Oct 29, 2012

Allentown's Referendum History

Dan Poresky announces referendum
In 1998, the Neighborhood Community Groups, under the leadership of Tom Burke, organized the first referendum under the new City Charter of 1996. The ballot question asked the voters in the following 1999 May primary if they supported a rental licensing law, rejected that previous fall by City Council. This coming May, voters for the second time in our charter history may be asked a question. The new referendum effort is being headed by citizen activist Dan Poresky, and is designed to stop Pawlowski's effort to privatize the water system. As reported in The Morning Call on November 26, 1998.
The petitions were collected by more than 80 volunteers beginning in earnest at Allentown polling stations on Election Day. Burke said 10 or 15 of the volunteers still have not turned in their petition forms, so the actual number of signatures collected might be even greater than the 2,700 names turned over to City Clerk Michael C. Hanlon.
While Burke and the neighborhood groups were organizing to put the issue directly to the voters, property managers were also organizing against the licensing law, and conducted a large meeting, with over 150 landlords.
Among those who received an invitation and attended the meeting was Edward Pawlowski, executive director of the Alliance for Building Communities, a nonprofit organization that works to return apartment buildings to single-family, owner-occupied homes. "The thing that impressed me most was how many people turned out," said Pawlowski. "It was a packed house."
In 1998, Tom Burke said that he wasn't heading a special interest group with money, and that they had to speak directly to the voters.  Likewise, in 2012,  Dan Poresky is facing the well financed private water industry,  and wants  the homeowners to decide the fate of their water system.

photocredit:Colin McEvoy/The Express Times

This blogger was part of the landlord group opposed to the rental inspection law in 1998

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It should noted that the current mayor was not supporting
the rental inspection regulations.