Press Release No. 1
Date: April 3, 2014
To: All media
Re: Petition drive underway in Richmond
From: Citizens Referendum Group
An ad hoc group of Richmonders has started a petition drive to put the 10-year-old baseball stadium issue on the city’s election day ballot with two proposals. The group aims to see that before any groundbreaking occurs in Shockoe Bottom the rich history of the neighborhood is properly studied, and it wants to give voters more voice in large development projects.
On March 22, 2014, members of the Citizens Referendum Group met at the Main Branch of the City Library. Each of them left the meeting with copies of the group’s court-approved referendum petitions. Since then volunteers have been gathering signatures to allow its proposed items to appear on the ballot. The group’s goal is to get 9,800 valid signatures by July 31, 2014.
Paul Goldman, an attorney and a former chairman of the Democratic Party in Virginia, crafted the language on the petitions. However, the CRG is not affiliated with any political party or preexisting movement.
Proposition “A” would establish a commission to review proposed developments in Shockoe Bottom before they can be approved. Proposition “B” would make it easier to initiate a referendum prior to the issuance of bonds for sports stadium projects.
“It is a positive, uplifting approach to making sure we do the right thing by our solemn obligation to those forgotten by history, and to future generations,” Goldman wrote at WTVR.com (Mar. 24, 2014). “The referendums are based on making sure the history, the finances, the rights of the people are fully protected in a fair and honest process.”
On April 2, 2014, the CRG’s website was launched to provide the public with information about the group’s activities, its mission and the full text of the two ballot items. Click here (https://citizensreferendumgroup.wordpress.com/) to visit.