Sociology Club hosts speaker David Cobb

David Cobb, a national spokesperson for “Move to Amend,” will be speaking tonight at 7 p.m. in an event hosted by Sonoma State University’s Sociology Club, the Media Freedom Foundation and Project Censored. It will take place in the Student Union, Ballroom D, and the doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Students admission is free, but donations of $5 to $10 will be accepted.

“Move to Amend” is a coalition is made of hundreds of organizations and thousands of individuals committed to social and economic justice, the end of corporate personhood and building a vibrant democracy that is accountable to the people, not corporate interests, according to Amy Hanks, a member of the committee. Cobb is an attorney, activist and former Green Party presidential candidate.

“He travels the country giving impassioned, informative speeches that motivate and educate citizens to fight back against the corporate influences that have eroded our social contract and corrupted the very foundation of our representative democracy,” said Hanks via an e-mail interview.

Hanks said “Move to Amend” is calling for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to unequivocally state that inalienable rights belong to human beings only. The people committed to “Move to Amend” would also like to state that money is not a form of protected free speech under the First Amendment and can be regulated in political campaigns.

“Move to Amend Sonoma County is currently working to gather 25,000 signatures of Sonoma County voters to qualify the ‘Build Democracy, End Corporate Rule’ initiative for the 2014 ballot,” said Hanks. “This initiative would allow voters to voice support for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that says in short, ‘corporations are not people and money is not speech.’” 

Hanks said the campaign is part of a nation-wide response to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision of 2010 that allows for unlimited, anonymous spending in elections by corporations. To date, sixteen states have called for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and through local ballot initiatives such as “Move to Amend” people across the nation are making their voices heard.

“Nationally, over 63 cities and counties have passed similar initiatives, and over 500 municipal and county governments have passed resolutions calling for reform,” said Hanks. “In 2012, Mendocino County was the first California County to pass such an initiative. [This] year ‘Move to Amend Sonoma County’ joins three other local California county chapters [Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Humboldt] seeking to qualify similar initiatives for the November 2014 ballot,” said Hanks.

According to their website, The Sociology Club strives to foster a spirit of community at Sonoma State University. They work closely with non-profits in Sonoma County to help keep it a wonderful place to live. The club meets on Thursdays from noon to 1 p.m. in Stevenson 2075.

Sociology club leaders did not return repeated requests for comment.

Cobb will be in Sonoma County today through Thursday. For more information, go to www.MovetoAmendSonomaCounty.org and find times and where to meet for each event.