West Says Petition Drive For A Vote On Domestic Partners Ordinance Has Yielded Over 6,000 Signatures; Deadline Is Tuesday Afternoon

Monday, December 2, 2013

Mark West told the Pachyderm Club on Monday that a petition drive to seek a vote on the city's domestic partners ordinance has yielded over 6,000 signatures.

He said earlier that some 4,500 were needed to force a vote next August.

The deadline to turn in the petitions is Tuesday at 4 p.m.

The Election Commission had set a meeting for Wednesday morning, but that has been cancelled. It is expected to take some time to verify which of the signatures are of valid city residents.

Mr. West said he got involved in leading the petition drive based on "moral, fiscal and fairness" issues.

He said the effort "has brought together a unique coalition of groups around the community."

Mr. West said some $9,000 is being spent on the effort, including $4,500 for seven electronic billboards.

He also said, "Social media was used in a big way." He said a prominent citizen volunteered to set up a Facebook page for the effort. A headquarters was donated on Brainerd Road.

Mr. West said 30-50 volunteers worked to bring in 1,614 names last Monday, another 777 on Tuesday, 1,163 on Friday, 753 on Saturday and 1,329 on Sunday.

He stated, "Last night, we had 5,656. They are still coming in and we are over 6,000. But we still need more."

Mr. West said his wife, Lori, was suppose to attend the luncheon, "but the phone has been ringing off the hook - 30 in an hour."

He said the group that is leading the campaign, Citizens for Government Accountability and Transparency, was formed earlier this year. He said it provided some $11,000 to City Council candidates Ken Smith, Larry Grohn and Chip Henderson - all of whom voted against the ordinance. 

He said, "If Roger Tuder had prevailed in the election (against Jerry Mitchell), we wouldn't be dealing with this."

The speaker also said that the Collegedale detective who was the first person in the state to get same-sex benefits had said on Facebook, "I'm going to stomp the crap out of Mark West in an anti-hate campaign." He said he would have been in big trouble had he made the alleged statement.


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