Vindy.com: LTE: Outside money suppresses voice of people in Y’town; the time has come to act

Vindy.com: LTE: Outside money suppresses voice of people in Y’town; the time has come to act

Aug 13, 2017

Residents of Youngstown concerned about our community, our water and our health have tried for years to pass a local law asserting our right to do so. I am one of those residents.

Each attempt has been fiercely opposed by those who have much to gain, but little to lose because they don’t live in Youngstown. These opponents provide large amounts of money to defeat the people’s initiative. I mean a lot of cash, like 50-1 compared to what the people can raise and spend. This money and other support comes from unions, chambers of commerce and even political parties that do not want the people to have an equal voice in the election process.

In a way, it is a form of voter suppression because their paid messages can be so “loud” that the people’s message is suppressed. For every glossy color mailer you get telling you to vote against the people’s proposed initiative, to the dozens of robo-calls telling voters how to vote, to the people at every polling location telling voters to oppose the people’s initiative – the opposition buys the results they want.

This is why “we the people” felt it was time to level the playing field in Youngstown elections. Besides limiting how much can be donated to a local campaign, only voters of Youngstown can make contributions to campaigns. We also felt that in order to give more residents a fair chance at running for office and to allow all voters to choose who they feel would be the best candidate to represent them, local elections should be nonpartisan.

If we really believe that the people who live in Youngstown should be the ones making the decisions for Youngstown, then please support the People’s Bill of Rights for Fair Elections and Access to Local Government.

Randy Younkin, Youngstown