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City Clerk says 10-1 petition is valid, will go on November ballot

Thursday, July 26, 2012 by Josh Rosenblatt

It’s official: City Clerk Shirley Gentry has validated more than 20,000 signatures from petitions gathered by Austinites for Geographic Representation (AGR) , clearing the way for the group’s 10-1 single-member district plan to be on the ballot this November.

Late today, Gentry sent a memo to the City Council notifying them that the petition turned in to her on July 16, is valid, meaning at least 20,000 of those who signed are registered to vote in Austin.

AGR spokesperson Jessica Ellison told In Fact Daily that her group is excited about the news but that they now have to get to work on an educational campaign to convince voters to vote for the 10-1 plan in November.

“When you only have six or seven percent of the population voting, that means a lot of people don’t even know this argument is going on,” Ellison said. “So we are currently organizing our 28 endorsing bodies to push the grassroots organizing and to go out into their neighborhoods and talk to their neighbors about the 10-1 plan, the people’s plan.”

AGR will also be at next Thursday’s Council meeting, Ellison said, to try and convince Council members to “listen to the people and not put anything else on the ballot.” That would include the 8-2-1 hybrid plan, which has been approved on first reading only.

Council Member Mike Martinez, who sponsored a resolution placing the exact same language as AGR’s petition on the November ballot, told In Fact Daily tonight that he now plans to offer a motion to rescind the earlier resolution. That will not happen next week, he said, “but I assume sometime within the next few meetings.” If their petition gets on the ballot there’s no reason for our item to be on the ballot as well.”

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