Micah Hurd, a 23-year-old college student living in Arlington, Texas, recently found himself the center of controversy.  After President Obama’s reelection in November, Hurd started a petition on the White House’s official petition website, “We the People,” proposing that the Lone Star State of Texas secede from the United States.  This normally would not cause a fuss, as many individuals in many states did the same after the President’s reelection.

Students at Lakewood High School in Lakewood, Ohio seek to change the dress code for the school district which forbids “hoodie” sweatshirts. Lakewood student Andrew Nolan began the petition on November 28 citing concerns for the health of students that are required to go outdoors to change classes during the course of a day.

The ban on the garments came about due to security concerns after a student had tried to hide his identity inside the hooded shirt and has been in place now for several years.

Students set a goal of 2,000 signatures and the petition is nearly a quarter of the way there.

View the story from the Cleveland Sun Post-Herald

This morning I testified at the California state capitol before the Public Safety Committee against SB 168 a bill aimed at banning payment per signature for petition circulators. Here is a clip about how the hearing went from the capitol grounds. 

Scott GesslerColorado’s petition system is in a shambles, and the state legislature remains fixated on nailing down the lid on the coffin. Luckily, newly elected Secretary of State Scott Gessler seems to want a more reasonable petition system to preside over.

At Citizens in Charge Foundation we seek to keep the initiative & referendum process open and accessible for those citizens who have it, and expand the process to those citizens who do not. We believe that the initiative & referendum process is a right that every citizen should have, regardless of what issue or policy they intend to use it for.

Never short on examples of the many attempts around the country to take away the Norfolk, Virgninapeoples’ right to initiative and referendum by gutting the process, Norfolk, VA residents narrowly escaped a doubling of the signature requirement to put measures on the city ballot Wednesday.  Thanks to the strong opposition shown by tho

Last month, Ohio state representative Jennifer Garrison announced a plan for what she inappropriately refers to as a “Ballot Integrity Act”. The proposal would require people who help initiative and referendum campaigns collect signatures, and the companies they work for, to go through an onerous and potentially expensive registration process before they could work on a petition campaign.The law would also allow voters’ signatures to be thrown out because of mistakes made by campaign workers.

Petty Petition Preventing

Tue, Dec 1 2009 by Staff

Richard Winger at Ballot Access News uses a situation in Maine to make a great point about the many and often absurd reasons that petition signatures can be challenged around the country:

The Portland Press Herald has this brief news story today about the legal challenge to MaineMaine’s Secretary of State over certifying petition signatures.

Last Sunday the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel ran an editorial blatantly attacking the citizens and their powers of local direct initiative and recall. My response, which is copied below to the ridiculous claims of the Journal-Sentinel were published in today’s edition.


Recalls, Direct Legislation Are Vital

Frederick County officials are calling on residents to sign a petition to hold a referendum on the city of Frederick’s plans to annex three neighborhoods. The county has set up a website listing petition locations and urging people to sign, while developers have paid city officials to send a letter to all registered city voters urging them not to sign.

Supporters of an initiative aimed at ethics reform have accused Utah’s Lieutenant Governor of preventing them from circulating their petition by stalling on its approval. The Lt. Gov. claims he is not stalling, and will likely let the petition go through to gather signatures. I have blogged before about the many restrictions that Utah places on its initiative process.


While we don’t support or oppose any particular initiatives here at Citizens in Charge Foundation, we work with a lot of initiative activists who do. At the Grassroots Director, I am in regular contact with people involved in initiatives all over the country, and it gives me great insight into how the process really works “on the ground”. It is that insight that makes me question the logic of a bill that has recently passed the California legislature, and whether California legislators even understand the initiative process that they are meddling with.

Election Bloopers

Tue, Aug 11 2009 by Staff

I ran across this on the FAILBlog website the other day, and I couldn’t help but laugh at this poor Councilman’s misfortune.  Talk about shooting yourself in the foot!