The growing grassroots democracy movement took another huge step forward this week when Congressional Representatives Rick Nolan (DFL-Minnesota) and Mark Pocan (D-Wisconsin) joined Move To Amend coalition organizers Ben Manski and George "Leesa" Friday at the National Press Club to announce that the " We the People Amendment " was being introduced in Congress (H.J.Res. 29).
This amendment clearly and unequivocally states that:
Section 1. [Only People Have Constitutional Rights]
The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons only.
Artificial entities established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state shall have no rights under this Constitution and are subject to regulation by the People, through Federal, State, or local law.
The privileges of artificial entities shall be determined by the People, through Federal, State, or local law, and shall not be construed to be inherent or inalienable.
Section 2. [Money is Not Free Speech]
Federal, State, and local government shall regulate, limit, or prohibit contributions and expenditures, including a candidate's own contributions and expenditures, to ensure that all citizens, regardless of their economic status, have access to the political process, and that no person gains, as a result of their money, substantially more access or ability to influence in any way the election of any candidate for public office or any ballot measure.
Federal, State, and local government shall require that any permissible contributions and expenditures be publicly disclosed.
The judiciary shall not construe the spending of money to influence elections to be speech under the First Amendment.
Lead sponsor Rep. Rick Nolan (DFL-Minnesota), said: "It's time to take the shaping and molding of public policy out of corporate boardrooms, away from the corporate lobbyists, and put it back in city halls -- back with county boards and state legislatures -- and back in the Congress where it belongs."
Ben Manski, a spokesperson for the Move to Amend coalition agreed, saying: "Today, members of Congress join a movement that insists on the fundamental equality of all Americans, and that rejects the idea that the corporate class should have special protections against We the People."
The Move to Amend Coalition was formed in preparation for the Supreme Court's Citizens United v FEC ruling in 2010. Today, the coalition boasts over 260,000 supporters, thousands of endorsing organizations, and has organized over 150 local affiliate across the country. These are groups who have formed in their local communities to educate, agitate and organize in direct support of the Move To Amend position that only people have constitutional rights and that money is not free speech.
In a few short years this grassroots movement has passed almost 500 resolutions in municipalities and local governments across the country calling on the state and federal governments to adopt an amendment.
Deeper still, they have used the citizens initiative process to place the issue squarely before the voters in dozens of cities and counties, and have won every single election! Most of those elections have been super-majorities, often winning by more than 70%. These victories include areas traditionally considered liberal, and other areas traditionally considered conservative.
"The movement transcends typical political parties and labels," said George Friday. "The Move To Amend coalition is multi-racial, includes rural and city folk, all united in the belief that we need a social movement to create real democracy, and to make the promise of democracy a reality in the United States," she said.