Supporters expect Winston-Salem City Council to address Citizens United on Tuesday

Occupy Winston-Salem has indicated in a mass e-mail that Councilman James Taylor Jr. "will likely" make a motion to introduce a resolution on Tuesday calling on Congress to amend the Constitution to overturn the Supreme Court's Citizens United vs. FEC decision, which allows unlimited corporate money in elections.

The item is not on the agenda for Tuesday's meeting, and Taylor could not be immediately reached to confirm that he intends to make the motion.

Meanwhile, Eric Fink, an associate professor at Elon University School of Law in Greensboro, argues in a guest editorial submitted to YES! Weekly that Councilman Dan Besse is wrong to assert that Citizens United is beyond the purview of the city council:

The corrosive effect of corporate power on democracy is very much a local concern. Unrestricted corporate money distorts the electoral process, including elections for local government bodies like city councils. Unfettered corporate influence distorts public policy, including policy on core matters of local government responsibility like land use, transportation and education.

Besse has said, "Either we end up taking policy stances on issues on which we're poorly informed, or we have to put a great deal of research and development into topics on which we can effectively do nothing."

UPDATE: Kim Porter and Tony Ndege with Occupy Winston-Salem say that Taylor has committed to bringing the resolution up tomorrow. A number of elected officials, including NC Sen. Earline Parmon, Forsyth County Commissioner Everette Witherspoon and Forsyth County Commissioner Walter Marshall have signed on as supporters of the resolution.

"I think we have a good chance of passing it because it makes sense and it affects local politicians and local constituents," Porter said. "People discouraged us, but we just fought on anyway. That just shows we don't give up when we feel the moral ground is on our side."

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