The Philadelphia City Council added its voice to the growing grassroots chorus against the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizen’s United v. Federal Elections Commission last week, when it passed a resolution in support of amending the Constitution to overturn the decision.
Resolution No. 120601 was originally introduced by Councilmember Maria Quiñones Sánchez and co-sponsored by Councilmembers Curtis Jones, Cindy Bass, and Marian Tasco. The resolution passed by a majority voice vote without roll-call and yielded strong community support.
Steve Masters, team leader of Public Citizen’s Democracy is For People Campaign in Philadelphia, stated:
This great city, which gave birth to both our democracy and our Constitution, is not about to sit quietly and watch our nation lose that precious gift. We’re willing to fight as hard as we need to defend and preserve our democracy for ourselves and future generations.
Responding to Philadelphia’s action, Congressman Robert Brady (PA-1) issued a press release announcing his support for amending the Constitution. That endorsement is significant, and shows why these local resolutions are essential: they connect everyday citizens with their representatives, facilitating a form of grassroots democracy that, in the age of super PACs and big money politics, is severely needed.
Since the Court’s ruling two years ago, the negative effects of Citizens United have been felt nationwide, and have sparked a movement. States like Hawaii, New Mexico, Vermont and Rhode Island, and local governments from Los Angeles to New York have passed resolutions calling upon Congress to propose a constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United decision. Over 1,700 public officials at the local, state, and federal levels are on the record in support, and thirteen amendment resolutions have been introduced by senators and representatives in the 112th Congress.