The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision did two things. First, it unleashed a flood of corporate money into our political system, totally decimating the weak campaign finance laws we have in this country. But on the other hand, it also woke a bunch of people up to the need to change our elections system and to end the massive influence that big business has over the entire system. The backlash on Citizens United has ranged from everything from congressional Democrats trying to put better regulations in place to in effort by the state AGs (including our own Dustin McDaniel) to get the court to reconsider the decision (or at least it’s application to the states), to efforts at the local level to take symbolic action to send a message from one level of government to another. These local level efforts have included resolutions that attempt to address corporate personhood.
Now, next week, the Fayetteville City Council will apparently be considering one such resolution. Here’s how the push was explained to me:
In Fayetteville, Occupy NWA was the first group to advocate for an end to Corporate Personhood. Since then, other groups such as Arkansas Move to Amend and the Omni Center have been also lobbying the City Council to make a resolution denouncing the Supreme Court “Citizen’s United” decision. Councilman Matthew Petty agreed to bring it up for discussion and a vote on Tuesday.
The vote, according to a facebook event page created for it, will be on Tuesday, June 5th, at 4:30 pm, and the organizers who pushed this hard and heavy will probably need a lot of Fayetteville residents to show up and voice their support for the resolution. In the grand scheme of things, is it largely symbolic? Probably. But adding a few Arkansas communities to the list of towns and cities across the country fighting this could send a big message. So let’s keep our eyes on Fayetteville and see how the vote comes down. Hopefully, the city council with side with real people, not corporations.