Petition drive along The Esplanade

Local Democrats push for signatures for state ballot

Chico Democrats set up tables at the corner of East 10th Avenue and The Esplanade last Sunday (April 1) to collect signatures to try to qualify Gov. Jerry Brown’s Schools & Local Public Safety Protection Act of 2012.

“A couple just signed without getting off their bikes,” said Mike Hawkins, petitioner and longtime voter-registration activist. The act would aim to help fund California’s schools, health-, senior- and child-care programs, as well as police, fire, parks and transportation. It would raise the sales tax by one-quarter cent over four years, and the income taxes on those earning more than $250,000 a year for the next seven years. Some 1.2 million signatures are needed in the next month to qualify the measure.

“We want to remind people to do their civic duty by taking action,” said Bob Mulholland, a petitioner and longtime Democratic Party adviser. He said the effort will be repeated at the same location two or three more times toward the end of May.