After Wednesday’s wonderful City Council resolution against corporate personhood, Councilmembers Melissa Mark-Viverito and Brad Lander, the co-chairs of the Progressive Caucus, sent us this thank you note for you.
It’s not every day we get validation that our online petitions and email campaigns actually matter. But clearly they do (check out the third paragraph of their letter if you don’t believe me!).
We’ve stood with the Progressive Caucus since it was founded, and we’ve never been more proud to do so than we are this week. Thanks to everyone who made this win possible.
-Dan Cantor, WFP
This week, after an effort spearheaded by the Progressive Caucus and our allies, the New York City Council passed a resolution opposing the United States Supreme Court Citizens United decision, which gave corporations the same First Amendment rights as people. Progressive Caucus Members Brad Lander, Melissa Mark-Viverito and Steve Levin sponsored this resolution, with the entirety of the Progressive Caucus as co-sponsors. We thank Speaker Christine Quinn for her leadership on this important issue.
As our support of this resolution demonstrates, restoring confidence in government and strengthening democratic participation is a core principle of the Progressive Caucus. We believe that corporations should not share the same rights as people, that unlimited and unreported corporate donations meant to sway the electoral process should not be considered freedom of speech, and that the government should regulate the raising and spending of money by corporations intended to influence elections.
And we’re not alone. Thanks to all of you who signed the petition, helped spread the word, and joined us in person for today’s vote. We hope you’ll stay in touch.
As Justice John Paul Stevens recognized in his dissent in the Citizens United decision, “corporations have no consciences, no beliefs, no feelings, no thoughts, no desires. Corporations help facilitate and structure the activities of human beings, to be sure, and their ‘personhood’ often serves as a useful legal fiction. But they are not themselves members of ‘We the People’ by whom and for whom our Constitution was established.”
We’re proud that New York City took action today, and we urge cities and states nation-wide to join the call to reclaim our democracy from corporate control. You’ll be hearing from us soon about a national day of action against corporate personhood on January 21.