"The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government" - George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796
A NEW MOVEMENT IS SWEEPING THE NATION! Ordinary people are getting fed up with their state and federal governments. They’re frustrated with their voices being ignored and elected officials pursuing their own agendas and those of vested special interests.
Connecticut Citizens for Ballot Initiative, “CCBI” is an organization committed to improving the lives of every citizen of Connecticut by giving them the ability of directly having a say in the laws of the State of Connecticut. By having ballot initiative Law in Connecticut, citizens will have a voice of their own, and will finally have the ability to say “NO” when their elected officials ignore them, usurp too much power from the people, tax and spend without regard to the cost on the ordinary citizen, and blatantly disregard the wishes of the people of this great state.
We can make a difference! As you join us and support our organization, we will be able to identify candidates who support ballot initiative legislation, and then support them with our endorsements, donations, and campaigning, as they seek office, while advocating our message, so that the ballot initiative can become the law of the land.
Look below under News and Current Events at the 2012 Candidate Scoreboard to see which candidates
have declared their support of Ballot Initiative Legislation in their
response to our question:
Do you support Connecticut citizens having the right to a statewide initiative and referendum mechanism?
Our volunteer base is growing daily as citizens have found a voice and have a renewed sense of hope. You too can have a voice.. Sign up to receive our newsletter, or call to volunteer. Call Now! 860-644-2431.
"I believe in the Initiative and Referendum, which should be used not to destroy representative government, but to correct it whenever it becomes unrepresentative". - President Teddy Roosevelt
"Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories" Thomas Jefferson - 1781
"I believe that people should have the right to petition their government." - Frm. Gov. Jodi Rell - October 14, 2008
Understanding the Citizen Ballot Initiative - a short presentationby attorney and past State Representative John J. Woodcock III
This is an issue that resonates with CT Voters
CT’s Democrat Legislators DO NOT WANT the citizens to have this right.
Across the nation this issues breaks primarily RED and BLUE.
About 1/2 of the US states have this citizen right.
Over 35 states have some form of it.
Young people overwhelmingly support it.
The Malloy administration is vehemently opposed to it —in fact almost all Democrats as reflected in the 2010 election.
In the 2010 Connecticut state elections, gubernatorial candidates Republican Tom Foley and Independent Tom Marsh, and the Green and Libertarian Partiesendorsed Connecticut having initiative and referendum rights.
In that election, more than half the Republican legislative candidates endorsedinitiative and referendum, while the entire Democratic political establishment ducked it.
In the 2010 election at a debate between 64th House District GOP candidate Kathy Lauretano versus Democrat Rep. Roberta Willis, when this question was asked - Should CT citizens have the right for a Citizen Ballot Initiative?, Rep. Willis said "NO." She insinuated that the legislators know better than the citizens and that this citizen right would disrupt the legislative process and hinder the legislature from getting its work done.
The short lecture and John’s answers to emailed question was recorded and available for listening HERE.
Connecticut Citizens for Ballot Initiative, “CCBI” is a non-partisan, issue neutral political organization that is dedicated to supporting political candidates who support a change in Connecticut Law which will give Connecticut citizens rights and powers through ballot initiative.
CCBI is also committed to educating the citizens of our great State about ballot initiative, and its history in our country.
We are dedicated to improving our community by creating an environment of hope and unity. We promise to work tirelessly to improve conditions in our community and effect positive change in the world around us. We affirm the importance of working together to find solutions.
CCBI will operate lawfully and respectfully in all matters. We will not profit from our endeavors. We are a volunteer organization. We believe in fairness for all. We will not waiver in our conviction to create a better community for all citizens and to provide every Connecticut citizen with a meaningful voice in public policy.
Candidate Scorecard for the 2012 CT State Legislature Races The 2012 Candidate Scorecard for the races for the Connecticut State Legislature has been released. Come see how your candidates feel about giving the citizens of the State of Connecticut the right to a statewide initiative and referendum mechanism.
January 16, 2013 - By John Michak, Journal Inquirer Million-dollar-per day General Assembly - In this Journal Enquirer
article, John Michak reports that The Office of State Ethics has received reports from
lobbyists and their clients detailing the expenditure of $67.9 million
on influencing this session's Legislature. "This article dramatizes the
impact-importance of special interests in Hartford, and sadly
illustrates the total absence of the largest special interest, the
citizens, not being represented", stated CCBI Chair John J. Woodcock. "This
is why Connecticut citizens need an I&R mechanism."
