Writing:How to write about the history of the I&R movement
Recording the History of Direct Democracy
So how do you start recording this unique aspect of our history? Same as anything-find the content first.
- I&R Institute (which generously let us re-post much of the state's histories)
- Direct Democracy Center
- Google News
- David Schmidt's book, Citizen Lawmakers: The Ballot Initiative Revolution.
- Check out your local library-many books have been published on direct democracy
Deciding on the article title
In an effort to create consistency, try to follow a pattern for every state. Make sure to include the state in the beginning of the title followed by "history of initiative and referendum." Further Ballotpadia naming conventions can be found here.
- Editor's note: Once an article has been written, if you decide later that the title could be better, you can perform the "move" function on it. This is located in the top panel of your page. For more information on moving pages, go here.
Start at the beginning
Unlike the lists of initiatives it is best to record the history of the initiative and referendum movement in chronological order. Much of the direct democracy movement started in the Progressive Era, so that is a good place to start.
Leaders of the movement
You'll also want to include key activists in the movement. This could be a few recognizable leaders of the movement, a group that rallied around it, or representatives in the legislature that backed initiative and referendum.
Support/Opposition of instituting I&R
Include the type of support that people or legislatures gave the initiative and referendum movement. Was there significant resistance or a general outcry for I&R?
Also include how accessible the initiative and referendum laws are in your state. For example, in Illinois while initiative and referendum exists, the laws are so rigid and signature amounts so unattainable that many do not consider it an initiative and referendum state.
If initiative and referendum met success in your state, include a few examples, ballot measures and initiatives, and trends until present time.
As always include references and external links to give your article credibility.
Formating your page
Also remember to categorize your page and to cite your sources.