Voters' Guide Video - Proponent of I-517
Argument For I-517
Opponents of Initiatives too often use Bullying to Prevent Citizens from Signing Initiatives They Support
Voters who want to sign a petition – liberal or conservative – deserve protection from bullying and retaliation. I-517 establishes penalties to discourage such bad behavior. Peaceful discussion is legal under I-517; bullying is not. Pictures, videos, and sworn affidavits here: www.YesOn517.com/Safety
I-517 “Protect Your Right To Vote On Initiatives” is about Letting the People Vote on …
… qualified initiatives. In recent years, 16+ citizen-sponsored initiatives – liberal and conservative – were blocked from a public vote by powerful special interests even though local citizens followed all the rules. I-517 establishes a new state law that prevents interference by special interests, guaranteeing the people’s right to vote. If the initiative qualifies, let the voters decide.
I-517 Puts the Citizen Back in the Citizen Initiative. Increasingly, Initiatives Sponsored by Big Business, …
… Big Labor, and the Rich are the only ones qualifying for the ballot. Why? Since 1912, the number of signatures has skyrocketed while the timeframe for collecting signatures has stayed exactly the same. Almost all other initiative states allow a year or more to collect signatures; I-517 matches the national average. More time means more grassroots groups can compete.
I-517 Makes Citizen Participation Safer and Guarantees the People’s Right to Vote on Initiatives
Without I-517, entrenched politicians and special interests will continue bullying citizens from expressing their free speech rights and blocking voters from exercising their initiative rights. Please vote yes. Thank you.
Shawn Newman, Washington Director of Initiative and Referendum Institute, attorney; Erma Turner, testified in Olympia against bullying of petition-signers; Nick Sherwood, numerous red-light camera initiatives blocked from votes; Stonewall Jackson Bird, city blocked public vote on his Bellingham initiative; Eddie Agazarm, veteran petitioner, initiative organizer, and civic activist; Paul Jacob, president of Citizens In Charge, longtime initiative activist.
Contact: YesOn517@gmail.com; www.YesOn517.com
Rebuttal of Argument Against
Even our opponents agree I-517 protects free speech and encourages more grassroots participation by making the initiative process more affordable. Regarding petitioning, I-517 simply reinforces what the courts have already said: petitioning at places open to the public is guaranteed under the First Amendment. Without I-517, initiative opponents will continue bullying, preventing citizens from expressing themselves and voting on issues they care about. Protect your right to speak out and vote on initiatives – vote yes!