CH Move to Amend needs signatures to put initiative on November ballot

Cleveland Heights Move to Amend is organizing an event that will ramp up the group’s petition drive to put a citizens’ initiative on the Cleveland Heights ballot in November.  The measure calls on Congress to amend the U.S. Constitution to establish that corporations are not people and money is not speech.

We invite all area citizens to join us on Saturday, April 20, 1–4 p.m., at Ensemble Theatre (located at 2843 Washington Blvd.) to pick up petitions and walk lists, receive a brief tutorial on signature-gathering, and disburse across the city in pairs, going door-to-door to collect signatures of registered voters. The afternoon will conclude with refreshments, sharing experiences, and a tally of the signatures collected that day.

Anyone registered to vote in Ohio may circulate a petition, so we encourage our friends from neighboring suburbs to join this entirely nonpartisan effort.

Since the Citizens United case in 2010, corporate entities—including for-profit companies, nonprofits, political action committees (PACs), super-PACs, 501(c)4 organizations and labor unions—and wealthy individuals have been able to contribute huge sums of money to political campaigns in secret. We believe that when money is legally considered speech, those with the most money have the most speech, contradicting the principle of “one person, one vote.” Furthermore, secret undisclosed contributions leave us with the unacceptable prospect of silent speech that drowns out the voices of legitimate voters.

Our rights as citizens to initiative and referendum, granted by the Ohio Constitution more than 100 years ago, are under attack in Columbus following the success of Issue 5. Any major changes to initiative and referendum procedures will be challenged in the Ohio Supreme Court and are unlikely to affect our Cleveland Heights ballot initiative. So, let’s get it on the ballot now, while we still can!

Some have questioned whether the Move to Amend is really a local issue. If we believe that local communities should have the right to prevent or regulate oil and gas drilling within their borders; if we want tohave input about the location of cell towers in our towns; if we strive to protect local businesses from the incursion of big box stores, we must reserve for human beings the “personhood rights” that corporations have won in court over the last 140 years. Full text of the Cleveland Heights initiative is at

Join the Cleveland Heights Move to Amend event on April 20. (rain date Sunday, April 21).

If you cannot join us on April 20, you can still circulate a petition. Please contact Sally Hanley at to request a petition—5,000 signatures are needed to get this critical issue on the November ballot. Brecksville and Newburgh Heights citizens have already voted for and passed the Move to Amend, as have many other cities throughout the country.

Carla Rautenberg

Carla Rautenberg is a lifelong resident of Cleveland Heights and member of Move to Amend.

Read More on Opinion
Volume 6, Issue 4, Posted 12:30 PM, 03.28.2013