Vote to Enact Laws Directly Instead of Candidates

We are watching the destruction of our system of voting. If it ever worked before, it certainly is not working now.

Here are only some of the hundreds of reasons that voting for candidates is not resulting in new laws which voters thought they would be getting when voting for the winning candidates:

1. Candidates elected with money from the monopolists are not going to enact laws that help small business, even when they say they will; if they did, the money they need for getting re-elected would dry up; accordingly, small business, for a long time (call it never for most of us), is not going to have federal or state or even local laws enacted to help small business. Voter are going to have to enact such laws themselves. I have a list of about 41 proposed laws below, most of which, if enacted directly by voters through ballot initiatives, would help small business.

2. The nation's wealth is going, more and more, to fewer and fewer persons.

3. The wealthy have enough money to run for office without needing contributions from others.

4. Election of President Trump demonstrates to the rich that there are no longer any qualifications for office other than money, particularly if the candidate has the needed money himself/herself.

5. If a candidate needs a news medium, the wealthy candidate can buy it (which suggests that Jeff Bezos at some point will run for the U.S. Presidency).

6. Local newspapers, which used to be read by most voters in a community, and for that reason provided broader news coverage, have been replaced to a great extent by highly specialized media, which provide highly slanted news, driving voters away from their shared values.

7. Gerrymandering, getting worse in many states.

8. State laws and rules depriving voters of their right to vote.

9. Social media growth, which makes it easier for money (domestic or foreign) to cause voters to lose their shares values and become more divisive and less satisfied with the existing political system.

10. Internet, which delivers facts or false information to voters and their families without any need for accuracy, and delivers this almost instantaneously, so that traditional media are not able to offset the false information.

11. Divisive politics, with voters using media which support and enhance the voters beliefs and false beliefs, and drives voters into positions that are against their economic interests (which results in the rich getting richer because of the failure of voters to vote their economic interests).

12. Reduction of investigative journalism, which is replaced by low-cost talking heads and politically slanted opinion-casts which pretend to be newscasts.

13. You can fill in the rest of the long list.

If you accept that voting for candidates is not producing the results that you want (which hopefully is a good job, economic security, healthcare services, an affordable education, a solution to the global warming problem, and other matters of importance to you, such as affordable childcare services, equal access to jobs, homes, borrowing), why not vote directly for the laws that you want?

This is so obvious. And the right exists in 62 "Cities" and in Suffolk County in NYS and exists to some extent in all other states except Indiana and Wyoming.

The procedure is known as a "ballot initiative" or a "referendum".

In NYS, it is necessary to obtain signatures on a "petition" in which the proposed local law for a specific "City" is set forth together with other requirements, and then the required number of signed petitions is submitted to the local government which will reject the petition (because it could have enacted the proposed law but chose not to do so), and then the proponents of the law need to get additional petitions signed (with different voters), and a demand is then made to put the ballot initiative on the ballot, at the next general election for NYS Governor.

The local government may refuse to do so, and a complaint would need to be filed, and an order to show cause obtained, with the courts ultimately deciding whether the ballot initiative is to be presented to voters for their vote, with 1 vote more than 50% causing the ballot initiative to be enacted into a local law.

The local legislature cannot change this law, except by having its own ballot initiative submitted to voters at a general election.

Any ballot initiative is limited by federal and state law, meaning that no ballot initiative can result in a local law which would be prohibited by federal or state law.

Here are some examples of local laws that could be enacted, with links to the specific petitions that I prepared:

1. Congestion Pricing Is Made Illegal

2. Arrested Demonstrators Get Affidavits or the Arresting Officer Loses His/Her Job

3. NYC Jobs Open to Older Applicants of Any Age - Test: Ability to Perform

4. No Sidewalk Trash Tickets without Notice and 2 Color Photographs Spaced 24 Hours Apart

5. No NYC Subsidies to Buy or Retain Jobs in NYC

6. Permits Smoking in Designated Areas (up to 25% of Customer Space) in NYC Bars, Restaurants

7. Board of Elections to Create an Opt-Out Email List of Voters for Use only by BOE and Election Candidates, to enable candidates with limited funds to get their message out to voters at no cost

