(HUDSON, N.Y.) – A citizens group is expected to announce a grassroots campaign to change the city’s unconstitutional and unfair method of governance at the Hudson Area Library on Wednesday, June 15, at 5pm.
The Fair & Equal Campaign will host a town hall-style meeting at the Hudson Area Library on Thursday, June 23, at 6pm, when the group will make a presentation and answer questions about its plan.
Organizing under the banner of the Fair & Equal Campaign, the group seeks to replace Hudson’s singular weighted voting system with the one used by every other American city, whereby aldermen represent populations of equal size and cast one vote apiece, thereby upholding the constitutional principle of “One Person, One Vote” enshrined in a U.S. Supreme Court ruling exactly 52 years ago to the day: June 15, 1964.
Hudson is composed of five wards, each represented by two aldermen, who are assigned differently weighted votes in the City Council when they decide the city’s laws, taxes, and spending. Weights are calculated based on the wards’ population, then adjusted using a complicated and poorly understood mathematical algorithm.
In this system, it is possible for laws to pass with as few as four of eleven Council members voting “aye,” or as many as eight, depending on the weights. A resolution to override a mayoral veto can be defeated with only two members voting “nay.”
“Hudson is the only American city that assigns residents vastly different levels of representation in their local government, based on where they live,” said Don Moore, the city’s former Common Council President and current Third Ward Supervisor.
“Our Constitution guarantees each person equal representation in their government. Hudson is not an exception,” says Kevin Hannan, a campaign organizer.