Cambridge City Council to consider "We the People Act" policy resolution

duties-of-congress.jpgCambridge City Councillor Dennis Carlone has introduced a policy order resolution in support of the We the People Act, calling on the United States Congress to pass a Constitutional Amendment to overturn the Supreme Court's notorious decision in the Citizens United case. Councillor Carlone is pleased to be joined by Councillor Nadeem Mazen as a co-sponsor of this order.

The We the People Act was recently introduced in the Massachusetts Legislature by state senator Jamie Eldridge and state representative Cory Atkins. The measure is also supported by Greater Boston Move To Amend, MassVote, and Mass. Senior Action in Cambridge, among others.

This isn't the first time that the Cambridge City Council has called on the state legislature to encourage Congress to take action to overturn Citizens United -- and if adopted, the We the People Act won't be the first time that the legislature has indeed supported such action -- but unlike previous efforts, the We the People Act adds a significant new dimension: if Congress fails to act within six months, then the We the People Act will also serve as a formal call for a Constitutional Convention. Vermont, California, and Illinois have already taken this major step toward reform. Will Massachusetts be next?

According to Sara Brady at MassVote:

Our Commonwealth should be at the forefront of this fight. It's a long road to 2/3rds of states calling for an amendment and a convention but this problem is too big to ignore. And in fact, even the act of calling for a convention can help encourage Congress to take action on their own -- this is how the 17th Amendment, which lead to the direct election of U.S. Senators, came about.

Residents wishing to offer support for this measure are encouraged to attend the city council meeting on Monday, February 23, at 5:30 pm in the CRLS Attles Meeting Room, 459 Broadway. You may sign up for public comment by calling the city council office (617.349.4280) on Monday, February 23, between the hours of 9 am and 3 pm, or just show up at 459 Broadway between the hours of 5:30 and 6:00 pm (and add your name to the public comment list). Be sure to note that you wish to speak about Policy Order #17, the We the People Act. Alternatively, you may email the full council at council@cambridgema.gov and be sure to include the City Clerk, dlopez@cambridgema.gov.

The full text of the policy order appears below...

City Council Office
 Policy Order Resolution  
 
  O-17
  IN CITY COUNCIL
 
  January 29, 2015
 
COUNCILLOR CARLONE
COUNCILLOR MAZEN
 

 

WHEREAS: It has come to the attention of the city council that Massachusetts State Senator James Eldridge and Massachusetts State Representative Cory Atkins have recently filed the We the People Act; and
     
WHEREAS: The We the People Act calls on the United States Congress to propose an amendment to the Constitution to affirm that the rights protected by the Constitution are the rights of natural persons (i.e. human individuals) only; it further affirms that Congress and the states shall place limits on political contributions and expenditures while also making it clear that the spending of money to influence elections is not protected free speech under the First Amendment; and
    
WHEREAS:

The We the People Act also calls for an Article V Constitutional Convention if Congress has not proposed such an amendment within six months of passage of the act; California, Vermont and Illinois have already called for such a convention; and 

    
WHEREAS: The We the People Act has already garnered strong support from local organizations such as Move to Amend, MassVote, the Massachusetts Sierra Club, and many others, now therefore be it
     

ORDERED:

That the City Council go on record in support of the We the People Act; and be it further 
     

ORDERED:

That the City Clerk be and hereby is requested to forward suitably engrossed copies of this resolution to the state and federal legislative delegations on behalf of the entire City Council. 

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  • commented 2016-04-07 13:53:00 -0700
    It will be difficult to overturn the decision of the supreme court but, with persistence you’ll be able to!
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  • commented 2015-01-28 10:34:26 -0800
    Go Cambridge and Councillor Carlone! Actually, Mass Senior Action statewide has endorsed the bill. For more information about the campaign, see www.wethepeoplemass.org. Laura Gang, Greater Boston Move to Amend