Charging that the City Council act permitting the gambling initiative to be placed on the D.C. primary election ballot was "unclear," the Federation of Citizens Associations recently voted to ask the council to submit such council actions to public review before passing them into law.
Federation president Stephen Koczak told the 22 Citizens Associations delegates, "There appears to be no clear position on the part of legal authorities on the way such an initiative would be amended or modified."
He added that the defeat of the gambling initiative afforded an "opportunity to protect voters from ill-conceived legislation," and recommended public hearings on the Initiative, Referendum and Recall Procedures Act of 1979.
Koczak's statement was based on research by George J. Haley, president of the Chevy Chase Citizens Association, who said he had contacted several District government authorities and asked them how such an initiative could be amended once it became law, but none of them was able to explain the process.
"It would appear that the gambling initiative is one thing, but when the people are asked to accept (a law) they know nothing about, that's another thing," Haley said, referring to the initiative law.
Haley called for measures that would subject all City Council actions to public review and make copies of council acts available through the public libraries and Advisory Neighborhood Commission chairmen.