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Ward Boundaries continued from page 1 pr...

Ward Boundaries continued from page 1 pr... image
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Ward Boundaries continued from page 1 promise. Councilman Torn from the First ward hemmed and hawed and finally voted with HRP for the Black Plan.

After that lost, HRP's representatives Nancy Wechsler and Jerry DeGrieck were forced to support the old Pregnant Witch plan on first reading.

And HRP geared up to fight to force the Democrats to compromise. A leaflet was circulated in the center-city explaining the Democrats' insidious plan and urging people to call Fabric, Me Too and Horseshit to tell them how they felt.

Pretty soon, Ted Beals and I were back at the negotiating table and this time we worked our revisions in the Black Plan that made it more acceptable to the Democrats.

We called it the "Last Chance" Plan and that t was - we finished work on it only an hour before the council meeting.

That council session was one of the most humorous in months. It was like a television wrestling match–everything was decided in advance, but the Democrats and Republicans put up a mock fight to make it look good.

In the end, the "Last Chance" plan was substituted at second reading and it passed 6-5 with HRP and the Democrats voting yes and the Republicans voting no.

Unless the courts overturn it (an unlikely event) this plan will be in effect for the next decade.

It was a hard fought victory for the people who have long been excluded from political power.

In retrospect, several things ought to be said about the ward boundary fight. First, HRP has never favored the ward system as the method of electing the City Council. It is ridiculous to have a system which places such importance on the drawing of lines by some group of people.

The Human Rights Party has always favored a system of proportional representation in which each party gains a percentage of seats equal to its city-wide vote.

Thus, if HRP got 30 percent of the vote it would win three seats out of ten. Ward lines would no longer make any difference.

HRP is going to campaign to change the city charter to make that possible. It will be strongly fought by the Democrats and Republicans who are beginning to really see HRP as a threat.

It is.

Steve Nissan, HRP

Chairman Ward Boundary Commission