October 19, 2012 - By Ben Zimmer, Executive Director of The Connecticut Policy Institute State Must Wrestle Pension Obligations To The Mat - Hartford Courant
This op-ed details the issues with the State of Connecticut legislature failing to deal with the Connecticut pension crisis. With the right to I&R, the people of Connecticut would have the ability to take action on issues like this when the legislature is unwilling or unable to take action on critical issues such as this.
October 19, 2012 - Editorial, Hartford Courant Sweet Success: 30 Years Of The Lemon Law - Hartford Courant
A great editorial on the Chairman, John J. Woodcock, and his efforts to bring about the Lemon Law, which gave the people of Connecticut an excellent recourse against the auto industry selling defective cars. This has been a proven piece of legislation that has stood for 30 years protecting the people of Connecticut. The chairman is seeking to do the same thing with defective legislation by seeking to bring I&R to the State of Connecticut.
September 27, 2012 - By The Connecticut Policy Institute Initiatives and Referenda: Is Abstinence the Right Policy for Connecticut? The people at the Connecticut Policy Institute takes a balanced approach in looking at this topic for Connecticut. After closely examining the arguments from both sides, including the often cited claim that I&R is the reason behind California's woes, they show that "the skepticism towards direct democracy is grounded in myth and supposition rather than research and analysis". Based on the example of its successful use in Massachusetts, they conclude that the "legislature begin a dialogue about whether Connecticut would benefit from adopting some aspects of direct democracy."
June 12, 2012 - By John J. Woodcock Balance Of Power Needed In Connecticut
Direct Democracy is the only way in Connecticut where the people can be heard over the powerful voices of the entrenched political establishment. That is done with I&R!
May 11, 2012 - By Scott Rasmussen Lugar Loss Highlights Sour Relationship Between Voters and Politicians - Rasmussen Reports
When the Political Class is no longer responsive to what We The People want, it is time to stand up and be heard! Initiative & Referendum is an ideal way to get the Political Class to abide by our wishes!
January 3, 2011 - By Trevor Ford A Safety Valve for Voters-
Citizens In Charge
More and more people are understanding the needs to give the voters a direct voice at the statewide level. Come check out this excellent piece about the process in bringing I&R to South Carolina and how it is well received by the press. The need for this is getting greater and greater for Connecticut!
December 1, 2010 - By Brandon W Holmes European Parliament Moves to Expand European Citizen Initiative Process-
Citizens In Charge
Look! Politicians are giving the citizens increase say in government through Initiative & Referendum. It is happening in Europe, and it can happen in Connecticut, too, if we let our officials know!
November 29, 2010 - By Brandon W Holmes Matsusaka: Legislators More Easily Influenced by Special Interests Than Voters-
Citizens In Charge
This article points out the flaws in the common arguments of opponents of I&R. Just think, is it easier to influence millions of people skeptical of special interests, or a small number of politicians that are actively looking for special interest handouts?
November 18, 2010 - "Church and State" Appearance
WTIC 1080 AM - "Church and State" The chairman of CT
Citizens for Ballet Initiative, Prof. John J. Woodcock, will be a guest, today, 11/18, on WTIV, 1080am. "Church and State" radio program, with Will Morati and John Rowland. The program airs at 4:40 this afternoon. The topic of the program is CCBI's campaign to bring I&R to Connecticut. Come listen in!
October 21, 2010 - Wayne Norman Show Interview (requires Windows Media Player)
WILI 1400 AM - "Wayne Norman Show" The chairman of CT Citizens for Ballet Initiative, Prof. John J. Woodcock, was on the Wayne Norman Show in an extensive interview for 90 minutes to talk about the movement for direct voter initiative in Connecticut, which
26 other states use now. Woodcock also talked about being the proponent
for Connecticut's "Lemon Law" in 1982--the first of its kind in the USA.
