Citizen activists push for voting reforms

12/11/07 Robert Lorei
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A new group has started a petition drive to elect Hillsborough County Commissioners from seven single-member districts, replacing the current system which consists of three at-large commissioners and four district commissioners.

Two Hillsborough activists backing this plan are Pat Kemp with Citizens for Equal County Representation and Mariella Smith with United Citizens Action Network. They were in the WMNF studios to discuss the concept. Their hope is that single member districts will make the Hillsborough County Commission more diverse and less beholden to big money interests.

Mariella and Pat were joined by Susan Chapman, an attorney in Sarasota who was chair of Sarasotans For Good Government. Her group was involved in the recent, successful effort in Sarasota to pass campaign donation limits, make campaign donations more transparent, institute instant runoff voting, and require a supermajority for changing the comprehensive plan.

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