This has been a huge week!
Thanks to the donations of many amazing people, Geneva United was able to raise enough funds to retain legal representation. This great attorney has provided us with the tools to petition for referendum - with the end goal of putting Local Law 1-2021 to a vote, and letting the people of Geneva decide whether they want a Police Review Board in their city!
We are so grateful for all of the volunteers who are out there gathering signatures, and for those who have already signed.
Below you will find a short explanation of why you, yes YOU, should sign our petition. Then, we will go over some of the specifics required when gathering these formal signatures.
For over 8 months, Geneva has been divided. At odds over the creation of a Police Review Board in the City of Geneva. Many advocates feel that it will increase transparency, and suggest that it will hold officers accountable for their actions. Those against the PRB point out that there is no factual data to suggest a need for this board, they are concerned that it was created to maliciously to be used as a tool to attack the Geneva Police Department. They also have many issues with the contents of the law itself - the acceptance of anonymous complaints, the banning of family - and even extended family - of all current and former law enforcement from serving, the acceptance of felons and their families as eligible, and more.
The outcome of this local law after the public hearing was an anomaly. 44 people spoke at this hearing in favor of the PRB, while 66 spoke out against it. A petition was submitted to council with over 375 signatures of Geneva residents asking for Local Law 1-2021 to be abandoned in its entirety. Nevertheless, Local Law 1-2021 to change the city charter and create a Police Review Board in Geneva was voted into law by a majority of the Geneva City Council.
This left many Genevans wondering - why their voices were so heavily ignored by their representatives?
Any law that is passed despite absolute opposition from many of the people it effects, is not passed in good faith.
Local Law 1-2021 was not passed in good faith. The Police Review Board’s reputation has been tarnished before it has even begun.
That brings us to our petition.
By signing our legal petition, you are not stating that you are for or against the PRB. This petition simply states that the fate of the PRB in Geneva should be left up to, well, Genevans - by means of a public vote.
Unlike a public hearing, where councilors can choose to ignore the opinions of citizens, a vote allows the voices of ALL Genevans to be heard. For the power to TRULY be in the hands of the people.
Whether you are for or against the PRB - we can all agree that it will be accepted - or rejected - in a much more receptive and welcoming way if it is passed in good faith, by a vote.
If you would like to sign the petition to put Local Law 1-2021 to a vote, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Geneva United Hotline at (646) 306-1911 and we will arrange for a volunteer to come to you!
All volunteers have been given an instructional sheet to help guide them through the process of obtaining signatures.
Below you will find some of the most important things to remember when signing - or obtaining signatures for - this petition:
- ONLY those registered to vote within the city of Geneva are eligible to sign. For confirmation, volunteers may refer to the voter registration documents at their disposal.
- Signatures on the petition must match the voter registration signature. (ex. Margaret vs Peg, middle initial- if used, etc.) Again, for confirmation, volunteers may refer to the voter registration documents at their disposal.
- The date next to the signature must be completed by the signee.
- Names must be signed on the top line, and printed LEGIBLY on the line directly under.
- Street and city address must be printed legibly in the spaces provided for such.
- Signee’s ward must also be documented in the appropriate place..
** THE DATE AT THE VERY BOTTOM MUST BE LEFT BLANK UNTIL THE PETITION IS FULLY COMPLETED (10 signatures)- AT WHICH POINT IT WILL BE DATED AND SIGNED BY THE WITNESS.
**** DO NOT NUMBER THE PAGES OF THE PETITION! This is NOT done by the signee, OR the witness. The page numbers must be left blank until the final stages of assembling.
Failure to adhere to these rules could lead to the invalidation of one, or ALL, of the signatures on a single petition sheet.
Please email email@example.com with any questions, or Call (646) 306-1911 for any clarifications, or if you are interested in volunteering to help gather signatures yourself!