October 20, 2010 October 2010 Lilburne Award The October 2010 Lilburne Award, given out by Citizens In Charge to someone who has helped to advance or protect citizens initiative rights, has been awarded to the chairman of CT Citizens for Ballet Initiative, Prof. John J. Woodcock. It is exciting to see that our efforts are being noticed on the national stage, and our hope is that this can be another marker in our march for I&R in Connecticut
October 19, 2010 -
The chairman of CT Citizens for Ballet Initiative, Prof. John J. Woodcock, has his interview with Dan Lovallo on TalkofConnecticut.com, where he talked about the Great Political Divide of candidates supporting I&R, the recent Boston Globe endorsement of Ballot Initiative in CT, and of course the results of our polling question! (Airdate 10/13/10). - WDRC 1360AM
October 18, 2010 - By Brandon W Holmes New Washington State Poll Confirms Wide Popularity of Initiative & Referendum Process- Citizens In Charge
Yet another state weighs in on how much I&R is liked by the people who have it, and says that it works to correct the problems that we face here in CT. Let's be like Massachusetts and Washington State and bring I&R to this state!
October 17, 2010 - By John J. Woodcock III Initiative and referendum become great political divide - The Day
The Day has picked up CCBI chairman Prof. John J. Woodcock's piece on how the people of Connecticut want Initiative and Referendum, but many of the current ruling power do NOT want us to have that right.
October 13, 2010 - By John J. Woodcock III Heed Voters — Allow Ballot Initiatives - Hartford Courant Democrats disdain initiative and referendum - Republican-American
Here, in two different version, is the synopsis of the polling of the Connecticut candidates with regard to our question. Check out the articles to see the difference the candidates take, and to see the importance of electing people that will support us in obtaining the right to Ballot Initiative and Referendum.
October 3, 2010 - Editorial, Boston Globe On balance, referendums are a useful tool for lawmaking- The Boston Globe
Connecticut residents may not know that the majority of the country has some form of ballot initiative & referendum, and those that have I&R knows it works. The Boston Globe, in this article, has just backed our push for ballot initiatives here in CT, using Massachusetts positive experience as a model for how it could be successfully be implemented here!
September 8, 2010 - By Zachary Janowski Leaders outnumber rank and file in General Assembly, extra pay costs more than $700,000- Raising Hale
Leaders in the State Senate and House get extra bonuses to their pay for being leaders. So how many are leaders? Zachary Janowski reveals that in the Senate, they all are, and over 2/3rds of the House is as well. Think that is a big ripoff and want to do something about it? Let's get I&R for Connecticut and we can have a direct say in this.
House and Senate listings by dollar can be found in the article The New Nobility at CTMajority.org
September 7, 2010 - By Joseph Santangelo Lawmakers Avoid Tough Issues - Hartford Courant
What? CT lawmakers are avoiding tough issues like the state deficit or the loss of jobs, and instead passing laws protecting us from chimpanzees? Joseph Santangelo's well-written article lays out how the legislators have done just this and more. So if our legislators can't or won't fix our state problems, then who will? We, the people, could if we had I&R!
September 1, 2010 - Video of CCBI's Press Conference on August 25, 2010 - Citizens In Charge
Thanks to our friends at Citizens In Charge, this video of our press conference is now available. Entitled "The Toolbox Of Democracy", it is a clear presentation of the importance of I&R in a democratic society, as well as a synopsis of the desire in CT and around our country as to the desire for I&R.
August 31, 2010 -
Fresh from the press conference, the chairman of CT Citizens for Ballet Initiative, Prof. John J. Woodcock, has his interview with Dan Lovallo on TalkofConnecticut.com, where he talked about the poll that shows Connecticut citizens overwhelmingly in favor of I&R (Airdate 8/26/10). - WDRC 1360AM
August 25th, 2010 - North Steps, State Capitol, Hartford CT CCBI held it's maiden press conference at the North Steps of the State Capitol on Wednesday, August 25, 2010, at 10:15am. The subject was the release of a poll done by Pulse Opinion Research, part of the Rasmussen Organization, on CT citizen's opinions on bringing an initiative and referendum to Connecticut. CCBI chairman Prof. John J. Woodcock, along with national I&R leaders and candidates from all parties spoke about the poll results. (See Below for Poll Results) Prof. Woodcock's Press Statement Connecticut Citizens Want a Direct Say in Government Connecticut Survey Conducted July 15, 2010 By Pulse Opinion Research
August 25, 2010 - Editorial, Norwich Bulletin OUR VIEW: Citizens have right to make demands- NorwichBulletin.com
An editorial supporting Ballot Initiative in CT. Does an excellent job pointing out how special interest groups oppose Ballot Initiative and have done so in the past. Has the clearest print explanation of the idea of Counter Offer seen so far, and is worth reading just for that section alone!
