Plain Dealer (Cleveland) / July 9, 2013
Letter to the Editor
While many Northeast Ohioans celebrated the Fourth of July holiday week with picnics and parades, citizens in Mentor, Lakewood and Cleveland Heights celebrated by launching or completing citizen initiative petition campaigns declaring their independence from corporate rule and big money in politics.
The three citizen initiatives are part of the Move to Amend campaign (movetoamend.org), a national coalition that’s coordinated the passage of 400 resolutions and citizen initiatives asserting that only human beings, not corporations, possess constitutional rights and that money is not speech. Brecksville and Newburgh Heights voters passed similar ballot measures last November, while city councils in Athens, Oberlin, Fremont and Barberton have enacted similar resolutions.
Ohioans are doing our part to support this growing movement to end the bizarre legal doctrines that the Bill of Rights apply to corporations and that political money is equivalent to political speech. Many of the political and economic problems we face are at their root problems of corporations and/or the wealthy few having greater power and rights than the vast majority of We the People.
While parades and picnics are fine ways to celebrate our independence, (re)claiming the authority to govern ourselves free from the wealthy few and corporations is even better.
Greg Coleridge, Cleveland Heights
Coleridge is director of the Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee and coordinator for Ohio Move to Amend.