11x17 I&R Ordinance | Initiative | Petition

WARNING Under Washington State law every person who signs an initiative or referendum petition with any other

than his or her true name, knowingly signs more than once, or signs when he or she is not a legal voter; or signs a petition when he or she is otherwise not qualified to sign, or who makes any false statement on such petition may be guilty of a misdemeanor. Initiative Petition to the Spokane City Council

INITIATIVE NO. 2012 – 5
We, the undersigned citizens and legal voters of the City of Spokane, Washington, respectfully direct that this proposed ordinance, known as Initiative No. 2012 –5 , a full, true, and correct copy of which is printed herein, be passed without alterations by the Spokane City Council, or be submitted to the electors of the City of Spokane for their approval or rejections at the next available special or general municipal election. If submitted to election, the proposed ordinance shall appear as the following proposition. Proposition No. ___

Initiative & Referendum Ordinance
This initiative will amend Chapter 2.02 of the Spokane Municipal Code to reestablish a number of the provisions of the initiative/referendum process amended by the city council, including the reestablishment of the direct petition method and public funding for legal appeal, the removal of the fiscal impact statement requirement and the reinstatement of the signature requirements, as well as providing for the city to develop and implement a system for the validation of electronic signatures.
Should this measure be enacted into law? Yes ¨ No ¨

Each of us for himself or herself says: I have personally signed this petition; I am a legal voter of the City of Spokane; my residence address is correctly stated; and I have knowingly signed this petition only once. (The full text of the proposed ordinance is printed on reverse side of this page) CHECK IF REGISTERED ADDRESS IS DIFFERENT

PETITIONERS SIGNATURE (as on voters registration)

PRINTED NAME

RESIDENCE ADDRESS (Street Address)

E-Mail/Phone (optional)

Ian Moody 2214 E. Wellesley Ave. Spokane, WA 99207 (509)251-1715 ianm@sdpdirect.org
2012 Spokane I&R Project – Initiative & Referendum Ordinance

Summary of Measure THE LAW AS IT CURRENTLY EXISTS: The city council recently enacted Ordinance No. C- 34855 on April 30, 2012 adopting various revisions to Chapter 2.02 of the Spokane Municipal Code regarding the initiative/referendum process including removal of the direct petition method and public funding for appeals, establishment of a fiscal impact statement requirement and revisions of the petition signature requirements among other revisions. THE EFFECT OF THE PROPOSAL, IF APPROVED: This initiative will provide an ordinance to reestablishment of the direct petition method and public funding for legal appeal, the removal of the fiscal impact statement requirement and the reinstatement of the signature requirements, as well as providing for the city to develop and implement a system for the validation of electronic signatures among other revisions related to the initiative/referendum process.
ORDINANCE NO. C-_________ INITIATIAVE AND REFERENDUM ORDINANCE An act regarding initiatives and referendums; amending SMC sections 2.02.030, 2.02.040, 2.02.055, 2.02.090, and 2.02.130; repealing SMC section 2.02.175 and adopting new sections 2.02.025, 2.02.180 and 2.02.190 to chapter 2.02 of the Spokane Municipal Code. WHEREAS, the City Council has been considering revisions to the City’s initiative and referendum ordinance under Chapter 2.02 SMC; and WHEREAS, some of the provisions in this measure were originally drafted for the City Council’s March 2010 study session, which incorporated many of the suggestions from a task force coordinated by the League of Women Voters and included significant input from citizens; and WHEREAS, on April 30, 2012 the Spokane City Council voted 4-3, despite staunch public opposition, to amend significant portions of Chapter 2.02 SMC Initiative & Referendum including: a. repealing the direct filing method; b. repealing public funding of litigation; c. requiring the City to produce a fiscal impact statement; and d. imposing excessively stringent standards for signature validation; and WHEREAS, under current law, proponents have thirty days to complete a referendum - rendering participation on behalf of average citizens virtually futile; and WHEREAS, enhancements in computer and internet technology continue to enable citizens to participate more directly in democracy and government; and WHEREAS, changes made to the initiative and referendum process should be made with public input and voter approval; - - Now, Therefore, The City of Spokane does ordain: Section 1. That there is adopted a new section 2.02.025 to chapter 2.02 of the Spokane Municipal Code to read as follows: 2.02.025 Optional Preliminary Filing and Direct Filing Methods. There shall be two distinct filing methods for petitioners to qualify an initiative for ballot placement. The first filing method, the optional preliminary filing process, requires the initiative sponsor to comply with the procedures delineated in SMC 2.02.030 – SMC 2.02.040 of this chapter. The second filing method, the direct filing method, shall require the initiative sponsor to print petitions in accordance with SMC 2.02.060, file a representative petition with the city clerk, and receive an initiative number from the clerk prior to the petitioner’s circulation of the petitions. Section 2. That SMC section 2.02.030 is amended to read as follows: 2.02.030 Optional Preliminary Filing of Initiative Measure A. B. C. In order to facilitate the processing of a proposed initiative measure, a petitioner may ((shall)) file a preliminary version of the proposed measure with the city clerk. The proposed measure must contain the mailing address of the petitioner and telephone number of the petitioner or petitioner’s representative The city clerk must immediately transmit a copy of the proposed measure to the city attorney.

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Petition signatures collected after the three hundred sixty-five day period will not be counted towards a previously filed initiative. A person who has signed a petition may withdraw his or her signature from a petition by submitting to the city clerk a written request for the withdrawal of the signature up to the time the city clerk is directed by the city council to validate the signatures.

Section 5. That section 2.02.090 is amended to read as follows: 2.02.090 Validation of Signatures A. If directed by the city council, the city clerk without delay makes arrangements with the county auditor, as ex-officio supervisor of elections, to gain access to the voter registration rolls to determine if the petition bears the minimum number of valid signatures of registered voters of the city of spokane as required by city charter. For the purpose of determining the validity of the signatures on the petition, the city clerk employs the ((same standards established under state law for validating signatures.)) following criteria: 1. If the surname and signature are the same, a signature is passed even if the signature varies from the official record because of the substitution or omission of an initial or because of the interchange of a given and married first name. If the address given on the petition does not agree with the official registration record but is within the City limits, if, consistent with the regulations of the superintendent of registrations and elections, the signer can be considered a registered voter, the signature is passed. If a name is signed more than once, only one signature is passed.

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The city clerk immediately tallies the number of signatures as revealed by the process of validation. At the next meeting the city clerk makes a report to the city council concerning the number of validated signatures so tallied and what percentage that number is of the votes cast at the last preceding general municipal election.

Section 6. That section 2.02.130 is amended to read as follows: 2.02.130 Commencement of Referendum A legal resident or political committee begins the referendum process by requesting from the city clerk the assignment of a referendum number and identifying the ordinance, or section(s) thereof, sought to be referred. If the ordinance has not yet taken effect, then the clerk assigns the measure a number and furnishes to the sponsor a copy of the ordinance. At this time, the ordinance sought to be referred shall be suspended from taking effect for ninety days except as provided for in section 19 (a) of the City Charter.

Section 7. That section 2.02.175 is repealed: ((2.02.175 Fiscal Impact Statement A. The city council, in conjunction with the city administration and the city’s chief financial officer, shall cause a fiscal impact statement to be prepared for each ofthe following measures: 1. An initiative measure that has been directed to be placed on the ballot pursuant to a city council resolution; 2. A measure placed on the ballot pursuant to the city council’s own motion; 3. An alternative measure appearing on the ballot that the city Council proposes to the voters. Fiscal impact statements must be written in clear and concise language and avoid legal and technical terms when possible, and may include easily understood graphics. Fiscal impact statements must also be impartial, factually accurate, non-argumentative and unbiased. The fiscal impact statement shall be prepared by the city’s financial services division within thirty calendar days of the date the city council adopts the resolution to place the measure on the appropriate election ballot. A fiscal impact statement must describe any projected increase or decrease in revenues, costs, expenditures, or indebtedness that the city will experience if the ballot measure were approved by voters. Where appropriate, a fiscal impact statement may include both estimated dollar amounts and a description placing the estimated dollar amounts into context. A fiscal impact statement must include both a summary of not to exceed one hundred words and a more detailed statement that includes the assumptions that were made to develop the fiscal impacts. The sponsor of a measure or an individual or entity working on behalf of a local voters’ pamphlet committee created pursuant to SMC 1.07.010 may prepare a fiscal impact statement that complies with the requirements of this section, including the creation of a summary of not more than one hundred words. Summaries of fiscal impact statements prepared by the city or the sponsor of ameasure shall appear on the city website and be included in any voters’ pamphlet, which addresses city ballot propositions. A fiscal impact statement prepared by the sponsors of a measure shall appear next to the city’s fiscal impact statement and shall be clearly marked as the fiscal impact statement prepared by the sponsor of the measure.)) Spokane Municipal Code to read

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D. Within two weeks after receiving the measure the city attorney prepares, after consultation with the petitioner(s), a ballot title and summary of the measure and files them with the city clerk. 1. The ballot title shall consist of: a. a statement of the subject measure; b. a concise description of the measure; and c. a question. 2. The statement of the subject measure must be sufficiently broad to reflect the subject of the measure, sufficiently precise to give notice of the measure’s subject matter, and not exceed ten words. The concise description must be a true and impartial description of the measure's essential contents, clearly identify the proposition to be voted on, to the extent reasonably possible, not create prejudice either for or against the measure and not exceed seventy-five words. When practicable, the question posed by the ballot title is written in such way that an affirmative answer to the question and an affirmative vote on the measure would result in a change in the law. 4. The summary of the measure should be a clear and concise statement not to exceed one hundred fifty words. The ballot title and the summary of the measure shall not be argumentative or likely to create prejudice for or against the measure.

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Section 8. That there is adopted a new section 2.02.180 to chapter 2.02 of the as follows: 2.02.180 Public Funding A.

