NYC CAN News Bulletin — July 31, 2009
PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY
9/11 Family Members and Survivor File for Re-validation of Citizens’
Signatures with New York State Supreme Court, following rejection of NYC CAN
petition by the City Clerk and Board of Elections
New York City — On Wednesday, several 9/11 victim family members and a
survivor took the first step in challenging the City Clerk’s rejection
of the NYC CAN petition for a new investigation in New York City. The group
filed a Verified Petition/Order to Show Cause with the Supreme Court of the
State of New York requesting a review of Board of Election documentation and
a ‘special referee’ appointed to re-validate the over 52,000 signatures
filed by NYC CAN on June 24th.
The NYC CAN petition was rejected by the City Clerk on Friday, July 24th, a
week ago, certifying less than the minimum of 30,000 qualified signatures of
electors. This benchmark, according to the Clerk’s office, was not met.
A “qualified elector” is a registered New York City voter who was
eligible to vote in the last election. According to the letter sent by the Clerk
to the City Council, the NY Board of Elections validated 26,003 signatures and
invalidated 24,664, leaving 1,333 that were not certified.
At a hearing scheduled for Monday, August 3rd, before a Supreme Court Justice,
the plaintiffs, representing tens of thousands of concerned New Yorkers who
support a new 9/11 investigation, will formally raise their request for an independent
review of the Board of Elections findings. If granted by the presiding Justice,
a re-validation of the petition signatures by an independent special referee
In addition to the requirement to reach the threshold of 30,000 qualified electors,
the petition itself must comply with New York Municipal Home Rule Law and relevant
Election Laws. The City Clerk maintains the Petition fell short in several areas,
but it should be emphasized that this is the legal opinion of the Corporation
Counsel, the City of New York’s top lawyer, and will be challenged in
court by lawyers for the five plaintiffs.
Legal advisers to the plaintiffs believe that the legal objections raised by
the Corporation Counsel are specious and should be set aside; however, considering
the political implications and official opposition to the proposed Commission,
obtaining approval for placing the referendum question on the ballet itself
will be fraught with difficulty and challenge each step of the way.
The fact is, historically in New York City ballot initiatives have not been
successful. The last two were denied by the City Clerk. In both cases the petitioners
filed a suit and ultimately lost and thus NYC CAN anticipated the response of
the Clerk. And though the odds are stacked against us, we are committed to take
the next steps available to us.
Regardless of the outcome, the court case will serve to amplify the demand
for a new 9/11 investigation and with lessons learned, should serve to strengthen
the ability of the people to petition their government for meaningful referendums
in the future.
Please donate to support this historic court case now. Go to http://nyccan.org/donate.php
NYC CAN is non-partisan organization comprised of 9/11 Families, First Responders,
Survivors and proud, concerned citizens committed to bringing about an independent,
impartial investigation into the events of September 11. For more info: http://www.nyccan.org