Ordinances and Constitutional Amendments
AN ORDINANCE BY THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ELIMINATING CONSTITUTIONAL PRIVILEGES FROM CORPORATIONS DOING BUSINESS WITHIN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Section 1. Name. The name of this Ordinance shall be the "Corporate Privilege Elimination and Democracy Protection Ordinance."
Section 2. Authority. This Ordinance is adopted and enacted pursuant to the authority granted to the District of Columbia by all relevant laws, including, but not limited to, the following:
The general authority granted by the Constitution and the Government Organization Code to make and adopt all such ordinances, bylaws, rules, and regulations as may be deemed expedient or necessary for the proper management, care, and control of the District of Columbia and its finances and the maintenance of the health, safety, peace, good government, and welfare of the District of Columbia.
District of Columbia Official Code, Tit. 1, Government Organization, §§ 1-102, 1-203.02, and 1-204.04, which empowers the government of the District of Columbia to exercise all powers of a municipal corporation and all legislative power not inconsistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States of America and the provisions of the District of Columbia Official Code.
Section 3. General Purpose. The general purpose of this Ordinance is to recognize that:
(1) A corporation is a legal fiction that is created by the express permission of the people of this District of Columbia as citizens of the United States;
(2) Interpretation of the U.S. Constitution by Supreme Court justices to include corporations in the term "persons" has long wrought havoc with our democratic process by endowing corporations with constitutional privileges originally intended solely to protect the citizens of the United States;
(3) This judicial bestowal of civil and political rights upon corporations interferes with the administration of laws within this District of Columbia and usurps basic human and constitutional rights exercised by citizens of this District of Columbia;
(4) The judicial designation of corporations as "persons" grants corporations the power to sue municipal governments for adopting laws that violate the claimed constitutional rights of corporations;
(5) The judicial designation of corporations as "persons" requires that municipal governments recognize the corporation as a legitimate participant in public hearings, zoning hearing board appeals, and other governmental matters before the municipality;
(6) The judicial designation of corporations as "persons" grants corporations unfettered access to local elections and First Amendment rights that enable corporations to control public debate on and discussion about important issues;
(7) By virtue of the wealth possessed by corporations, buttressed by these protections of law, corporations enjoy constitutional privileges to an extent beyond the reach of most citizens;
(8) When the District of Columbia knowingly authorizes corporations to do business in the District of Columbia under the current framework of legal protections, it enables corporations to wield their constitutional privileges to interfere with democratic governance within this District of Columbia;
(9) Democracy means government by the people. Only citizens of the District of Columbia should be able to participate in the democratic process in the District of Columbia and enjoy a republican form of government;
(10) Interference by corporations in the democratic process usurps the rights of citizens to participate in the democratic process in the District of Columbia and enjoy a republican form of government;
(11) The ability of citizens of the District of Columbia to establish rules to protect the health, safety, and welfare of District of Columbia residents has been diminished by the exercise of constitutional privileges by corporations.
Section 4. Specific Purpose. The specific purpose of this Ordinance is to eliminate the purported constitutional rights of corporations in order to remedy the harms that corporations cause to the citizens of the District of Columbia by exercise of such rights.
Section 5. Statement of Law. Corporations shall not be considered to be "persons" protected by the Constitution of the United States or the law of the District of Columbia within the District of Columbia.
Section 6. Severability. The provisions of this Ordinance are severable. If any section, clause, sentence, part, or provision of the Ordinance shall be held illegal, invalid, or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, such decision of the court shall not affect, impair, or invalidate any of the remaining sections, clauses, sentences, parts, or provisions of this Ordinance. It is hereby declared to be the intent of the District of Columbia that this Ordinance would have been adopted if such illegal, invalid, or unconstitutional section, clause, sentence, part, or provision had not been included herein.
Section 7. Effective Date. This Ordinance shall be effective immediately upon passage or as soon thereafter as permitted by law.a
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