Those in power must operate equitably
Five elected officials made it clear that their voices are more important than those of thousands of their constituents: members of our community who quite literally risked their lives to be heard.
Five elected officials ignored the advice of their legal counsel and obstructed the path identified to remedy staff’s mistakes. When an individual or institution exhibits a willingness to occupy their power to manipulate direct democracy in favor of independent ideology, it is an abuse of power.
A council member weighing the substance of ballot measures against their leanings and beliefs (rather than seeking the most judicious resolution to a conceded failure) is certainly not as nefarious as a racist police officer and the atrocities their power can facilitate for theirs’, but I will march against the injustice both pose. Those in power must operate equitably or trust is gone and the social contract broken.
Five elected officials revealed their values: politics and authority over democracy and impartiality. Approaching principles of fairness and transparency as flexible in the face of competing objectives is problematic. While it does not surprise me that erroneous guidance or ambiguous legalese might be exploited to engineer outcomes, I am amazed that prohibiting the electorate the chance to decide for themselves was deemed menacing enough for this degree of sacrifice. That the very body the initiative process is designed to circumvent is responsible for derailing it is almost poetic.
The improbable calamity-of-errors couldn’t be repeated, but there’s an upside. Whether legal challenges to defend the opportunity for our community to weigh-in at the polls are successful or not, we’ve collectively witnessed dysfunction with implications surpassing the importance of any single ballot measure: the few we elected and entrusted to represent the many have demonstrated the weight our voices carry when they disagree.