If at first you don’t succeed … well, you know the rest. That old saw could be the motto for the Riverfront East Alliance (REAL), which is determined to pass an ordinance prohibiting casinos on the riverfront despite a recent setback. Last month REAL collected 4,416 signatures in an effort to place its proposed ordinance on the November ballot. Unfortunately for the group, it fell just 567 signatures shy of the 4,983 needed to give voters a chance to slap down Mayor Dennis Archer’s “world-class” plan at the polls in November.
Undaunted, the REAL crew is continuing to gather the requisite signatures, which is 3 percent of all votes cast for the office of mayor at the preceding general election. If they succeed, the Detroit City Council has three options for enacting the ordinance, according to REAL’s interpretation of the City Charter: 1) hold a special election; 2) adopt the ordinance based on the signatures collected; or 3) place the initiative on the September 2001 primary ballot.
“We got our 4,983rd signature on Saturday,” says REAL President Bob Jackman. “Any more signatures will be a safety factor in case the city clerk throws out any as invalid. But we know our signatures are of high quality, so we don’t think we need a whole lot more.”
To be on the safe side, REAL hopes to collect at least 6,000 by July 24. To find out how you can help, call 313-438-4143.Ann Mullen contributed to News Hits, which is edited by Curt Guyette. He can be reached at 313-202-8004 or [email protected]