8. NYC Police Precincts Will Receive Computer Donations and Give to Local Children Living in Computerless Homes

9. Department of Consumer Affairs to Accept Junk-Fax and Pop-Up Complaints and Bring Suit If Necessary

10. Prohibits Discriminatory Pricing - All Candidates and Parties to Receive the Same Price for Campaign Advertising

11. Drivers of Vehicles Permitted to Make Right Turn on Red Light (If Safe to Do So)

12. City Council of NYC Is to Create Single Email Address for Voters to Reach All 51 Council Members

13. NYC Businesses Report Potholes and Sidewalk Defects and Get Paid to Repair If NYC Fails to Repair

14. GPS and E-Z Pass Speeding Tickets Prohibited - this petition could be amended to deal with NYC's 2,000 revenue-producing cameras for ticketing motorists

15. 3 Times as Many Points before NYC May Revoke or Suspend a Taxicab Driver's License [Note: This Petition is replaced by Petition 31 below]

16. Elect All Members of the 59 Community Boards in NYC; compensation, 2-year terms; 6-year maximum [amended 9/1/13]

17. Non-Public Eminent Domain by NYC Prohibited [Note: This Petition needs to be modified in light of Petition Nos. 34 and 40 below]

18. No Licensing or Insurance as Condition to Exercise First Amendment Rights in NYC [amended 9/1/13]

19. Creation of New York City Attorney General to Enforce Constitutional Rights of NYC Citizens, Residents, Workers, Homeowners and Small Businesses at Public Expense

20. 150,000 New Parking Spaces by Reducing Hydrant No-Parking Zone to 3 Feet and Reducing Single-Car Parking-Meter Space to 16 Feet

21. Personally-Directed Proceedings Against 55 or Older NYC Resident Require Naming NYC Attorney General as Interested Person [Note: This Petition together with Petition 3 above are to be replaced by a Petition for a Bill of Rights for Seniors]

22. Petition No. 22 deleted - lack of current public interest

23. NYC Statute to Provide 100% Campaign Financing for Candidates before NYC Voters

24. Top 100 Retailers Required to Make Representations and Warranties to Open New Stores - Lawsuit Standing for Injured Competitors, Employees and Others

25. Continuous Auction of Unused NYC Real Estate

26. City Council of NYC Required to Disclose All Contacts to Influence Its Actions [amended 9/1/13]

27. NYC Website for Homeowners Subject to ARM Mortgage Foreclosures

28. NYC Website to Promote Rate and Fee Competition among NYC Banks and Credit Card Issuers

29. 100% Payout Slot Machines for NYC Retail Stores with Fees Supporting Local Senior, Pre-Natal and After-School Programs

30. Tuition-Free College (or Equivalency College) for Qualified Residents of NYC [Note: This petition is superceded by Petition No. 32 below.]

31. Bill of Rights for Drivers, Owners and Licensees in the Taxicab and Limousine Industry

32. Free Broad-Based Information Technology Training for all Adults Residing in NYC and for all Public High School Seniors

33. Proportional Campaign Financing and Reduced Requirements for All Candidates Seeking Election to Any NYC Office

34. Providing Affordable Loan Modifications for Under Water NYC Residential Mortgages through Condemnation

35. Reducing Regulatory Burdens on Business and Others by Placing a Cap on Civil Fines by NYC - Not to Exceed 125% of the Direct Cost of Enforcement

36. Bill of Rights for NYC Restaurant and Food Service Industry, including a Cap on Fines Equal to 1.25% of the Direct Cost of Enforcement

37. NYC Law to Enable Ballot Initiative Petitions to be Executed by NYC Voters and Filed Electronically with the NYC Board of Elections; to Reduce Ballot-Initiative Petition-Signature Requirements to 20,000; and for Creation of an Opt-Out Email Mailing List for Free but Limited Use by All Candidates for NYC Elective Office

38. NYC Law for NYC to Deposit Funds Payable to NYC as Incentive for Banks to Lend to Small Businesses, Homeowners and Students

39. Free Ferry Service for The Rockaways as Part of NYC Hurricane-Sandy Relief

40. Condemnation of Student Loans to Obtain Principal Reductions for the Obligors and Student-Loan Fraud/Misconduct Lawsuits by NYC against Lenders

41. Bill of Rights for Senior Citizens of NYC

42. Restoring NYC Streets and Reducing Surveillance after 12 Years of Mayor Bloomberg

My Contact Information

Carl E. Person
225 E. 36th Street - Suite 3A
New York NY 10016-3664
Office : 212-307-4444
Fax : 212-307-0247

Email to : Email to Attorney Carl E. Person

Revision 3/28/19 10:29 am