David McCuan, a professor of political science at Sonoma State University, will discuss the initiative and referendum process in California on Feb. 23 in Santa Rosa at an informational meeting presented by the League of Women Voters. Get more information here.
Opponents of a plan to remake Cotati’s downtown into a narrower street that includes roundabouts have told city officials they will pursue a ballot initiative unless they change course. The initiative would bar the city from building roundabouts anywhere within its limits. Its backers want the city to adhere to a concept it previously outlined, a four-lane street controlled by traffic lights.
The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District is considering an election ordinance that lowers the number of signatures needed to put a measure on the ballot to repeal its sales tax. However, the proposal would send SMART opponents back to the starting line by requiring them to submit a copy of the initiative for approval before it can be circulated.
Volunteers began a push Saturday to repeal funding for the Sonoma-Marin commuter rail project, gathering ballot petition signatures at shopping centers from Corte Madera to Santa Rosa. They found strong feelings on both sides of the issue.
UPDATE 8:30 PM: The group aiming to halt the Sonoma-Marin commuter rail project has started collecting signatures on a petition to repeal its funding. They hope to place a measure on the June or November ballot next year asking voters to repeal a quarter-cent sales tax that is funding construction of the rail line.
Two Sonoma County lawyers behind a new statewide effort to legalize marijuana believe 2012 could be their year. Joe Rogoway and Omar Figueroa have drafted a ballot initiative that would repeal all laws against possessing pot, allowing anyone 18 or older to have up to three pounds and to maintain a 100-square-foot garden. “We’re in a more favorable political environment to enact this sort of change,” said Rogoway, a deputy public defender.
The number of signatures needed for a ballot measure to repeal the quarter-percent sales tax for the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit district may be half of what was first projected. Instead of close to 40,000 signatures, Repeal SMART may only need to collect about 15,000 in Sonoma and Marin counties to get a measure on the ballot.
Proponents failed to collect enough signatures to place the initiative on the November ballot. Now, gay rights groups are targeting 2012. The strategy opened a split within the LGBT community.