: REBORN POLICE PETITION - WHAT TO DO NOW?

Dear Ron,

I am heartbroken (not just frustrated, like Starchild seems to be)
that we once again had to set the opportunity for an initiative
aside. If I am reading the situation correctly, what stopped us was
money. No money, no initiative. So, we settled for the next best, a
petition. I have asked this question before, but here it goes
again: What is the difference between a non-binding petition and a
probably-non-binding-because-we-could-not-afford-an-attorney
initiative? So, we go through the motion of submitting the initiative
to an attorney (law practitioner? Lexis-Nexis? law student?) and find
a translator who can translate economically, then we do the same
thing with the resulting probably-non-binding-initiative as we would
do with the for-sure-non-binding petition.

I am not in favor of an expensive initiative (or an expensive
anything else), but does an initiative really, really, really have to
be expensive? Can we have a half-baked one?

BTW, you are correct that the subject on the table right now is the
Police Initiative, not any other.

If you read this far, thank you!!

Marcy

--- In lpsf-activists@yahoogroups.com, Ron Getty <tradergroupe@...>
wrote:
>
> Dear Starchild;
>
> Since you will be asking them for a legal opinion you should be
prepared to pay a retainer for their services. This is due to the
fact that you are asking them to analysis the Oakland Measure Z and
provide a legal opinion as to whether or not it could be done in San
Francisco.
>
> Based on the expertise you will be retaining and the time
required to read the Oakland Proposition Z and provide you with a
legal opinion I am estimating some 2-3 hours time minimum. You should
expect to pay them some $800 - $1,000 as retainer for their written
legal opinion.
>
> Based on the fact the LPSF does not have such a measure before it
or approved such a measure I would have to ask you to please leave
the LPSF out of your discussion.
>
> Please use your membership in any of the marijuana groups you may
belong to where you have an Executive Committee position or something
similar.
>
> Or better yet present yourself as an individual who is active in
such matters and that you are asking for a legal opinion to present
to such groups and you will pay the appropriate legal retainer fee
for such services.
>
> As far as your personal opinion as to the attorneys snowing us. I
presume you are referring to the Police Intiative and the problem of
writing an initiative which is not valid because it is an
administrative initiative.
>
> All three firms said the same thing. When you have three firms
saying the same thing I DO NOT believe it is a snow job.
>
> On the matter of fees.You are comparing apples and oranges by
comparing a fee from a criminal attorney for a relatively simple
prostitution case versus a fee from experienced initiative attorney.
>
> Experienced attorneys with specific legal expertise based on some
15 - 25 years or more of specific legal work can and do charge $300 -
$350 per hour or more. The range of fees were the same at all three
firms. All three also would adjust their fees to work we could
perform against work they would perform.
>
> There were no surprises there for the fees charged. Since I also
work for an attorney I can state those fees are reasonable and
competitive for the specific services being provided. The estimates
of total fees are based on the estimates of total time required for
the full range of services.
>
> As a Libertarian and based on statements you have made in various
e-mails I am certain you are aware of free market competition. In
other words, you pay for what you get. If you want expertise you pay
for it.
>
> Now most importantly on the likelihood of a Police Initiative
which can direct the police department in assigning personnel.
>
> This is the web site for the City and Union agreements known as
Memorandum Of Understanding. It has all 46 some City/union agreements
in PDF files.
>
> [http://www.sfgov.org/site/dhr_index.asp?id=30852](http://www.sfgov.org/site/dhr_index.asp?id=30852)
>
> Go down to the PDF agreement for the Police Officers Association
and read the whole Agreement. This is something I recommend everyone
on this list also do. I have done so and it gives some very strong
insight into how the SFPD assigns personnel by union agreement.
>
> Starchild - just for you - lucky guy you.
>
> After reading the Agreement and noting how the Police Department
assigns personnel based on the Union Agreement please write out a
simple essay as to how a Police Initiative WOULD NOT void that
agreement.
>
> Or cause that Agreement to be re-written based on how the City
and the POA union agreed to allow the assignment of police officers
to their various duties which would not require a new agreement to be
negotiated requiring the POA to place the new agreement before the
membership for approval.
>
> A simple 500 or word less essay should do the trick. Okay???
>
> Please note the same would apply to a salary cap initiative and
in that case apply to all 46 City/Union agreemenst. This is why the
time and fees would be substantially greater than a simple police
