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The situation in Ferguson Missouri is obviously atrocious.  

What I find astonishing is that Ferguson is roughly 68% African American, but the City Council has only one black  member out of six, a white mayor, a white police chief and of the 53 police officers, only 3 are black.  

How could this be?  Well I note in the City Charter that municipal elections are held in April, not November.   So it stands to reason that turnout in April was very low.  I can't obtain election results from St. Louis county at the moment, their web site is down.   So I'm guessing.

But it also appears that Missouri State law provides for the recall of municipal officials.  Petitions must include the signatures of 25% of registered voters which should not be too hard to do at this point.  

The Mayor and Council members serve three year terms.  According to State Law, recall is possible for any official after they have been in office for 6 months.  The grounds for recall are "misconduct in office, incompetence, and failure to perform duties."

Again, that standard should not be hard to meet in this situation.  I've noticed the Mayor and members of Council have been virtually invisible in this ordeal.  They've said almost nothing and clearly are doing nothing to reign in a police chief that is clearly out of control.  

Ferguson is clearly a place that has been changing rapidly.  In 1990 Ferguson was 74% white.  In 2000 it was 45% white but by 2010, only 29%.  

But if you look at the City's official web site, the photos tell you a very different story.

While obviously investigations of the killing of Michael Brown must go forward and hopefully justice will be done.  

But the heart of this problem resides in who controls City government and the mechanism is there to change that.    It seems to me its time to use it.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Most citizens didn't vote; maybe they need a (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, Mopshell, Denise Oliver Velez

    GOTV campaign there.

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 07:41:21 AM PDT

  •  it will be interesting; it is my guess that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior

    Ferguson, like many other small towns, is mostly owned by people who share 3 or 4 family names.  It is also my guess that these people also have a great deal of personal and family "juice" and that their connections go far, wide and deep.  Now the mayor and council may not be official members of The Families but there are historical connections there, be sure of it

    What are all of the requirements for a recall election and who would stand for the offices?  So far the protests have not had clear leaders emerge at this point, it seems.  It seems to me that there would be several chokepoints where a recall could be scotched in the birthing as legislators rarely write laws that inconvenience themselves

    •  Not sure of all the logistics but the mechanisim (0+ / 0-)

      is there.  Petitions have to be properly drawn up of course.  Don't know how replacement would happen.

      But my guess is they could reach that 25% threshold of registered voters within a week.

      •  How about starting with... (5+ / 0-)

        A voter registration drive in Ferguson? I'm guessing that there are a lot of people who aren't even registered. A lot of people--not just in Ferguson, but everywhere--have come to believe that their votes "don't matter." That's what I've found when I've participated in reg. drives, anyway. The situation in Ferguson offers a great opportunity to demonstrate that voting is important and that elections have consequences.  The recall that the diarist is suggesting could have even more meaning and clout with more registered voters.

        Life's a dance you learn as you go; sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow.

        by gloriasb on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 08:10:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Ferguson City charter recall provisions (0+ / 0-)

    Only 15% of registered voters required.
    https://library.municode.com/...

    In Fullerton, CA local conservative activists and bloggers used the death of Kelly Thomas, a mentally ill homeless (white) person, by the hands of police as a trigger to a successful recall election. They showed up at the protests (they had weekly protests outside the police station up until the trial started) and successfully forced it to happen, with 2/3 of people voting to recall.

    Community activists need to combine recall petition signing with GOTV. November elections are only three months away and voter registration is sorely needed during the next few months. Have them sign voter registration forms, then at an appropriate newsworthy time roll out a recall signature gathering. Have the mayor of Ferguson clips on CNN on Youtube and roll that out if anyone needs a reminder on how out of touch he is.

  •  Voter Registration (0+ / 0-)

    From what I've been reading and hearing, Ferguson has been undergoing rapid, dramatic demographic change. It takes time for leadership to emerge.  My hope is that the murder of Michael Brown will raise a whole generation of leaders, and motivate thousands of citizens to register AND vote.  

    It may be that the horrible events of the past week will help the fledgling grassroots organizations gain visibility and find ways of working together.  The progressive community should do its best (our best) to support all efforts along these lines.

    Ken Kimsey
    Metro Atlanta, GA

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