Atlanta Council Passes APD Cameras, Refers Constitutional Amendment to Committee
(APN) ATLANTA — At the Full Council Meeting of the City Council of Atlanta on Tuesday, September 02, 2014, the Council passed a resolution that had been introduced by Councilwoman Felicia Moore (District 9), calling for the Atlanta Police Department (APD) to conduct a feasibility study within 90 days for implementing body cameras for all APD officers.
The Council also referred a resolution by Councilman Michael Julian Bond (Post 1-at-large), expressing the City’s support for a 28th constitutional amendment to the Constitution of the United States, that would clarify the ability of U.S. Congress to limit political campaign contributions.
MOORE RESOLUTION ON APD CAMERAS
The Council passed Moore’s resolution as part of the consent agenda, and therefore, there was no debate in the Full Council.
The resolution passed with unanimous support, as part of the consent agenda, with four members not voting, including Carla Smith (District 1), Kwanza Hall (District 2), Yolanda Adrean (District 8), and CT Martin (District 10).
The caption of the legislation is: “A RESOLUTION BY COUNCILMEMBERS FELICIA A. MOORE, JOYCE SHEPERD, MARY NORWOOD, NATALYN ARCHIBONG, KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS, HOWARD SHOOK, IVORY LEE YOUNG, JR, KWANZA HALL & ANDRE DICKENS AS AMENDED BY PUBLIC SAFETY AND LEGAL ADMINISTRATION COMMITTEE REQUESTING A COMPREHENSIVE REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION WITHIN 90 DAYS ON THE USE OF
WEARABLE VIDEO CAMERAS FOR OFFICERS IN THE ATLANTA POLICE DEPARTMENT; AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.”
BOND RESOLUTION ON CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
Councilman Bond introduced his resolution on the 28th U.S. Constitutional Amendment at the end of the Full Council meeting for immediate consideration.
The resolution picked up a few co-sponsors including Councilmembers Ivory Young (District 3), Cleta Winslow (District 4), Natalyn Archibong (District 5), and Felicia Moore (District 9).
However, Councilwoman Keisha Bottoms (District 11) made a substitute motion to introduce the resolution to the Finance/Executive Committee. The motion to refer passed.
The Committee will meet on Wednesday, September 10, 2014, at 1pm, and will hear the resolution then. Councilwoman Bottoms has asked for an opinion from the City’s Law Department.
At least three citizens showed up to make public comment in support of the resolution.
“Our national organization, movetoamend.org, is sponsoring an amendment to the federal constitution of the United States. Here today I believe Councilman Bond is going to later in this session present the idea for an up or down vote, sort of take the temperature of the Council as to whether they would consider supporting this resolution in support of this proposed amendment,” Will Mason, media coordinator for Move to Amend Atlanta, said.
“What this amendment seeks to do is to overturn the Citizens United v. FEC [Federal Elections Commission] ruling of the Supreme Court that lifted the spending cap on what are now unlimited sums that corporations and labor unions can spend on political attack ads,” he said.
“And also to overturn to McCutcheon v. FEC that lifted the amount that individuals could contribute to political parties or political committees from 120,000 dollars per two year election cycle, now it’s 3.5 million per two year election cycle,” he said.
“We also seek to overturn Buckley v. Valeo Supreme Court ruling, which is the one that said, very arbitrarily and capriciously, that money equals free speech for the purposes of political campaigns,” he said.
“And we also seek to abolish the legal fiction of what is called corporate personhood, which is an almost 200 year body of laws, of which these latest really negative Supreme Court rulings are the most recent outcomes,” he said.
“I just want to talk about Buckley v. Valeo… That ruling automatically guarantees the dominance of our political insts by the monied interests, because what it does, it says that, well, if money equals free speech for the purposes of political electioneering, then the monied interests who can spend the most to broadcast their political messages to the masses–okay–will always have an advantage,” he said.
“I received news yesterday that Councilman Bond was prepared to ask for your support for a 28th Amendment to the Constitution to restrict campaign contributions and remove the right of corporations to participate as people do in our democracy,” Susan Brewer said.
“I’m here to argue in favor of doing so,” she said.
“Such a move in necessary because there’s a crisis, I believe, in this country today, in which money and corporations now more than ever prevail over one person, one vote,” she said.
“Corporations have unmatched resources, are checked by little to no restriction, and have been granted the same rights as you or I. Is that justice? The Supreme Court thinks so and makes judgments that it is,” she said.
“This is the threat to our democracy,” she said.
Activist Don Dressel read a copy of the proposed constitutional amendment.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate is getting ready to consider a resolution on Monday, September 08, 2014, over a 28th Constitutional Amendment.