initative. $6,000 -$7,000 vs. estimated $15,000 - $20,000.
>
> After you have done the essay thing and also agreed to leave the
LPSF out on the Marijuana thing and stop trying to beat a dead horse
on the Police Initiative I'll be delighted to give you the attorneys
to talk to.
>
> So long as you agree not to bring up the police initiative at
these firms as I am certain at some time in the future we may
actually retain the services of any one of those firms.
>
> I personally do not want to see the waters muddied creating
difficulties in engaging any one of those firms services when we
would need to do so.
>
> No matter how many people think there are too many attorneys the
SF world of attorneys is small. Everyone knows everyone. The LPSF
does not need to get a flaky reputation among the attorneys we may
need for help in the future.
>
> I an certain you can appreciate this simple request and the
reasons for this request.
>
> You are as always free to call on the firms any time you wish as
a private individual this is your right as a Libertarian - free
assocaition and all that good stuff.
>
> Thank You For Your Considerations In Ths Matter
>
> Ron Getty
> SF Libertarian
>
> Starchild <sfdreamer@...> wrote:
> Ron,
>
> Can you send the contact info for the attorneys you spoke with? I'd
> like to ask them whether something like Oakland's Measure Z, which
> passed in 2004 would fly here, and if not, why not. Measure Z
made "law
> enforcement related to private adult cannabis (marijuana) use,
> distribution, sale, cultivation and possession, the City's lowest
law
> enforcement priority; (2) to lobby to legalize, tax and regulate
> cannabis for adult private use, distribution, sale, cultivation and
> possession" (see
[http://www.smartvoter.org/2004/11/02/ca/alm/meas/Z/](http://www.smartvoter.org/2004/11/02/ca/alm/meas/Z/) ).
>
> I think we ought to be able to model our measure on this without
too
> much difficulty. Maybe it wouldn't be as specific as we'd like, but
> we'd have the potential for getting something technically binding
on
> the books. We could charge the Police Commission with
implementation
> rather than creating a new commission as Measure Z did, and mandate
> that they automatically get .05% of the Police Department's budget
or
> something (they need more funding to reign in the police anyway).
> Mandatory set-asides are certainly legal as ballot measures -- it
was
> tried in 2004 in SF (albeit unsuccessfully in that case) with
> Proposition L, the "Save Our Theaters" initiative.
>
> Note that Measure Z apparently *is* being implemented in Oakland
(see
> [http://www.drugpolicy.org/news/061505measurez.cfm](http://www.drugpolicy.org/news/061505measurez.cfm) ) despite the
Oakland
> City Attorney's office arguing before the election that it was
> unconstitutional and illegal (scroll down to read "Arguments
Against
> Measure Z" on the SmartVoter page link above). I think these
attorneys
> are snowing us. And asking way too much money to boot. Do you trust
> Louise Renne's office? I don't. She's a political insider. If I can
> find a lawyer to file pre-trial motions and defend me in court for
> $3000, we ought to be able to do way better than the costs being
cited
> for our initiative. The translations should cost little or nothing -
-
> we have connections we've used before to people who speak Spanish
and
> Chinese.
>
> Yours in liberty,
> <<< starchild >>>
>
>
> On Wednesday, April 12, 2006, at 11:05 AM, Ron Getty wrote:
>
> > Dear Starchild;
> >
> > At the last LPSF meeting I discussed the fact that all the
attorneys I
> > spoke with were very direct on the fact that based on court
rulings
> > and case law the Police Initiative could not be an administrative
> > initiative. Therefore the Initiative could not be made binding.
> >
> > The Initiative could say we would like this to happen but we
could not
> > demand that this happen.
> >
> > Secondly, based on a very recent Federal District court ruling
the
> > full Initiative Petition circulars and all material filings would
be
> > required to be done in Hispanic and Chinese. This is an
additional
> > incurred cost for translation services above the standard legal
costs
> > of qualifying the ballot initiative and all additional filing
> > requirements.
> >
> > It was decided to change the Initiative to a Petition simply
because
> > there would be no translation costs, no legal fees and the
Petition
> > could be circulated by anyone and signed by any San Francisco
> > resident. There would be no voter registration requirements for
signer
> > or circulators.
> >
> > The second priority initiative is the Salary Cap Initiative. This
> > would require a Charter amendment. This is based on the fact that
> > there are some 46 union Memorandum of Understandings between the
City
> > and various unions. Go to this web site at SFGov for copies of
those
> > agreements.
> >
> > [http://www.sfgov.org/site/dhr_index.asp?id=30852](http://www.sfgov.org/site/dhr_index.asp?id=30852)
> >
> > Read any or try the Police Department on. It makes for very
> > interesting reading.
> >
> > Secondly there were previous Ballot propositions approved by the
> > voters directing how salaries were determined by various
