Former State Legislator Honored for Work to Bring Initiative Process to Connecticut

Wed, Oct 20 2010

(LAKE RIDGE, VA) – Today, Citizens in Charge Foundation, a national voter rights group focused on the ballot initiative and referendum process, presented former Connecticut State Legislator John Woodcock with the October 2010 Lilburne Award. John is being honored this month for his ongoing efforts to bring statewide initiative and referendum rights to the citizens of Connecticut.

“Convincing legislators and other elected officials to support the right of voters to check their power and to approve or reject legislators’ actions is no easy task,” said Citizens in Charge Foundation President Paul Jacob. “John believes that Connecticut citizens should have the ability to act when their elected representatives fail to do so, and he has worked tirelessly and effectively to bring that closer to reality.”

As a Connecticut State Legislator in the 1980s, John Woodcock III advocated for initiative and referendum rights. Today, he chairs the group Connecticut Citizens for Ballot Initiative. The group has asked every candidate for every office in Connecticut to state their position on whether to establish a statewide initiative and referendum process. Woodcock’s group has posted the candidates’ positions on their website so that voters can see which candidates believe citizens should have a direct say in their government, and which ones do not. Since there is currently no statewide initiative or referendum process, Connecticut legislators would have to vote to establish one.

“A recent poll commissioned by Citizens in Charge Foundation found that 65 percent of Connecticut voters support initiative and referendum,” added Jacob. “John continues his work with Connecticut Citizens for Ballot Initiative to put candidates on the record and educate voters, and for that he is being honored this month.”

Each month, Citizens in Charge Foundation presents the John Lilburne Award to a citizen, or citizens, working to protect and defend the First Amendment petition rights of Americans.  John Lilburne was a 17th Century English pamphleteer, political activist, and champion of individual rights who advocated constitutional government and pioneered the use of petitioning and referenda for redress against government power and abuse. For a complete list of past Lilburne Award winners please click here.

Citizens in Charge Foundation is the only national transpartisan voter rights group dedicated to protecting and expanding the ballot initiative and referendum process. We believe good government starts with the voter. For more information visit us