It’s not easy gathering 21,000 signatures during a pandemic.
City Council representative Kshama Sawant and advocates for a new tax on Seattle’s largest businesses are calling for changes in the rules governing signature gathering in the city during the COVID-19 crisis.
The group Tax Amazon announced Monday that the National Lawyers Guild is joining the fight to move the process online:
Across the country, organizers are evaluating the way forward for signature gathering for citizen-lead ballot initiatives and grassroots candidates. Organizers cannot canvass to collect paper signatures while respecting the scientist-recommended and necessary social distancing measures to prevent the spread of COVID19. Citizen-led ballot initiatives are an integral tool for working-class people to exercise democracy under this highly unequal political system. The National Lawyers Guild is standing alongside the Tax Amazon campaign to call on city and state governments to protect democratic rights during the pandemic. In the absence of online signatures, campaigns will be forced to rely on extremely expensive mass mailing campaigns, which will disproportionately benefit corporate-backed campaigns.