A Fighting (Peaceful) Chance

Elections you win are better than elections you lose. But while the polls remain open, I say cast your ballot and savor the chance to win, make a decision, make needed changes. In other words, accept that fighting chance.

But no fighting, actually — it’s peaceful political action.

Today, I’m watching closely three contests.

First, Liberty Initiative Fund, where I work, has been a big supporter of pension reform in general and Cincinnati’s Issue 4 in particular. Ballotpedia, the nation’s best tracker of ballot measures, declared the Cincinnati issue one of the nation’s five most important being decided today.

Win or lose in Cincinnati, the pension problems of cities and states across the country won’t just go away — not without an engaged public to demand the issue be addressed. Pension reform ballot initiatives “end run” the can-kicking on city councils and in state houses.

Second, Citizens in Charge was a major backer of the petition drive that succeeded in earning a spot on today’s Washington State ballot for initiative 517, the “Protect the Initiative Act.” While 517’s supporters have been badly outspent by opponents, at least we’ve had a chance to take the idea to the people.

The third? Governance. In Vancouver, Washington, city officials blocked citizens from petitioning onto the ballot the issue of bringing in (and connecting with) the light rail system of twin city Portland, Oregon. After battling and losing a court case (with support from Citizens in Charge Foundation), citizens didn’t give up. They formed Vancouver Vitality and are supporting the ouster of several incumbents and their replacement with a clean slate of new candidates.

I only hope we can do more good when we go vote a year from now.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

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