NAVAJO NATION COUNCIL NOW DEBATING LEGISLTION 0367-13: REFERRING A REFERNDUM MEASURE ON AMENDING TITLE 11 NAVAJO NATION CODE SECTION 409(c), AMENDMENTS TO LAWS APPROVED BY INITIATIVE/REFERENDUM.
SPONSOR – DELEGATE JONATHAN NEZ
Members of the council we really ned to empower cirtizens with voice and understand their voices when we are elected. But many of us have platform for government reform, which is really going slow. Three years now. I belive pple waiting to be part of government, to have ownership. This wud do that and the other one that didn’t get second. The other one is recognizing pple governing body and delegate authority to Council. Know questions about whether pple sit where we are sitting. No. They vote to give some of that authority to Council. Sorry for missing caucus cuz lot of questions. But when will be the time to give Navajo pple a little more involved in how government operates. I believe this is one way to empower pple to vote on few items.
LINE 17 or 16 talks about alternative forms of government. Is this proposed law limited to questions of government structure? Look at law you are proposing and it is open to questions that pple wud vote on. And only Navajo pple vote on what they make law. For example, budget matters – how government uses money from energy development.
This law wud make that only Navajo pple undo law/decision.
If goes to court, we may not have this authority anyway. Example: gaming. Pple voted against but gaming came about so cud be used to not follow voice of pple.
Pretty simple question, if u have voice of pple voting on intiative and approving then way change is go back to the pple. Certainly if we as Councl have concern can appropriate fund and have campaign and have referendum again.
By voting for this you essentially align self with Supreme Court ruling and give up on out to override pple’s voice.
We as delegates have opportunity to go to chapters twice a month and provide input on educating communities about possible referendums.
So hypothetical if something occur then there is remedy to prevent a possible inappropriate item brought to pple for referendum and also opportunity to reverse referendum not in interest of pple.
This is on the books but don’t know if really valid authority.
DELEGATE NELSON BEGAY
I FIND more and more that problem with quorum at chapter and only 25 makes quorum and some chapters reducing quorum requirement.
We have so many relatives, youth especially going off rez. 60 percent off rez, 40 percent on rez. I’m really worried about that.
Democracy is good but do chapters exercise democracy especially when have requests to reduce quorum. Have 13 making decision for over 1,000 pple. I was against reducing quorum at chapter when came before Resources & Development Committee.
also look at voter turnout, very few. When did Supreme Court become legislative body and we have to align ourselves with them. They are not law making body. they interpret law. Navajo Supreme Court didn’t follow own rules. Question of whether Navajo Government Development defunded was never asked of Supreme Court.
Instead we said eeeyah! Also another legisaltion to reduce from 15 percent to 13 percent is same issue. And government development has not done job regarding government reform.
Also study facts. I don’t recall Council over-riding referendum vote. this Council also respects presidential line item veto. Today with that respect in place, no line item veto has ever been over-riden.
This has never happened and so is there need for this legislation. And without study from Navajo Government Developent, should we do this?
DELEGATE RUSSELL BEGAYE
Let me say, I wud support this legislation if the sponsor wud withdraw and over-strike section 7. cuz section 2 deals with Council ability to amend or repeal pple’s vote. District Court can invalidate pple’s vote. To do one and not the other does not give voice to the pple and not do just one part.
Also other part, Govt Development said we need to re-do. But govt development has become very trival in debate. they ned to re-do temporary Navajo government. They have not done anything. They nit pick and that is misuse of pple’s moeny. Let us put together team to come up with new Navajo government.