CELDF Model Resolution
AN ORDINANCE BY THE CITY OF BOSTON, SUFFOLK COUNTY, MASSACHUSETTS, ESTABLISHING A LOCAL BILL OF RIGHTS, WHICH SECURES THE PEOPLES' RIGHTS TO FAIR ELECTIONS AND CLEAN GOVERNMENT BY ELIMINATING CORPORATE ACTIVITIES THAT INTERFERE WITH THOSE RIGHTS, AND BY ELEVATING THE RIGHTS OF RESIDENTS ABOVE CORPORATE PRIVLEGES
Whereas, this ordinance establishes a local Bill of Rights which recognizes and secures the civil and political right of residents of this municipality to local self-government, and the right of residents to fair and free elections; and
Whereas, in pursuit of the enforcement of those rights, this ordinance then bans those coporate activities which interfere with those rights; and
Whereas, to protect the regognition, securing, and enforcement of these rights, this ordinance elevates the rights of residents and this community above the privileges granted to corporations within this municipality; and
Whereas, this Ordinance shall be known and may be cited as the "Fair Elections and Clean Local Governemt Ordinance;" and
Whereas, this Ordinance is enacted pursuant to the inherent right of the residents of this municipality to govern their own community, including, without limitation, the Declaration of Independence's declaration that governments are instituted to secure the rights of people, and recognition within the State Constitution that all power is inherent in the people.
Section 1--Findings and Intent
The people of this municipality declare that we posses the right to community self-goverment and that our right to local self-governance is a fundamental and inalienable right. We find that corporate involvement in elections and local government interferes with that right, given the ability of corporations to use their wealth to frame important issues and influence elections, elected officials and public employees. We also recognize that the ability of corporations to frame issues, influence elections and participate in our politcal process is currently a court-bestowed legal fabrication, federally-gauranteeing corporations constitutional "rights." Recognized corporate "rights" include free speech rights that rightfully should only belong to natural persons.
Accordingly, the people of this municipality have determined that we must secure our right to communtiy self-government through a local Bill of Rights which prohibits corporate involvement in elections and local government. The people have also determined that we must elevate our right to community self-government above the "rights" claimed by corporations, because otherwise our right to local self-governance is subordinanted to governance by a corporate few, which is not democracy.
Under Section 4B a provision that also states:
It shall be unlawful for any corporation seeking public funds for any project or profitable enterprise to make contributions to any elected official or public employee within this municipality for the purposes of support for said project or enterprise. This provision shall not be construed to prohibit contributions from corporations not seeking public funding for its activities.
Similarly, it shall be unlawful for any corporation seeking municipal tax breaks, or relief from any other municipal fees, to make any contributions to any elected official or public employee within this municipality. This provision shall not be construed to prohibit contributions from corporations that pay municipal taxes and fees in full.
In section 4C & D:
I would like to see the word "rights" as they pertain to corporations changed to "privileges." People have rights, corporations have the privileges people choose to grant to them. Every time we use the expression "corporate rights" we legitimize the oppositions argument.
The first sentence in both of these sections then becomes unclear as to whether "corporations in violation of these rights and prohibitions established by this ordinance..." is talking about the violating the rights of the people or the privileges of corporations.