Op-Ed: City Council Does the Right Thing

This article is an editorial opinion of the author. This is not an official statement of the Occupy Tacoma General Assembly.

On Tuesday, December 18, the Tacoma City Council did the right thing. They passed a resolution supporting an amendment to the United States Constitution that would overturn the infamous Citizen’s United decision. You can read that resolution by clicking here. If you don’t know what the Citizens United decision is, please click here.

This author expected the Tacoma City Council to pass a resolution opposing Citizens United. But what this author did not expect was how strong the City Council resolution would be. The resolution states that corporations are not people, and as such do not have the same free-speech rights as natural breathing persons. Currently, corporations can spend megabucks on political campaigns and even hide their sponsorship! To remedy this, the Tacoma City Council resolution also provides that government has the power to regulate corporate financial political expenditures.

At the same time, this resolution avoids the divisive issue of public financing of campaigns. Many in the movement favor public campaign financing. Others in the movement oppose public campaign financing because they fear public financing would tend to enshrine Republican/Democratic party monopoly over the electoral process. This author is one who opposes public campaign financing for that reason.

All of us on both sides of the public campaign financing controversy need to unite around the issues we have in common to win this fight, city by city, state by state, and eventually in the process of constitutional amendment.

So the passage of the Tacoma City Council resolution calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United decision is an important victory, not only to those who worked so hard to convince the City Council. It is a victory for all the citizens of Tacoma, the citizens of the United States, and even the citizens of the world! It is an important step in the right direction.

We all owe our thanks and heartfelt congratulations to those who worked so hard to make this Tacoma City Council resolution a reality. Kudos to all who brought us this victory, including the Washington Public Campaign, the Move to Amend Tacoma, the Occupy Tacoma, as well as many other groups and individuals such as long-time Tacoma veteran activist Susan Eidenschink.

Alan OldStudent

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