[Pictured above are: Maddie Gavel-Briggs (ODP), Yudie Fishman (Greater Pasadena Jews for Justice), Joe Roos (Pasadena Mennonite Church), Patrick Briggs (ODP), Marty Coleman (All Saints Episcopal Church), and John Smith (CA Common Cause)]
You see above the smiling faces reflecting the great progress being made in our goal to move the Pasadena City Council to pass a resolution in support of a constitutional amendment to overturn “Citizens United“. Occupy Democracy – Pasadena (ODP), by partnering with leaders in the Pasadena faith community and with the guidance of CA Common Cause, has successfully lobbied our issue onto the Pasadena City Council agenda. Even better, it is moving ahead with the Pasadena Legislative Policy Committee’s recommendation that it be passed!
Our work together in ODP on this issue has been persistent and steady. It took a year of our group working to change Congressman Adam Schiff to support a constitutional amendment to overturn the results of the Supreme Court decision known as “Citizens United”. In the end, on June 18th 2012, he introduced HJR 111 in the 112th Congress. We followed that up with a wildly successful “Citizens United” teach-in keynoted by our new congressional representative, Judy Chu in September of that year. For the 112th Congress, it was nice to know that Congresswoman Chu had already co-sponsored HJR 90, another resolution in the House designed to overturn “Citizens United”.
ODP has not dropped this issue despite our successes in 2012. We’ve continued to move forward, both by raising public awareness via monthly street demonstrations, and by meeting with members of our city’s local government.
Our leadership team has been compiling issue summary packets and meeting with individual city council members, partnering with CA Common Cause, meeting with Southern California activists in other cities doing similar work, meeting with our city’s Mayor Bill Boggard, and finally, by meeting
with the City of Pasadena’s Legislative Policy Committee. The issue was raised at the May meeting and then agendized at the July 24th session, as seen
Steadfast ODP members have wrought this progress by showing up for both the meetings and rallies in our community, compiling the information, helping with major events like the teach-in, and remaining active for the past two years on a variety of justice issues. Mayor Bogaard and Vice Mayor Robinson commended ODP at the July 24th meeting, complimenting us on our ability to follow a process and for being so well prepared.
We will be arranging individual meetings with each of our city council members between now and September 16th, which is when we are tentatively schedule to have our issue raised. Our goal in doing this is to ensure that all of our city council members understand this issue and can have their questions answered prior to the meeting.
Pasadena City Council District Maps:
These meetings will help create stronger relationships between ODP/Pasadena citizens and our elected representatives which is, after all, the larger part of what ODP is about. We seek to be the catalyst for a more civically engaged community.
We’d like to ask your help! We need:
- residents in the different council member districts who would like to accompany us to a meeting with their council member
- residents throughout the City of Pasadena to join us at the September 16th city council meeting to show their support for a resolution to overturn the “Citizens United” decision
- attendees who will speak during the public comment part of the agenda in support of this resolution
- public school or community college teachers who would like to involve their class in this kind of civic engagement as part of a teachable moment for their students
Please reach out to Occupy Democracy – Pasadena through either mwriter(at)greeneggsandham.org or pbriggs(at)greeneggsandham.org.
FYI, our work at the local level is in synch with both of our congressional representatives. We are helping them (and ourselves) by pursuing this City Council resolution. Congressman Adam Schiff and Congresswoman Judy Chu are part of reintroduced legislation this year in the House regarding overturning Citizens United.
Congressman Schiff introduced HJR 31:
Congresswoman Chu is a co-sponsor to Congressman Theodore Deutch’s HJR 34: