John Lilburne Award

John LiburneThe John Lilburne Award is given monthly by Citizens in Charge Foundation to recognize a person or persons working to protect the First Amendment rights of Americans to petition their government. The award is named for John Lilburne, the 17th Century English pamphleteer, political activist, and champion of individual rights, who advocated constitutional government and pioneered the use of petitioning and referenda for redress against government power and abuse.

Lilburne Award Winners

October 2011 - ACLU of Michigan

The ACLU of Michigan is being honored with the October award for filing suit to protect the petition rights of Michigan citizens.

Read more about the ACLU of Michigan

September 2011 - Institute for Justice

The Institute for Justice is honored with the September Lilburne award for filing a lawsuit to protect citizen recall rights in the state of Washington.

Read more about the Institute for Justice

August 2011 - Governor Jerry Brown

Governor Brown is honored with the August Lilburne award for vetoing a Senate bill that would have restricted the state’s initiative process.

Read more about Gov. Brown

July 2011 - State Senator Joseph Robach

Senator Robach is honored with the July Lilburne award for sponsoring legislation this year that would create a citizen initiative & referendum process in the state.

Read more about Senator Robach

June 2011 - Janine Hansen

Janine is honored with the June 2011 John Lilburne Award for her outstanding dedication to protecting Nevada’s citizen initiative rights from legislation that would have severely restricted those rights.

Read more about Janine Hansen

May 2011 - Thad Tecza

Thad is a senior instructor emeritus in political science at the University of Colorado, and is being honored with the May 2011 John Lilburne Award for his efforts during this year’s legislative session to protect Colorado’s initiative process.

Read more about Thad Tecza

April 2011 - Kent Bernbeck

Kent is a veteran of the citizen initiative process, having worked on numerous initiative campaigns over the years helping citizens utilize their petition rights. He recently filed a case against the state of Nebraska in federal court, challenging the constitutionality of restrictions placed on the initiative process by the legislature.

Read more about Kent Bernbeck

March 2011 - State Senators Don Benton and Pam Roach

Senators Benton and Roach are being honored with this month’s Lilburne Award for their outstanding work in successfully defeating SB 5297, a bill that would have severely restricted Washington’s initiative process.

Read more about the senators

February 2011 - Tracy and Linda Strickland

Attorneys Tracy and Linda Strickland of Boulder City, Nevada, are being honored with the February 2011 John Lilburne Award. The Stricklands are representing a group of Boulder City citizens who, in pursuing several local initiative measures, have been repeatedly sued by the city.

Read more about the Stricklands

January 2011 - Jim Gordon

Jim Gordon, state coordinator of Voters-In-Charge, is honored with the January 2011 John Lilburne Award for his work to reform the South Carolina’s local initiative law and to establish a statewide initiative process.

Read more about Jim Gordon

December 2010 - Kris Kobach

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is being honored with the December 2010 John Lilburne Award in recognition of his outspoken advocacy during the recent election campaign for establishing a statewide citizen initiative and referendum process in Kansas.

Read more about Kris Kobach

November 2010 - Lynne Weaver

Lynne is being honored this month for her work opposing Arizona Proposition 112, a legislatively referred ballot measure that would have reduced the petition period in Arizona.

Read more about Lynne Weaver

October 2010 - John Woodcock III

John is being honored this month for his ongoing efforts to bring statewide initiative and referendum rights to the citizens of Connecticut. His group Connecticut Citizens for Ballot Initiative educates voters by putting candidates’ positions on initiative rights on the record.

Read more about John Woodcock III

September 2010 - Steve Six

Steve is honored this month for agreeing with, rather than fighting, the plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging Kansas’ residency requirement for petition circulators, which resulted in U.S. District Judge Sam Crow permanently enjoining enforcement of the statute as an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment rights of citizens.

Read more about Steve Six

August 2010 - Darcy Goddard

Darcy Goddard is honored this month for her work on a groundbreaking e-signature case in which the Utah Supreme Court ruled in June that the state must accept electronic signatures on an independent candidate’s petition.

Read more about Darcy Goddard

July 2010 - Dale Doerhoff and Heidi Doerhoff Vollet

Both Dale and Heidi are being honored this month for their exceptional advocacy in support of the First Amendment and citizen initiative rights in Missouri.

Read more about Dale and Heidi

June 2010 - Mary Adams

Maine Citizen State Coordinator Mary Adams is being honored this month for her work over the decades in not only utilizing, but defending and expanding the initiative & referendum process in the state of Maine.

