Mary Adams Honored for Her Work Protecting Maineâ€™s Initiative & Referendum Process
Lake Ridge, Virginia: Today, Citizens in Charge Foundation, a transpartisan national voter rights group focused on the ballot initiative and referendum process, presented Maine Citizen State Coordinator Mary Adams with the June 2010 John Lilburne Award. Adams is being honored this month for her work over the decades in not only utilizing, but defending and expanding the initiative & referendum process in the state of Maine.
Adams has helped organize grassroots support, tracked legislation, and testified before the state legislature in defense of the process many times over the last three decades. In February of this year, Adams testified before the Legal & Veterans Affairs Committee of the Maine Legislature in opposition to a number of bills that would restrict citizen initiative rights in the state. Mary’s most recent attempt to expand Mainer’s petition rights is acting as a plaintiff in a lawsuit filed on June 2, 2010 that seeks to prohibit the Maine Municipal Association (MMA) from interfering with citizen initiative campaigns in the state.
“Mary Adams understands how important initiative rights are to the citizens of Maine,” said Citizens in Charge Foundation President Paul Jacob. “Initiative & referendum are the only ways citizens can directly petition their government, and Mary has not only worked to protect these rights, but utilized them extensively herself.”
Adams’ history with the initiative process dates back to 1977, when she led a successful signature gathering effort to put a state property tax repeal on the ballot, and in 2006 she succeeded in getting a Taxpayer Bill of Rights measure on the ballot. Adams has helped out on various other initiatives throughout the years as well.
“Mainers are lucky to have such a passionate and committed person protecting citizen Initiative rights in the state,” added Jacob. “Mary is being recognized this month for her great work this year, as well as in years past and her continued efforts in the future.”
Each month, Citizens in Charge Foundation presents the John Lilburne Award to a citizen, or citizens, working to protect and defend the First Amendment petition rights of Americans. John Lilburne was a 17th Century English pamphleteer, political activist, and champion of individual rights who advocated constitutional government and pioneered the use of petitioning and referenda for redress against government power and abuse. For a complete list of past Lilburne Award winners please click here. 
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