Actually, we need 7,050 of them. Votes that is. According to City Attorney Randall Ray speaking in the article appearing on November 18th in the Journal Star, that's what it will take to force the city council to place a referendum on the ballot to decide if cumulative voting should stay in force, or if we citizens have the right to choose to elect the people who represent us directly. One person, one vote.
I personally think some pretty shady politics are in play when the city council wants to maintain the status quo. They are perfectly aware that no change will be the equivalent of allowing voter apathy to grow. In the Journal Star editorial on November 18th, the estimated current voter turnout is about 20% per election. If that continues, then we can be assured that the City Council will continue to operate as it does now: doing what the minority of citizens think is correct rather than responding to the needs of the community.
According to the minutes of the Peoria City Council meeting this Tuesday last, several Peorians spoke in favor of the 10 and 8 district plans. They even spoke as representatives of various Neighborhood associations, saying their neighborhoods felt there was a need to a change. Whether they favored the 8 member council with 2 at-large positions or the 10 member council with no at-large members, they agreed that cumulative voting should be abandoned for what it is, an utter and dismal failure.
We, the undersigned citizens and voters of Peoria, formally request that the following referendum be placed on the ballot for the upcoming election in March of 2012:
There you go, the head of a petition to copy to as many signature lines as you need, and as many copies as you need to make. In the heading of each line, you will need to put a place for Printed Name, Address, Phone Number, and Signature. If enough signatures and petitions are presented to the council, they have no choice but to act in favor of the petition.
Here is an opportunity for the citizens of Peoria to act responsibly and let the city council know not only are we dissatisfied with their current decision, but we are dissatisfied as well with their lack of responsibility in managing the city of Peoria.
I want to acknowledge the help and advice of Mr. Don Cummings in preparing the wording of the petition, as well as the indirect consultation of Randall Ray and Chuck Weaver.