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LongTomH

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Member since: Wed Oct 13, 2004, 05:42 PM
Number of posts: 8,636

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Kansas City Move to Amend Presents Its Petition to Overturn Citizens United



On Wed, June 13, the Kansas City chapter of Move to Amend presented its petitions, with over 3,000 signatures to the Kansas City Missouri City Council. The resolution passed unanimously on the following day.

The Kansas City Council unanimously approved a resolution Thursday opposing the Supreme Court’s “Citizens United” ruling of 2010, which opened the door to Super PACS and unlimited corporate contributions to political campaigns.

The City Council joins others across the country that are weighing in on the ruling.

Mary Lindsay, spokeswoman for the Kansas City affiliate to the “Move To Amend” movement, said the court ruling gives deep-pocket corporations undue influence over elections and compromises the political process.

Mary Lindsay is the lady, in the yellow shirt, speaking to the council. I apologize for the audio quality, but the videographer wasn't able to get a good camera or microphone angle in the City Council chamber.

The Kansas City.com article mentions "others (city councils) across the country that are weighing in on the ruling." At last count, there were 210 communities across the nation that have passed, or are in the process of passing, similar resolutions. Katrina van Heuvel's article in the Nation mentions resolutions passed with a "Resolve to Overturn Citizens United," but she neglected to mention Move to Amend or the citizen activists who've worked for these resolutions.

Mary has expressed hope that Kansas City's resolution will inspire other communities in middle America to work toward getting their city councils to pass similar resolutions. Citizens in Wichita, KS have already started the process. As for the local group, we're looking at passing resolutions in other communities in the Kansas City Metroplex.

An article I posted in the Missouri forum a couple of days ago has excerpts from both our petition and the resolution. Want to get a resolution passed in your community? See if there's a Move to Amend chapter near you.

Kansas City takes on Citizens United

KC Move to Amend is the Kansas City chapter of Move to Amend. Over the last few weeks we've been circulating petitions in Kansas City, Mo with the following language:

We, the undersigned residents of Kansas City, Missouri, urge the Kansas City, Missouri City Council to pass the following resolution:

RESOLVED, the People of Kansas City, Missouri, stand with communities across the country to defend democracy from the corrupting effects of undue corporate power by amending the United States Constitution to establish that:
  1. Only human beings, not corporations, are endowed with constitutional rights, and
  2. Money is not speech, and therefore regulating political contributions and spending is not equivalent to limiting political speech."

Tomorrow, June 13, Kansas City Move to Amend (KCMTA) members will deliver copies of our petition, with over 3,000 signatures, to the KCMO City Council. We expect them to vote on the resolution Thursday, June 14. The actual resolution to be voted on by the KCMO City Council incorporates the above language from our petition, plus a lot of 'WHEREAS's to make it sound more official. Full text of the resolution HERE.

Here are some excerpts from the press release sent out by KC Move to Amend:

City Council of Kansas City to Vote on Resolution To Amend the US Constitution

Amendment Needed to Overturn U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United Ruling

Kansas City MO Citizens will hold a public Press Conference and hope to celebrate the City Council’s approval of a resolution designed to curb corporate power in elections which is scheduled for a vote on June 14, 2012.

The resolution is one of more than 200 that have been passed since the Citizens United ruling in 2010, one of more than 100 passed since March. The effort is being organized by the Kansas City affiliate of Move To Amend—a national coalition of organizations formed in response to the Citizens United ruling.

“I am pleased to join elected officials across the country in sponsoring a resolution to support the efforts of Move to Amend to reverse the impact of the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The resolutions are sponsored by Republican, Democratic, and Non-partisan elected officials who are concerned about the detrimental impact of allowing unlimited political contributions by corporations, unions, and other unidentified interest groups. Regulating political contributions and spending does not limit free speech but provides a transparent process that is critical to protecting the integrity of campaigns,” says sponsoring Councilwoman, Jan Marcason. Since the Citizens United ruling, record amounts of money have been spent in races throughout the country.

Kansas City is part of a growing movement in which city councils, from Los Angeles and New York, to Duluth, Minn., and South Miami, Fla., are calling for a constitutional amendment to curb corporate influence over elections. In addition, voters have approved similar ballot initiatives in cities such as Missoula, Mont., West Allis, Wis., and Boulder, Colo. State legislatures in Hawaii, Maryland, Rhode Island, Vermont and New Mexico have called for an amendment as well, and similar resolutions have been introduced in 25 states, including Kansas.

Read the rest of the press release on Tony's Kansas City blog.

KC Move to Amend is so confident of passage of the resolution that we're planning a celebration and press conference following the vote. For those in the Kansas City Metro area, come join us at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church, 4501 Walnut Street at 7:00PM Thursday, June14. There will be refreshments and live music by a local musician. Someone has already arranged for videotaping of the event for a YouTube video (I promise to post it here!).

We'll also be discussing where to go next. The current resolution is just for Kansas City, MO. There are other communities in the Kansas City Metro area on both sides of the Kansas / Missouri state line.

Someone is certainly going to ask: "What good does it do to have a resolution supporting a constitutional amendment from a city council? Certainly nice; but, it doesn't get the job done (of amending the Constitution)." That's certainly true; all we're asking for right now is a show of support from KC and the 200 other communities around the nation. The process of amending the Constitution has just started. It's going to be a long, long, uphill battle and we realize that.

For more information on Move to Amend, it's drive to amend the constitution and the issues involved, go to the Frequently Asked Questions page on the Move to Amend website; also check out their links. Find out if there's a Move to Amend chapter near you; if not, start one.
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