30 of your fellow American citizens gather at the Larkspur Cafe in Sitka, Alaska to plan for the 2-year anniversary of the Citizens United decision.

Last night, We, the People mobilized to fight back and reclaim our Constitution and our democracy for its human citizens, the ones who vote in elections and to whom our representatives are supposed to be accountable.

On January 21, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court unleashed a roaring torrent of unlimited corporate money into our elections in Citizens United v Federal Election Commission. In so doing, they twisted the First Amendment far from its intended, long-understood meaning and undermined the very essence of American democracy.

Yesterday evening, more than 200 groups of Americans gathered in living rooms, university classrooms, interfaith centers, cafes, and more than a dozen Occupy sites to join Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and a coalition of organizations working toward a constitutional amendment to reverse the Supreme Court’s outrageous ruling.

And they did more than listen to the Senator and the others on the live stream. They sat down and began planning how to organize in their own communities, and brainstorming grassroots ideas for a Nationwide Day of Action on January 21, 2012 (the two-year anniversary of Citizens United).

The only word that can be used to describe what we’re feeling here right now at the Democracy is For People campaign is “exhilarated.” Tired, but exhilarated… and inspired.

From Senator Sanders’ determined and inspiring words, to the citizens in Boulder, Colorado and Missoula, Montana, who have already passed referenda challenging corporate personhood (by 3-to-1 margins!), there was a lot of motivation for moving forward.

People are planning and organizing in 42 states across the nation. We’ve heard amazing things about last night’s gatherings already. And we’ll be posting here at CitizenVox.org to update readers on some of them as more reports come in.

Amending the Constitution is a difficult task (as it should be). And as Charles Pierce pointed out last week on his Esquire blog, “thanks to the very decision against which this amendment is aimed, the political process to pass it will be as open to corporate money-bombing as any other political process in this country will be for the foreseeable future.”

Yet Americans, and our democracy, are resilient. It was that resilience and energy that Bill Moyers talked about in his keynote address at Public Citizen’s 40th anniversary celebration last month, noting how past generations of Americans have overcome extreme concentrations of wealth and power that undermined democracy, in the process ensuring reforms and constitutional amendments that made us a more perfect Union.

Moyers closed his address by encouraging us all to “Remember: Democracy doesn’t begin at the top; it begins at the bottom, when flesh-and-blood human beings fight to rekindle the patriot’s dream.” Join us in that undertaking. Together we can amend the Constitution to ensure that corporate money is no longer allowed to dominate our politics.

Let’s get to work.

Sean Siperstein is a Legal Fellow with the Democracy is For People campaign.

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Comments

  • Harvey Lee White

    THE QUESTION: Does the government want us to PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE to the GIANT CORPORATIONS of the UNITED STATES of AMERICA, and to the PROFITS for which they STAND; one NATION under GIANT CORPORATIONS, with INDEBTEDNESS and INJUSTICE, for almost everyone? {read Gandhi on government}
    EMAIL commentsharveywhite2010@gmail.com [read Gandhi quotes]

  • We attended a meeting and felt the best action is to have a huge CALL-in/Write-in/E-mail contact form day on the MONDAY after JAN 21st anniversary of the horrible supreme court decision. We need to give that decision a better name than the slanted language Karl Rove used to name it re. “Citizens United.” We need to start calling THE RIGHT WING SUPREME COURT DECISION THAT DESTROYED DEMOCRACY, or THE SUPREME COURT DECISION THAT MADE CORPORATIONS into PEOPLE and FREE SPEECH into MONEY, or some other catch phrase. This slanted title “Citizens United” is a Karl Rove idea no doubt and we must UNTWIST THE LANGUAGE for our Campaining Purposes. Call it “PUBLIC CITIZENS VERSUS the RIGHT WING DECISION that DESTROYED DEMOCRACY, and the explanation can be a subtext. MONDAY JAN 20th should be a super call in, telephone flood and contact form flood and letter writing message sending day of action! YES!!!
    D. G of NY-Member Public Citizens.

    • Harvey White

      THE QUESTION Does the Supreme Court, & the USA Corporate elected Government, ask us to PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE to the GIANT CORPORATIONS of the United States of America, and to the PROFITS for which they STAND, one nation, under the GIANT CORPORATIONS, with INDEBTEDNESS, and INJUSTICE, for almost
      everyone? email: whitewatermusic@sti.net

    • Christine Gallo

      I think “Corporations United” sums it up quite nicely.

  • Should we be calling for a CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION TO AMEND THE CONSTITUTION rather than supporting the Senators Schumer, Udall, etc. bill that has been put before the senate, as Bernie Sanders explained the current bill isn’t strong and fool proof enough? Reply with what exactly we should say and demand on CALL IN and WRITE IN campaigns to our state and federal legislators. What do we want to demand in ONE sentence or two? For flyers, calls, messages. PLEASE REPLY!

    • Bill McAfee

      The “In The Spirit of America” Proposed Constitutional Amendment 28:
      • Nationalizes the Federal Reserve & pays-off the national debt – no more borrowing
      • Mandates full employment, unemployment compensation & Medicare for All –
      • Repairs voting & elections: corporations are not humans & money is not speech –
      • Repeals the “Patriot Act” & the Bankruptcy Act of 2005 – restores civil rights –
      • Includes the Equal Rights Amendment, student loan relief, progressive taxation –
      and much more … Read the whole Amendment.
      To receive a full copy, email: Amendment28@austin.rr.com

  • Tim Michels

    I think we need to boil this down to a few fundamental points.
    1) When corporations compete with money against individuals with money, they win. This is fundamentally unequal representation before the law and contravenes the intent of the 14th amendment.
    2) Our representatives in government should be solely there to represent us. If they cannot raise the funds needed to get elected to office by the PEOPLE they represent, then they probably shouldn’t be there.
    3) A new law or amendment should be simple and straightforward. For Example: If you cannot vote for the candidate, then you cannot contribute to the candidate. This would eliminate all corporate/union/party funding of candidates. Also, it keeps people in Minnesota from contributing to races in Texas. If a representative can only accept funds from their constituents, it is more likely that they will listen to their constituents voices as they vote on issues.

    It is a simple slogan, too! “IF YOU CAN’T VOTE; YOU CAN’T CONTRIBUTE”

  • [...] These patriots, coming together in 42 states around the nation, were motivated by the determined and inspiring words of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). And they heard from their fellow citizens in Boulder, Colorado, who organized to pass a referendum by a stunning 3-to-1 margin demanding a constitutional amendment. Read about the gatherings on our blog post, where you can find a link to Senator Sanders’ remarks… [...]

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