Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Clay Chastain Fights Kansas City On Petitions
The most prolific petitioner Kansas City has ever seen offers this word of warning and update on his latest transit effort that also takes on citizen participation in local Democracy. Take a look:
Clay Chastain: KC's government files Act of War against petitions from the people.
The City has filed a Motion to Dismiss (Case No. 1816-CV06058) a complaint filed against it by Clay Chastain and the Committee of Petitioners. This historic complaint seeks to hold the government accountable for hi-jacking a valid transit petition from the people (that proposed building Kansas City a new citywide multimodal "Rapid Rail / Electric Bus / Bike way public transportation system ((August 2017 election)) and distorting it into a self-serving plan to expand the City's controversially - enacted and archaic - operating streetcar system.
Here is the baseless arrogant signature line from City Hall's 'Motion to Dismiss" filed last week, "a committee of petitioners never has the authority to demand that's its proposed ballot language be used, and never has the authority to demand that the legal title of the ordinance be used. The choice is always within the City Council's discretion."
In other words, valid petitions from the people, that challenge Kansas City's government, will mean what Kansas City's Government wants them to mean...
(1) The petition is "unworkable" says KC's Government which then used its "discretion" to overturn a light rail petition election in 2007;
(2) The petition is "facially unconstitutional" says KC's Government which then used its "discretion" to tie a light rail petition up in court for 3.5 years. (2011 to 2014);
(3) The petition is "illegal and can be repealed, if approved by voters," says KC's Government which then used its "discretion," and that public and legally unsubstantiated proclamation, to undermine the petition question right before the 2015 light rail election;
(4) The petition does not really mean building Kansas City a "Rapid Rail / Electric Bus / Bike way" public transportation system says KC's Government which then used its "discretion" to exploit the petition by replacing it on the ballot with the City's own vague misleading plan to expand its streetcar system. (August 2017 petition election).
Long ago the voters of Kansas City empowered themselves to legislate directly by approving a charter which enabled voters to take their petition question directly to the voters. But Kansas City's dictatorial-acting government has now interfered with and corrupted that democratic ideal by arbitrarily and unilaterailly alleging that any petition question must first pass through the City's prejudicial and discretionary filter.
How then does the government's "discretion" comport with the people's right to legislate directly?
Since Kansas City's local print media (the Kansas City Star, the KCBJ, the Pitch and The Call, etc.) seem unconcerned ( absence of coverage) about this takeover of the people's democratic petition process by Kansas City's Government, it is time to alert the national news media to the democratic carnage going on in Kansas City.
Clay Chastain...leading member and official spokesperson for the 2017 Committee of Petitioners.
Developing . . .