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Citizens launch ballot initiative process

Can Citizens force a vote on a controversial plan to bring a Private Prison to Globe?

A group of local citizens gather in front of United Jewelry in downtown Globe to launch a petition drive to get 2 ballot initiatives on the March ballot.g

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.

Jim Moss explains the petition drive and the ballot initiatives to a crowd of 40 who had gathered for the launch.

 

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!

 

 

The Ballot Initiative will give registered voters a voice.

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 mossjim13@hotmail.com

 

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2 comments

  1. Great article- and here’s the update: we’ve been collecting signatures right and left, and
    the petition drive is going extremely well. We can always use some help, though-
    readers can sign petitions at the Pickle Barrel or United Jewelry, and if you’re
    civic minded and want to make a difference, please volunteer to carry a petition
    and get some signatures! Call Darin at 200-8553 and we’ll set you up in a heartbeat.

    Thanks one and all- now let’s get this issue settled once and for all!

  2. poor citizens of Globe. i was visiting your fair city as i love the small town atmosphere, historic buildings and charming people i run into; not to mention the food. everywhere i went i heard the good people speaking of “the prison”. prison says i ? why would the city want to put in ANOTHER PRISON ? (there is a facility run by Arizona Department of Corrections) right down the road. it used to house low custody inmates, sex offenders and hardened criminals (not all the same time).
    if you read about the “Private Prison” Corporations, you will find , they place them mostly in middle and rural America. (ya know , kinda like out of the way where the citizens are too ignorant to refuse it). The BIG corporations say there facility is professionally run with strict guidelines and professional staff. HINT: there are a lot of private prison employees who have CRIMINAL RECORDS outside the county they are employed in. Do you want that sexual deviant, dog killer, drug user driving through your town and shopping at the same stores your children shop ?
    look at the facility in FLORENCE AZ. when 3 inmates escaped. there have been more escapes , but the ones who searched for the escapees were County, State and City Police. all at a cost to the citizens. a Bill for services was later forwarded to CCA.
    the corporation will say that “THOUSANDS” of jobs will be introduced into the area. HINT: when construction starts , the awarded architects will be from out of state, the construction company will be from out of state with a few “laborors” from local companies added. The Professional Staff will be lateral transfers from out of state and the few that get hired from the local area’s (Mesa,Casa Grande) will not be pleased with the lack of housing and travel time getting to work which makes for a disgruntled driver speeding through the school zones.
    Private Prisons are a warehouse and are big money makers for their own profit, not for the profits of Globe citizens. HINT; sure there will be monetary donations to the little leauge and girl scout troops but it’s all for show and tax deductable to boot.
    HINT : all the inmates that will be housed there will be from out of state (Hardened killers from Hawaii, gang members from California) or maybe “immigrants” awaiting transfer back to their homeland.
    I applaud the citizens who want to make the right choice for the city they live in by refusing to accept the facility and at the very least have the voters decide by placing it on the ballot.
    HINT : ask the citizens of Eloy, Florence if there have been any improvements to their lifestyle or cities infrastructure. I guarantee you they will SAY NO.

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