Notification of “Move to Amend” (HJR48) Endorsement

The Action Council and the Board of Trustees have both approved a request for UUCPA to endorse the Move to Amend efforts and House Joint Resolution 48 (HJR48).  HJR48 proposes an amendment to the U.S. Constitution which unequivocally states that inalienable rights belong to human beings only (not corporations), and that money is not a form of protected free speech under the First Amendment and shall be regulated in political campaigns. 

This notification to the congregation is to provide you information about what this endorsement will mean and why the endorsement was approved.  We will sign the endorsement form four days after this notice to the congregation, per the endorsement process adopted by the congregation at our Annual Meetings in April 2017 and April 2018.  If you have questions or concerns about UUCPA endorsing this effort, please contact the Board or the Action Council by Wednesday June 1.

What is Move to Amend (MTA)?

MTA formed in September 2009 as a coalition of hundreds of organizations and hundreds of thousands of individuals in response to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, unleashing massive amounts of big money in politics.

Move to Amend Values        

Social and economic justice, ending corporate rule, and building a vibrant democracy that is genuinely accountable to the people and not to corporate interests, transparency, community, movement building, and anti-oppression. 

Connection to UU Principles

This movement’s values connect with a number of our UU Principles, including promoting equity and justice (including social justice), democracy, and respect for environment.

What is Move to Amend Asking?

Move to Amend Santa Clara County is asking UUCPA to support House Joint Resolution 48 (HJR48) by signing their online organizational endorsement form.

Local Support for HJR48

  • In Santa Clara County, the Move to Amend group has
    • Successfully lobbied five local Congressional representatives to co-sponsor the amendment in the current Congress
    • Successfully lobbied the City of San Jose, County of Santa Clara, and four other local cities to endorse the amendment
    • Successfully campaigned in 2016 for California Proposition 59, an advisory measure that supported an amendment such as ours
  • Hundreds of active Move to Amend members regularly meet in nearly 60 local affiliate groups in 23 states across the nation. They have lobbied for and helped pass more than 680 resolutions or ballot measures by state and local governments in support of an amendment, including the City of San Jose and the County of Santa Clara.  
  • Cities in Santa Clara County that support MTA’s amendment, either by resolution or letter, are San Jose, Campbell, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View, and Palo Alto
  • More than 478,000 people thus far have signed Move to Amend’s petition, over 3,700 in Santa Clara County have signed.
  • To date, 617 organizations have endorsed Move to Amend as well, including: Unitarian Universalists for a Just Economic Community (and numerous UU congregations), San Jose/Silicon Valley NAACP, American Friends Service Committee, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Sierra Club, California Clean Money Campaign, and various unions, e.g., Alameda Labor Council.  
  • H.J.R. 48, the “We the People Amendment” currently has 90 co-sponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives, including Bay Area reps like Ro Khanna, Zoe Lofgren, Anna Eshoo, Barbara Lee, and Jackie Speier.

Additional Information About Move to Amend and HJR48

Although several organizations seek to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case, HJR48 calls for the abolition of all corporate constitutional rights because they are illegitimate and have been consistently used to dominate real people.  This amendment is needed because Big Money talks so loudly that it puts a mute button on actual constituents. Also, the U.S. Supreme Court has given corporations “rights” that do not appear in the original Constitution or subsequent amendments. As a result, corporations use the courts to overrule public health, worker safety, environmental, and campaign finance laws and regulations to the detriment of real people.   

For additional information on the history and impacts this bill would have, see the local Move to Amend Overview presentation.