For Immediate Release - PassMassAmendment
http://bostonherald.com/photos/2014_massachusetts_democratic_party_convention_saturday [Photo By: Patrick Whittemore ]
The 2014 Massachusetts Democratic Convention unanimously voted on June 14, 2014 to endorse PassMassAmendment and to encourage Democrats around the state to help petition, by gathering signatures, for this binding resolution in the fall of 2014.
A resounding “YES!” could be heard in the Hall on Saturday, June 14th, after the State Chairman of the 2014 Massachusetts Democratic Convention, Senator Tom McGee, read the PassMassAmendment proposal:
“WHEREAS the Massachusetts Constitution's main intent is to promote the Common Good and strengthen the Social Compact;
WHEREAS the Citizens of Massachusetts are alarmed by the unbridled greed, disrespect for the environment and the audacity of the idea that corporations have any constitutional rights, is cause for action;
WHEREAS the Citizens of Massachusetts feel that to protect their state, they must embark upon a ballot initiative to ensure that governance of their state reflects The People's wishes:
BE IT RESOLVED that the 2014 Convention of the Massachusetts Democratic Party endorse PassMassAmendment's ballot initiative to amend the Massachusetts Constitution based on “Corporations Are Not People, Money Is Not Speech”.
BE IT RESOLVED that we encourage leaders and activists of good will to petition this fall to help get enough signatures to put this question on the ballot.
BE IT RESOLVED that copies of this resolution be sent to all appropriate media.”
An overwhelming majority of the 2014 Massachusetts Democratic Convention delegates voted to endorse PassMassAmendment, an entirely grassroots, all volunteer, ballot initiative committee started by Nick Bokron and Terra Friedrichs, two concerned citizens of the Commonwealth who recognized that the citizenry is empowered to act and initiate reform in government.
“Corporations Are Not People, Money Is Not Speech”
This is the basis of the State Ballot Initiative Committee called PassMassAmendment (PMA), which is advocating to amend(clarify) the Massachusetts Constitution in order to restore our democratic form of government(our actual form of government is a Republic) of The People, by The People, and for The People. “We, the People,” are not being heard by our elected Representatives. PMA believes that this is not what was envisioned by our forefathers, as a way to live, when forging the Massachusetts Constitution as a “Social Compact” to promote the “Common Good.”
Sponsors of this non-partisan petition believe that the unbridled influence of Big Money presently being exerted by a small number of extremely wealthy individuals and corporations negatively affects every aspect of our lives and threatens our very democracy. Such entities now have a disproportionate “voice” in all branches of government.
Now entering its second year on the statewide petition circuit, PMA continues to clear the legal hurdles to allow The People in the Commonwealth to be heard. PMA believes that the State Constitution can be amended (Clarified) to reflect that corporations do not have the rights of living, breathing people and that corporate spending of money, and large donations, can be regulated.
Petitions will be released by the State in September, when signature gathering begins throughout Massachusetts. PMA must present a total of 68,911 certified voter signatures, gathered throughout the Commonwealth during a stipulated nine week period, in order to have the Massachusetts Elections Division place the question on the State ballot. PMA included a request “of good will to petition” from the Convention delegates, encouraging attendees to join the petitioning effort in their own communities. In November, once voter signatures well beyond the requisite number are gathered, certified, and have met the State requirements, the petition will need to be declared “legal” by 25% of two consecutive Legislative Sessions, with an election in between. Only then will the question go to The People for their vote for or against such an amendment(Clarification).
With the concern about the ever-growing millions that are being spent on public issues by private citizens, foundations, corporations, and Super PACs, PassMassAmendment seeks to have their question  before The People of the Commonwealth by November of 2018.
PMA understands that the process is arduous; however, we believe that the Citizens of Massachusetts can make changes to their State Constitution, and that
without reigning in undue influence, all issues and causes will be at the mercy of Big Money. Per The 1780 Constitution of the State of Massachusetts, PMA aims to restore government for the common good .
“This is the Battle of Our Age.”
More information about the initiative can be found here:
E-mail inquiries may be sent to:
Terra Friedrichs, terraf “at” compuserve dot com, 978 808 7173
Nick Bokron, nbokron “at” gmail, 781 715 7822
A video clip from the convention can be found at : https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=47PU5iFfXqE
The language of the ballot initiative is as follows:
Section 1 Corporations are not people and may be regulated. The rights afforded to the human inhabitants of the Commonwealth, under this Constitution, are not applicable to corporations, limited liability companies, any corporate entity or any artificial person. Any references to persons, citizens, inhabitants, subjects, men, people, individuals, or like terms in this Constitution, are not to be construed in any way to be referring to a corporation, limited liability company, any corporate entity, or any artificial person. Corporations, limited liability companies, any corporate entity or any artificial person, shall do business in this state under the regulation of laws passed by the legislature which shall set the rights of such entities to do business to promote the common good and strengthen the social compact of this Commonwealth.
Section 2 Money is not free speech and may be regulated. To protect our political process and the functioning of government to serve in the best interests of the citizens of the Commonwealth, money shall not be considered free speech. The legislature shall have the power to regulate the raising and spending of money and in-kind equivalents for any primary or election of a public official and for ballot measures.
This shall include regulation of any advertising for or against any candidate in a primary or election for public office and any ballot measure.
Section 3 Nothing contained in this Amendment shall be construed to abridge the freedom of the press.
link to language: http://passmassamendment.wikispaces.com/The+Language
“Article VII. Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity and happiness of the people; and not for the profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men: Therefore the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity and happiness require it.”
- from “The Constitution of the State of Massachusetts: Adopted 1780”