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Online Petitions
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Here's a good wrap-up from the Boulder Weekly of the state of online petitioning in Boulder. I believe it is part of a series, so stay tuned.


https://www.boulderweekly.com/news/advancing-democracy/


Advancing democracy

Boulder’s electronic petitioning system is almost ready to go, but is it too little, too late?

By Emma Athena-September 24, 2020

Evan sent me this info, along with an invitation to host a forum on this, to help get the word out.

Rionda, what are your thoughts about LWVBC getting involved?

Should we host a forum, or at least a Community Conversation, sponsored by the MIP Team? Are Team members willing to help? This is not really about Money in Politics, but we don’t have anyone else in LWVBC working on this issue.

Peggy

Sent from my iPhone

> On Oct 20, 2019, at 12:51 AM, MiP Team Forum <MiPforum@lwvbc.org> wrote:
>
> 
>
>
>
> Here’s more on the continuing saga.
> ---------- Forwarded message ---------
> From: Evan Ravitz <eravitz@gmail.com>
> Date: Sat, Oct 19, 2019 at 6:38 PM
> Subject: 5 Council Candidates asked City Staff to stop delaying ONLINE PETITIONING
> To: <jamie.connor.clifford@gmail.com>, <JohnFrank@coloradosun.com>, <libertarianlunch@dos32.com>, Geof Cahoon <Geof@bocodems.org>, Ron Tupa <rontupa@mac.com>, Adam Swetlik <adam.swetlik@colorado.edu>, AJ Hirsh <hirshaj@yahoo.com>, Boulder County DSA <boulderdsa@gmail.com>, Brant Liebmann <liebmannb@icloud.com>, Carolyn Bninski <carolynbninski@gmail.com>, Charley Cropley <charley@charleycropley.com>, Chris Allred <christopher.allred@colorado.edu>, Cliff Smedley <Cliffsmedley@gmail.com>, Cliff Willmeng <willmeng70@gmail.com>, Colorado Poor People's Campaign <Colorado@poorpeoplescampaign.org>, Cosima Kreuger-Cunningham <cardamomseed@aol.com>, Damjan Bogdanovic <bogdanovicdamjan@gmail.com>, Daniel Ziskin <ziskin@jote.org>, Darren O'Connor <constanciodarren@gmail.com>, David Furtney <dfurtney@zoll.com>, David Oks <contact@mikegravel.org>, Dru Whitledge <druw@oneimage.com>, Duncan Campbell <duncan@indra.com>, Harry Hempy <harryhempy@gmail.com>, Harv Teitelbaum <harv@treeclimbingco.com>, James Duncan <jam_dunc@hotmail.com>, Jean Gore <jeangore@comcast.net>, Jesse Kumin <jesse@bestdemocracy.org>, Joel Dyer <jdyer@boulderweekly.com>, John Militzer <spiritpico@gmail.com>, John Nichols <Jnichols@madison.com>, John Steiner <steiner_king@earthlink.net>, Jonathan Singer <repsinger@gmail.com>, Joseph B Juhasz <Juhaszj@colorado.edu>, Joshua Maynard <moosedrink@gmail.com>, K.K. Duvivier <kkduvivier@law.du.edu>, Katie Malzbender <KatieM@bocodems.org>, Ken Bonetti <kenecon2004@gmail.com>, Lauren Swain <video@mindseyeworld.com>, Len Barron <lenbarron33@hotmail.com>, LeRoy Moore <leroymoore1231@gmail.com>, Lisa Graves <lisa@documentedinvestigations.org>, Maeve Conran <Maeve@kgnu.org>, Mark McIntyre <mark@markmcintyre.me>, Mark Williams <Hapnmark@gmail.com>, Martin Walter <martywalter009@gmail.com>, Martin Walter <walter@boulder.colorado.edu>, Micah Parkin <micah@350colorado.org>, Nathan Schneider <n@nathanschneider.info>, Nick Thomas <Nickdresellythomas@gmail.com>, Nick Troiano <Nick@uniteamerica.org>, Peter Mayer <peter.mayer@waterdm.com>, Rionda Osman-Jouchoux <rionda.osman@gmail.com>, Ryan Isbelle <ryanisbelle2014@gmail.com>, Shavonne Blades <shavonne.blades@yellowscene.com>, Thomas Quay Williams <tqwilliams@earthlink.net>, Tyler Romero <Tyler.Romero@colorado.edu>, Victoria Barriga <vmbelieve@gmail.com>, Vincent Campbell <idahovince@gmail.com>
>
>
>
> OCT 10, 2019 —
>
> Hi. We sent the below on Sept. 23. I hoped to give you results here, but the City process is in chaos. They promised when they issued a Request for Proposals for the software to announce the winning proposal the week of Sept 23. They still haven't. I finally asked them on Oct 8 to stop the faulty RFP process. According to longtime former Councilman Steve Pomerance, they never secured access to the CO Secretary of State's database, which is essential for the system, and which Denver's inferior eSign system involving iPads uses daily. I asked them to first try Maplight's offer of a free system, similar to Arizona's system for online candidate petitions which has worked fine for 7 years. If Maplight's system when tested is insufficient, THEN they should consider the $400,000 that staff have asked for online petitioning in the new proposed budget.
>
> Also on Oct 8, Steve Pomerance and I were recorded at KGNU radio discussing this fiasco. I'll let you know when that airs, but more importantly where it is on the web.
>
> Please consider sending a quick email to Council (council@bouldercolorado.gov) asking them to try Maplight's free system before wasting $400,000 on a system we suspect (zero transparency here) will be proprietary, not open-source code, and so not available to other cities (or states!) who don't want to waste $400,000. If you want more technical info, email me individually.
>
> The unusual letter is from Candidates Adam Swetlick, Rachel Friend, Mark McIntyre, Susan Peterson, and Gala Orba, who I also endorse for Council.
>
> For Immediate Release Contact Evan Ravitz
>
> 720 405 5594 eravitz@gmail.com Boulder, Colorado
>
> 5 Boulder Council candidates ask City Staff to stop delaying online petitioning
>
> Our letter:
>
> "We City Council candidates and idea originator Evan Ravitz are respectfully asking City staff to expedite the online petition system for ballot initiatives that 71% of our citizens voted for last November. This ballot measure was put on the ballot by city council unanimously, after being approved unanimously by the City's Campaign Finance and Elections working group.
>
> One of the primary goals was to have the system functioning at an early enough date that it could be used for the 2020 election cycle. We are asking you to do all that you can to make this happen and in doing so, show that there are no further attempts to delay implementation of the voters will.
>
> The attached memo signed by many of you requested another City Charter Amendment, delaying the online petition system by an entire year. All the members of the working group, and City Council, repudiated this.
>
> Our concerns center around the City's Request for Proposals for the online software which says the city would select finalists on August 30th, but an email from Julia Richman now says it will be another month or more. This type of delay could jeopardize use in the 2020 election cycle.
>
> We've had an offer of a free system from Maplight.org for many months. Their President Dan Newman even flew here at their own expense to demonstrate to City staff the prototype they made for us, free. We'd like to know why the city didn't investigate this first. Maplight software already runs as part of the California Secretary of State's website.
>
> We've rarely seen the city say no to free anything.
>
> While we know that the city must undergo standard processes for proposals and bids, we would ask you to answer several questions for us:
>
> 1. Among the 9 or 10 proposals submitted, are there other respondents who are competitive with a free system?
>
> 2. How many of the respondents offered an open source system?
>
> 3. When will finalists be selected and announced?
>
> 4. When will the final vendor selection be made so they can finally get to work on this, now over 10 months since the election?"
>
> Signed,
>
> Rachel Friend
>
> Susan Peterson
>
> Adam Swetlik
>
> Mark McIntyre
>
> Gala Orba
>
> Evan Ravitz
>
> Other candidates are invited to sign on as well.
>
> Organizations who testified to City Council to put this on the ballot include:
>
> Boulder County Democratic Party
>
> Boulder County Libertarian Party
>
> PLAN Boulder County
>
> Rocky Mtn Peace and Justice Center
>
> Our Revolution Boulder
>
> East Boulder County United
>
> You can see our petition, which has arguments for and some history of this project.
>
> Signers of the petition include Jared Polis, Jonathan Singer, Ron Tupa, Jean Gore, Leroy Moore, Micah Parkin, Mark Williams and Nick Thomas.
>
> Please join our Facebook Group Strengthen Direct Democracy
>
> May the best ideas win.
>
> --
> Evan Ravitz: Guide, Photographer, Writer, Editor http://EvanRavitz.com
> 720-403-5594
>
>
> --
> Evan Ravitz: Guide, Photographer, Writer, Editorhttp://EvanRavitz.com720-403-5594
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>

