For Immediate Release
Atlantic City residents have overwhelmingly rejected a ballot question that would have radically altered the form of their city’s government. With this victory, voters have retained their right to elect their mayor and have ward representation on the City Council, and have also safeguarded their public water system.
The rejected ballot question would have also taken away the right to initiative and referendum, an important democratic process that allows residents to initiate an ordinance or repeal an ordinance passed by City Council. In 2017, when Chris Christie and the private utility American Water sought to privatize Atlantic City’s municipal water systems, Food & Water Action worked with local civic associations, the NAACP, and the Atlantic City Municipal Utility Authority to collect petition signatures, winning the right for voters to control the future of their water system.
In response to the vote, Food & Water Action organizer Jocelyn Sawyer released the following statement:
“Atlantic City voters made the right choice with their resounding defeat of this attempt at corporate takeover of their democracy, which could have set the stage for the privatization of their publicly-owned water system. This is a huge win, but there’s more to be done to keep Atlantic City’s water safe from corporate water profiteers and protect local control. Governor Murphy should take note of this vote and end the state takeover of Atlantic City, to fully restore democratic and civil rights for residents.”