We did it! On September 30th, 2013 Occupy Democracy – Pasadena led the way towards getting the Pasadena City Council to pass this resolution:
It was a resolution that exceeded our expectations in fact, because it contained a section opposing the idea of corporate personhood. We purposefully had left it out of our initial draft offered to the city council because the corporate personhood issue is not one usually welcomed by moderate and conservative members of the community. Our goal was simply to get any resolution passed which offered support to turn back the terrible “Citizens United” Supreme Court ruling from the Winter of 2010. That our city council would edit our resolution draft into such a strong statement was an amazing thing to witness first-hand!
If you would like to take the time to see a bit of history, please give this edited video your attention. I’ve embedded it below:
I’ve also put together a set of images from the evening via Flickr. Can you tell that our group is quite proud of this accomplishment?
We also had some press coverage from our local media:
Pasadena Now – Online
Pasadena Star News
There were a lot of people who were involved both in and outside of Occupy Democracy – Pasadena (ODP) with this effort over the years. You will have seen some of them in the pictures above. You will see even more of them in the blog and picture links at the bottom of this post. It’s really an amazing thing. But it is also to be noted that it did not happen overnight! This was a sustained, nearly year-long effort in which hundreds of emails were exchanged between Council Field Reps, City Staff and members of our group. While it is possible for any citizen to approach their City Council to affect change, it requires focus, dedication and a strategy – all of which our ODP team displayed here.
John has been a tireless advocate for these city council initiatives, sacrificing many weekends helping create collaborative opportunities between Southern California cities like Pasadena and Upland and Long Beach and San Diego and Redlands . . . . It’s amazing, the network of activists he has helped with his expertise on this subject of “Citizens United”! Thank you John! Thank you also fellow activists in Southern California, especially you guys out in Upland – you too had a great victory with your city council recently and were so kind to support ours.
If you live nearby or maybe just a little farther away, wouldn’t you like to be involved with a group that does more than hold meetings? Wouldn’t you like to be a part of a group of people who, while making some of it up along the way, somehow manages to advance the progressive agenda of social justice and peace? Remarkably, despite having to compete against the nearly overwhelming noise of a world which shouts repeatedly, “you are powerless,” ODP says you are are an agent of power! There is a lot of joy in the work of civic engagement and I’d like to ask you to consider taking a step – come to one of our meetings. Join us at one of our actions.
One of our newest members has had a really good experience in this latest community victory. She spoke at the city council meeting in support of our resolution. It was her first time speaking before a group of people in an official capacity. She has come away from the experience with new confidence in her personal agency. She was empowered. We were too in the special perspective someone new to this process brings to an issue. Thank you Damaris! I’d like to include the text of her speech below:
If you would like to follow the timeline of Occupy Democracy – Pasadena’s work on this issue of civic engagement, specifically focused on the issue of “Citizens United”, please take a look at these links to some informative blog posts and inspiring pictures of joyful civic engagement: