No on Question 1

Published: 10/11/2021 6:29:15 AM

Since “government of the people, by the people, for the people” was uttered in Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, citizens have fought, and continue to fight for such a government. Throughout our country’s history more and more citizens have been granted the right to vote, thereby making more citizens’ views and wishes count in our governance.

The 15th Amendment gave all men the right to vote. The 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote. The Indian Citizen Act allowed Native Americans to vote. The 23rd Amendment gave District of Columbia citizens the right to vote for president and vice president. The Voting Rights Act reaffirmed, strengthened, and protected citizens’ voting rights. The 26th Amendment gave citizens at 18 years old the right to vote.

Now the Greenfield Charter Review Committee and City Council, a total of 17 persons, recommend changes to the referendum process, by which our citizens can vote on issues and actions decided by those few. These changes will in effect make it harder for citizen voices to be heard. I’m not sure how, according to David Singer, our charter’s current “threshold is unfair to the majority as it is too easy for a minority group to frustrate the will of the majority.” A majority of registered voters don’t even vote in city elections; 2015, 40%; 2017, 27% and 2019, 47%.

Our current threshold of 10% of voters voting in the last election has served us well. It is a “fair/equitable” formula for collecting signatures to get a referendum on the ballot. This allows for more citizens to make their voices heard by voting on said referendums. Is it fair/equitable to count non-voters and thus a higher number to be obtained on a petition? Our right to be heard as citizens should not be made more difficult.

Please vote No on Question 1.

Diane Allis



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