Home Rule Support Group Decides To Go Full Speed Ahead With Petitions

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Rockford's city council might have shot down home rule on the March primary ballot, but that doesn't mean supporters are going down without a fight.

Leaders at Empower Rockford met this morning, and a committee member says the petition drive will be going full speed ahead. Empower Rockford is scheduling a press conference next week to announce their petition plans in full.

The group needs signatures from ten percent of eligible Rockford voters. The group must have their signatures collected by August 21. Meanwhile, the city's outspoken home rule opponent says Empower Rockford should have collected signatures in the first place.

"The city council did not I'm sure want to send a message to the citizens of Rockford that, we ordinary citizens, when we want to make a change in government we have to get thousands of petitions, but when another group, a priveleged group, comes down and they want to get a change, that they can just get it passed through the city council," John Gile said.

Rockford voters chose to remove home rule back in 1983. However, home rule supporters argue that 77 percent of today's eligible voters weren't eligible to vote back then and deserve another shot to cast their ballot on the issue.