In the United States of America, ordinary citizens are extraordinary, because we are all equally powerful in our voices and votes. That was the truly radical, revolutionary and genius of our nation’s founding, crystallized in the opening words of the Constitution —

We the People.

At least–that’s the way it’s  supposed to be!

But over the last decades, money has come to dominate the political process–and those with the biggest wallets get the loudest voices, destroying the representative democracy — one person, one vote — imagined by the founders of our great nation.

This situation–where money speaks louder than your voice, your vote–was made even worse by the 2010 Supreme Court Decision, Citizens United vs. FEC, wherein the Courts declared that Corporations and Unions have the same “speech” rights as individuals!

That “Citizens United” decision has opened the door to unprecedented levels of spending and the rise of  “Super PACs,” which have been polluting our political discourse across the country.

Citizens everywhere — city, suburbs, Republican, Democrat — are growing increasingly fed up with this broken system, feeding into public cynicism about our civic institutions, discouraging participation in the political process. (“What’s the point? They’re all corrupted by money anyway.”?)

But what can we do to change things?

This same corruption of the system makes it ever more difficult for people-power to push back against SuperPAC-power.

We may not have billions of dollars, but we do have our representative government — and our Needham Town Meeting is one place where it still works!

It’s time to reclaim our democracy.

In May, 2012, Needham’s 240 elected Town Meeting Members can vote voted to restore our democracy–voting YES on the Needham citizens petition, Article 23, using our storied and proud democratic forum to demand Congress take action to overturn the Citizens United decision.

Read the resolution here, and then use YOUR citizen’s voice–call or write your elected Town Meeting Members; ask them to support the Citizens Petition to overturn Citizens United vs. FEC, and to restore free speech for people, not corporations.

(hey!–that’s exactly the way this democracy thing’s supposed to work — real people, real voices, talking to their elected representatives! wouldn’t it be great if Washington worked that way? )


[UPDATE 9/2012]: And now, all of Needham has a chance to vote on the question of Citizens United/money in democracy, because Needham is one of a few MA communities with the DEMOCRACY AMENDMENT on our November 6 Ballot! We need help getting out the word; are you in?

We’re compiling background information and resources so that you can learn more about Citizens United and what we are hoping to do.  Check back at the “Resources/Information” tab for background, and the “Actions” tab for ideas on what YOU can do to help pass this important petition at Town Meeting!


About This Site: 

This website is a temporary information portal set up specifically to provide materials and resources around the Overturn Citizens United citizens petition before Needham Town Meeting in May 2012. (Update 9/2012:) After the successful Town Meeting vote, we are continuing this work by helping Needham voters learn about the Democracy Amendment, appearing on the November ballot. 

The Citizens Petition before Town Meeting was drafted and submitted by Needham resident, Stacie Shapiro.

The website is updated by other Needham residents who support this effort, including Artie Crocker, Ross Donald, Bob Smart, James Hugh Powers, Harmony Wu, Karen Price and others joining in all the time.

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