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Friday, June 16, 2017

After Several Defeats, Activists in Youngstown Hope to Rig the Laws in Their Favor

From Business Journal Daily:
Opponents of oil and gas activity within the city are adopting new tactics to prohibit the industry, including a new version of the so-called Youngstown Community Bill of Rights, that would deal a blow to one of the city’s key economic development tools. 
Having failed to pass the charter amendment six times — most recently last November –this time the activists are circulating petitions to place two amendments on the ballot. 
“Citizens are never going to have their voices heard again unless we change the system,” said Lynn Anderson, a longtime opponent of oil and gas activity in the city and who is affiliated with the Community Bill of Rights Committee. 
One petition supports a modified version of the earlier bill of rights titled the Youngstown (misspelled as “Younstown”) Drinking Water Protection Bill of Rights.
The article later continues:
The other petition calls for amending the city charter so it would restrict donors’ ability to make campaign contributions to “any local candidate or issue” to registered voters in the city and cap those contributions at $100 per elector per ballot measure or candidate. Corporations, labor unions, political action committees, political parties and other funding entities would be barred from donating to local candidates or issue campaigns, or from spending money “to influence the outcome of any ballot measure or candidate.” 
Among other provisions of that charter amendment are preventing city government from requiring individuals who wish to speak at meetings to register in advance or seek permission; requiring meeting agendas be made available 24 hours in advance; and requiring a form of paper ballot tracking be made available to verify electronic voting results.
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