Update: High-Rise Safety Initiative Goes to Court
On July 3, 2014, the High-Rise Safety Initiative submitted over 67,000 petition signatures calling for ballot measure that would require the City of New York to investigate the collapse of WTC 7 and any future high-rise collapses. Most unfortunately, but also as we anticipated and prepared for, the City has attempted to block the High-Rise Safety Initiative from appearing on the ballot this November.
On Monday, we received the City Clerk’s certificate, which claims first that the petition has only 27,892 valid signatures, 2,108 less than the 30,000 threshold; and second that the proposed charter amendment is legally invalid for three reasons.
Yesterday, we filed suit against the City to have its determination annulled, and to compel the City Clerk to certify that the petition contains enough valid signatures and complies with all the requirements of law. Earlier today, New York Supreme Court Justice Carol Edmead signed our “order to show cause,” thus requiring the City to appear in court for an initial hearing on Thursday, August 14 and formally commencing the case.
While the court ultimately found in favor of the City in the case of our 2009 ballot initiative, we are confident of overcoming the City’s challenge to the High-Rise Safety Initiative. Our level of confidence going into the campaign has not changed upon reviewing the City Clerk’s certificate and stated reasons for blocking the petition. There remains a significant chance that the voters will be able to vote on the High-Rise Safety Initiative come November 4th. We expect the case to be decided by early to mid-September.
How You Can Help
Now we need to raise $30,000 to fund our litigation costs, and we need at least a 25-person army of volunteers to help with reviewing the challenged signatures.
Fortunately, a generous donor has pledged a matching grant of $15,000 to help us raise the $30,000 we need. Therefore, we are asking you to help us raise the other $15,000 and make sure we take full advantage of the matching grant. Aside from $5,000 to $10,000 more that may be needed for an appeal, this is the final expense for which we will need to fundraise until we are on the ballot. Please donate as generously as you can on our Donate page.
To volunteer, or if you have questions about volunteering, please contact us through our Contact page. If you live in or around New York City and you have any free time during weekdays, we need your help. As our volunteers from 2009 will tell you, it was a fun and gratifying experience, so please join us!