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Save Austin Now sues city over petition drive

Monday, November 23, 2020 by Elizabeth Pagano

In case you missed the weekend news, Save Austin Now co-founders Matt Mackowiak and Cleo Petricek have sued the city, alleging the city threw out “hundreds” of signed petitions in favor of a new ordinance that would reinstate the city’s camping ban. In August, the city rejected the petition, saying the odds that there were enough signatures to put it on the ballot in November were “less than 3 in one billion.” Now, Mackowiak, who is the Travis County GOP chair, and Petricek say a public information request shows “several ways that the right to petition was inappropriately infringed by the City Clerk’s office.” Mackowiak explained in a press release, “All we want is for this to appear on the ballot at the next opportunity, which would be May 2021. We believe as many as five justifications used to throw out signatures were inappropriate. The threshold for infringing on the right to petition your government should be very high. We will relentlessly fight this battle in the courts, and we believe we will prevail.” The city stands behind the process followed by the city clerk, pointing out that the signature validation process ended more than 15 weeks ago.

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