Not all citizens have the good fortune to have the democratic processes available to them that California does.
These processes provide us with a way to maintain accountability and integrity in our local governments.
First and foremost, of course, it is important that everyone exercises his/her right to vote. The other democratic processes available to citizens who want to express disfavor with local government is to utilize the initiative, referendum and recall processes.
Petition signature gathering is a formal part of these processes; or when used alone, it is an informal way of expressing support for an opinion.
These democratic tools (voting, initiative, referendum and recall) are very important to citizens who want to make sure that government is responsive to their wishes and needs.
Additionally, to make good use of my vote, I have decided to never vote for a candidate who sends negative ” hit pieces” out on the opposition candidate. These often come out at the last minute, so those who cast their ballots early will not be able to consider this information when voting.
This negative propaganda not only demeans the election process but keeps good candidates from wanting to enter the political arena.