Greetings Culpeper citizens! My name is Jon Russell and I am starting an organization called All Voters Welcome in Culpeper (AVWC). We are a non-partisan coalition of voters. The purpose of AVWC is to start a referendum in Culpeper to move the town elections from May of every even year to November of every odd year. This change will approximately save the town of Culpeper $12,000 per election cycle and increase voter participation from 10 percent to 37 percent.
Many attempts have been made to ask the Town Council to move the election date through the legislative process. I have even presented a draft ordinance to council as a framework to enact the election change. Unfortunately the council’s reception to my ordinance has been a mixed bag of compliments and opposition with no majority leadership on the issue. The uncertainty of the council has now led me to the point of moving forward on a referendum to the people.
I have been in contact with campaign organizers of a referendum in Leesburg. They moved their city election through the referendum process with 80 percent of the vote. With their help I have put together legal ballot language which must be submitted to the court before anything else can move forward.
One way you can help expedite this process is to find an attorney willing to submit our paperwork to the court, preferably pro-bono.
AVWC will be having our first organizational meeting on Thursday, Feb. 21, from 6 p.m.-7 p.m. at the Culpeper County Library conference room. We will be discussing the referendum process and what immediate steps we can take to get this on the fall ballot.
The public and media are welcome to attend.
If you are on Facebook, I encourage you to join 105 of us already committed to this process. https://www.facebook.com/allvoterswelcome?fref=ts
On Twitter @Jon_Russell