Citizens In Charge Foundation Names Delegate Harvey B. Morgan February Lilburne Award Winner
Citizens in Charge Foundation has named Virginia Delegate Harvey B. Morgan as the February “Lilburne Award.” Morgan is honored for his work to preserve the rights of Virginia citizens to petition their government and voice their opinions, unafraid of repercussions.
Delegate Morgan is the chief patron of Virginia HB 2465 which protects citizens working to control their government by petitioning for the removal of elected officials. The bill states that any citizen petitioning for the removal of an official from public office shall not be held responsible for costs associated with the removal. The bill also protects the removal petition from being dismissed due to minor procedural or technical mistakes.
Morgan sponsored the bill after a group of Gloucester citizens petitioned for the removal of four members of the Board of Supervisors. The four had been accused of holding closed door meetings and lacking accountability. After throwing the petition out in court due to minor procedural mistakes a Gloucester Circuit Court judge ordered the group of 40 citizens to pay equal parts of $80,000 in attorney fees that were incurred by the Supervisors fighting their removal. Morgan’s bill directly address the injustice in Gloucester County and is one step towards a more open and accessible Virginia government.
Virginia Delegate Harvey B. Morgan represents the 98th District in south east Virginia. He is the Chair of the Agriculture Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee in addition to being a member of the Appropriations, Commerce and Labor Committees.
Each month the Citizens in Charge Foundation gives the John Lilburne Award in honor of 17th Century English pamphleteer, political activist, and champion of individual rights John Lilburne, who advocated constitutional government and pioneered the use of petitioning and referenda for redress against government power and abuse.