On Nov. 4, voters in Proviso Township will have the opportunity to vote in a nonbinding referendum on the following question: “Should the United States Constitution be amended to clearly state that only individual persons, and not corporations, associations, or any other organizational entities are entitled to the rights enumerated in the Constitution?” 

For those unfamiliar with this issue, here is an explanation of why you should vote “yes” on this referendum. Our Founding Fathers made clear their intent that our country be governed by the people, based on the fact that the Constitution begins with the phrase, “We the People.” 

However, the Supreme Court has in recent years allowed corporations to have more and more control of the political process by way of campaign contributions under the premise that corporations are people and money is speech. 

This trend has culminated in the Citizens United (2010) and McCutcheon (2014) cases, which all but eliminate any limits to campaign contributions by corporations and the wealthy. This drastic change to our government, which essentially amounts to legalized bribery, has led to our elected representatives ceasing to represent us and instead only representing wealthy donors such as the Koch Brothers, Karl Rove and Sheldon Adelson. 

This in turn has led to the historic gridlock now in Congress. What’s worse, these same oligarchs have put into place restrictions on voting, such as voter identification laws, in an attempt to keep the American people from expressing their disapproval at the ballot box. Fortunately, there is a nationwide movement underway to fix this problem. 

Not only have several states including Illinois passed resolutions supporting a constitutional amendment to end the influence of money in politics, but a number of municipalities have passed referendums similar to the one now on the ballot in Proviso Township. 

For example, a referendum on just this issue passed in Oak Park in 2012 with over 85 percent support. While this referendum is just one step in our effort to fix our government which the corporations and the wealthy have broken, it will help a great deal in giving our government back to the people it is supposed to represent. 

So if you live in Proviso Township, please vote “yes” on this referendum on Nov. 4.

Jeff Ammons