Open Letter to Raleigh Mayor, City Council: Defend ‘We the People’
**If you would like to support this local resolution against Citizens United, click here to send a single email to the mayor and all council members to ask them to defend democracy by supporting this resolution. If you live in Raleigh, enter your address on this page to find out who your district’s elected council member is, then find his/her individual email addresses at the bottom of this page. Also, plan to attend the city council meeting on Tuesday, June 5 at 7:00pm.
Opposition to Citizens United is overwhelming among voters across party lines, Miller Center/Univ of Virginia – http://bit.ly/LxQSMg
Dear Mayor McFarlane and Raleigh City Council Members,
I am writing to ask you to support a Raleigh city council resolution against the Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court ruling. I represent a growing group of Raleigh residents and organizations who value the tenants of fair democracy and oppose excessive and sometimes anonymous spending by Super PACs and corporations to swing elections in their favor.
This is a citizens-based movement to regain control over elections and policy making. We’ve been running a petition drive on the streets of Raleigh and have collected over 250 signatures, which I can deliver to you in person. The online petition is nearing 100 additional signatures (sign it here).
In North Carolina alone, local government leaders in Asheville, Franklin, Highlands, Bryson City, Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Orange County and Durham have decided that passing a resolution against corporate personhood is in the best interest of their constituents. The resolution is in progress in many other NC municipalities.
Similar resolutions against Citizens United have been approved by state lawmakers in Rhode Island, Vermont, New Mexico and Hawaii, and one is pending before the Massachusetts Legislature. In May, it was announced that 22 states (including North Carolina) and the District of Columbia are joining Montana’s challenge of the Citizens United ruling – an effort that has gained bi-partisan support from Senators John McCain (R-Ariz) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) (see the news story here).
On May 23, two NC Senators announced that they will present a resolution against Citizens United to the NCGA (see the announcement here).
Local groups that have already signed on in support of this effort include Triangle Move to Amend, NC Voters for Clean Elections, 350.org, and The Raleigh Action Collective, a grassroots organization rooted in the Occupy movement. Additional local organizations publicly opposing Citizens United include the NC State AFL-CIO, NC NAACP, the Raleigh-Wake Move On Council, Common Cause, and Democracy NC, along with hundreds of citizens that have turned out at recent actions against Citizens United.
I have sent to you a draft resolution that is based on resolutions that have passed in other municipalities and the feedback we received from one of the Raleigh council members. I am writing to ask you for your feedback on the draft and to request that you take the necessary steps to promptly advance this resolution after hearing about the broad community support for it at the city council meeting on Tuesday, June 5. We will be requesting a spot on the agenda to bring this matter to your attention in person and mobilizing community members to attend the June 5 council meeting to show their support for the resolution.
I am glad the Raleigh city council took steps to publicly oppose the anti-equality Amendment One and to express concern over the potential dangers of fracking in North Carolina. I sincerely hope that Raleigh leaders can also support this growing national movement to defend democracy from corruption and preserve the Constitutional rights of ordinary citizens. Below, I have included some links to research I have done on this issue for your perusal.
I and others belonging to the Raleigh coalition against Citizens United would be happy to meet with you in person to further discuss this resolution and the path to getting it passed.
A Member of The Raleigh Action Collective and local organizer on the Citizens United issue
- Nearly four in five (79%) Americans support passage of an amendment to overturn the Citizens United decision: http://freespeechforpeople.org/sites/default/files/me10129b_public.pdf
- Poll: Supreme Court Citizens United Decision Hurts Small Businesses, Say Owners by 7 to 1 margin:http://mainstreetalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Release-smallbusinesspoll-CitizensUnited.pdf
- Two Supreme Court justices suggest Citizens United ruling should be reconsidered: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/two-justices-suggest-citizens-united-ruling-should-be-reconsidered-in-montana-case/2012/02/17/gIQAJ07kKR_story.html
- 56 Mass. towns urge Congress to reverse Citizens United: http://bostonherald.com/news/ politics/view/2012052256 _mass_towns_urge_congress _to_reverse_citizens_united
- Dozens of Vt. Towns Pass “Citizens United” Resolution: http://www.wptz.com/Dozens-of-Vt-Towns-Pass-Citizens-United-Resolution/-/8870596/9309018/-/axgscez/-/index.html
- NYT Editorial on Citizens United: When Other Voices Are Drowned Out: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/26/opinion/when-other-voices-are-drowned-out.html
**If you would like to support this local resolution against Citizens United, click here to send a single email to the mayor and all council members to speak your mind on this issue. If you live in Raleigh, enter your address on this page to find out who your district’s elected council member is, then find his/her individual email addresses at the bottom of this page. Also, plan to attend the city council meeting on Tuesday, June 5 at 7:00pm.