As the Texans Taking Charge tour rolls on, I got the chance to travel to Longview, TX on April 5 and speak to the We the People of Longview, a grassroots non-profit organization similar to a Tea Party. I addressed a group of about 70 and their support for initiative & referendum rights was overwhelming. Mike & Cindy Schwartz established the group which began with about 6 people and has no

Regular readers will recall that Trevor Ford and I traveled to Big Spring, TX back in January to help residents of the city obtain justice, and I am now happy to say that a settlement has been reached between the Concerned Citizens Council of Big Spring and the city of Big Spring, TX.

As Chairman of Texans for Initiative & Referendum Rights and Citizens in Charge Foundation Texas Citizen State Coordinator, I got to kick off the “Texans Taking Charge” speaking tour in an address to the Kingwood Tea Party Society on Why Texans Need Initiative & Referendum Rights.  One of the society’s leaders, Robin Lennon, welcomed me, and the entire presentation was videotaped and it can be found on the Kingwood Tea Party Society website.

A group backed by major grocery store chains, restaurants and other retailers launched a drive Tuesday to place on the November ballot two measures to allow alcohol sales in “dry” areas of Dallas. Progress Dallas has 60 days to collect the signatures of 68,846 Dallas voters in order to bring the issue to a vote. The group plans to place petitions in Kroger, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, Albertson’s, Whole Foods and restaurants throughout Dallas. If they succeed, the ballot will include two initiatives, each of which could be voted up or down.

The candidates aren’t the whole story in the May 8 elections. Voters in four communities also will decide the fate of ballot referendums. In Galveston the school district is pushing to replace the aging Kermit Courville Stadium with a multiuse sports venue that would be home of the Ball High football team and other sports. The proposal would allow the district to spent up to $35 million to build the complex on property it owns on 83rd Street.

Read the story from The Daily News

The Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas has filed suit against the city of Big Spring on behalf of the Concerned Citizens Council, whose petition was rejected last month. A reaction to the city council’s violation of Texas public meeting law last month, the suit seeks to void a meeting in which a tax rollback petition was rejected.

There is a new video up on our homepage and our Youtube page from our trip last month to Big Spring, Texas. This is the second video from the trip; we asked citizens of Big Spring what government reform means to them. Check the video out here.


Government Reform in Big Spring, Texas

Fri, Feb 12 by Anonymous

We asked members of the Concerned Citizens Council in Big Spring, Texas what government reform means to them.

Today, Citizens in Charge Foundation, a transpartisan national voter rights group focused on the ballot initiative and referendum process, presented the Concerned Citizens Council of Big Spring, Texas with the February 2010 John Lilburne Award.  The group is being recognized for standing up for the petition rights of all citizens by filing suit against the city council for violating the state open meetings law in an attempt to block the Concerned Citizens Council’s petition.

An ongoing disagreement has come to an end concerning the recently passed annexation by the City of Taylor. While the protestors reported collecting 565 signatures for their petition, they still fell short of the 744 signatures required. Section 15.2 of the city charter offers guidelines for a referendum on approved ordinances. According to this section of the charter, any ordinance passed by the city council is subject to a 30-day protest period, during which a minimum of 10 percent of qualified voters can sign a petition to request a referendum vote by the people.

Texas Citizen Video

Tue, Jan 19 2010 by Staff

I posted about it last week, but I just wanted to mention that the new video from our trip to Texas is up on our website now as well as on our Youtube page. There will likely be another video featuring our good friends in Texas later this week. Stay tuned.

big spring

Big Spring, TX citizens will sue the city council to protect their petition rights.

New Video Posted

Fri, Jan 15 2010 by Staff

I just put up a new video from our quick trip down to Big Spring, TX. We met with the Concerned Citizens Council and talked with them about their situation with the Big Spring City Council.

They are a great group of citizens that are standing up for their petition rights, and not letting them be taken away by the powers that be. So make sure to check it out.

hx pic

An anti-smoking effort in Lewisville appears to be extinguished – for now. Citizens for a Smoke Free Lewisville launched a campaign last month to put a no-smoking referendum on the May 8 ballot. They had 45 days to collect 2,247 signatures. With five days to go, the group has collected only about a third – 750 to 800 – of the required signatures, said TJ Gilmore, one of the organizers of the grassroots effort. “I have to admit we’re getting frozen out,” he said of the petition drive that ends Monday. “It was bad timing on everybody’s part.”

It’s been a hot topic for months that’s now headed to a courtroom. On Monday night, several people in Big Spring made a decision to go up against the City Council. They’re even bringing in watchdog groups from as far away as Virginia. On Monday night, the Concerned Citizens Council met at the Howard County Library and voted to file a lawsuit against the City of Big Spring for what they call an illegal meeting. They claim city leaders used an emergency meeting about valuations to dismiss their petition - calling for an election.