There was a time in the United States when voters had an impact on the government serving the People of the United States. Voters at one time were able to express their preferences and their elected representatives at the federal, state and local level were far more responsive to voter-expressed preferences than they are today. When elected representatives are responsive to voter-expressed wishes, you have a type of "bottom up" government, in which voters at the bottom of the pyramid express their wishes to the elected officials at the top, and the wishes are heard and acted upon.
Today, ever increasingly, we have a "top down" government, in which the elected official at the top (such as the President or his designee or the State Governor or the City Mayor or the federal, state or city legislative body enact laws and rules and make decisions affecting everyone from top to bottom, without any or much regard for the desires or economic interests of the voters at the bottom of the pyramid. One out of many areas of concern is
There is a cure for this in every town, village and city in New York State. The New York State Constitution provides for voter ballot initiatives for each town, village and city in New York State. Section 37 of the New York Municipal Home Rule Law fleshes out this New York Constitutional requirement. New York City has also adopted a local statute, Section 40 of the New York City Charter, which enables voters to pass certain types of local statutes.
Voters in NYC, and every other town, village and city in New York State have the opportunity of changing what is now, for the most part, a top down government into a bottom up government, in which the wishes of the voters can be turned into law, by the voters themselves, through a series of ballot initiatives.
Let's assume that a significant number of NYC voters would like to have a NYC law enacted which requires NYC and its agencies to eliminate all maximum age requirements from every type of full-time, temporary or part-time job or consulting or sub-contracting work. Instead, the standard would be "ability to perform", so that if a 50-year old stockbroker wanted to become a NYC policeperson, he/she would have the opportunity to do so under the envisioned statute.
Take a look at the Petition I drafted which if signed by a sufficient number of registered NYC voters and passed by a majority vote at the following general election, would become the law in NYC. Proposed NYC Statute Eliminating Age Discrimination for Employment by NYC.
The procedure for any one proposed statute is simple. A total of 30,000 Petitions must be signed by NYC registered voters (and verified at the bottom of each Petition by another NYC registered voter). After these signatures are obtained, the Petition is submitted to the NYC City Council, which has 60 days to accept (i.e., approve the proposed statute) or reject the proposed statute. If the proposed statute is rejected, then the persons behind the proposed statute have to gather an additional 15,000 signatures within a 60-day period, and if this is accomplished the Petition should be placed on the ballot during the following general election for a Yes or No vote by NYC registered voters. If a majority of the persons voting on the Petition approve the Petition, it becomes a NYC statute.
The requirement of 30,000 Petition signatures is not a staggering requirement. There are more than 6,000,000 registered voters in NYC, and 30,000 signatures is only 1/2 of 1% of the 6 million voters.
Political parties bring voters together by creating a platform with a large number of "planks" providing something for everyone within the party, otherwise members not receiving any plank promises will probably change parties.
What is important to realize today is that virtually none of the plank promises is ever enacted after the election, regardless of who wins the election. It is this situation which makes the NYC Ballot Initiatives a truly viable alternative to party politics in NYC. Whereas no matter who wins the local elections in NYC, voters will clearly not be given what they were promised; but the same is not true as to the alternative approach of the NYC Ballot Initiatives. The statutes are drafted in advance, for you to read and study, and by getting behind and supporting all (or most) of the proposed statutes, instead of the one or several you are most anxious to see enacted, all of us have a realistic opportunity of having our own statutes enacted while the others helping us will also get their own desired statutes enacted.
Before creating any of the Petitions listed below, I prepared a list of possible subject matters for NYC Petitions. Take a look and see how NYC could be improved through adoption of many of these proposed petitions (some of which are also included in the list below). Many of the petitions yet to be drafted involve disclosures by NYC, such as the proposal to have NYC disclose all payments made to anyone so that everyone can see how the money is being spent. You can bet that there are billions of dollars being spent questionably or even illegally, but nobody can tell because there is no openness about public expenditures in NYC. Petition Topics.
Here is a list of the Petitions already ready for you to sign, together with a link to each petition (to enable you to read, print out, sign and then return the signed Petition to this address: NYC Ballot Initiatives, c/o Carl Person, 225 E. 36th Street, New York NY 10016-3664:
We can turn these Petitions into Statutes but we need some help from you. First of all, we could use a donation. Any donation is appreciated, but if you can afford to make a substantial donation, please do so. Every penny you donate goes to the cause (including payment to some petitioners). There are no salaries or compensation paid to any of the people associated with this project for any activities (other than any petitioning for signatures). Please remember that although we do not operate to make a profit, we are not a non-profit organization qualified for donors to obtain a tax deduction. Please do not hesitate to make a donation merely because you can get no tax deduction. No political donation is entitled to a tax deduction.
Donations by check should be made to "Carl E. Person, as Attorney for NYCBI" and mailed to:
Carl E. Person, Attorney
225 E. 36th Street - Suite 3A
New York NY 10016-3664
Donations to be made by PayPal should be directed to the following email address: email@example.com
PayPal accepts credit cards.
We can obtain a more responsive government through the application of business principles to politics.
Donations spent on a business-like basis can obtain the Petition signatures we need to enable us to change the laws and rules we don't like.
We are a small organization and need volunteers for a variety of tasks. I want to talk with YOU and see what we can do to create the needed reforms in NYC, and have our work be a model for other cities, towns, villages, counties and states to do the same thing. Change is going to come about starting at the bottom, with voters, rather than at the top with the Mayor, Governor or President.
When volunteering to work with us, the NYC Ballot Initiatives, you can be far more effective than most U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives, by passing statutes rather than by running for elective office.
I am quite interested in appointing "Petition Managers", who will be responsible for developing a constituency for a single Petition, and then to work with individuals and organizations within the constituency to obtain signatures on the Petition for that constituency. Thereafter, we need people to work with the persons signing the Petition of most interest to them, and get them to sign as many of the other Petitions as possible, so that the constituency of each Petition helps the other constituencies with their respective Petitions.
During mid-September, 2013, another website will become available to facilitate petition drives. This new website, voterlaws.com, will have a variety of features to help manage the petition drives for the petitions listed in voterlaws.com.
Please visit voterlaws.com and also communicate with me if you wish to participate in creating more democracy for residents of NYC. You can send me an email by clicking on Email Response Form for Possible Volunteer or you can telephone me at my office number, 212-307-4444.
Anyone interested in making NYC a better place in which to live should become aware of legislation that attempts to prevent need political change. You should read my website containing materials for a TV show I intend to produce (as a community cable, MNN producer" entitled "Illegal to Advocate Political Change in NYS". You will be amazed at the restrictions imposed on New Yorkers under city and state legislation. In our petitioning process, we can make changes in the NYC law. My website is at Website for TV Show "Illegal to Advocate Political Change in NYS".