Another Effort Is Under Way To Put SB1070 On Ballot

Another effort is under way to put SB 1070 on ballot

By Alia Beard Rau and Kevin Kiley
The Arizona Republic (Phoenix), June 23, 2010

A Green Party candidate for governor has pulled paperwork to try to get Arizona's immigration law on the Nov. 2 ballot.

The referendum effort led by Larry Gist is called Let the People Decide on Amended SB 1070. The group must gather 76,682 signatures by July 28 to qualify for the ballot.

Two other groups already are collecting signatures under similar efforts.

A group called IMAZ, which stands for I'm Arizona, also is seeking a referendum, which allows voters to decide whether a measure passed by the Legislature should be stopped or allowed to continue. They also need 76,682 signatures by July 28.

A group called Compassion for All needs 153,365 signatures by July 1 to get its initiative on the November ballot. An initiative allows voters to propose new laws or amend existing laws.

Also on Tuesday, a collection of seven community groups announced a new effort to organize and register Latino voters.

The group, which says it is nonpartisan, hopes to organize Latino residents throughout the state to make them an important constituency. The group's goal is to turn out 50,000 Latino voters before the November general election.

At a news conference Tuesday, representatives said the passage of Senate Bill 1070 has galvanized the Latino community to act.

'The passage of SB 1070 is a subject of intense debate and, among the immigrant community, intense anxiety,' said Eliseo Medina, president of the Mi Familia Vota civic-participation campaign.

SB 1070 makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally. It states that an officer engaged in a lawful stop, detention or arrest shall, when practicable, ask about a person's legal status when reasonable suspicion exists that the person is in the U.S. illegally.

Organizers said each group will figure out how best to interact with their constituencies and report back to each other.

The effort is made up of seven area groups: Mi Familia Vota, Democracia U.S.A., Border Action Network, Arizona Center for Empowerment, Tonatierra Community Development Institute, Arizona Advocacy Network Foundation and Southwest Conference of the United Church of Christ.