Monday, November 16, 2009

Call to Action in Norfolk: Stand Up For The Right of Norfolk's Resident to Have Their Voices Heard

Vivian Paige wrote a post earlier today pointing out that the Norfolk City council will have meeting tomorrow afternoon in which they will be holding a hearing on potential changes to the city charter. The reason I bring this up is because Vivian mentions that some of the changes being proposed would make it harder for citizens to have their voice heard by doubling the number of signatures needed for petition. The current charter requires 4,000 signatures to be collected, but the proposed changes would result in 8,000 signatures being required.

Vivian went on to discuss some of the largest recent signature gathering campaigns in order to highlight how making the change from 4,000 to 8,000 would place a severe limit on the residents of Norfolk to have their voice heard. To further emphasize how this process would place an undue burden on Norfolk residents I want to remind readers that statewide candidates have to collect 10,000 signatures in order to get on the ballot. Even though these candidates can collect signatures through the entire state, anyone who has worked on a statewide campaign in Virginia during the early stages of the campaign knows that collecting these signatures can be an enormously difficult task even for highly qualified candidates. That's why you almost always see bloggers covering the signature numbers as they are reported.

Considering these difficulties of statewide campaigns, to require almost as many signatures to be collected from one city for a petition is highly inappropriate and places an unfair burden on Norfolk's residents. I am therefore joining Vivian in here call for Norfolk residents to speak out against this proposed change.

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