Tuesday, May 02, 2017
Transit Activist Clay Chastain Stands Up For Kansas City Citizen Initiative Petitions
More than anyone else, Clay Chastain has popularized the petition process in Kansas City and so his perspective is vital given recent arguments against this aspect of direct local Democracy . . .
Clay Chastain: Kansas City's most prolific petitioner challenges arrogant Star Editorial
It warms my heart when petitions from the people get under the skin of Kansas City's elite ruling class, including the Star's ultra liberal-oriented editorial board. Instead of cheering on independent acting citizens who are caring enough to collect signatures and sign petitions that challenge the government's leadership, keep it more honest and offer the people a choice - the Star, our know it all mayor and others, criticize the process as "too easy," and the citizens using it as "abusing the process" and "trying to stop progress." Thank goodness for these caring people who are just concerned about the direction the city is headed, or else the city's "progress" (and the public's interest in the city's future) would be in reverse more than it already is.
The frequency of petitions, including mine, have soared during the Sly James Administration simply because the people don't trust him, the Star or most of the city council to competently run the city and move it forward in behalf of all the people.
In general, petitions are inversely proportional to the people's trust in their government leaders - the less trust, the greater the frequency of petitions. The day Kansas City's everyday citizens see they have a competent, visionary and transparent government working in their behalf, is the day you will see the natural flow of petitions slow to a trickle.
Maybe the pious sounding Star should stop abusing its journalistic practice of continually coming down on the side of James and wealthy developers, like Mike Burke, who scavenge off the taxpayers, and instead start writing some editorials showing more respect for these caring individuals and the only mechanism they have to bring controversial issues to a direct vote of the people - Kansas City's heralded democratic petition initiative and referendum process.
Clay Chastain...leader of the current rail transit petition initiative