anniversary of the Doha Declaration.
Tomorrow, we gear up with our allies to say, “Enough is enough!” You would think the devastating impact of our lack of financial regulation has had on the global economy would make Congress eager to enact Wall Street reforms and yet, it seems many are dead-set on derailing implementation of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act. Current tactics being employed by obstructionist members whose allegiance to the financial industry has all but blinded them include attempts to block the nomination of Richard Cordray, Obama’s appointee to run the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
Public Citizen’s energy program staff are deeply concerned about fracking, a process used by Big Energy to extract natural gas. On Nov. 21, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), which includes governors from Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey, will be voting on proposed rules that would open up the basin to extensive well drilling. This week, we will be alerting Public Citizen activists in these states to attend the meeting and voice their opposition to their respective governors. Public Citizen strongly feels, “government must have the authority to protect public from fracking” and until they have such power, they should not have the power to allow corporations to come in and start injecting an unknown toxic cocktail of chemicals into the very ground from where citizens get their drinking water.
On Wednesday, our energy staff will also make a final appeal to supercommittee members to do the obvious: stop wasteful subsidies of fossil fuel industries. We were proud to partner with allies from both the left (Friends of the Earth) and right (Taxpayers for Commonsense and the Heartland Institute) to produce simple guidelines the supercommittee would be wise to adopt. We also believe EVERYONE would be well-served in watching the Story of Broke, which features commentary by Public Citizen Energy Program director Tyson Slocum.
This week, our new team of super-star organizers and interns, whose sole focus is to ensure that the 2010 Supreme Court Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commission’s ruling is reversed, is hard at work engaging in follow-up with concerned citizens across the country following last Wednesday night’s nationwide organizing call. More than 200 groups of Americans and dozens of Occupy camps across the country joined Public Citizen’s Democracy is For People campaign, our partner organizations and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to mobilize for a constitutional amendment to overturn the outrageous Citizens United 5-4 decision which said, in essence, that corporations are people and money is speech. Learn more about how activists are getting empowered on the grassroots level to fight back against deep-pocketed special interests, and stay tuned to Citizen Vox this week for more reports from last week’s organizing parties and for an update on the campaign’s next round of activities!