The People's Power of Petition
Texas Local Government Code - 9.004
Sheila Hemphill, Coordinator
Brady, Texas - "The Heart of Texas"
06/05/13 I have received information from so many people, I am humbled to be in the position to share various comments and information. I could have never anticipated the outpouring of favor to tell the story of a little community in the Heart of Texas or to bring light to the hazardous issues facing our environment from the onslaught of electro magnetic pollution.
The story is a tale of ordinary people who saw injustice in their municipal government that stifled of the voice of people in matters affecting public health, safety and fiscal responsibility. We called the Council to a public hearing but to no avail since each question asked was responded with a pat answer of "that's subjective, your opinion" and the Council refused to answer any questions. When we submitted a recall petition, the City Secretary refused to certify the petition. Thank goodness someone knew what process was needed to fight for our right to petition when four individuals filed a Writ of Mandamus. I personally had little knowledge of functions of the municipal government nor the role and importance of the City Charter, put talented people around me did. Many of them were in their late 60's or 70's - veterans, retirees, business owners who banded together to do what we could to change the course of our community. A crucial process was the formation of political action group, the group name was Taxpayers for Sensible Government. They put out a voters guide to help direct voters regarding our 27 propositions that was on our May 11 ballot. And we won each position by 72% of the vote.
I have since had lovely conversations with passionate people on matters of state and national constitutional rights, health and personal stories of suffering from the EMF radiation. Having the privilege to visit with passionate people who have been fighting for constitutional rights for years, I have ashamed that I too had taken these God give rights for granted for so many years. I am reminded of Thomas Jefferson's quote "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." I would ask people to read through an excerpt of the Bill of Rights of the Texas Constitution printed here in the right column.
05/11/13 Using Texas Local Government Code 9.004 petition guidelines, a group of citizens in Brady, Texas put forth four amendment propositions to their City Charter for consideration of the voters. Proposition 27 allowed customers to Opt Out of the Smart Meters at no charge to them and no surcharge moving forward while the other three were necessary to clarify recall language in sections of the City Charter. These three recall propositions were necessary as City Council had proposed propositions which would have virtually eliminated our right to petition for recall. Also included on the ballot was a recall of the Mayor who had obstructed individual's right to seek action of their elected officials, stifled any form of protest by reducing citizen's comments from 5 minutes to 2 minutes and rejected the original recall petition. It was necessary to file a Writ of Mandamus to win the right for the recall election to take place. On May 11,2013, over 72% of the voters of the City of Brady in McCulloch County voted for the recall of Mayor Gail Lohn and voted for all the amendments to the Charter that were submitted by citizen petition.
The above chart shows the level of interest within 8 hours of the story being released through my personal email and social media. Imagine what it will look like between now and August when it gets blasted through the 20,000 FB posts from one contact, 80 Tea Party Groups, Democrats against Agenda21 and the countless posts that will be generated. Code 9.004 puts the government back where it belongs - with the PEOPLE.
Remember "A Government Of the People, By the People and For the People".
If you are interested in learning how to use 9.004 in your community, please fill out the form above and you will be notified of upcoming conference calls.
"The Pink Dot" - Emily's story: My 10 year old daughter, Emily, has a blood-brain barrier deficiency, hyperlipidemia, inflammation/viral infections of the brain/gut (inflammatory gut/brain), static encephalopathy/autism, toxic metal body burden, glutathione deficiency (liver). She is very EMF sensitive and we do not have a Smart Meter on our home, but the rest of our neighborhood does and this has been effecting her horribly. I have documented her being exposed to other peoples smart meters and her reactions to being hit with a 'pulse' wave from smart meters. She immediately starts to have dilated pupils of her eyes and begins to seize, 'howling' out cries, and shakes a little all over.
This is only one of countless lives tortured by this technology.
Getting Started: Watch for notice of conference calls
1. Approach City Council with information regarding the Safety, Health and Privacy issues related to Smart Meters and give the City Council the opportunity to provide an Smart Meter Opt Out ordinance by their own accord.
