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RESOLUTION NO. 5055 <br />A RESOLUTION REQUESTING THAT THE UNITED STATES <br />CONGRESS REFER TO THE STATES AN AMENDMENT TO THE U.S. <br />CONSTITUTION DECLARING THAT CORPORATIONS DO NOT <br />POSSESS THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS THAT NATURAL <br />PERSONS POSSESS, <br />The, City Council of the City of Eugene finds that: <br />A. Each year, the City of Eugene updates its Federal Legislative Agenda. <br />B. The United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights are intended to protect the <br />rights of individual human beings also known as "natural persons." <br />C. Corporations can and do make important contributions to our society, but they are <br />not natural persons. <br />D, while state and federal governments may provide certain privileges to <br />corporations, these privileges should not equate to the same rights of natural persons protected <br />by the Unites States Constitution. <br />E. The right to free speech is a fundamental freedom and unalienable right and free <br />and fair elections are essential to democracy and effective self - governance. However, money is <br />not speech, and therefore regulating political contributions and spending is not the equivalent to <br />limiting political speech. <br />F. The United States Supreme Court held in Buckley v. Yaleo (1976). that the <br />appearance of corruption justified limits on contributions to candidates, but rejected other <br />fundamental interests that the City Council finds compelling such as creating a level playing <br />field and ensuring that all citizens, regardless of wealth, have an opportunity to have their <br />political views heard. <br />G. The United States Supreme Court recognized in Austin v. Michigan Chamber of <br />Commerce (1990) the threat to a republican form of government posed by "the corrosive and <br />distorting effects of immense aggregations of wealth that are accumulated with the help of the <br />corporate form and that have little or no correlation to the public's support for the corporation's <br />political ideas" and upheld limits on independent expenditures by corporations. <br />H. The United States Supreme Court in Citizens United v. The Federal Election <br />Commission (2010) overruled the decision in Austin and the portion of McConnell v. Federal <br />Election Commission (2003) that had upheld restrictions on independent corporate expenditures, <br />holding that the First Amendment protects unlimited direct corporate and union spending to <br />influence elections, candidate selection, and policy decisions and to sway votes. <br />Resolution - Page 1 of 3 <br />