ARKANSANS FOR A UNIFIED NATURAL STATE LAUNCHES TO BUILD SUPPORT FOR PEOPLE’S VETO ON BAD LEGISLATION
Media Contact: Jasmine Banksᆞinfo@afuns.org ᆞ 479-599-3518
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: ARKANSANS FOR A UNIFIED NATURAL STATE LAUNCHES EFFORT TO BUILD SUPPORT FOR A PEOPLE’S VETO ON STAND YOUR GROUND, VOTER SUPPRESSION LAWS AND ANTI-LGBTQ LEGISLATION
Little Rock, Arkansas ー Today, Arkansans for a Unified Natural State, in collaboration with Reconcile Arkansas, launch a historic effort to utilize the people’s veto as outlined in the Arkansas Constitution and pass THE ARKANSAS REASONABLE DUTY TO RETREAT BEFORE USING DEADLY FORCE ACT [x], THE ARKANSAS ABSENTEE VOTING RIGHTS PROTECTION ACT [x], and THE ARKANSAS PARENTAL RIGHT TO MEDICALLY CARE FOR THEIR CHILDREN ACT [x].
The Arkansas Constitution gives Arkansas citizens the power to (a) initiate legislation by petition of 8% of the legal voters or constitutional amendments by petition of 10% of legal voters, or (b) order the referendum against any general act or any item of an appropriation bill or measure passed by the General Assembly by petition of 6% of legal voters. A proposed measure must be submitted at a regular election. Referendum petitions may be referred to at special elections on a petition of 15% of the registered voters. Any measure submitted to the people becomes law when approved by a majority of the votes cast upon such measure. Arkansans for a Unified Natural State has been approved to begin collecting signatures to get ballot access for a people’s veto on Senate Bill 24, House Bill 1715, Senate Bill 488, Senate Bill 643, and House Bill 1570. We are asking Arkansans to oppose voter suppression (Act No. 736), anti-LGBTQ legislation that takes power away from parents (Act No. 626), and dangerous Stand Your Ground laws that will make Arkansans less safe (Act No. 250). "The 93rd Legislature sent Arkansans, as well as other Americans, a very clear message with the forced, and sometimes irregular, passage of a multitude of bills that addressed no reasonable and articulable health, safety and/or welfare mandate. Now, it is We, the People's, turn to return the favor with our own very clear message,” said Kwami Abdul-Bey, the Founder of Arkansans for a Unified Natural State. Reconcile Arkansas, a care collective formed in response to HB1570, will be anchoring the grassroots organizing strategy to collect signatures for the veto referenda as well as build a base of Arkansans who want to see their state unify under a bold equitable vision of the future. “The people of Arkansas know these bills did not come from our state. They were facilitated by outside actors and advanced by general assembly members who take more pride in being career politicians than duly elected representatives of their communities. This coalition, and our strategy for change, will demonstrate that we, the people of Arkansas, will keep each other safe and believe in equity and justice,” said co-founder and Reconcile Arkansas lead organizer Jasmine Banks. Arkansans for a More Unified Natural State has volunteers collecting signatures in Ashley, Benton, Chicot, Craighead, Cross, Desha, Faulkner, Greene, Jefferson, Lonoke, Phillips, Poinsett, Pulaski, and Washington Counties. We encourage Arkansans to sign up and get involved in collecting signatures by clicking filling out this form. Arkansans can find a place to sign the petition here. If you are a community organization or church that would like to endorse or assist with this effort, please email us at email@example.com. Arkansans for a Unified Natural State is a newly formed community organization to begin the signature collection process and rally support for this effort. Please visit our website for more information.