The political action committee United for Mesa has decided to stipulate to a court judgment that will keep a referendum on Mesa’s nondiscrimination ordinance off the ballot.
“This is by no means our last effort. The need for Mesa residents to have a say in the direction of their city remains. And citizen concerns about this ordinance have not magically gone away. Mesa is awakened and united. Together, we intend to bring Mesa residents together to make decisions that work for everyone in this community,” leaders for United for Mesa said in a joint emailed statement May 7 that was also posted on Facebook @UnitedForMesa.
The release from United for Mesa states it is “a grassroots political action committee formed to give the people of Mesa a voice in important community decisions.”
United for Mesa on April 1 filed petitions with more than 11,000 signatures to refer a Mesa City Council approved nondiscrimination ordinance to the ballot.
The ordinance, approved March 2 in a 5-2 vote of the City Council, prohibits discrimination in employment, housing and places of public accommodation based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, veteran’s status, marital status, genetic information or familial status.
Mesa voters gathered signatures to put the item on a ballot.
“We remain awed by the energy of Mesa residents and the feat they accomplished in such a short time,” United for Mesa said in the May 7 statement. “Unfortunately, this citizen effort is up against the deep pockets of a nationally funded opposition and a series of legal challenges and technical issues that we believe will keep us off the ballot, despite our best efforts. We don’t have either the signature margin or the equivalent funding needed to come out on to.
“It is disappointing but unsurprising that these kinds of tactics are being utilized to silence the clear voices of Mesa residents. It highlights once again that this is an ordinance its supporters know only stands a chance when it is passed behind the backs of residents and never sees the light of day on a ballot,” it states.