Great news! Got this tonight from Carole Smith, of the Stop Parking Meters in Downtown Salem campaign:
Congratulations! We collected our 8,000th signature today! Hurrah!
We need 5,688 verified signatures to get placed on the May Primary ballot. We collected 40% more signatures than we need - just to be safe.
THE BIGGEST CONTRIBUTORS were the 55 downtown businesses who collected signatures in their stores.
The DOWNTOWN BUSINESSES COLLECTED 40% of all the signatures gathered. We could not have succeeded without your help. We cannot thank you enough for your help and commitment to help the initiative petition succeed. This is your success. You did it. Good job. Wow.
35% of signatures were collected by volunteers at local events (Saturday Market, Wednesday Market, World Beat, 4th of July)
25% were collected by paid signature gatherers (We spent $1,350 for 135 hours of paid signature gathering)
We used about 10 reams of paper (all stationery items totaled $770)
We spent $380 on ads and signage
We used over 140 clipboards (most donated by Cooke Stationery)
We spent $379 on postage stamps (letters to property and business owners)
We spent $1,430 on legal fees (two attorneys)
We lost over 10 dozen pens
HOW WE RAISED MONEY:
We raised $1,200 on our Indiegogo campaign
We raised about $1,800 through private donations from property/business owners and customers
We received about $3,400 in in-kind donations
We cannot even begin to calculate the number of volunteer hours spent to collect the 8,000 signatures. We hope none of us ever have to do this again in our lifetime.
At the end of this week, we will submit our signature sheets to The City Recorders in Salem and Dallas. The City Recorders will forward the petitions to the Polk and Marion County Elections office for verifcaiton.
The Election officials will take a "sampling" of our signature sheets and check each name to make sure the signer is registered to vote, their signature matches their voter registration signature, and each signer lives in the City of Salem. They also check to make sure each sheet was properly signed off and dated correctly by the signature gatherer.
If the Election officials find we do not have enough signatures, we still have at least 2 weeks to collect the remaining signatures.
Once we have enough signatures to be placed on the ballot, the City Recorder is required to take our petition to the next City Council meeting. The City Council can vote to adopt our petition in full, or create a competing ballot measure. If they do not adopt our petition, it will be placed on the May Primary ballot for every Salem citizen to vote on.
It is illegal for the City to spend any funds to oppose an initiative petition.
A successful initiative petition is the most embarrassing action citizens can take against their elected officials. That's one reason we moved our petition to the May Primary ballot. Four city councilors and the Mayor have to run for re-election in May 2014. Our petition will be on the same ballot.
Even if the City Council votes to install parking meters today, if the citizens vote in favor of our petition in May, the citizens vote will overturn the City Council vote. We can win. How about that.