2. Visit your City website and look for City Charter or visit these sites that has numerous City Charters: http://www.franklinlegal.net/codes.html or http://www.municode.com/Library/TX. In the intro area of the City Charter, it should state if it is a Home Rule Charter. If so find out when your City Charter is eligible for amending as Charters reviews can only occur every 2 years.
Note: If your City Charter contains language pertaining to Charter Amendments that was adopted prior September 1985, then the City Charter guidelines should be followed pertaining to percentage of signatures and timeliness of submission. If the City Charter does not contain Charter Amendment language or was adopted after September 1985, then the you can choose to either follow the City Charter Guidelines or the State Texas Local Government Code 9.004 guidelines. Texas state guidelines allow for 6 months to acquire signatures, time frame for certificate of signatures may be dependent upon the City Charter guidelines. The Texas Ethics Commission can be helpful to call with your individual questions. If you can receive information in writing from the Ethics Commission, this ruling should supersede local attorney opinion.
It is very important to follow up with email any conversation you have with the City Secretary or City representative to provide clear communication and date and time stamp of statements.
3. Find out how many registered voters there are in your City – 9.004 requires 5% or 20,000 signatures whichever is less for an amendment to go before the voters. (20,000 is only 100 locations getting 200 signatures - not hard). Determine number of registered signatures needed – need a minimum of an extra 10 % to 15 % of the required numbers to allow for signatures being thrown out due to can’t read name or address or date of birth that doesn’t match registered voter’s list or people don’t know they’re not registered voters in the City. Get spreadsheet list of registered City Voters from Voters Registrar's office ($19) – if possible, self screen signatures before submission to the City Secretary.
4. Find people of like mind regarding the right of a Citizen of Texas to refuse a product or service they deem harmful to their person, property or privacy. This is a very bi-partisan effort. Need to form a General Political Action Committee (PAC) if spending over $500 on multiple political issues which requires a filing with State of Texas Ethics Commission. If spending over $500 on a single special issue, filing is done at the City Hall or the School District or County Clerk depending on issue. There is no charge for forming a PAC but there are reporting requirements.
5. Get familiar with your City Charter. Find out who your Charter Review Commission Members are. If your City provides your utilities and is not permitting an Opt Out of the Smart Meter, - put one in. Another thought, if your Charter doesn’t have recall options – put one in. Don’t like how they handle Citizen’s Comments – change it, if you don't want Fluoride in your water, make it prohibited for the City Charter. If your utilities are provided by a third party, put in language that given an adequate number of signatures on a petition, the issue comes before the voters and the next eligible voting date of May or November.
6. The petition has to go before the City Council and must be submitted by August to be in on the November ballot or by March for a May ballot. Need to check to see the date that the Council plans on calling for the election. The. earlier the better to have a full month prior to the deadline to allow for any legal processes that may be necessary
7. Each subject requires a separate petition and signatures. Here is a petition blank sample. 9.004 Petition Blank This is only an example and no legal claims or warranties are applied to this document. Your Charter should be reviewed to determine section and subsection where the new amendment would apply.
8. Petitions must provide printed name, signature, address, date of birth, voter ID and date of signature and must state the wording for the amendment. Confirm the above requirements with the City Secretary prior to starting the petition.
i. If a person has power of attorney on spouse – they cannot sign a petition – they will throw it out.
ii. If a person is disabled for signature their “X” is valid.
iii. The only original signature needed on a petition is the signature of the signer so the petitioners should neatly print t
the signers name, address and date of birth. Either the date of birth or the Voter ID is needed and date of signing.
Petition Guidelines: http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/EL/htm/EL.277.htm#277.002
9. Petitioners need to have bullet points of what the petition is for – short and simple.
10. Establish location where people sign – and get signage setup.
11. Put articles in newspaper, Facebook, radio etc.
12. Get signed date and time receipt from City for submission of petitions. Provide a cover letter stating how many pages of petition pages and estimate of self-verified signatures. Schedule with local media to cover the submission of the petition with photos, write-ups etc.
13. Pray for God's favor to soften people's heart to hear the truth.
People do not like to sign petitions – they may be for your cause and will vote during an election but they do not like to sign petitions – especially business owners, bankers, bank employees, school employees, City employees, County employees, Government offices (LCRA) etc.