averaging
> > methods.
> >
> > Each of these propositions and union agreements would have to be
> > specifically addressed in the Circulating Initiative. This means
it is
> > absolutely crucial that legal counsel be hired to write the
Initiative
> > because of these pre-existing laws.
> >
> > Total guesstimated costs for just the legal aspects would be an
easy
> > $15,000 - $20,000 plus translation costs. To cover the minimum of
some
> > 50,000 verified registered voter signatures you would have to
collect
> > some 75,000 - 80,000 signatures.
> >
> > To place this on the November ballot this would have to wrapped
up by
> > July 10 which is the final date for submission of signatures for
> > verification for placing on the ballot.
> >
> > We as an organization do not have this type of money or
membership. To
> > get help we would need the other political parties and community
> > groups for bodies and dollars.
> >
> > It was determined a Petition process would make this possible by
> > presenting tens of thousands of signatures to the Mayor
Supervisors
> > the Police Chief and the Police Commission as a very viable
> > alternative to a costly Police Initiative process.
> >
> > This whole Petition process is set to be discussed at the next
LPSF
> > meeting but as Marcy suggested creating a framework before hand
would
> > be advisable.
> >
> > Ron Getty
> > SF Libertarian
> >
> > Starchild wrote:
> >
> > Marcy,
> >
> > I am very confused. All this time you've been saying that you
don't
> > any "resolutions," only measures with teeth. But now you're
excited
> > about circulating a petition which won't even result in putting a
> > measure on the ballot?
> >
> > A resolution that will be voted on by the electorate will...
> >
> > (a) be a lot more newsworthy
> > (b) be more apt to be taken seriously by the politicians
> > (c) be seen by a lot more people, and
> > (d) do more to put the LPSF on the map and make our actions part
of the
> > public record
> >
> > ...than a petition that won't.
> >
> > My suggestion is we stick with the plan to put a measure on the
ballot
> > (and hopefully get it passed). Write it to make it as binding as
we
> > legally can, and go with that. If it turns out that we really
can't say
> > *anything* about police priorities that will be legally binding
> > (something I find difficult to believe but will try to do some
more
> > research on), then let's go with our second priority initiative.
> >
> > Yours in liberty,
> > <<< starchild >>>
> >
> >
> > On Tuesday, April 11, 2006, at 10:04 AM, Amarcy D. Berry wrote:
> >
> > > Dear All,
> > >
> > > Ron has a great list with which to start our Police Redeployment
> > > plans. I am hoping that after our campaing Pam from KPOO will
no
> > > longer be asking if Libertarianism is "part of that whole
socialist
> > > thing" (see Derek's post on Discussion Group). The campaing
could be
> > > an effective vehicle to positively introduce ourselves, and make
> > > mention of our political candidates, as well as a chance to
> > > contribute to the efforts of cutting down violent crime in San
> > > Francisco.
> > >
> > > I would be pleased to assist in this campaign once we get
around to
> > > formulating some concrete plan of action.
> > >
> > > Marcy
> > >
> > >
> > > --- In lpsf-activists@yahoogroups.com, Ron Getty
> > > wrote:
> > > >
> > > > Dear Marcy and Everyone Else : -- )
> > > >
> > > > To answer your question this is some of what could take
place to
> > > garner seventy eleven hundreds of dozens of thousands of Police
> > > Redeployment Petition signatures:
> > > >
> > > > 1. Contact the respective Chairs: Democratic - Republican -
Green
> > > parties and present a copy of the authorized version of the
> > > Redeployment Petition.
> > > >
> > > > 2. With the approval of the respective party chairs get on
the
> > > meeting agenda of the next available County Party meeting.
> > > >
> > > > 3. Get the Redeployment Petition approved by County Party
> > > membership. Get signatures at the meeting. Get volunteer
Petition
> > > circulators.
> > > >
> > > > Due to the fact voter registration is not required just
residency
> > > in San Francisco this opens the Petiton to all San Franciscans
and
> > > any San Franciscan to circulate a Petition.
> > > >
> > > > 4. Get a definitive list of all Community Organizations and
do
> > > the same as above.
> > > >
> > > > 5. Get a definitive list of all Local Political Party
> > > Organizations and do all of the above.
> > > >
> > > > 6. Get a definitive list of Community Cultural
Organizations and
> > > do the same as above.
> > > >
> > > > 7. Get a definitive list of all local Religious
Organizations and
> > > do the same as above.
> > > >
> > > > 8. Get a definitive list of all local Business
Organizations and
> > > do the same as above.
> > > >
> > > > 9. Get a definitive list of all local Community Events and
do
> > > tables
> > > >
> > > > 10. Take ads out in newspapers with copy of the Petition and
> > > place for signatures
> > > >
> > > > 11. Do neighborhood door hanger campaigns with copy of
petition
> > > and place for signature.
> > > >
> > > > 12. Do web site with place to download signable petition -
> > > circulate the web site.
> > > >
> > > > 13. Write letters to Editors and newspaper reporters about
the
> > > petition.
> > > >
> > > > 14. Petition local newstalk radio shows about the petition
and
> > > getting air time.
> > > >
> > > > 15. Get local TV stations to give air time on local talk
shows
> > > about petition and police.
> > > >
> > > > 16. Button hole all the Supervisors by people in
Supervisors
> > > districts.
> > > >
> > > > This is just a sample of what could or should maybe
possibly done
> > > to get the Petitoion out there.
> > > >
> > > > Please read the UPGRADED - Redeployment Petiton it is
posted on
> > > the Activists List Under Files.
> > > >
> > > > Ron Getty
> > > > SF Libertarian
> > > >
> > > > "Amarcy D. Berry" wrote:
> > > > Dear Ron,
> > > >
> > > > Once again, thank you for your immense positiveness and
spirit of
> > > > cooperation...and for so quickly morphing the initiative into
a
> > > > petition.
> > > >
> > > > It would seem to me that starting with a petition, which does
not
> > > > call for our committing to raise $8,000 by May or June, seems
more
> > > > appropriate for us, given our current peoplepower.
> > > >
> > > > I like the petition as is. But you can guess what my
suggestion
> > > > would be: remove "lack of concern", and substitute with
something
> > > > like "It has become necessary for the People of the City and
County
> > > > of San Francisco to communicate to the Mayor, the Board of
> > > > Supervisors......(etc) the People's need to see our Police
> > > Department
> > > > re-delploy its resources to concentrate on major
crimes......etc.
> > > >
> > > > I am wondering if there is interest to have by the next
meeting a
> > > > list of places to go and people to meet, as well as a time
line to
> > > > accomplish the events. I realize we do not have a formal
committee
> > > > in place yet, but I personally see no reason why any and all
of us
> > > > could not start offering suggestions. I am thinking that we
might
> > > > want to use election time, coming up pretty soon in June, when
> > > people
> > > > are attuned to politics to do some petitioning.
> > > >
> > > > Marcy
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > --- In lpsf-activists@yahoogroups.com, Ron Getty
> > > > wrote:
> > > > >
> > > > > Dear Everyone;
> > > > >
> > > > > At yesterdays LPSF meeting due to a variety of factors it
was
> > > > determined that the Police Initiative should be re-born as a
Police
> > > > Petition.
> > > > >
> > > > > Some of the factors involved:
> > > > >
> > > > > Money. As at its most basic needs it would require at
least
> > > > $6,000 and with the now required translation in two additional
> > > > languages possibly another $1,000.
> > > > >
> > > > > Gathering at least 16,000 signatures.
> > > > >
> > > > > Meeting all the legal standards to qualify the Initiative
for
> > > the
> > > > ballot.
> > > > >
> > > > > Definitively being able to obtain co-operation of the
other
> > > major
> > > > parties and community groups to assist in funding and petition
> > > > circulating.
> > > > >
> > > > > Having LPSF members who could do the necessary work in
> > > > introducing the proposed initiative to the other parties and
> > > > community groups.
> > > > >
> > > > > The Police Initiative by law could not be binding and
would
> > > only
> > > > be a non-binding public policy statement. It could not be an
> > > > administrative initiative which would specifically direct the
> > > > activities of police personnel by law.
> > > > >
> > > > > Therefore it was voted to make the Police Initiative a
Police
> > > > Petition. All activities and further discussion on this to be
done
> > > at
> > > > the May 13 LPSF meeting.
> > > > >
> > > > > I have attached a copy of a sample of what could be said
which
> > > > could then be presented as a petition. I have also included a
> > > partial
> > > > list of the activities which would be required of LPSF
members to
> > > > gather enough signatures as a Petition.
> > > > >
> > > > > The Petition is for discussion purposes it is not
definitive.
> > > The
> > > > LPSF would have to concur as a group to approve doing the
petition
> > > > process with an appointed select committee to formulate the
> > > petition
> > > > and make it happen.
> > > > >
> > > > > Some of the activities to be considered which would
require
> > > > participation would include:
> > > > >
> > > > > Presenting to other political parties and community
groups for
> > > > their support and the circulation of the petitions.
> > > > >
> > > > > Publicity campaigns in newspapers or radio newstalk shows.
> > > Doing
> > > > mailers - postcards - newsletters - telephone campaigns -
fund
> > > > raising and any other activity which would garner support and
> > > > signatures.
> > > > >
> > > > > Once enough signatures had been gathered say at least
10,000 -
> > > > 15,000 then presenting to the Mayor and the Board of
Supervisors
> > > and
> > > > Chief of Police and Police Commission etc etc etc.
> > > > >
> > > > > Ron Getty
> > > > > SF Libertarian
> > > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
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