As the coordinator for the area affiliate of Move to Amend, I was both pleased and concerned with Mr. Shipley’s letter in Viewpoints, March 6, titled, “Let’s declare that corporations are not ‘persons.'”

Move to Amend (MtA) is a national coalition that formed right after the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which stated (in lay terms) that since corporations have “personhood” status and money is the same as speech, corporations have an unlimited right to spend money on political campaigns.”

The mission of this coalition is to work to overturn the Citizens United decision and work toward cleaning up the overwhelming influence of big $$$ in politics and government.

It was very gratifying to see Mr. Shipley expressing his great concern about this situation, and I congratulate him for it. I wish that more people were aware and concerned about the impact of money on our elections and our governments at all levels. Kudos to you, Mr. Shipley!

However, I was greatly dismayed about his call for putting a referendum on the ballot in Oak Park, similar to the one in Pueblo, Colo. Apparently, Mr. Shipley did not vote in November, or he did not scroll down to the section for the advisory referendum. We did indeed have an advisory referendum on the ballot in Oak Park that read:

“Shall the people of Oak Park stand with communities across the country in requesting that our village, county, state, and federal representatives enact resolutions and legislation, including consideration for amending the Constitution of the United States to establish that:

a) Political money is not the same as speech, and therefore that money shall be regulated; and

b) The rights guaranteed by the Constitution were and are primarily intended for human beings, not corporations.”

No, Oak Park was not behind the curve on this issue, but totally on top of it. While Pueblo got 65% support for their resolution, with a lot of work and effort on the part of a lot of people in our MtA affiliate, Oak Park voted in the following way:

Yes 22,422 (85.56%)

No 3,783 (14.44%)

As can easily be seen, Oak Park supported it overwhelmingly — by the biggest plurality in the state of Illinois by a substantial margin. So far, I haven’t seen a higher percentage of support anywhere in the country.

If people are concerned about this issue and wish to get involved, we would love to have them join our organization. Feel free to contact me at prairterr@yahoo.com.

I only wish we had gotten Mr. Shipley’s support on Election Day as well.

Terry Grace

Coordinator, Near West Suburban Chicago Move to Amend

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