Thursday, July 07, 2005

Self-Imposed Curfew Halts Arcata Hearing on Voter Confidence

Arcata's City Council meeting had a full house and full agenda last night. At about 10:45pm the Council voted to continue meeting until midnight. They were still several items away from the Voter Confidence Resolution, aka Draft Resolution No. 056-09.

At approximately 11:55pm the Council voted 3-1-1 (Dave Meserve voted nay, Paul Pitino abstained) to place an initiative on the November 2006 ballot for Arcata voters to decide about water fluoridation. Finally our moment had arrived.

Despite the prodding of Councilmembers Harmony Groves and Meserve, Mayor Michael Machi would not stay open for business any longer and invited public comment for just the limited moments remaining before their self-imposed curfew. The Voter Confidence Resolution should now appear on the July 20 agenda, hopefully under "Old Business" which will come up earlier in the meeting.

We definitely had a strong showing of supporters prepared to speak, including many members of the Voter Confidence Committee and Vets For Peace Chapter 56, Martha Devine officially representing the Green Party of Humboldt County, and Revolutionary performance artist Shaye Harty, among others. Given what we saw from Council and from the community, my determination and optimism have multiplied manifold.

Meanwhile, Ohio activist Rady Ananda, my key liaison with the [J30] group I have previously mentioned, has repeated and amplified her call for support of the Voter Confidence Resolution. See the GuvWurld News Archive for a thoughtful piece she's written on election reform strategy. She has also compiled a data-heavy workbook (.pdf) of election reform resources being distributed to advocates everywhere, along with the suggestion that localized versions be customized (just like the resolution). Notice that she has included the Voter Confidence Resolution as well as the companion Guide as the last elements before a closing quote from Abby Hoffman:
Democracy is not something you believe in or hang your hat on, but something you do. You participate. If you stop doing it, democracy crumbles and falls.



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