Archives for August 2009

Do you think it’s possible, in an age where so many of us get our information online, to harness the internet’s powers of communication as a tool for state-level direct democracy?

Some of our staff attended the Townhall Meeting in Reston, VA hosted by Congressman Jim Moran and Howard Dean on August 25th.  We asked some of the folks waiting outside what they thought about the initiative, referendum and recall process.  They all had great things to say and we found support for the process from both sides of the aisle.  Check out the video to hear what people said.

Suffrage Petition


Today marks the 89th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote.  On August 26th, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was certified by then Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby.  The 19th Amendment prohibits the government from denying anyone the right to vote based on their sex; it gave women the right to vote.

Bob the Voter's Best FriendCalifornia Assembly Bill 6 requires petition firms that pay petition circulators to register with the Secretary of State’s Office, pay a fee, and train their circulators on relevant laws. The intention is to “decrease fraudulent or illegal practices in signature gathering.” To me, this bill makes no sense.

Around the country support is growing for a Congressional audit of the Federal Reserve, and numerous groups have signed on to circulate a petition to gather signatures in support of the audit.

Here at Citizens in Charge Foundation, we encourage people to petition their government about whatever concerns them. We’ve found that people have a wide variety of concerns to petition about. One example is a Lafayette, IN petition to allow urban chicken farming.

While the petition is unofficial, over 200 residents have signed in favor of allowing chickens in the city. We’re not sure how the city council will eventually rule, but we’re always glad to see people petition their government.

The power of initiative and referendum has been withheld from Rhode Islanders for over a century. Voters advised the legislature to provide for an initiative process, but that request was ignored by the state legislature. You can read the history of the battle in Rhode Island here.

Mass Mailing Fun

Fri, Aug 14 2009 by Staff

What better way to spend a Friday than printing, folding, stamping and stuffing thousands of pieces of paper for a mass mailing?  We here at Citizens in Charge Foundation came out of our offices today and gathered in the conference room for some group bonding — and papercuts.

As you can see in this group action shot, we’re all hard at work folding while Jonathan gently persuades the printer that there is no paper jam (mild language warning).

Mailing Photo

We have had a pretty busy year working to expand the initiative process here at Oklahomans for Initiative Rights. But, as the History of Initiative & Referendum page here on the Citizens in Charge Foundation site can tell you, the fight for citizen-controlled government in Oklahoma has been going on for 110 years! The battle for initiative rights started before Oklahoma was even a state, and I can promise you it isn’t about to stop!


Common Sense: Rising Recalls

Thu, Aug 13 2009 by Staff

Nearly twice as many efforts to recall public officials are underway this year than last, according to Citizens in Charge Foundation President Paul Jacob. In his daily Common Sense commentary, Paul points out several of the recall efforts from around the country, many of which have been mentioned on this site.

Moving On to California

Wed, Aug 12 2009 by Staff

Here at Citizens in Charge Foundation we are very happy that our recently departed Communications Director Bettina Inclan has started a great new endeavor in California.  While we were sad to see her go, she will be doing great work on the West Coast.  Check out a few news articles on her new adventure here, here and