Tell your state legislators to pass the “We the People Act”
1. US House – MA Congressional Delegation: As of June 2019, three amendment resolutions have been and/or are due to be filed in the House. We need help to build support among the Massachusetts delegation for the “We the People Amendment,” H.J.Res.48 filed by Representative Jayapal. The “We the People Amendment” is the only current amendment proposal that unequivocally overturns the two damaging legal doctrines — that corporations are people and that money is speech — and it effectively mandates federal, state, and local action to ensure more equal access to the political process for all citizens, not just wealthy individuals and corporations. It also mandates that artificial entities shall not be given constitutional rights. Of the 9 person House delegation, only Rep. Richard Neal has not co-sponsored HJ Res 48. Reps Moulton, Lynch, Kennedy, McGovern, Pressley, Trahan, and Keating have co-sponsored. However, they all also co-sponsor the weaker proposed amendment language that is in HJ Res 2. We need them to continue to hear from constituents that they must promote the only amendment that is effective in addressing both corporate power (constitutional rights) and big money in politics, HJ Res. 48.
2. US Senate: The We the People Amendment has not yet been filed in the Senate. All of the Democratic Senators have co-sponsored the weaker HJ Res. 2. But now Senator Ed Markey has agreed to file the We the People Amendment in the Senate and lead on its passage, but we need to help him recruit at least 4 more co-sponsors. The progress was delayed by the impeachment trial and now the corona virus pandemic. We have resumed efforts to get our only other MA Senator, Elizabeth Warren, to co-sponsor the We the People Amendment with Sen. Markey and help recruit other co-sponsors. We are in discussion with her lead staff, but do need constituents to continue to call Senator Warren’s office.
3. Massachusetts State Legislation: ORMA, We the People Massachusetts, and Wolf-PAC agree we must also motivate state legislators to put pressure on Congress to support the needed amendment. Massachusetts can join Vermont, California, Illinois, New Jersey, and Rhode Island by passing the “We the People Act,” S.2163 and H.3208
ORMA members and affiliates interested in helping advance this priority can:
- Lobby their representatives at the state and federal level, democratic committees, unions, and community organizations to endorse Federal H.J.Res.48 and MA state resolutions S.2163 and H.3208.
- Advocate to remove dark money from politics with full disclosure for all campaign advertisements and the elimination of loopholes and secret funding pathways.
- Persuade pension funds and investors to require corporations to reveal their political contributions.
- Participate in op eds, letters to the editor, call-ins, town halls, public forums, stand outs, meetings, and coalitions, and support ally events.
- Write op-eds and letters to the editor.
- Pass local warrant articles and resolutions to endorse Federal H.J.Res.48 and MA state resolutions S.2163 and H.3208.
- Ensure endorsed candidates have taken a clean money pledge and are refusing super PAC donations.
- Host activities, meetings, education forums, and coalition events.
- Join or build coalitions.
ORMA success will be measured by:
- Increased numbers of local Democratic and Republican Committee endorsements and resolutions calling for passage of Federal H.J.Res.48 and MA state resolutions S.2163 and H.3208.
- Co-sponsorship from state and federal representatives.
- Candidates taking a clean money pledge, and refusing super PAC donations.
- Large turnout at Money Out of Politics events.
- Passage of Campaign Finance Reform legislation.
- More effective and unified with larger regional groups, forming or joining a coalition with the objectives of coalition planning, joint actions, and building awareness.
- We need the strength of OUR grassroots movement to get Money Out of Politics.
ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Article V of the U.S. Constitution provides that both the states and Congress have the power to propose amendments on specific topics once they reach a two-thirds threshold, after which proposals must then be ratified by three-quarters (38) of the states. Only the most populist and reasonable of proposals can survive the ratification gauntlet. Historically, most Constitutional Amendments came about when the American people used every tool of democracy available, including petitions, local legislation, ballot referendums, educational campaigns, resolutions calling on Congress to propose a Constitutional Amendment, and finally applications for an Article V convention to propose an Amendment. Four out of the last ten Amendments included a convention campaign where Congress ultimately proposed the amendment themselves to avoid usurpation. We’ve never had an Article V Convention because this strategy has invariably driven Congress to act. Resources.
The Citizens Commission, created by 2018 Ballot under the leadership of our ally American Promise, is currently tasked with finding solutions to the problem of Big Money in Politics and advancing the 28th Amendment.
“We the People Amendment” (HJR 48) – proposed amendment language:
“Section 1. The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons only. Artificial entities, such as corporations, limited liability companies, and other 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. 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 that person’s 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 governments 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.
Section 3. Nothing contained in this amendment shall be construed to abridge the freedom of the press.”
Thank you for supporting this movement.
Without YOU this ORMA priority would not be achievable!
Please submit your ORMA priority events, suggestions, achievements, questions, and proposals to Priorities@OurRevolutionMA.com