Victory for Kent Move to Amend Citizen Activists

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The Ohio Supreme Court ruled 7-0 on Thursday for the citizens of Kent who gathered signatures in conformity with state law rather than the City of Kent charter to place Move to Amend language on the ballot this November. The victory is not only for Kent citizens, but for all citizens of all communities in the state who seek to create laws via citizen initiatives. The task will be much more citizen-friendly with campaigns only needing 10% of those who voted in the last municipal campaign rather than 10% of all registered voters.
Congratulation to the Kent Move to Amend activists! Now on to the campaign!
Corporations are NOT people! Money is NOT speech!
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We won!. This case establishes that the Ohio Constitution trumps City Charters that set their own methods for municipal charter changes–usually in a way that makes it very difficult for citizens to get charter amendments on the ballot. The City of Kent wanted to base the signature requirement on the numbers of registered voters instead of the number of voters in the last municipal general election. The City of Akron has similar language. Activists have been concerned about this tough provision which increases the number of signatures needed by 300%. The Ohio Municipal league and the City of Kent filed briefs to overturn the Court’s prior rulings and block grassroots efforts to bring issues to the public for a vote. The Court ignored their flawed reasoning and vindicated the basic democratic principals in this decision. City’s must look to Ohio’s constitution and follow its rules regarding initiative petition drives to change charter language. The City of Kent’s illegal behavior has been stopped. Contact Attorney Warner Mendenhall @ 330.328.1026

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