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Palo Alto, CA City Council Takes Up Voter Confidence Resolution

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GuvWurld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-04-06 08:26 PM
Original message
Palo Alto, CA City Council Takes Up Voter Confidence Resolution
May 8 Agenda (.pdf)
http://www.city.palo-alto.ca.us/cityagenda/publish/city...

Recommendation to Palo Alto, CA City Council from Human Relations Commission (.pdf)
http://www.cityofpaloalto.org/cityagenda/publish/cmrs/d...

Voter Confidence Resolution as adopted by Palo Alto Human Relations Commission (.pdf)
http://www.cityofpaloalto.org/cityagenda/publish/citycl...

Voter Confidence Resolution template (adopted by Arcata, CA City Council)
http://guvwurld.blogspot.com/2005/04/voter-confidence-r...

The HRC's recommendation is to have the Council direct the City Attorney to draft the resolution. I don't think there will be real debate or public comment, but I could be wrong. Attendance is definitely recommended. I think most likely they will accept the recommendation, the City Attorney will draft the resolution, and a real debate will occur at a future meeting.
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emlev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-05-06 01:21 AM
Response to Original message
1. Two questions
Do you know if they broadcast their meetings in any way?
Do you expect any more info available before the meeting about what's likely to occur there (debate, comment, etc.)?

This is exciting!
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GuvWurld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-05-06 01:27 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. I will find out tomorrow
I have had a few good conversations with the Chairperson from the Human Relations Commission. I will contact her tomorrow and report back.
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Land Shark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-05-06 10:05 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Do let us know, thanks.
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GuvWurld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-05-06 07:53 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. I'm waiting on a call back.
I also dropped a message on the California Election Protection Network listserv. I know there is at least one list member in Palo Alto, and apparently she appeared to speak when the HRC first considered the resolution.
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GuvWurld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-06-06 01:38 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Speakers are definitely needed on Tuesday
I got a call back from Shauna Wilson, Chair of the Palo Alto Human Relations Commission. Unfortunately she got my voice mail and so I didn't get to ask her questions. She said that she would be attending Tuesday's meeting, intending to address the City Council, and that others should do the same. She mentioned filling out a card at the start of the meeting to indicate which item you'd like to speak on. Right now the VCR is item #6. She said it would probably come up by 7:30 or so.

I'll try again to make contact over the weekend. The main thing I want to ask is whether she expects the Council to decide either way on adopting the VCR at this meeting, or whether this is understood to be an intermediate step to set up a subsequent "second reading."
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emlev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-08-06 01:02 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. Still awaiting word
It's a long drive and I'm trying assess whether or not it makes sense for me to go.
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GuvWurld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-08-06 04:56 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. OK, I finally spoke to Shauna
Of course there are very few things she can say with certainty but from an historical perspective she noted that the Palo Alto City Council has always adopted the resolutions first passed by the Human Relations Commission. Shauna said this sometimes happens within the consent calendar which means there isn't even a discussion on the item. This is not the case this time.

She said she doesn't know why the agenda mentions referring the resolution to the City Attorney, especially since the HRC adopted it in Feb and there has been plenty of time for anybody to review it. Likewise, she can't say for sure if the Council will vote up/down on the VCR tonight or if it will wind up coming back.

She did say that all speakers will be helpful, even if they are from outside Palo Alto, and that a strong showing could be the difference between adopting the resolution tonight or having this get drawn out. She also said it would be especially helpful to have at least one speaker who could talk about the recent and ongoing train wreck stories.

Please go to this meeting if you are anywhere near Palo Alto. It starts at 7pm. Grab a comment card and indicate that you want to speak on this item, #6 on tonight's agenda (.pdf). The meeting is in the Council's Chambers at Palo Alto City Hall, 250 Hamilton Ave.
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emlev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-06-06 01:51 AM
Response to Original message
6. May 8 is *Monday*, not Tuesday EOM
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GuvWurld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-06-06 10:52 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. I stand corrected. Thanks emlev.
This meeting is Monday May 8 7pm.
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GuvWurld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-08-06 08:35 PM
Response to Original message
10. emlev went to Palo Alto
she said she would call me from the meeting
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emlev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 01:57 AM
Response to Original message
11. Report on the Palo Alto City Council Meeting tonight
Our agenda item wasn't over until nearly 11:00 p.m., not because they spent hours debating it but because it got pulled from the "consent agenda" (the list of things that get approved without discussion) and put at the end of the regular agenda.

Most of the nine council members were in support of the idea of the council making a statement about the importance of verifiable elections, but nearly all felt the VCR was too broad. They sent it back to the Human Relations Commission, which had drafted the VCR based on Arcata and Berkeley versions but also added some of their own ideas, for major revision.

Notably, Council Member Peter Drekmeier, an election integrity activist before he ran for the P.A. City Council, expressed support for the VCR as it stood.

It looks like they would pass a much narrower version, which I suspect the HRC will agree to draft, though I don't know anything about the politics of that commission.
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GuvWurld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 02:10 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. thanks emlev
Shauna just e-mailed me and said she would definitely put revising the VCR on the next HRC agenda and that she wants to get it back to the Council as soon as possible, likely the end of June or early July.

emlev already knows this but let me put it out there for anyone else reading this thread...

I want to make a trip down to the Bay Area to promote the VCR and my new book, We Do Not Consent. I need help setting up speaking gigs in San Francisco, Palo Alto (where I hope Shauna will help) and Santa Cruz. If you can help with logistics, please write me: blog@guvwurld.org
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