August 25, 2010 - By Mark Davis Group spurring referendum process in Conn.- News 8 WTNH.com
An excellent and positive report and video encapsulating both the press conference and the I&R position. A must read/see plus WTNH is asking for comments! Let's let them know how we feel!
August 25, 2010 - By Christine Stuart Group Says Connecticut Voters Want A Voice and a Vote- CT News Junkie
A highlight and video of the press conference. The video is an especially good clip where a number of concerns were raised and answered. A Must See! August 23, 2010 - By John Fund America's Insurgent Pollster- The Wall Street Journal
A very illuminating piece on Scott Rasmussen and his polling written by John Fund, who traveled with the chairman of CT Citizens for Ballot Initiative, Prof. John J. Woodcock, to Switzerland on the Direct Democracy tour. A key part of the article is where Scott Rasmussen shares his findings regarding the division between the political class and the rest of America. "The major division in this country is no longer between parties but between political elites and the people". Another reason why I&R is so desperately needed in Connecticut!
July 30-August 4, 2010 - 2010 Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy, San Francisco, CA, UC Hastings College of Law
The Forum was a success and it was well attended by people from all over the globe. The chairman of CT Citizens for Ballot Initiative, Prof. John J. Woodcock, spoke on August 3rd as part of a panel discussion titled Starting Over: The Challenge Of Writing A New Constitution With Direct Democracy. The chairman was joined by representatives from San Francisco and Maryland, as well as international representatives from Germany, Switzerland and Hong Kong.
Click on this Link to see Citizens In Charge President Paul Jacob's opening remarks to the forum on the Citizens In Charge website: http://www.citizensincharge.org/
August 2, 2010 - CCBI Endorsements For Primaries CCBI has released the following endorsements for CT primaries in the August 10th elections.
U.S. Senate, Republican Primary: Peter Schiff
Governor, Republican Primary: Tom Foley
Lt. Governor, Republican Primary: Lisa Wilson-Foley
State Comptroller, Democratic Primary: Michael Jarjura
Attorney General, Republican Primary: Ross Garber
August 1, 2010 - By Dan Balz Rants, ethics charges stoke public's disgust with whole of Congress - Arizona Republic
Bad antics and illegal activities from members of Congress, the people that pass the laws that we all have to obey? If you understand why Congressional approval is at 11%, as this well written article lays out, then you should look into the positive effects of direct democracy!
July 15, 2010 - By John J. Woodcock III Connecticut should provide direct democracy to its citizens? - New Haven Register
A recap of what the chairman of CT Citizens for Ballot Initiative, Prof. John J. Woodcock, found about the benefits of direct democracy in his recent tour of Switzerland and how Connecticut could benefit! A must-read!
July 13, 2010 - By John J. Woodcock III The sovereign power of the people - Journal Enquirer
Op-Ed where the chairman of CT Citizens for Ballot Initiative, Prof. John J. Woodcock talks about how the sovereign power of the people is exercised in Switzerland, and how it could work here.
June 30, 2010 - BREAKING NEWS!
Tom Foley, Gubernatorial Candidate for CT, has come out in favor of Initiative and Referendum! He statement below:
"I favor initiatives and referenda in concept. I am generally in favor of anything that encourages greater voter involvement and improves governments responsiveness to the will of the voters, but it should carry safeguards to ensure it cannot be used in a way that would have unintended consequences, or make it impossible for legislators and the governor to do their jobs on behalf of the people who elected them."
Response from the chairman of CT Citizens for Ballet Initiative, Prof. John J. Woodcock:
" The Connecticut Citizens for Ballot Initiative are delighted to receive Ambassador Foley's YES to a responsible, responsive statewide Initiative and Referendum mechanism. We will be offering proposals that we believe will make the I&R concept acceptable to candidates from all parties. Our focus is and will remain that, of giving Ct. citizens a meaningful voice, so as to make our state government more accountable and responsive to the people."
June 24, 2010 -
Listen to the chairman of CT Citizens for Ballet Initiative, Prof. John J. Woodcock, as he talks to Dan Lovallo on TalkofConnecticut.com. Topics of discussion are the recent Switzerland Tour on Direct Democracy and what is up next in the CCBI campaign - WDRC 1360AM
June 21, 2010 - By Paul Jacob Dank der Direct Democracy - Citizens In Charge
Is "Direct Democracy" through I&R good or bad for business and economic growth? The data is in for both Switzerland, the home of Direct Democracy, and individual states in the US and the results are...Voter Initiative is very good for both, and much better than the alternative, which is what we have here in CT - nothing!
