University of Colorado Professor Honored For Efforts to Protect State Initiative Process

Thu, May 19 2011

(LAKE RIDGE, VA) – Citizens in Charge Foundation, a national voter rights group focused on the ballot initiative and referendum process, presented Thad Tecza, a senior instructor emeritus in political science at the University of Colorado, with the May 2011 John Lilburne Award for his efforts during this year’s legislative session to protect Colorado’s initiative process.

“Professor Tecza has been a huge asset to the citizen initiative rights movement in Colorado,” said Citizens in Charge Foundation President Paul Jacob. “His work in speaking out against legislative attacks on the process and helping to mobilize people at the grassroots helped defeat SCR-1, a major negative change proposed by legislators.”

Thad Tecza‘s work to protect Colorado’s citizen initiative process has taken a number of forms. He’s written letters to the editor defending the right of citizens to have an open and accessible initiative process, organized grassroots activists around the state, and testified before the legislature on behalf of the initiative process. Earlier this year Professor Tecza testified in opposition to SCR 1, a bill that if passed would have severely restricted the state’s initiative process. The bill ultimately failed to make it out of the legislature. Additionally, on May 26th in Denver, he will be part of a panel discussion on legislative assaults against the initiative process in Colorado. The event is being co-sponsored by the Independence Institute, the Humane Society and Citizens in Charge Foundation.

“Thad Tecza’s knowledge of Colorado politics and his strong belief that citizens need a direct voice in their government has made him an important leader,” Jacob added. “The initiative rights movement in Colorado is growing stronger, in large part because of Thad’s hard work and dedication, and for that we are honoring him with this month’s award.”

A poll commissioned in the summer of 2010 by the Citizens in Charge and Citizens in Charge Foundation found that Colorado voters favor having a statewide initiative process by a roughly three-to-one margin.

Each month, Citizens in Charge Foundation presents the John Lilburne Award to a citizen, group of citizens or organization doing the most 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 without regard to partisanship and politics. We believe good government starts with the voter. For more information visit us at: