The Los Angeles City Council passed a resolution on Tuesday declaring that corporations are not people and not entitled to the same constitutional protections.
The council’s 11-0 vote drew a standing ovation from a packed chamber of Occupy L.A. members and other activists.
Pending the resolution’s approval by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the city would be on record in support of
federal legislation that would ensure corporations are not entitled to the same rights as people, especially when it comes to spending money to influence elections.
It also proposed language for a constitutional amendment declaring that money is not a form of speech and affirming the right of the federal government to regulate corporations.
The Council President Eric Garcetti, co-sponsor of the resolution along with Councilman Bill Rosendahl said that “Every American should have an equal voice in their government, but unless there are big changes, your voice is only as loud as your bank account. And its the big corporations that have the largest bank accounts of all.”
The resolution comes, in part, as a reaction to the recent Supreme Court ruling that that corporations and unions can spend unlimited amounts of money in elections. The resolution cites a 1938 opinion from Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the subject, that reads “I do not believe the word `person’ in the Fourteenth Amendment includes corporations”.