OccupyWNC members of MTA WNC, in tandem with their Asheville and Charlotte area counterparts, have worked for the past few months to secure 22 primary and co-sponsors who have now introduced NC House Joint Resolution 125 in the North Carolina General Assembly. As expected the bill was assigned by NC’s conservative majority to the Rules Committee.
Basically, the bill resolves: SECTION 1. that the North Carolina General Assembly calls on Congress to propose an amendment to the Constitution that would affirm that: (a) the rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons, i.e. human individuals, only and (b) the spending of money to influence elections is not protected free speech under the first Amendment; and (c) The privileges of artificial entities such as corporations, limited liability companies, labor unions, for profit and not for profit, and other entities and shall not be construed to be inherent or inalienable and are subject to regulation by the People, through Federal, State, or local law, and (d) Nothing contained in this amendment shall be construed to abridge the freedom of the press.
Representatives of the WNC, Charlotte and Asheville area affiliates descended on the NC Raleigh capital on Feb. 25th for our third-year-in-a-row “MTA Lobby Day.” Legislators received packets with a compelling cover letter, along with pages (designed by the Charlotte team) of pertinent info about the MTA Resolution being introduced. The Asheville and WNC members finalized the resolution for consensus by the group, and later did research to facilitate the Lobby Day presentation.
The new statewide group also held a midday press conference, which opened with comments from Rep. Verla Insko (Primary Sponsor along with Reps. Susan Fisher, Joe Sam Queen and Pricey Harrison) and Primary Senate Sponsor, Terry Van Duyn. Next, Avram Friedman (MTA-Sylva), Vicki Rowan (CAMTA) and Tom Coulson (MABCO) spoke definitively and passionately about many Move to Amend issues (e.g., how its passage would regain human rights in elections, in our economy and in our democracy, etc.).
On hand at the press conference were radio, TV, and print reporters. Here is Avram’s Canary Coalition coverage.
Many members of the three statewide Move to Amend affiliates have since written to the NC House Rules committee asking for their bill to be released onto the floor for a vote. They currently are working to obtain more NC Senate sponsorship by writing those senators whose MTA constituents have been hard at work on this issue and who obviously would most appreciate the senators who sign on to co-sponsor the Senate version.