Here’s more on the continuing saga. 

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Evan Ravitz <eravitz@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, Oct 19, 2019 at 6:38 PM
Subject: 5 Council Candidates asked City Staff to stop delaying ONLINE PETITIONING
To: <jamie.connor.clifford@gmail.com>, <JohnFrank@coloradosun.com>, <libertarianlunch@dos32.com>, Geof Cahoon <Geof@bocodems.org>, Ron Tupa <rontupa@mac.com>, Adam Swetlik <adam.swetlik@colorado.edu>, AJ Hirsh <hirshaj@yahoo.com>, Boulder County DSA <boulderdsa@gmail.com>, Brant Liebmann <liebmannb@icloud.com>, Carolyn Bninski <carolynbninski@gmail.com>, Charley Cropley <charley@charleycropley.com>, Chris Allred <christopher.allred@colorado.edu>, Cliff Smedley <Cliffsmedley@gmail.com>, Cliff Willmeng <willmeng70@gmail.com>, Colorado Poor People's Campaign <Colorado@poorpeoplescampaign.org>, Cosima Kreuger-Cunningham <cardamomseed@aol.com>, Damjan Bogdanovic <bogdanovicdamjan@gmail.com>, Daniel Ziskin <ziskin@jote.org>, Darren O'Connor <constanciodarren@gmail.com>, David Furtney <dfurtney@zoll.com>, David Oks <contact@mikegravel.org>, Dru Whitledge <druw@oneimage.com>, Duncan Campbell <duncan@indra.com>, Harry Hempy <harryhempy@gmail.com>, Harv Teitelbaum <harv@treeclimbingco.com>, James Duncan <jam_dunc@hotmail.com>, Jean Gore <jeangore@comcast.net>, Jesse Kumin <jesse@bestdemocracy.org>, Joel Dyer <jdyer@boulderweekly.com>, John Militzer <spiritpico@gmail.com>, John Nichols <Jnichols@madison.com>, John Steiner <steiner_king@earthlink.net>, Jonathan Singer <repsinger@gmail.com>, Joseph B Juhasz <Juhaszj@colorado.edu>, Joshua Maynard <moosedrink@gmail.com>, K.K. Duvivier <kkduvivier@law.du.edu>, Katie Malzbender <KatieM@bocodems.org>, Ken Bonetti <kenecon2004@gmail.com>, Lauren Swain <video@mindseyeworld.com>, Len Barron <lenbarron33@hotmail.com>, LeRoy Moore <leroymoore1231@gmail.com>, Lisa Graves <lisa@documentedinvestigations.org>, Maeve Conran <Maeve@kgnu.org>, Mark McIntyre <mark@markmcintyre.me>, Mark Williams <Hapnmark@gmail.com>, Martin Walter <martywalter009@gmail.com>, Martin Walter <walter@boulder.colorado.edu>, Micah Parkin <micah@350colorado.org>, Nathan Schneider <n@nathanschneider.info>, Nick Thomas <Nickdresellythomas@gmail.com>, Nick Troiano <Nick@uniteamerica.org>, Peter Mayer <peter.mayer@waterdm.com>, Rionda Osman-Jouchoux <rionda.osman@gmail.com>, Ryan Isbelle <ryanisbelle2014@gmail.com>, Shavonne Blades <shavonne.blades@yellowscene.com>, Thomas Quay Williams <tqwilliams@earthlink.net>, Tyler Romero <Tyler.Romero@colorado.edu>, Victoria Barriga <vmbelieve@gmail.com>, Vincent Campbell <idahovince@gmail.com>


