Stopping Corporate Interference in Local Government


| January 13, 2003 Issue

On December 23, Utne Web Watch reported on the action taken by Porter Township, Pennsylvania, to become the first town in the U.S. to ban corporate interference in their local governmental processes. Township officials passed a binding law stripping corporations of their civil and constitutional “rights,” privileges that have traditionally been used to override the proceedings of local government decision-making.

But Porter Township is not alone, as individuals and groups all over the country are actively organizing against corporate personhood. Below are resources providing information on understanding corporate personhood and its relationship to local governance, examples of groups educating around these issues, and ways you can work to stop corporate involvement in your town’s government: 

  • Program on Corporations, Law and Democracy (POCLAD), the think tank kick-started the movement to end corporate personhood.
    http://www.poclad.org 

  • Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County
    http://www.monitor.net/duhc 

  • Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom’s ‘Challenging Corporate Power, Asserting the People’s Rights’ campaign.
    http://www.wilpf.org/corp/cintro.htm 

  • Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, ‘Corporations and Democracy Program’, the public interest law firm that wrote the Porter Township Ordinance.
    http://www.celdf.org/cdp.htm 

  • Reclaim Democracy! The group coordinating a national campaign to convince the ACLU to stop defending corporate free speech.
    http://www.reclaimdemocracy.org 

  • Alliance for Democracy: This Point Arena, California, chapter was the first community in the U.S. to pass a resolution to abolish corporate personhood.
    http://www.iiipublishing.com/alliance.htm 

  • Jeannette Rankin Peace Center, ‘Defining Democracy Workgroup’ is an example of a small group educating people locally in Missoula, Montana.
    http://www.jrpc.org/ddwg/index.htm 

--Erica Sagrans