We The People of Cheltenham Submits Charter Amendment Petitions for November Vote,
August 3rd, 2009
We The People of Cheltenham
Submits Charter Amendment Petitions for November Vote
We the People of Cheltenham
Monday, August 3
For Immediate Release
On Tuesday, August 4th, We the People of Cheltenham submitted their completed petitions to the Montgomery County Board of Elections for review. We have uniformly followed local and state laws in acquiring a sufficient number of signatures to qualify for a ballot question in November. Work continues to amend the Home Rule Charter with a Bill of Rights to give our community a deciding voice on major land development projects by public service corporations like SEPTA.
Cheltenham citizens have learned that chasing down various meetings in hopes of having a brief “say” has not been an effective way to deter unwanted development. The home rule charter provides the solution. The charter assures the right to be heard, informed, and participate in local government in addition to the right to amend the charter itself as needed.
“Vigilant people attending meetings found themselves trapped in a corporate public relations exercise that excludes them from making decisions about their own neighborhoods. Amending the home rule charter was the only option,” commented Tom Mullian.
Although organizing began around frustration over the SEPTA issue, the parking garage is a symptom of a system that does not account for the people's need to have a deciding voice in matters affecting their quality of life. The SEPTA issue has become a symbol and rallying point for many who face development issues in their environment across Cheltenham. The petitioning process has acted as a community sounding board for citizens to connect on problems from tax inequities to zoning issues.
“You can’t vote at a township meeting, but you can vote at the polls for the changes we need,” commented Theresa Camerota.
The organizers of We the People would like to thank the citizens of Cheltenham for proudly including their voices in the democratic process. For the thousands of neighbors we talked to, we express gratitude for your patience and enthusiasm. For those we could not reach due to time constraints, who support democratic efforts, we hear you . And you can be heard even more powerfully in November, by voting for adoption of the Charter amendment. Feel free to call or contact through the website, www.wethepeopleofCheltenham.com. We will continue to reach out to all parts of the community as our campaign continues.
We the People thanks the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund for their ongoing assistance and for their successful campaigns across Pennsylvania and other states.
To our elected officials, public servants and employees, we hope that you will honor, respect and support the voices of your constituents and applaud the efforts of so many who now join the circle of those committed to community service. We express gratitude to all existing community groups for their ongoing work and for finding areas in which we could join in reaching our common goals on quality of life issues.
“These are not just signatures,” said Brooke Welsh, “they are unanimous voices that we carry to the Board of Elections and to the polls .”
Cheltenham residents want good business, growth, an economy on a positive trajectory, but we need to able to decide, as a community, on the future contours of our home space. We need to provide ourselves and our families with the legal tools to make sound decisions and amend, if necessary, our governing document to exercise and further extend citizens rights. Democracy is a work in progress. We look forward to a township vote on the Bill of Rights Amendment in November.
We the People of Cheltenham.
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