OCT 10, 2019 — 

Hi. We sent the below on Sept. 23. I hoped to give you results here, but the City process is in chaos. They promised when they issued a Request for Proposals for the software to announce the winning proposal the week of Sept 23. They still haven't. I finally asked them on Oct 8 to stop the faulty RFP process. According to longtime former Councilman Steve Pomerance, they never secured access to the CO Secretary of State's database, which is essential for the system, and which Denver's inferior eSign system involving iPads uses daily. I asked them to first try Maplight's offer of a free system, similar to Arizona's system for online candidate petitions which has worked fine for 7 years. If Maplight's system when tested is insufficient, THEN they should consider the $400,000 that staff have asked for online petitioning in the new proposed budget.

Also on Oct 8, Steve Pomerance and I were recorded at KGNU radio discussing this fiasco. I'll let you know when that airs, but more importantly where it is on the web.

Please consider sending a quick email to Council (council@bouldercolorado.gov) asking them to try Maplight's free system before wasting $400,000 on a system we suspect (zero transparency here) will be proprietary, not open-source code, and so not available to other cities (or states!) who don't want to waste $400,000. If you want more technical info, email me individually.

The unusual letter is from Candidates Adam Swetlick, Rachel Friend, Mark McIntyre, Susan Peterson, and Gala Orba, who I also endorse for Council. 

For Immediate Release                             Contact Evan Ravitz

720 405 5594        eravitz@gmail.com        Boulder, Colorado

5 Boulder Council candidates ask City Staff to stop delaying online petitioning

Our letter:

"We City Council candidates and idea originator Evan Ravitz are respectfully asking City staff to expedite the online petition system for ballot initiatives that 71% of our citizens voted for last November. This ballot measure was put on the ballot by city council unanimously, after being approved unanimously by the City's Campaign Finance and Elections working group.

One of the primary goals was to have the system functioning at an early enough date that it could be used for the 2020 election cycle. We are asking you to do all that you can to make this happen and in doing so, show that there are no further attempts to delay implementation of the voters will.

The attached memo signed by many of you requested another City Charter Amendment, delaying the online petition system by an entire year. All the members of the working group, and City Council, repudiated this.

Our concerns center around the City's Request for Proposals for the online software which says the city would select finalists on August 30th, but an email from Julia Richman now says it will be another month or more. This type of delay could jeopardize use in the 2020 election cycle. 

We've had an offer of a free system from Maplight.org for many months. Their President Dan Newman even flew here at their own expense to demonstrate to City staff the prototype they made for us, free. We'd like to know why the city didn't investigate this first. Maplight software already runs as part of the California Secretary of State's website. 

We've rarely seen the city say no to free anything. 

While we know that the city must undergo standard processes for proposals and bids, we would ask you to answer several questions for us:

1. Among the 9 or 10 proposals submitted, are there other respondents who are competitive with a free system?

2. How many of the respondents offered an open source system? 

3. When will finalists be selected and announced?

4.  When will the final vendor selection be made so they can finally get to work on this, now over 10 months since the election?" 

Signed,

Rachel Friend

Susan Peterson

Adam Swetlik

Mark McIntyre

Gala Orba

Evan Ravitz

Other candidates are invited to sign on as well.

Organizations who testified to City Council to put this on the ballot include:

Boulder County Democratic Party

Boulder County Libertarian Party  

PLAN Boulder County

Rocky Mtn Peace and Justice Center

Our Revolution Boulder

East Boulder County United

You can see our petition, which has arguments for and some history of this project.

Signers of the petition include Jared Polis, Jonathan Singer, Ron Tupa, Jean Gore, Leroy Moore, Micah Parkin, Mark Williams and Nick Thomas.

Please join our Facebook Group Strengthen Direct Democracy

May the best ideas win.

-- 
Evan Ravitz: Guide, Photographer, Writer, Editor http://EvanRavitz.com
720-403-5594



--
Evan Ravitz: Guide, Photographer, Writer, Editor
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