LOS ANGELES Supporters for restoring the cross to the L.A. County Seal were some 34,000 petition signatures short Monday in order to qualify the initiative for the 2006 June ballot and are now re-examining their options.
In the final count of petitions signatures gathered over the course of six months, more than 136,500 registered L.A. County voters supported the original version of the Seal. The Board of Supervisors had voted last year to replace the Seal after receiving a letter from the American Civil Liberties Union, which threatened to sue unless the cross was removed.
David Hernandez, chairman of the Committee to Save the Los Angeles County Seal Ordinance, said the people at the Recorder Office were amazed at the number of signatures gathered with only the help of volunteers and not paid petition gatherers.
"They had never seen that before," Hernandez told the Christian Post Monday night.
He said the Committee will be taking a few days to hear opinions from various petition supporters to determine what the next step of action will be.
"A lot of people are feeling down right now but they aren't willing to roll up into a ball and stop," said Hernandez. "They want to keep fighting."
One option is to launch another petition drive to place the measure on the November 2006 ballot, continued Hernandez, while another is to stop. A third option is to elect Supervisors who will support the initiative by voting out two of three dissenting Supervisors whose names will appear for re-election on the June 2006 ballot, he said.
A message posted on the Committees website on Tuesday tells viewers, "Your dedication, conviction and sacrifice leaves us no choice but to go forward. Stay tuned!"
"We're going to put the question out there to the people," said Hernandez. "If we can go forward, we go forward. There are no regrets."
Although the most difficult part of the petition drive was getting the word out to people, he said, what it did succeed in doing was awaking the masses to the issue, creating dialogue among citizens, and empowering them.