from the Arcata Eye:
Councilmember Connie Stewart's absence at the May 5 public hearing on the resolution led to a stalemate, with Councilmembers Dave Meserve and Mayor Bob Ornelas standing firmly in support of the resolution and Councilmembers Elizabeth Conner and Michael Machi just as firmly opposing it.
The resolution, introduced by the Committee on Democracy and Corporations (CDC), states that the City Council believes corporations are not entitled to the same rights and protections as people. "Only persons who are human beings should be able to participate in the democratic process," it reads, continuing that corporate influence in the democratic process negatively interferes with individual citizens' rights and community values.
As at previous hearings, the vast majority of the residents who spoke found the resolution to be favorable-if not downright mandatory-and their arguments for reining in corporate power and protecting the community were met with applause and calls of "hear hear" from the audience. A sea of hands greeted a request from Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, director of Democracy Unlimited, for a show of support, while only a relative few proudly held their hands high in opposition.