On Friday, September 4, the New York City Coalition for Accountability Now (NYC CAN) submitted 28,000 petition signatures as a supplement to the 52,000 signatures submitted on June 24 calling for a citywide referendum on the creation of a local, independent commission to investigate 9/11.
Over the last 25 years, every ballot initiative in New York City has been blocked on grounds of legal technicality, with the exception of the 1993 initiative to establish term limits for NYC elected officials, whose supporters also had to go to court to prove the initiative legal. With 80,000 New Yorkers having signed this petition, the City’s ongoing attempt to stop this referendum from going on the ballot is yet another blatant affront to the democratic ideals upon which this great nation was founded.
On July 24, the NYC City Clerk reported to the City Council that only 26,003 signatures from the submission of 52,000 signatures were valid. In response, NYC CAN filed suit and on Thursday, August 27 submitted a Bill of Particulars cataloguing 7,166 additional signatures that NYC CAN contends should be deemed valid.
The court-appointed referee will begin a line-by-line review of the disputed signatures on Wednesday, September 9, and is scheduled to complete the review by Friday, September 18. If the referee and court accept at least 3,996 of the disputed signatures as valid – meeting the requisite number of 30,000 signatures – and if 15,000 of the 28,000 signatures from the September 4 submission are deemed valid, the only remaining hurdle to getting the referendum on the ballot will be the ongoing court case over the legality of the petition.
The timetable for addressing the petition’s legality will be set in a meeting on Thursday September 10. The schedule should allow time for an appeal from either side in order to guarantee a final determination by the end of the month.
Once the schedule for the court case is set, NYC CAN will announce one or more rallies and events in the second half of September to demonstrate the tremendous public support that exists for a new, impartial investigation. NYC CAN calls upon all those who can be in lower Manhattan to join in solidarity with the 9/11 families, first responders, survivors and 80,000 New Yorkers to say loud and clear: no longer will we tolerate a government that ignores the will of its people. For the 3,000 who died on that day, the hundreds who have died since, and those still suffering today, 9/11 must be properly investigated.
The Bill of Particulars was assembled with the help of 50+ volunteers who gave more than 1,000 hours over a two-week period. On behalf of the petition’s 80,000 signatories, NYC CAN offers its deepest thanks to these volunteers who worked long and hard to prevent the voters New York City from being silenced by their government.