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Salt Lake City Move to Amend on the move

Published June 10, 2013 5:14 pm

Organization invites potential members to City Hall program.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Move to Amend Salt Lake is looking for a few good people who don't believe in corporate personhood and the free-flow of money into politics ­— and the beer is on them.

The grass-roots organization is kicking off its summer campaign 7 p.m. Thursday at the Washington Square Cafe in the lower level of City Hall, 451 S. State. Rita Kelley, an organizer with the volunteer group, said the program includes a 1920s-style "Speakeasy Pub Quiz."

An invitation explains it further: "Have a beer or other beverage and test your knowledge of corporate shenanigans and the social movements that have dared to defy them. Then get plugged into our local social movement to end corporate rule and continue the fight."

The Salt Lake City volunteer group is part of the national movement that wants to undo the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. That opinion opened the floodgates for unlimited corporate and union spending on federal and state political campaigns.

Move to Amend seeks to amend the U.S. Constitution to say corporations are not people and money is not speech, Kelley said.

"We are also working to build a democracy movement to unite all movements impacted by corporate rule in order to create the alternatives, cultures and laws we will need to create a just world for everyone," according to a statement from the organization.

Move to Amend volunteers and like-minded voters across the country are passing ballot initiatives that call on Congress to abolish corporate personhood, according to Kelley. So far, more than 500 towns have passed resolutions and initiatives, and many are pushing to the state level.

Salt Lake City refused to put Move to Amend's initiative on the 2012 ballot, saying it didn't create law, as required by state statute. The Utah Supreme Court later upheld the city's decision.

Nonetheless, the Salt Lake City Council passed an ordinance that allows for a special September election.

The city will mail ballots to Salt Lake City voters who can then cast votes and return them by mail to be counted.

csmart@sltrib.com