Nashville "Hear the People" Charter Amendment (2009)

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The Nashville "Hear the People" Charter Amendment was on the January 22 ballot in Davidson County for voters in the city of Nashville where it was defeated. [1] It was a proposed amendment to Nashville's city charter that would have changed and standardized the process of ballot qualification for citizen-led petitions regarding proposed amendments to the Nashville City Charter.

"Hear the People" Charter Amendment:
Votes Percentage
Yes 26,903 37.2%
NO 10px-600px-Red x.png 45,453 62.8%
Total votes 72,356 100%

The proposed amendment earned a spot on the ballot through the process of citizens collecting signatures on a petition. It is one of two proposed amendments that will appear on the January 22 ballot; the other is the Nashville English First Charter Amendment (2009).[2]

The amendment is identified on the ballot as Metropolitan Charter Amendment No. 2. A "yes" vote is in favor of adopting the amendment; a "no" vote is opposed to its adoption.

Official text

The exact wording of the proposed amendment is:

"Article 19.01 shall be amended as follows:
Paragraph 1 shall be amended by replacing “ten (10) percent of the registered voters of Nashville-Davidson County voting in the preceding

general election” with “1% of the total registered voters in Nashville-Davidson County.”

Paragraph 4 shall be amended by replacing “nor shall any such amendment or amendments be submitted by petition more often than once in each two (2) years” with “The people may submit amendments to the voters at any regularly scheduled general election, and by special election once per calendar year ending December 31st.”
A New Paragraph shall be added to the end of Section 19.01 stating: “An amendment approved by the people may not be amended by a Metropolitan Council-proposed resolution within four (4) years of its approval by the voters.”

The official summary that appears on the ballot says:

"This amendment would allow Charter amendments to be proposed upon petition filed with the Metropolitan Clerk, signed by one (1) percent of the total registered voters in Nashville-Davidson County. The people may submit amendments to the voters at any regularly scheduled general election, and by special election once per calendar year ending December 31st. Any amendment(s) approved in a referendum, whether they were initiated as the result of a Council Resolution or a petition, may not be amended by a Metropolitan Council resolution proposing an amendment within four (4) years of the amendment(s) approval by the voters."

Supporters

Support for Amendment 2 comes from "Hear The People", which was required to collect a minimum of 2,476 signatures to qualify it for the ballot.

Arguments in favor

Arguments made in favor of the amendment include:

  • It will save money by allowing votes on citizen initiatives to take place on regularly scheduled election days, rather than on expensive special elections.
  • "The signature requirement should be linked to the number of registered voters instead of the number who voted in the last election."[3]
  • It prevents the government from immediately overturning any amendments passed through the citizen amendment process.[4]

Opponents

Nashville For All of Us, the group that opposes Amendment 1, is also opposing Amendment 2.[5]

External links

References