This was one of my favorite lectures this year. It was so amazing, educational and inspiring. This event happened on May 3 to 5th at Portland Community College – Cascade Campus.
Move to Amend is continuing our regional gatherings across the United States in 2013. These events bring you together with Move to Amend activists and supporters from throughout your region of the country. Let’s amplify and multiply the power of all our great local organizing by building deeper organizational connections, and kick it up a notch!
This convergence for the Pacific NW is co-sponsored by the Peace and Conflict Studies Program of Portland Community College.
In attendance was David Cobb, Ashley Sanders, and Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap.
David Cobb is National Projects Director of Democracy Unlimited. He is a lawyer and political activist. David has sued corporate polluters, lobbied elected officials, run for political office himself, and has been arrested for non-violent civil disobedience. He truly believes we must use ALL the tools in the toolbox to effect the systemic social change we so desperately need.
David was born in San Leon, Texas and worked as a laborer before going to college. He graduated from the University of Houston Law School in 1993 and maintained a successful private law practice in Houston for several years before devoting himself to full time activism to achieve real democracy in the United States.
In 2002 David ran for Attorney General of Texas, pledging to use the office to revoke the charters of corporations that repeatedly violate health, safety and environmental laws. He did not win the office, but the Green Party of Texas grew dramatically during his campaign from four local chapters to twenty-six. In 2004, he ran for President of the United States on the Green Party ticket and successfully campaigned for the Ohio recount.
Ashley Sanders is a long-time community activist from Salt Lake City, Utah. She began political work doing campus organizing against the Bush administration and then worked to build third parties as the Nader spokesperson in 2008. She worked for Democracy Unlimited in 2009 and helped to form the Move to Amend coalition. She founded the Salt Lake affiliate of Move to Amend and serves on the National Executive Committee.
She helped to organize Occupy DC Freedom Plaza and was involved in Occupy Salt Lake. Ashley is one of the people interviewed in the award-winning film, “American Autumn: An OccuDoc”, a documentary about the Occupy movement.
Ashley’s passion is street theater and creating community spaces for discussion and collaboration, and she spends her free time doing freelance writing and (recently!) storytelling.
Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap is Executive Director of Democracy Unlimited. She grew up in Santa Fe, NM and came to Humboldt County in 2001 by way of Western Massachusetts where she was studying education and community at Hampshire College.
She served as a member of the national Leadership Team of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom’s campaign to Challenge Corporate Power, Assert the People’s Rights and the STORY (Strategy Training and Organizing Resources for Youth) Board of the SmartMeme Project. She is also a Principal with Program on Corporations Law and Democracy and Local Democracy Fellow for the Liberty Tree Foundation.
In November 2004 Kaitlin was elected to serve on the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District Board. She is the youngest member to serve in this position, as well as the the first woman to take this office. She was re-elected in 2008 and now serves as Board President.
Kaitlin serves as the National Director for Move to Amend. She oversees the national field organizing operations for the campaign, the affiliate support program and provides internship program supervision.
All I have to say is You have to be there to understand everything that was said. If you have an opportunity to attend in your city. I recommend it. It great to learn about what the organization is about. Ashley Sanders taught us how to run campaigns. It was very informative and she is an amazing speaker But to summarize: Corporations should not have constitutional rights. Money isn’t speech. One thing I learned is how in 1789 when corporations wanted to develop they had to get a majority vote in the state house of representatives. It then had to get majority vote in the senate then the governor had to signed it. Just like how a bill is passed today. The corporation only could do the type of business that they had applied for. They were a limited liability which lasted only 5 to 10 years. Today corporation have an easy process they fill out an application pay $50 dollars and that’s it and it last forever there is no time limit. When corporations have constitutional rights that means they can use their power and privileged to hurt people. When I was in the convergences. I was relating it to how the housless community runs. Corporations are taking away the voices of the houseless people and their supports because they have the money and power to do so. One thing that I kept on thinking about is the sit/lie bill. Portland business alliance and Transitional projects are both corporations and entities. They shouldn’t have the power to govern, have a voice in what they believe should be the voice of the people, and have the power to regulate how public spaces are run. If corporations didn’t have the power to influence the city then the city would have to rely on what the citizens have to say. They would make laws, ordinances and regulations based on how it would affect the people instead of representing corporations and money.
Sounds interesting to you. Get involved with Move to Amends In Portland at:
Thanks for coming out there. Let build together.