Monday, September 16, 2013

Protecting the initiative petition process state by state

This short paper from the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund outlines attacks on the initiative petition process by pro-fracking forces opposing community rights ordinances. While the paper focuses on Ohio and hydrofracking, this tactic could conceivably be used anywhere where voters organize to control corporate misdeeds through direct-democracy ballot questions.

Few municipalities have the right of initiative petition, so protecting the laws already on the books is doubly important. This November, Ohioans will be convening a founding convention of the Ohio Community Rights Network (OHCRN), with the goal of rewriting the state constitution so that it recognizes the right of towns and cities to self-governance. Similar networks already exist in New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania.

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