Aug. 15, 2008
by Les Jamieson
Petitioners for the NYC 9/11 Ballot Initiative have now gathered in excess of 27,000 signatures of NY City registered voters who are in favor of the creation of a new, independent investigation into the 9/11 attacks. Anyone who has participated in a petition drive will recognize that reaching this number is a monumental accomplishment. Approaching the general public with the controversial questioning of 9/11 makes it even more so. However, since a minimum of 30,000 valid signatures is required plus an extra margin of several thousand is recommended, it appear that time has run out to meet the Sept. 4th deadline for getting this public referendum onto the Nov. 2008 ballot. Even if another 10,000 signatures were to come in by that date, the City Clerk as well as NY City Council would have needed time to review the petitions and deliberate.
Although this is a great disappointment to the dozens of dedicated people working on the Initiative, they have also accepted that it may be a blessing in disguise. The presidential race would have drawn so much media attention as to overshadow this effort to establish a new, independent, and impartial “truth commission”. Also, more time to educate the public about the faults of the official account and shortcomings of the government’s investigation will be beneficial.
Therefore, it has been decided that it’s best to continue the petition drive into the next election cycle, since the current petitions will still be usable. This will allow time to gather double the amount of required signatures, broaden the base of supporters, and build a momentum that will encourage NY City Council to align with the desire of tens of thousands of NY City voters as well as a large constituency across the country who, according to various polls, feel that the official 9/11 Commission did not conduct a valid investigation.
It’s important to note that in addition to the collection of 27,000 signatures (see http://www.flickr.com/photos/nyc911initiative/ for photos), there have been other related accomplishments. Tens of thousands of NY residents have received educational material about 9/11. Two family members, Chris Burke (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Yzre208xp4) and Tom Ruggiero, who had never publicly expressed their views have come out in support of a new investigation with significant statements. We got Mike Gravel on Democracy Now. Ralph Nader, Jesse Ventura, Dan Ellsberg, Christine Ebersole, Wayne Madsen, Mark Stepnowski, and the producers of “Reflecting Pool”, have publicly voiced their support. Grammy Award-winning hip hop artists “Arrested Development” have also voiced their support (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5gARcsH-3w). NY Magazine has just run an article on the Initiative.
We thank all who have contributed financially to this historic effort. We thank people from the northeast who have come to NYC to help petition with us. We thank Mike Gravel, for his solid support. It should be noted that he has worked for 20 years on creating the opportunity for us all to participate in Initiatives (see www.nationalinitiative.us ). This effort still has a long way to go to be legal in every state. He recently told me, “This is a long process. Sometimes we have to be wise and realize we have to take a longterm view and just stay determined and focused”. He would know.
That said, many of us here continue to believe that the NYC 9/11 Ballot Initiative is the culmination of 7 years of research and activism because it’s designed to result in a legally recognized investigation. So we are strategizing for the next stage. We’re working on getting just 50 volunteers get a minimum of 20 signatures a week, which is 3 hours work and will total 1,000 signatures per week. We have a few other volunteers who will likely get 75-100 per week. The local Pacifica radio station, WBAI, along with the Gary Null show on WNYC will continue to be available to us to advocate for the Initiative. With additional funding, we can hire more excellent petitioners and get 1,000 per day. We hope this will be the case, since the presidential campaigns raise millions, yet will never result in an authentic 9/11 investigation.
We still have the opportunity to show there’s a groundswell of Americans who represent a mandate for truth and accountability for 9/11. There are people of conscience throughout the public, within government and military circles, as well as around the world who are waiting for us to lead the way. With the help of thousands of you helping in any way you’re able, we can prevail in showing the glaring inconsistencies of the official account and thereby, the necessity for an authentic, comprehensive 9/11 investigation.
NYC 9/11 Ballot Initiative