Archives for May 2010

Post OfficeIn order to get a measure onto the ballot, supporters of a petition effort must get voters to sign their petition, the key to which is often getting access to where voters are. Those in initiative states are likely used to seeing people collecting signatures are fairs and festivals, as well as in front of various stores and businesses: places where lots of people are. One place where a lot of voters usually go is their local pose office, so the nations 32,471 post offices would seem like a natural place for voters to be engaged.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie gets it. He understands that the people are tired of unresponsive government and they want to have more say in what goes on.

He is proposing that a constitutional amendment be placed on the ballot to cap property taxes in the state. While it would be great if they people of New Jersey themselves could put measures on the ballot for a vote, this is a step in the right direction. Here’s a video of him discussing the ballot measure at a townhall.

James HolleyPortsmouth Mayor James Holley has been given until next Friday to resign his position, finding that a recall petition with nearly 9,000 signatures was sufficient to trigger a recall election.

Join Us in San Francisco

Wed, May 26 2010 by Staff

Some of you might already have seen the video, but if you haven’t yet check it out, and join us in San Francisco in July to learn about how you can become a citizen in charge.

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That question will be decided by New Jersey’s highest court - which heard oral arguments in the case Tuesday - and many think the issue will eventually go to the United States Supreme Court.

Baby Steps

Tue, May 25 2010 by Staff

Citizens in Charge president Paul Jacob’s article this past weekend deals with the effort to bring the initiative to the European Union. It’s a very interesting article about the steps that are being taken to bring initiative rights to Europeans and how it’s a bit different than what we have in 26 states here in America. Check it out.


Citizens in Charge Foundation, The New America Foundation, The Swiss Confederation and The American Consortium on EU Studies Center of Excellence

Invite you to a Roundtable Discussion

The Rise of Transnational Direct Democracy:
The European Citizen’s Initiative and
What It Means for the World

WHEN:  Monday May 24, 2010
TIME: 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.

HijackWhile the Monterey Herald’s clam in an editorial Thursday that companies have hijacked California’s ballot initiative process might make for a catchy headline, the  facts just don’t back it up.

This year, The Seattle Times is almost sure to oppose some of the initiatives that make the ballot. But we support the initiative mechanism. It is part of the political culture of our state and part of the grist of daily journalism. It brings issues to the fore. It is the stuff of democracy.

Read the editorial here.

Check out our new video and learn how you can take charge this summer in San Francisco.

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It doesn’t matter what you think of the process by which Coloradans put laws and constitutional amendments on the ballot. In this state, it’s a basic right protected in the state constitution. Lawmakers didn’t create that right and they can’t take it away.

Of the 45 states whose legislatures hold sessions in 2010, 27 of them have adjourned for the year, and 5 more will wrap up before the end of the month. Of the more than 80 bills dealing with the initiative and referendum process in various states, 51 of them would have reduced citizens’ initiative rights. Thanks to the work of activists in our coalitions, only 3 bills reducing citizen’s rights have passed and become law.