People are often unaware of all of the rights they possess. An important, but often overlooked, right is a citizen’s right to petition their government. Very few individuals exercise this right, but it is available to everyone and can make a significant impact on communities.
Your Right To Petition The Government
The right to petition the government is one of the oldest rights, not just in the United States, but throughout the western world. It dates as far bag as the Magna Carta, which was signed in 1215 to help limit the powers of the monarchy and give rights back to the people. The right to petition the government was then also included in the English Bill of Rights of 1689 before making its way into the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
How Petitioning The Government Works
If a citizen wants to put a certain issue in front of voters, he or she will need to file a petition with the Texas Secretary of State or the local City Secretary’s office where they want the issue to be voted on. The petition must include a minimum number of signatures from eligible voters in order to be put on the ballot. While the number of signatures can vary from city to city, in Houston, citizens filing a petition need at least 20,000 signatures. Once a person or group has collected the requisite number of signatures, those signatures will need to be verified by the City Secretary or Secretary of State. Once verified, the issue is placed on the ballot in the next election.
Petitioning The Government Is Incredibly Important
It is incredibly important that citizens have their voices heard. Oftentimes, elected representatives and other officials ignore the issues most important to us. By petitioning the government, citizens can bring these important issues into the spotlight for voters to decide on. The ability to petition the government is a crucial part of our democracy and no one should infringe upon this right.
Feldman & Feldman Will Fight For Your Rights
Even though citizens are guaranteed the right to petition the government, some officials will get in the way of individuals and groups exercising this right. When this occurs, Feldman & Feldman can help you fight for your rights. We’ve worked with organizations to protect their right to petition the government and have extensive experience in election law. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss how we can help.