Move To Amend Day

Chagrin Falls Village Initiative Calling on Congress to Support Amending the U.S. Constitution to Establish That Corporations Are Not People and Money Is Not Speech

Whereas, free and fair elections are essential to American democracy and effective self-governance; and

Whereas, in a 2010 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission, the Supreme Court ruled that corporate entities have the same rights as individual human beings to free speech protections and unrestricted spending on political speech; and

Whereas, the judicial bestowal of civil and political rights upon corporations usurps basic Constitutional rights guaranteed to human beings, and also empowers corporations to sue municipal and state governments for adopting laws that violate “corporate free speech,” even when those laws serve to protect and defend the rights of human persons and communities; and

Whereas, money is property, not speech, and therefore the judicial interpretation of money as equivalent to political speech in effect contradicts the principle of one person, one vote by allowing unlimited spending by wealthy individuals and corporations to influence campaigns, elections, lawmaking and public policy decisions; and

Whereas, local governments play an important role in protecting the integrity of our political process,

Now Therefore, Be It Ordained by Initiative by the people of the Village of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, that the Administrative Code of the Chagrin Falls Codified Ordinance be enacted to include a new ordinance Title NINE, “Political Influence by Corporate Entities” which shall read as follows:

Chapter 171: Political Influence by Corporate Entities

Section 171.01

Beginning in 2015, the Mayor and Village Council shall designate one day, every two years, during the first week of March “Move to Amend Day.” On this day, the Mayor and Village Council shall sponsor a Public Meeting to study the impact on our Village of political influence by corporate entities, including unions and Political Action Committees, in connection with the most recent election. Members of the general public in attendance shall be afforded the opportunity to speak on these matters for up to five minutes per person. The Village shall record the minutes of the hearing and make them available to the public by posting them on the Village’s website

Section 171.02

Within one (1) week following the biennial Public Hearing, the Clerk of Village Council shall send a letter to the leaders of the Ohio House and Senate, to our U.S. Congressional Representative, and to both Ohio Senators. The letter will include a brief summary of the Public Hearing and will state that the citizens of the Village of Chagrin Falls in November 2014 voted in support of a Citizens’ Initiative calling for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution declaring:

  1. (1) Only human beings, not corporations, are legal persons with Constitutional rights, and

  2. (2) Money is not equivalent to speech, and therefore regulating political contributions and spending does not equate to limiting political speech.

Section 171.03

The biennial Public Hearings will no longer be required if and when a Constitutional Amendment reflecting the principles set forth in Section 2 is ratified by three-quarters (3/4) of the state legislatures.