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    A Local Investigation into the Destruction of World Trade Center Building 7? Print E-mail
    Written by AE911Truth Staff   
    Monday, 31 March 2014 16:41

    The “High-Rise Safety Initiative” Targets a New Investigation in 2015

    HRSI article picNext fall will mark the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and it could be an important one for New Yorkers and supporters of 9/11 Truth. A campaign called the “High-Rise Safety Initiative” aims to place a measure on the ballot that would require the city’s Department of Buildings to launch a new investigation into the destruction of Building 7.

    If the initiative is successful, the first officially sanctioned investigation to deliver a truthful account of what really happened on 9/11 could soon become imminent. But the investigation will only go forward if the campaign’s sponsors can bring in enough donations to fund the petition drive and gather 110,000 signatures. The NYC Coalition for Accountability Now (NYC CAN) must raise $250,000 by June 1st.  As of March 28, they had raised $125,000.

    “We’ve had a good start--$30,000 in the four weeks since we announced the campaign,” said Ted Walter, the Director of NYC CAN. “Altogether we need about 3,000 people to donate, which is not very many when you consider how many people are out there who want to see a new investigation. We’re confident we can get there in three months if enough people come forward.”

    You can support the High-Rise Safety Initiative by going to HighRiseSafetyNYC.org.

    The Ballot Initiative Approach

    According to the campaign’s website, a state law called “Municipal Home Rule” allows for voters anywhere in New York State to amend their city’s charter through a ballot initiative process.

    In order to place the measure on the ballot this November, the High-Rise Safety Initiative needs to submit a petition with at least 30,000 valid signatures by July 3, 2014. To ensure they have enough valid signatures, the campaign is aiming to gather 75,000 signatures for the first submission.

    After the first submission, the campaign must wait two months to see if the City Council votes the proposed charter amendment into law, or votes to place it on the ballot. If the City Council takes no action after 60 days, the High-Rise Safety Initiative will need to submit a second petition of at least 15,000 signatures, which then forces the city to include the measure on the ballot. For the second submission, the campaign aims to gather 35,000 signatures, bringing the total number of signatures needed to 110,000.

    Among its key provisions, the High-Rise Safety Initiative would require the Department of Buildings to investigate all high-rise building collapses that occurred in New York City on or after September 11, 2001, excluding the collapse of WTC 1 and 2; require the Department of Buildings to issue a report detailing the results of each investigation; and establish a .9% surcharge on construction permits issued by the Department of Buildings, estimated to raise $1 million annually.

    The petition can be read here.

    The Genesis of the High-Rise Safety Initiative

    As many 9/11 Truth advocates may remember, in 2009 NYC CAN sponsored a ballot initiative to establish a local, independent commission to investigate all aspects of the 9/11 attacks. However, the Bloomberg Administration fought against the petition tooth and nail. Despite the strong arguments elaborated in NYC CAN’s Memorandum of Law, written by NYC CAN attorney Dennis McMahon and esteemed human rights attorney William Pepper, the petition was defeated.

    “We learned a lot from that effort,” McMahon said,  “and it helped us develop a petition and approach this time around which has the absolute best chance of succeeding.”

    During the hearing stage of the 2009 effort, New York Supreme Court Justice Edward Lehner asked the City’s lawyer, Stephen Kitzinger, if a narrower petition could succeed, a petition limited to asking “why the buildings collapsed…purely local,” as Justice Lehner put it.

    Kitzinger replied, “Why Seven World Trade Center collapsed? You might be able to draft a petition that works.”

    Justice Lehner then asked, “Because it’s local?”

    And Kitzenger offered, “It is local in nature, it can be alleged to building safety standards, things of that nature.” See transcript here

    “That exchange always stuck out in mind,” McMahon said, “way more than Justice Lehner’s ‘Building what?’ comment. Then last year David Ray Griffin forwarded me an email asking if NYC CAN was still pushing for an investigation in New York City. I revisited the idea of a ballot initiative focused on Building 7. Ted [Walter] liked the idea, and we decided to seek out legal advice from an election attorney. One year later here it is, the High-Rise Safety Initiative.”

    “I think the important thing for people to know is that we’ve done this once and learned some lessons,” said Walter. “We know the process inside and out, we’ve had the petition vetted by top election attorneys, and we have a straightforward proposal that most New Yorkers will support. Now we just need enough financial support.”

    When asked whether New York City could be counted on to conduct an honest investigation into the collapse of Building 7, Walter was optimistic:

    “I think with the attention that will be on this issue because it’s on the ballot, and if it passes, you’ll see enough public pressure to ensure that the Department of Buildings follows through with an honest investigation. At that point enough people will be watching.”

    Is the 9/11 Truth Movement ready to give this one a go? There may never be a better chance to bring about a new investigation. Let’s hope this is the one.