I am not an attorney and no information contained on this site should be construed as legal advice but if I can be of any assistance or can answer any questions, please give me a call.
Proposition 27 on the City of Brady May 11, 2013 ballot
Section YY.ZZ – Utility Customer Rights:
The utility customers of the City of XXX have the right to decline installation and the right to request removal of any product and/or service of the City or any product or service provided to the City by a third party provider which the customer deems harmful to their person, property or privacy. The City of XXX shall notify customers of this right as a notice on all utility bills submitted to customers. Customers have the right to refuse installation or request removal of any product or service at any time by submitting a written request to City Secretary. Upon receipt of notification, the City of XXX shall comply with the customer’s request to decline installation and/or for removal of the product and/or service within 30 days. The City shall restore all previously provided utilities at no charge to the customer. The City shall not impose a penalty or a surcharge to customers who decline installation and/or request removal of any product and/or service. The City of XXX is civilly liable to the customer for personal injury, property damage or death during the time the customer was subjected to product and/or service use.
Texas Local Government Code -
Section 9.004. Charter Amendments
Government Code - Section 9.004. Charter Amendments (click for link)
§ 9.004. CHARTER AMENDMENTS. (a) The governing body of a
municipality on its own motion may submit a proposed charter
amendment to the municipality's qualified voters for their approval
at an election. The governing body shall submit a proposed charter
amendment to the voters for their approval at an election if the
submission is supported by a petition signed by a number of
qualified voters of the municipality equal to at least five percent
of the number of qualified voters of the municipality or 20,000,
whichever number is the smaller.
(b) The ordinance ordering the election shall provide for
the election to be held on the first authorized uniform election
date prescribed by the Election Code or on the earlier of the date
of the next municipal general election or presidential general
election. The election date must allow sufficient time to comply
with other requirements of law and must occur on or after the 30th
day after the date the ordinance is adopted.
(c) Notice of the election shall be published in a newspaper
of general circulation published in the municipality. The notice
(1) include a substantial copy of the proposed
(2) be published on the same day in each of two
successive weeks, with the first publication occurring before the
14th day before the date of the election.
(d) An amendment may not contain more than one subject.
(e) The ballot shall be prepared so that a voter may approve
or disapprove any one or more amendments without having to approve
or disapprove all of the amendments.
Code 9.004 Movement
The People's Power to Petition
Hover to view number of Counties wishing to participate since
May 11, 2013 Election Day
Each dot represents an individual committed to bringing Smart Meter Opt Out petitions to these 35 Counties
For more information on Smart Meter Issues visit:
For assistance regarding petition processes:
President / Houston Property Owners Association
Request the Removal of Wi-Fi Based on Discrimination Laws
see details in article link!
For people in other states, here is a start to looking for petition options in your state:
Alex Jones for taking my call on the hazards of Smart Meters so others can learn how to gain their opt out options.
08/14/13 - Extreme Health Radio
05/17/13 - Texas Tribune
Ol’ Henry J’s Blog and BS at the Buzzard Roost News –
a satire writer out of Brown County with 4500 circulation
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Please especially watch the last 20 minutes with Curtis Bennett as he discusses the cross examination of the utility medical representatives during the BC PUC hearings.
Marker 42 min especially!
"THE TEXAS CONSTITUTION ARTICLE
1. BILL OF RIGHTS
That the general, great and essential principles of liberty and free government may be recognized and established, we declare: Sec. 1. FREEDOM AND SOVEREIGNTY OF STATE. Texas is a free and independent State, subject only to the Constitution of the United States, and the maintenance of our free institutions and the perpetuity of the Union depend upon the preservation of the right of local self-government, unimpaired to all the States. Sec. 2. INHERENT POLITICAL POWER; REPUBLICAN FORM OF GOVERNMENT. All political power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their benefit. The faith of the people of Texas stands pledged to the preservation of a republican form of government, and, subject to this limitation only, they have at all times the inalienable right to alter, reform or abolish their government in such manner as they may think expedient.