TAKOMA PARK, MD – Maintaining its reputation of being a city unafraid to experiment with new ideas, Takoma Park has claimed title to another first-of-its-kind concept by abandoning representative democracy and running its government entirely on a petition-based system.
“It’s clear that our current system is not sufficiently recognizing the city’s vocal minority, so it’s time to make a big change,” said the Mayor. “We’ve decided that Takoma Park residents will be much better representated by a system that accepts as law any idea supported by less than 1 percent of our total population.”
According to the new process, any law can be proposed on the petition.org website, and petitions are considered law as soon as they have reached 100 unverified signatures (it should be noted that this new system went into effect last week after 100 signatures were collected).
Immediately following the announcement, residents flooded local listservs with petition proposals, including the legalization of double parking in front of Cielo Rojo for food pickup, tightening noise restrictions after 9pm, loosening noise restrictions after 9pm, and, in a petition organized by Piney Branch Elementary students, appointing Dustin from Stranger Things as City Arborist.
“Takoma Park is quirky and that’s the way we like it,” said Parker O’Connell, a resident with his own petition aiming to ban people outside of Takoma Park from making fun of Takoma Park. “I’m looking forward to restoring our once great, community-led democracy. And if anyone doesn’t like it, we’ll start a petition that forces them to.”
While generally supportive of the new petition-based governing system, city resident Marc Elrich has expressed concern over the latest petition garnering almost 100 votes, which calls for Takoma Park to leave Montgomery County and rejoin Prince George’s County.