|former Alaska legislator Ray Metcalfe|
Back on March 22nd, I interviewed former legislator, Ray Metcalfe, who was the first person to put serious thoughts together on a direct appeal to voters.
I posted the video at Youtube, facebook, twitter, and at my blog. I linked to it at the comments of several news stories to which commenters were lamenting SB 21's inexorable progress.
Here's the March 22nd interview again:
His ideas evolved, with critical input coming back to him from a number of people who have sponsored or initiated referenda or initiatives in the past. Last week, as it became obvious that the state house and senate would reconcile their minor differences on the bill, Metcalfe was sought out, and a series of meetings on the mechanics of how to organize, write, distribute and deliver the necessary paperwork for such an appeal to Alaskans, began.
Ray invited me to participate, as a past colleague on some of his projects, and as a person seriously motivated to get this issue on the 2014 statewide ballot. I couldn't make it to Friday's organizing meeting, but was there for Monday's meeting.
I took away a couple of deep impressions from the meeting. The most indelible was seeing former Wally Hickel aide Malcolm Roberts, former legislator and gubernatorial candidate Chancy Croft, former Anchorage mayor Jack Roderick, and former legislator and constitutional convention participant, Vic Fischer, all sitting together at one end of the table. What a stunning group of four men, with a collective set of accomplishments, memories and stories about our short statehood experience, second to none.
There were a number of Republicans present, a lot of independents participating, and a few Alaska Natives. A fair number of people from around the state attended telephonically.
My second deep impression was that all these people understand the urgency of getting a viable referendum petition, clearly legal in its construction, out to all the districts, as soon as possible. They also understand the need for the public to see this process for what it truly is - a bipartisan move to thwart some of the worst legislation we've ever been dealt.
There should be an announcement from this statewide, bipartisan citizens' group sometime Tuesday afternoon.