2012-02-10 / Letters

Need Constitutional Changes

Dear Editor,

Although the Supreme Court declared in the Citizens United case that corporations are people entitled to free speech rights including making financial donations to political campaigns, the American people (real people) do not agree. According to the latest polls, almost three-quarters of voters do not believe that corporations are people.

They know that our democracy is threatened by the billions of dollars being poured into political campaigns by corporations, some super-wealthy individuals and Super Paks.

It is unlikely that Congress with its partisan bickering and the ever-present threat of a filibuster in the Senate will pass legislation to re-form campaign financing.

But the fathers of our country were wise and provided another avenue. According to Article V of the Constitution, “. . . On the Application of the Legislatures of two-thirds of the several states”... a convention shall be called for “preparing Amendments which shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as part of the Constitution when ratified by the Legislatures of three-fourths of the Several States. This method of countering the effects of Citizens United is growing faster and stronger.

Throughout the country, two amendments have been proposed that would 1) change the current electoral college system to a national popular (majority) vote for President and 2) overturn Citizens United by declaring that corporations are not people and do not have the same free speech rights as human beings.

Already, the legislatures of the following states have demanded the “Popular Vote in America Amendment”; New Jersey, Vermont, Illinois, Washington State, California, Massachusetts, Washington, D.C., and Hawaii and it has been ap-proved by at least one legislative body and an additional 12 states. Just a few weeks ago, New York City joined Los Angeles, San Francisco, Duluth, Pueblo, Albany, Portland (Or.), Burlington (Vt.) and Boulder (Col.) in voting in favor of an amendment to declare that corporations are not people.

Now that our city has expressed the will of its voters, it is time for New York State to add its voice to the growing demand for the two amendments. The amendment to create the National Popular Vote will soon be considered by New York State’s legislature. We, the people (the real people) must let our representatives (Phillip Goldfeder and Michele Titus in the Assembly, and Malcolm Smith and Shirley Huntley in the Senate) know that we want them to support both of these important, vital amendments that will help to make our election process truly re-flect the will and welfare of the majority. It’s called democracy.

RUTH ZINZAR

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