BY JAN SEARS
Published: 23 April 2012 07:03 PM
Since December, members of Occupy Redlands have been appearing before the City Council, reading a resolution opposing corporate personhood and urging the council to vote on it.
They have appeared at almost every council meeting in the past four months, taking three-minute turns reading the resolution, and more recently, reciting a long list of U.S. cities and counties that have voted to support it.
They may finally achieve their goal next month.
Occupy Redlands members took their cause to the city’s Human Relations Commission in March and won a unanimous vote of support. Commission Chairman Ed Gomez, a history professor at San Bernardino Valley College, pledged to propose the issue to the council.
Gomez said the Occupy members presented their case “very compellingly” and all eight members voted to support them.
“We’re merely an advisory commission, but we’re saying that we think this has to do with human rights and it would be beneficial that the council consider it,” Gomez said.
The resolution argues that corporations should not have the same legal status as individuals, which they have held to some degree since the late 1800s.
The corporate personhood question became a national issue after a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case. The court said corporations could spend freely in elections so long as they didn’t give directly to political parties and candidates.
That led to concerns about the formation of super PACs that would allow corporations unlimited spending to influence election outcomes.
Redlands Councilmen Paul Foster and Bob Gardner said Monday they weren’t sure whether the resolution would be on the May 1 agenda. Gardner said he and Mayor Pete Aguilar had been working to tailor the document to Redlands.
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