Last week, we got some startling news.
Despite hundreds of volunteers spending thousands of volunteers hours collecting the required signatures to get on the ballot in November, the city attorney announced last Tuesday that our Move to Amend petition was invalid.
He said this despite the fact that he reviewed and approved our entire application in early February.
Now he is saying that he didn't do his research, and that only a law--not a resolution--can appear on the ballot in Utah.
This is just the latest in a series of obstacles we've encountered while attempting to exercise our most basic democratic right: to speak our minds about what should happen in our community and country.
And while some city officials are incompetent--surprised by the idea that people would actually use the direct democratic process--the legislature is malevolent, writing laws each session that make it virtually impossible to engage on any meaningful level in the decisions that affect our lives.
Under the logic of our current legislature, the Declaration of Independence--a document that does not create law but expresses the outrage of the people--would have been an empty gesture.
But never fear! We are angry but not deterred.
Thanks to our rockstar City Council working group, we met with every single council person and got firm agreements that they would vote our resolution onto the ballot despite what happened with our petition.
Indeed, the City Council members have been invaluable allies the entire time--listening to our concerns, responding with respect, supporting us and even helping us canvass!
And now they plan to stay true to their word and make sure our resolution is on the ballot come November.
So don't fret! The good people of Salt Lake will decide whether corporations are people and money is speech. The plan's still on, and we still plan to win!
Nevertheless, this is a sobering reminder that we have no real democracy in the United States. The only decisions we get to decide are which corporate candidate will (not) represent us in Washington.
That's we we at Move to Amend want more than an amendment abolishing corporate rights and money in elections. We want a truly fair, truly just world where peopel participate directly in decisions that affect them and the people who are most harmed have the most say.
As I write, we are busy planning a launch for the second part of our campaign that will do more than get out the vote, but will organize Salt Lake to create the kind of culture, economy and politics that we will need to fight the fights that most need fighting. More on that soon!
If there's one thing that these trials have taught us, it's that the powerful are actually afraid of the people.
So don't feel down, get organized.
Onward to a truly just world,
The Move to Amend Salt Lake Organizing Collective