[Image: Take Back St. Louis]

Free Speech For People is pleased to announce our new partnership with Take Back St. Louis, a city-wide campaign representing community organizations, labor unions, small businesses, faith leaders and urban farms. Their goal? To reclaim public tax dollars from corporations and instead invest in distributed development, green jobs and renewable energy.

Here’s the story: For a long time now, St. Louis has long used tax breaks for Fortune 500 corporations, such as Peabody Energy, to promote the city economy. The campaign Take Back St. Louis wanted to change this model of development for the city, and prepared and collected signatures for a ballot initiative that would simultaneously address climate change and urban development priorities by ending the city’s practice of giving tax breaks to fossil fuel corporations. Opponents challenged it in state court. The judge granted the opponents’ motion for a preliminary injunction against printing the ballots, finding that the initiative violated the Equal Protection Clause. The judge cited the ruling in Citizens United to explain why business entities “are entitled to constitutional protection as citizens.”

The Take Back St. Louis initiative campaign has retained Free Speech For People as co-counsel in the case (in coordination with the campaign’s Missouri-based legal team) defending this ballot initiative, which is known as Noel v. Board of Election Commissioners.

The trial is set for March 31, 2014.

Our Legal Advocacy Program is able to take on cases like this because of the generous donations we receive from supporters like you. Please consider giving today, because of our matching grant, everything you give will be doubled.