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Disputes may arise between proponents of a measure and the city council. Because of the nature and subject matter of the potential disputes, they may not be amenable to resolution other than by order of a court of competent jurisdiction. The City of Spokane has no power to confer, deny or alter the jurisdiction of the superior court of the State of Washington or of the United States district court, or to specify procedures for the commencement of actions. In recognition that a petitioner, having a cause of action against the city council or against whom the City must institute legal proceedings, may be unable to pay the costs of suit, the city council will provide up to two thousand dollars per petition to advance litigation costs on behalf of a petitioner in connection with the approval of a ballot title or summary of the measure, as provided in SMC 2.02.040 or SMC 2.02.100. Spokane Municipal Code to read

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In addition to preparing the ballot title and summary of the measure, the city attorney shall review the proposed measure for such matters as form and style. The city attorney shall edit the measure as necessary to correct obvious typographical errors, conform the language to Spokane Municipal Code format and style, or eliminate ambiguity. Any such editorial revisions are made on a separate sheet from the measure as submitted and clearly identified. The city attorney shall also propose to the sponsor substantive revisions based upon the appropriate subject matter and legal validity, which the sponsor may accept or decline. All editorial revisions and proposed substantive revisions shall be provided to the sponsor and the city clerk at the same time the city attorney files the ballot title and summary of the measure with the city clerk. Upon receipt of the ballot title and summary of the measure from the city attorney, the city clerk assigns a number by which the measure is identified. The city clerk affixes the ballot title and summary to the original of the proposed measure or the measure as revised pursuant to this section, inscribes the identifying number upon it and retains it in the official file. The city clerk must immediately furnish a copy of the proposed measure with its ballot title and summary to the sponsor and prepare a report to the city council for the next agenda. The city council sets a hearing. The hearing is held one week hence unless circumstances dictate otherwise. Upon receipt of the measure from the city clerk with the assigned number, the initiative sponsors may begin collecting signatures.))

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Section 9. That there is adopted a new section 2.02.190 to chapter 2.02 of the as follows: 2.02.190 Electronic Signatures A. Definition

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“Electronic Signature” an electronic sound, symbol, or process, attached to or logically associated with a contract or other record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record. B. The City of Spokane shall develop and implement a system for the validation of electronic signatures by January 1, 2015.

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Section 3. That section 2.02.040 is amended to read as follows: 2.02.040 Optional Council Action on Preliminary Initiative Measure At the hearing the council may decide to: ((Upon receiving the report regarding an initiative from the city clerk, the city council may)) A. B. C. pass the measure as proposed or submit the initiative measure to the voters on its own motion; ((or)) provide for legal review of the procedural and substantive validity of the proposed measure by the city attorney, if requested by the sponsor; or approve a ballot and summary of the measure and direct the sponsors to proceed with collecting signatures.

Section 10. Severability If any provision of this Act or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the Act and the application of such provisions to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby. Section 11. Interpretation This ordinance is to be liberally construed to achieve the defined intent of the voters.

The declaration below is required by law to be printed on petitions but the law does not require it to be signed because courts have ruled that petitioners have the constitutional right to anonymously petition. “Does the signature gatherer need to sign the declaration on the back of the petition? No. Due to an opinion published by the Attorney General’s office in 2006, the Office of the Secretary of State does not require that the signature gatherer sign the declaration in order for the petition to be accepted. For more information, see AGO 2006 No. 13.” I ______________________________________ (print legal name) swear or affirm under penalty of law that I circulated this sheet of the foregoing petition, and that, to the best of my knowledge, every person who signed this sheet of the foregoing petition knowingly and without any compensation or promise of compensation willingly signed his or her true name and that the information provided therewith is true and correct. I further acknowledge that under chapter 29A.84 RCW, forgery of signatures on this petition constitutes a class C felony, and that offering any consideration or gratuity to any person to induce them to sign a petition is a gross misdemeanor, such violations being punishable by fine or imprisonment or both. (Signature)__________________________________________________ Address____________________________________________________ City___________________________ County ______________________ RCW 9A.46.020 applies to any conduct constituting harassment against a petition signature gatherer. This penalty does not preclude the victim from seeking any other remedy otherwise available under law. Source: Washington State Secretary of State’s web site FAFAQ link

Section 4. That section 2.02.055 is amended to read as follows: 2.02.055 Petition Signatures A. Prior to circulation for signatures, an initiative petition shall either have been filed under the optional filing method as set forth in SMC 2.02.030 through SMC 2.02.040 and have received approval ((an assigned number from the city clerk’s office)) of the ballot title and summary of the measure or under the direct petition method whereby the sponsor of the initiative shall have filed the initiative with the city clerk who shall have assigned an initiative number to the petition. Signed petitions must be filed with the city clerk within three hundred sixty-five days after the approval ((by the city council)) of the ballot title and summary of the measure under the optional preliminary filing method as set forth in SMC 2.02.040 or the assignment of the initiative number by the city clerk. If the three hundred sixty-fifth day lands on a Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday, the petitions may be filed on the next succeeding day which is not a Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday. The sponsor of the initiative may submit additional petition signatures at any time during the three hundred sixty-five day period until a sufficient number of signatures have been validated to place the measure on a ballot; however, if the additional petition signatures are submitted later than onehundred twenty calendar days prior to the next election, the measure, if otherwise valid, will be placed on the ballot at the next appropriate election pursuant to section 82 of the City Charter.

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