Coalition Report

By Brad Walker,
with Aitan Groener and Chris Barnett
Missouri Coalition for the Environment


Environmentalism Requires A Working Democracy!

In the United States today corporations have all the rights of human beings, spending billions of dollars is equated to free speech; and as a consequence our environment is ignored and devalued. Three years ago a Princeton University study argued that income inequality has transformed the United States from a democracy into an oligarchy, where economic elites and corporate interests control our country society and the natural resources on which we depend.

The Missouri Coalition for the Environment [MCE] has educated, organized and advocated in defense of Missouri’s people and their environment for almost fifty years.
The Coalition recognizes that we need to fight both the symptoms and the causes of environmental destruction and exploitation. We need to make sure that we have a democracy where people can advocate for their interests and for the good of the country, public health, and the environment.

The increasingly powerful corporate influence has captured agencies and drowns out the private citizen’s voice making it harder to improve and enforce our environmental and public health laws and regulations

MCE’s Democracy in Action internship addresses exactly these issues. Over the past few years interns have hosted events, recruited community partners, and developed interactive resources for MCE’s website. This summer the program has focused on creating material about the impacts of corporate personhood and the potential for an improved democracy through two intern papers.

The first paper details the fraught history of people battling against corporations from the Boston Tea Party until Citizens United explaining how giving corporations the rights of people has distorted our democracy and corrupted our government. This paper provides a resource for those interested in learning and explaining why corporate personhood is so damaging.

The second paper addresses the need for a 28th amendment to the Constitution that would end the rights of corporate personhood and the equating of spending politically-directed money to free speech. The paper theorizes the way government and society will transition from being a corporate-ruled plutocracy to a democracy that works in the public interest.

Both papers will help provide people with a resource needed to advocate for a better democracy with greater citizen influence. Talk to your friends and family, contact your legislators, become involved in the struggle to end corporate personhood.

Please visit MCE’s web page, www.moenvironment.org/environment-blog/democracy-in-action/ for more information and reach out to Brad Walker at bwalker@moenviron.org to apply to intern/volunteer for Democracy in Action.