LETTER: Watertown Voters Can Cast Votes on the Budget Referendum Ballot Question

Members of Watertown Citizens collected signatures to get the non-binding "Budget for All" referendum on the ballot in Watertown, writes Tony Palomba.



On Election Day about one third of all Massachusetts voters – including all Watertown voters – will have the opportunity to send a message to Washington about key issues that lie at the heart of the national election.

A network of over 70 community and labor organizations and peace groups around the state has gathered enough signatures to put a question on the ballot asking voters whether they support proposals to: Protect Social Security, Medicare and other vital programs; Invest in useful jobs; End offshore tax havens and tax cuts on the highest incomes; Reduce the military budget and bring all troops home safely from Afghanistan and Re-direct the savings into job creation and public services that our families need.

In Watertown, the question was placed on the ballot through the efforts of volunteers from Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment (Watertown Citizens) who spent months in the spring and early summer collecting signatures of registered voters at locations throughout town.

"Collecting signatures for the Budget for All referendum was pretty easy because voters could relate to it, particularly the call for no cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security and ending the war in Afghanistan,” noted Lisa Kane, the current president of Watertown Citizens.

The “Budget for All” referendum will be on the ballot in 91 cities and towns around the state, including Watertown – meaning that about one million voters can cast a ballot regarding these critical matters of national policy. There has never been a non-binding referendum with more extensive statewide ballot placement in modern Massachusetts history.

In Watertown, because volunteers gathered enough signatures to place the question on both senate and representative districts, the referendum will be Questions 4 and 6 in precincts 1 to 9 and Questions 5 and 6 in precincts 10 to 12.

The referendum is directed at Watertown’s two state representatives, Jon Hecht and John Lawn, and our state senator, Will Brownsberger.

"The Budget for All referendum offers voters the opportunity to send a comprehensive message to our state senator and state representatives and, in turn, to Congress and the President,” explained Watertown Citizens member, Sue-Ellen Hershman-Tcherepnin. “The Budget for All referendum links the issues that so many Americans are concerned about by connecting good jobs, with effective public services, with fair taxes and with re-directing money from our massive Pentagon budget toward the public good."

The Budget for All referendum has been endorsed by members of the Massachusetts Washington delegation, including Watertown’s voice in the House of Representative, Congressman Markey, and Representatives Capuano, McGovern, and Frank as well as many state representatives and senators and local council city and town council members.


Tony Palomba
Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment 

GB November 06, 2012 at 04:12 AM
If politicians would take a more realistic salary and cut size of gov't we'd be in better financial shape. Cutting military budgets is just plain stupid. Cut out some of the waste, but national security is the ONLY thing Fed. gov't should be good for. All the other social crap and PC, like hyphenated Americans, IS RUINING OUR COUNTRY. You wanna pay for illegals--fine. You wanna provide FREE everything for millions of folks who haven't earned it--fine, But don't impose those costs on the rest of us. What part of $16 trillion AND GROWING DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND?


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