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COMMENTARY: Vote YES for Democracy at Town Meeting

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by Barry Rosenberg

Studies revealing that the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans have greater influence over Federal legislation than the remaining 99 percent of us are indeed frightening. That imbalance of influence has steadily increased since the 1950s as Supreme Court decisions have increased corporate power and eliminated caps on political spending.

The best way to restore government of, by and for ALL the people is to decrease the political buying power of the economic elites so that average citizens have more influence on who gets elected, how Congress writes legislation and what legislation will be considered and passed. If Federal and state governments limit election spending the political playing field will be more level.

The writers of the Constitution warned us about the consequences of corporate influence on government. Artificial incorporated entities have used our Constitutional rights in court to avoid compliance with laws designed to protect us. The only remedy is to amend the Constitution to reserve limiting Constitutional rights for human beings.

Unions, civil rights organizations, cable access television stations and other non-profits don’t need Constitutional rights. They existed and defended themselves before Citizens United using their members’ Constitutional rights as human beings, i.e. the NAACP in 1958 and 1963. They could continue to do so if the Constitution were amended to reserve Constitutional rights for real people.

The Supreme Court has made many erroneous decisions. The only way to reverse the legal precedents set by those decisions is to amend the Constitution. Many of our 27 amendments began with citizen opposition to these anti-democratic Supreme Court decisions such as Citizens United.

Eleven years has passed since the Citizens United decision. Overwhelming bipartisan citizen support to overturn it has been ignored by Congress. We the People must be willing to do what it takes to defend our democracy if we don’t want to lose it. That’s why it’s important for citizens in Westford to join over 200 other Massachusetts cities and towns in demanding that Congress propose a 28th Constitutional amendment to restore government of, by and for all the people.

Please vote YES for democracy by voting YES for Article 15 at Town Meeting on June 12.

Barry Rosenberg is a resident of Westford.