Entering the Endgame in Springfield
On Monday, September 10th, the Springfield City Council will consider three amendments to the marijuana law reform ordinance they passed on August 27th, as well as a full repeal. The three amendments are listed by the council member who proposed it and in order of preference:
- Doug Burlison: Removes the Oversight Committee.
- Bob Stephens: Removes the Oversight Committee and Expungement.
- Bob Stephens: Removes the Oversight Committee and Expungement, as well as increases the fine from $150 to $450.
The repeal is being sponsored by Council Members Rush, Seifried, Compton, and Fisk, and three of them -- Fisk, Rush and Seifried -- initially voted to approve the measure. Please do not allow these politicians to steal this victory from you!
We need everyone who can make it to attend Monday's City Council meeting and tell the members of the council to respect the initiative process and preserve the heart of this reform. Let them know that although we are open to a compromise, "gutting" the measure, as Councilman Seifried put it, is no compromise at all. You do not need to make a big speech; a few sentences will suffice to let them know where you stand. The meeting starts on Monday at 6:30 P.M. on the fourth floor of the Busch Municipal Building at 840 Boonville Avenue. You can sign up to speak when you arrive or by calling city hall in advance at 417-864-1651. If you plan on attending, please RSVP on the Facebook event page here.
Regardless of whether you can attend the meeting, please contact all members of the council to urge them to vote against repeal and tell them that you will hold them responsible for their vote. Below you will find a template of a letter you can send, as well as the contact information for all council members.
Template Letter to Council Members
Dear [City Council Member],
I first want to thank you for passing the initiative to reduce the penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana. However, I am distressed that two council members claim to have voted for the ordinance only to prevent it from going before the voters in November. Such a tactic makes a mockery of the initiative process, which exists to allow voters -- the source of all legal authority in the United States -- to enact their will as law, even if their elected representatives disagree with the policy.
I believe there is an acceptable compromise out there for everyone involved. But if you choose to ignore the clear intent of Springfield City Charter's initiative law and opt for a full repeal, or a repeal of key provisions, I will work to hold you accountable for your anti-democratic vote. Regardless of one's opinion about marijuana law, the city's initiative process shouldn't be subverted in this manner.
Mayor Bob Stephens: email@example.com or 417-864-1651
General Councilwoman Jan Fisk: firstname.lastname@example.org or 417-864-1651
General Councilman John Rush: email@example.com or 417-864-1651
General Councilman Doug Burlison: firstname.lastname@example.org or 417-865-7175
General Councilman Thomas Bieker: email@example.com or 417-864-1651
Zone 1 Councilman Jeff Seifried: firstname.lastname@example.org
Zone 2 Councilwoman Cindy Rushefsky: email@example.com or 417-862-9614
Zone 3 Councilman Jerry Compton: firstname.lastname@example.org or 417-831-0187
Zone 4 Councilman Scott Bailes: email@example.com or 417-864-1651
After you send the letter, follow up with a phone call. We must show every member of the City Council that they cannot abuse the democratic process!
United We Stand; Divided We Fall
The good news is that our opposition feels that they must cheat in order to beat us. The bad news is that they can get away with it if we do not come together to hold them accountable. That's why we need everyone to bombard them with emails and phone calls and, above all else, speak out at the meeting on Monday. Even if you don't live in Springfield, you can contact the council and let them know that the whole state is watching what they do. And no matter where you live, you can spread the word by forwarding this email to your friends and supporting the work of Show-Me Cannabis Regulation with a donation.
There is no guarantee that Springfield's City Council will listen to us no matter how many emails we send and how many speeches we make, but we can show them -- and the whole state -- that we are a force to be reckoned with; that they will pay a price for suppressing the voice of the people. If we want to win, we must all constantly remind our representatives in government that this is an issue we care about, and we are paying attention to what they do, so let's show Missouri's political class that they ignore us at their own peril!