Group is attempting to gather signatures that would create an ordinance to put before Clark County Council
Proponents of a ban on mandates in Clark County that they believe cause discrimination based on someone’s health status, such as vaccination status, are making a final push to gather signatures on a petition by the end of November. The effort is to create an ordinance to put up for a vote by the Clark County Council.
More than 4,000 Clark County residents signed a previous petition that stalled at the feet of the members of the County Council. County Chair Eileen Quiring O’Brien expressed support for the petition but she told Clark County Today if she made a formal motion she was confident she would not get a second from any of the other four members of the council. Proponents then created a second petition, which they refer to as a “mini-initiative.”
“This will be historic because no other mini-initiative effort here in Clark County has collected needed signatures for approval,’’ said Rob Anderson, a proponent of the petition. “I’m amazed at how broad the coalition of support has become. It seems like the majority of people who sign say, ‘I’m vaccinated but it shouldn’t be mandated.’ This movement and many who support it, if not most, are fully vaccinated. The focus of the ordinance is discrimination.”
The summary statement on the petition reads as follows:
AN ORDINANCE prohibiting all mandates within Clark County that discriminate against citizens regarding their health status and or that violates existing rights to health information privacy.
According to Anderson, the effort is to reach the required 8,311 signatures to force the ordinance to go to the County Council. After a 30-day window to validate the signatures, the council will have 60 days to hold a public meeting, after which the councilors will have a 30-day time limit to make a decision. As of Friday (Nov. 19), the effort has gathered 5,720 signatures.
“I believe in accountability,’’ Anderson said. “Politicians need to be accountable for where they stand, especially for something as important as this.’’
According to a letter stating support for the petition by Joel Mattila, chairman of the Clark County Republican Party, the effort is also supported by Rep. Vicki Kraft (17th District), 3rd Congressional District candidates Heidi St. John and Joe Kent, and Rey Reynolds, a veteran of 37 years in law enforcement who is currently with the Vancouver Police Department and a candidate for Clark County Sheriff.
More than 80 volunteers and proponents of the effort have now established more than 25 locations around Clark County where area residents can sign the petition. Volunteers will be gathering signatures Saturday and Sunday at the Gun Show at the Clark County Events Center near the Fairgrounds in Ridgefield.
To find a location to sign the petition, or to print a copy of the petition for signature, go to https://www.clarkcountygroup.com/home.