WHAT: Grassroots organizers and activists from across Texas will take to the South Steps of the Texas State Capitol to mark the third anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, and rally in support of two concurrent Texas resolutions before the 83rd Legislature calling for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to establish that political expenditures are not protected speech under the First Amendment, and only natural persons are protected by constitutional rights.
WHO: Texans United to Amend is a network of independent groups throughout Texas dedicated to passing local resolutions at the city, county and state level calling for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to combat the unlimited flow of money into our elections. Scheduled speakers include John Kenneth Courage, Common Cause Texas; Tom “Smitty” Smith, Public Citizen Texas; Anthony Bill, Texas Rootstrikers; Todd Jagger, Wolf-PAC Texas; Nelson Linder, Austin NAACP; Matt Glazer, Progress Texas; Ken Zarifis, Education Austin; Rick Levy, Texas AFL-CIO; and Conor Kenny, Chief of Staff for Rep. Lon Burnam (D-Fort Worth); along with activists from Houston Area Against Corporate Personhood, Occupy Dallas, Occupy Austin, Occupy AISD, Workers Defense Project, Greenpeace USA, as well as workers, business owners and teachers. Performances by Earth Culture Dancer Daniel Llanes and the “Stand On Up For Freedom” puppets, attorney Lou McCreary as “Ben Franklin”, singer-songwriter Dana McBride, and spoken word poets Joe Brundidge and Thom Worldpoet are scheduled. Art postcards depicting corporations will be on display. Nonprofit and activist organizations will be on hand to provide information and resources to help attendees get connected and build collective power to effect real change on this issue.
WHEN: Saturday, January 19, 2013, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. CST
WHERE: South Steps of the Texas State Capitol, 1100 Congress Ave, Austin, Texas 78701
AUSTIN, TEXAS – Over 300 municipalities and eleven states have called for a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v Federal Election Commission. A network of independent, grassroots groups has been working to add Texas to that list.
On Saturday, January 19, 2013, two days before the three-year-anniversary of the Citizens United decision, Texans United to Amend will hold a rally on the South Steps of the Texas State Capitol in support of two concurrent resolutions prefiled before the 83rd Session of the Texas Legislature: SCR 2, by Senator Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, and HCR 21, by Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston. SCR 2 and HCR 21 urge Congress to overturn Citizens United by constitutional amendment, to establish that the spending of money to influence elections shall not be construed as speech under the First Amendment, and to make it clear that only natural persons are protected by constitutional rights.
The Texas effort is part of a national campaign to garner support for a constitutional amendment to reverse U. S. Supreme Court decisions that have equated money with speech, and given Big Money free reign to influence not only elections but legislation on issues of concern to all Texans – agriculture, civil rights, criminal justice, the economy, education, the environment, healthcare, housing, immigration, infrastructure, and taxes. Money in politics is connected to every major problem our state faces and influences the decisions senators and representatives make, often at the expense of ordinary citizens, families, and small business entrepreneurs. Passing SCR 2 and HCR 21 sends a message from the Texas State Capitol to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. that Texans want change.
Texans are encouraged to contact their state representatives and senators and urge them to cosponsor SCR 2 and HCR 21. The website “Who Represents Me?” at http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/ can help connect citizens with their elected officials. Visit https://www.facebook.com/events/312092002230401/ on Facebook for updates and information on the January 19 rally.