Initiatives insure people have access and are able to participate in their government. People can participate in many ways, by circulating petitions, by signing petitions, by campaigning, and by voting.
Two charter amendments that will increase participation were passed this week in Los Angeles. These amendments will change local elections from odd years to the even year general election cycle. Most voters are familiar with and prepared to vote every even-year November. Elections often occur on other dates, but they experience much lower turnout. Consolidating election dates results in more citizens participating in their government.
Around the country there are groups organizing to require their cities hold elections at high turnout elections. They are concerned about cost of special elections, hiding tax increase proposals on special elections, and less people participating. These changes can often be proposed using the municipal initiative process.