Can Citizens force a vote on a controversial plan to bring a Private Prison to Globe?
No ballot initiative has ever been done in the 19 years that Globe City Clerk, Gina Paul has been at her post. Its easy to see why. Ballot initiatives, like so much of our political process has gotten cumbersome and expensive , and few have the tenacity and dedication to see such a process through. However, the grassroots organization which launched their opposition to a private for-profit prison to be built in our community has shown just such tenacity, and this morning, they officially launched a Citizens Initiative which will require 580 signatures to be placed on the ballot in March. See Initiatives Here:Ballot Initiatives
There are two initiatives in accordance with the law and the way these things have to be written. Each initiative can only pertain to one issue, so one initiative is titled: “Voters Must Approve New Prison in Globe Act” and a second initiative is titled: “No City Resources Spent on New Prison Act.” The language of both initiatives have been carefully drafted to put voters in the drivers seat when it comes to siting a new prison or using local infrastructure and resources for a new prison in our community. This is a big decision which will impact the community going forward and should not be left in the hands of a few elected officials who think they know best.
Both exclude correctional facilities owned or operated by the City or County Jail or Gila County Sheriffs’ office.
There has been much debate over the issue of a prison, and while a few City and County leaders like to point to “a silent majority” without any proof of such support, the Citizens Opposed have gathered thousands of signatures and postcards from those firmly opposed. Still, the most democratic and clear path to settle this issue of how our resources are to be used and whether a prison is the best ‘economic development’ idea anyone can come up with for our community….is a VOTE. Your Vote.
The Ballot Initiative will allow every registered voter to weigh in on this issue. As it should be.
So whether you are for or against a private prison here, remember that by signing the petition you’ll help put this issue to a vote in March, and that friends and neighbors is good old fashioned American Democracy in action!
Press Release: Citizens Opposed We are reprinting in it’s entirety to share with our readers.
Public Information/Press Release
TWO Ballot Initiatives are being launched by Citizens of Globe, AZ who do not want their
community to become another rural Arizona Prison Town.
These TWO Ballot Initiatives are closely related, but have distinct purposes. (see attached)
The first Ballot Initiative is titled, VOTERS MUST APPROVE NEW PRISON IN GLOBE ACT. It
requires Voter approval for any new prison constructed within Globe’s City Limits.
The second Ballot Initiative is titled, NO CITY RESOURCE SPENT ON NEW PRISON ACT. It
requires Voter approval for any municipal resource to be spent or utilized for any new prison
construction project within, or outside Globe’s jurisdictional boundaries.
Citizens have launched these TWO Ballot Initiatives because local elected officials refuse to
pass a Resolution that would prohibit a 1000 to 2000 – bed proposed private prison from being
constructed in the Globe community.
Nearly a year ago, citizens began speaking out in opposition to a proposed private prison
project. More than 2,500 area residents signed a Declaration of Opposition to such a prison,
and implored elected officials to pass a Resolution that would safeguard their community
from the private prison ‘industry’. These elected officials refused to act on behalf of their
constituents. Globe residents continue to ask, “If they don’t represent the citizens of this
community, then who do they represent?”
The Arizona Constitution provides for citizens to “Initiate”, or propose laws or measures that
are enacted by a direct vote of the people. The citizens of Globe are now taking action to
accomplish what their elected representatives refused and failed to do.
Citizens of Globe must gather 582 signatures to place these TWO Initiatives on the ballot at the
City’s next regular election in March, 2012. Registered Voters of Globe, Arizona will ultimately
decide the outcome of this very important community issue.
The Committees organizing these TWO Ballot Initiative Campaigns are receiving legal counsel
from the Phoenix Law Firm, Perkins Coie, LLP. Attorney, Rhonda L. Barnes, can be reached at
602-351-8305 or RBarnes@perkinscoie.com.
June 3, 2011
Jim E. Moss, Committee Chairman
480-540-1279 or firstname.lastname@example.org