Cleveland Heights voters proclaim corporations are not people, money is not speech
To the Editor:
Cleveland Heights voters decisively passed a local ordinance on Nov. 5, instructing the city to inform federal and state elected officials that Cleveland Heights voters want a U.S. constitutional amendment ending constitutional rights for corporations and overturning the legal doctrine of money being considered equivalent to speech.
The measure, Issue 32, passed with more than 77 percent of the vote. More than 3,000 citizens signed petitions circulated by Cleveland Heights Move to Amend volunteers to place the grassroots initiative on the ballot.
The voters of this city have said they’re tired of not being heard, of politicians spending their time chasing big corporate donors and working for them instead of us. That it's time to go beyond apathy and cynicism and do something to fight back. Cleveland Heights joins the hundreds of other cities across the country that are part of the movement to say that only humans are people and have constitutional rights.
Similar ballot measures passed in Brecksville and Newburgh Heights last year, and in Defiance on Nov. 5. City councils in Athens, Oberlin, Barberton and Fremont have passed similar resolutions. Petition drives are underway in several other Ohio municipalities. More than 500 communities nationwide have enacted either council resolutions or ballot initiatives with equivalent language, as part of a campaign organized by the national Move to Amend coalition, which was launched following the U.S. Supreme Court Citizens United v. FEC decision of 2010.
Issue 32, titled Political Influence by Corporate Entities, also calls for an annual city-sponsored public hearing each January, to examine the impact of political influence by corporate entities and big money in elections. Cleveland Heights Move to Amend will immediately contact city officials to begin planning for that event, which will be open to the entire community.
[Hanley is the spokesperson for Cleveland Heights Move to Amend]