June 4, 2010 -
Part 2 The 2nd of 2 parts of chairman of CT Citizens for Ballet Initiative, Prof. John J. Woodcock, interview with Dan Lovallo on TalkofConnecticut.com (Airdate 6/3/10). - WDRC 1360AM
June 4, 2010 - Part 1
Up by popular demand, it is the 1st of 2 parts of chairman of CT Citizens for Ballet Initiative, Prof. John J. Woodcock, interview with Dan Lovallo on TalkofConnecticut.com (Airdate 6/3/10; Starts at the 7:00 minute mark). Listen as John talkes about what is happening in CT with regards to I&R, the upcoming Direct Democracy tour in Switzerland, the politicians fear of I&R and the avoidance of the press to even cover this important issue. - WDRC 1360AM
June 1, 2010 - Press Release
Subject - Invitation To Switzerland Tour On Direct Democracy
May 28, 2010 - By Trevor Ford New Jersey Governor Chris Christie Gets It - Citizens In Charge
A governor is proposing a ballot initiative? Somebody is getting it! Now, we just need to elect people in our state to get it, too.
May 5, 2010 - By State Senator Dan Debicella, 21st District Bringing Referendum and Initiative to Connecticut An article explaining what should be included in a Constitutional Amendment giving the people of Connecticut the right to Referendum and Initiative, including lessons learned from other states.
April 28, 2010 - By Brandon W Holmes The Power of a Prolific Local Petitioning Process - Citizens In Charge
A list of states that have access to local processes to Initiative and Referendum. We have it here at the local level and it works well, so why the fear at the state level?
April 23, 2010 - By Trevor Ford Initiative Process Proving Useful as a Means to Government Reform - Citizens In Charge
A good reminder to activists, such as the Tea Party movement referred to in the article, that ballot initiatives are one of the best ways for their voices to be heard. Unfortunately, Connecticut voices currently cannot be heard as we do not have direct voter ballot initiatives yet
April 22, 2010 - Switzerland Invitation Linked is the official invitation and itinerary from the Swiss Embassy regarding the Initiative and Referendum study program that the the Chairman and Treasurer will be part of the official US delegation. Come see what they will be learning so that Initiative and Referendum can be brought to our state.
April 15, 2010 - Press Release
Invitation To Switzerland Tour On Ballot Initiative & Referendum.
The Chairman of CT Citizens for Ballet Initiative, Prof. John J. Woodcock, and the treasurer, Richard Giordano, have accepted an invitation from the Swiss Confederation to be part of an American delegation to discuss Initiative and Referendum in Switzerland. Switzerland is where direct democracy was started and has a very long and successful history of Initiative & Referendum. April 5, 2010 -Press Release
Subject - Gubernatorial Candidates Poll On Ballot Initiative & Referendum.
April 4, 2010 - By Don Pesci Term limits revisited - The Middletown Press
Compelling arguments regarding the need for Term Limits in CT and refutations of some of the common criticisms. Guess the only way that term limits will be brought to CT? I&R!
April 2, 2010 - By Ron Calzone Initiative and Referendum in a Republic - Citizens In Charge
A well written article explaining how I&R keeps the power in the hands of the people, rather than in the limited hands of the elite. March 25, 2010 - By Arthur Bedford Kicking off the “Texans Taking Charge” Tour - Citizens In Charge
A review of the I&R battle in Texas, which is a state like CT who doesn't have the right yet. Also addresses some common I&R questions.
March 22, 2010 - By Paul Jacob We Told You So - Citizens In Charge
A pointed essay on the need for Taxpayer Bill of Rights, which is something that could be brought about with Initiative and Referendum!
March 17, 2010 - By Brandon W Holmes How Many States Can You Do That In? - Citizens In Charge
A comprehensive chart detailing the rights that each state has with regard to Initiative and Referendum. Guess what CT has? Nada!
March 7, 2010 - By Heath W. Fahle The End of the Endless - Fresh Faces, Term Limits Could Help Legislature - CT News Junkie
In Ct. term limits will only happen if people have ballot initiative rights, and we will only get them by electing candidates this November, who support them.
March 2, 2010 - Listen to the chairman of CT Citizens for Ballet Initiative, Prof. John J. Woodcock, as he talks to Dan Lovallo on TalkofConnecticut.com (Airdate 3/2/10). - WDRC 1360AM