Date: November 16th., 2005
Sent to but not published in the Boston Globe

Massachusetts stands at an important threshold: next Wednesday is the deadline for the submission of Petitions to Town Clerks across the Commonwealth. From the western marches of the State to downtown Boston, volunteers are busy planning hand-in routes, arranging drivers, sorting petitions by town, counting signatures, and estimating what the yield will be – that is how many of the signatures will be deemed valid by the Town Clerks of the 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts.

There are eleven petitions registered in Massachusetts but only ten of their sponsors are actively seeking signatures. They range from animal welfare, through family, healthcare, politics to the  the great issues of war and peace.

I have been working on the Common Cause (and allies) sponsored petition for Redistricting Reform. We have a network of volunteers all across the State. In Union halls across the state, signatures are being gathered. At Republican and Democratic district meetings, signatures are being gathered. At town or council meetings from Truro to Williamstown and from Salem to Fall River we are gathering signatures. At parades and Fall Fairs we are gathering signatures. In the valleys of the Berkshires and on the mudflats of th Essex marshes, we are gathering signatures. In the great shopping malls around Boston, signatures are being gathered. We even had signature gatherers at the opening to the New Ikea store at Stoughton!

We are down to the wire. At the Common Cause office on Temple Place in Boston there is anxiety masked with cautious optimism as we hope that  we'll get 100,000 signatures by the end of this coming weekend.

But we are not yet sure. We need every signature we can gather so, if you want to sign the petition and haven't done so yet, get in touch with Common Cause [617-426-9600;  http://www.commoncause.org/site/pp.asp?c=dkLNK1MQIwG&b=192849} and they will get you a petition in time for you to return it to the office by November 19th. And if you would like to gather additional signatures from your neighbors, that would be even better!

Time Sensitive. Must appear on or before Saturday, November, 19th. 2005.