It’s all about preserving Values with a Better Balloting System
Every year in Tucson, and every other year in most of the nation, citizens exercise their right to express their values by casting a ballot in an election. Respecting that right and the values expressed is vital to a functioning democracy. Enhancing the ability of a citizenry to express their values is the best responsibility a government can exercise. It reveals a special trust in the governed, by allowing the best possible tools to choose their government.
We have a few ideas separated into four initiative proposals.
Here are a set of .pdf links to the "Text and Title" pages displaying the wonkish language.
INITIATIVE #1 -- INITIATIVE #2-- INITIATIVE #4 -- INITIATIVE #5 -- Where's #3?
Single District Elections: Currently we elect our City Council in a primary within the ward and then with a General Election that uses an at-large system. This allows all of Tucson to vote in ward council general elections. That means that no one in Tucson really gets to elect his or her own council member. This system often leads to a Council member gaining a seat representing a ward that they have not won election in. Worse, that means that someone who doesn't reflect the values of a ward may represent the voters in that ward. We seek to eliminate this problematic system with a very simple change to the City Charter. This change has lead to voting surges where at-large systems were eliminated, often by court order. We’d rather do this with a vote.
Instant Runoff Voting (IRV): Instant Runoff or Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) allows voters to rank their choice in any election that has three or more candidates. A change to IRV could bring disaffected voters into the electoral system. Since we need all our citizen's voices in a true democracy and too many are choosing to stay away from the polls during Tucson elections, a new and fairer form of election system is required. We believe that IRV will bring Tucsonans that have previously been disenfranchised to the polls by giving them more choice and therefore more power. See how it works. Under construction the IRV MEDIA PAGE.
Whoa-hoe! Glendale Arizona!!! -- Holy Cow!! Burlington Vermont elected a mayor with Instant Runoff Voting!
Ward Size Limitation: Tucson has six districts, called wards, with a populations that exceeds an average of 85,000 citizens. Since Tucson has consistently rejected a full-time mayor and council as the city continues to grow, the size of the wards need to be limited. Originally, before the dawn of the 20th Century, Tucson increased its number of wards from four to six. Since then, the wards have grown with Tucson, as has the job for the part-time council member. We believe that by limiting the ward population we can receive better representative government. So as the city grows, so grows the council.
A Bit of History Behind All This: Tucson Ward-Only was formed to promote representative elections (Initiative #1) for the 2005 City Council Elections. In the end the effort gained a good deal of flame, some heat and little effect after all was said and done. Alas, fighting City Hall is and will be a difficult matter.
So, FairElect-Tucson comes out of the cinders of the former effort, though any idea that we are Phoenician would be misplaced.