The case of Citizen’s United versus the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) unquestionably transformed the way our democracy functions. It called into question the role of corporations, the identity of citizens, and the influence of money in politics. The essence of the Supreme Court decision allows private corporations to actively engage in electioneering. Today, corporations have the same rights and greater influence in our democracy as a result of this decision.
Fortunately, this is not the end of the story. Across the country, organizations are teaming up to fight for the right of citizens to determine the future of our country. A great example is the work of the Story of Stuff team, who created this amazing video to talk about the implications of the ruling as well as offer some ways to get involved to change the direction of our country. Here are some of the ways they think we can move forward and win:
* Party for the Cause
Hold a house party to screen the The Story of Citizens United v. FEC and invite others to join the campaign. Invite friends, neighbors, family members over to your place for an evening of democracy in action! You can download our House Party Guide, which has house party tips and action ideas, here.
* Sign on
Sign Public Citizen’s petition calling for a Constitutional Amendment clarifying that free speech is for people, not corporations. We need a lot of signatures to launch this ambitious campaign. Please download the petition here, make copies and carry them around with you collecting signatures—and thus telling others about the campaign—everywhere you go. If you want to sign electronically, please do so here and forward this link on to your friends and family.
* Get National
Join a national organization working on taking back our democracy. This way your local efforts can be magnified and it’ll be a lot easier to track this issue and identify opportunities to get involved locally and nationally. Check out Public Citizen, Free Speech for People, People for the American Way and Move to Amend.
* Democracy: Use it or Lose it
One reason corporations have been able to hijack our democracy is that many of us haven’t engaged much in it ourselves lately. If we want policy makers who prioritize public good, healthy jobs, and a sustainable environment, we need to get involved, hold them accountable, and engage as active citizens every day—not just on voting day. Join a local organization working on an issue you care about, host a community event to share information, write letters to your congresspeople and local newspapers to share your opinion. There are an infinite number of ways to get involved and once enough of us do, we can take back our government so that it really is by the people, for the people. Then, we can get to work solving today’s pressing problems with a government working for us, instead of big business.