Read more about Mary Adams

May 2010 - Elena Nunez

Common Cause’s Elena Nunez is being awarded for her work in spearheading opposition to Senate Concurrent Resolution 3 (SCR 3), a constitutional amendment designed to make it more difficult for the citizens of Colorado to amend their constitution through a voter initiative.

Read more about Elena Nunez

April 2010 - Missouri Senator Jim Lembke

Senator Lembke is being honored with the April 2010 John Lilburne Award for sponsoring Senate Bill 818 and for all his work to make Missouri’s initiative process more open and accessible to the people.

Read more about Missouri Senator Jim Lembke

March 2010 - State Representative Neil Hansen

Representative Hansen is being recognized with the March award for working to keep equality in Utah’s initiative process by voting against a pending bill in the Utah Legislature.

Read more about State Representative Neil Hansen

February 2010 - Concerned Citizens Council

The group is being recognized for standing up for the petition rights of all citizens by filing suit against the city council for violating the state open meetings law in an attempt to block the Concerned Citizens Council’s petition.

Read more about the Concerned Citizens Council

January 2010 - The Citizen Power Campaign

The Citizen Power Campaign is being honored with the January 2010 Lilburne Award for making the initiative process open & accessible to citizens by utilizing new technology in their signature gathering campaign.

Read more about The Citizen Power Campaign

December 2009 - Howard County Citizens for Open Government

Howard County Citizens for Open Government are being honored with the December 2009 Lilburne Award for working to defend their right to petition their government over a land-use issue in Howard County, Maryland.

Read more about Howard County Citizens for Open Government

November 2009 - Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

Governor Schwarzenegger is being honored with the November 2009 Lilburne Award for vetoing four bills from the California Assembly and Senate during the 2009 session that would have restricted the initiative process in the state.

Read more about Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

October 2009 - Healthy Democracy Oregon

Healthy Democracy Oregon was founded in 2007 to promote a more open and accessible initiative and referendum process in the state of Oregon.  Founders Tyrone Reitman and Elliot Shuford created the Citizens’ Initiative Review which allows citizens to hear opponents and proponents of a given ballot initiative, and then create a “Citizen Statement” to be distributed to the voters.  This new concept will add more voices and citizen input into the initiative and referendum process.

Read more about Healthy Democracy Oregon

September 2009 - David Schlegel

David Schlegel, a resident of Auburn, NY, is being recognized this month for his efforts to bring the initiative and referendum process to New York state. Having written his state legislators to learn their position on the issue, David also wrote multiple articles urging his fellow citizens to lobby their representatives for these vital rights.

Read more about David Schlegel

August 2009 - John Fund

John Fund is being recognized this month for his continued support and defense of the initiative and referendum process.  He recently spoke at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) Annual Meeting where he underscored the value of the process.  He also recently published an article in the Wall Street Journal defending California’s initiative process from increasing attacks.

Read more about John Fund

July 2009 - Senator Vicki Walker

Oregon State Senator Vicki Walker being recognized as the only Senate Democrat to defend Oregon voters in an attempt to stop legislation that criminalizes activists expressing their freedom of speech via the ballot initiative process.

Read more about Senator Vicki Walker

June 2009 - Senator Terry Care

Nevada State Senator Terry Care is being recognized for standing up for the
rights of Nevada voters. His courageous lone vote against an oppressive
state Senate bill aimed at stifling the ballot initiative process demonstrates
his strong commitm

Read More About Senator Terry Care

May 2009 - Brad Ashwell

Brad Ashwell Legislative Advocate for the Florida Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), has been named as the May 2009 recipient of the John Lilburne Award. He is being honored for his work in defeating anti-initiative legislation and defending the rights of Florida voters.

Read More About Brad Ashwell

April 2009 - Linda Curtis

Linda Curtis, Executive Director and Founder of Independent Texans, has been honored as the April 2009 recipient of the John Lilburne Award for her work to expand and protect the rights of Texas citizens to petition their government and voice their opinions. Texas currently is one of 26 states that does not have a statewide initiative and referendum (I&R) process. I&R does exist at the local level in Texas.

Read More About Linda Curtis

March 2009 - Senator Randy Brogdon & Representative Randy Terrill

Oklahoma State Senator Randy Brogdon and Oklahoma State Representative Randy Terrill have been named the March 2009 recipients of the John Lilburne Award by Citizens in Charge Foudnaiton. Both Oklahoma legislators are being recognized for their legislative efforts to facilitate citizen use of the state initiative and referendum process. Currently Oklahoma has some of the most restrictive initiative and referendum laws in the nation.

Read More About Senator Randy Brogdon & Representative Randy Terrill

February 2009- Delegate Harvey B. Morgan

Citizens in Charge Foundation has named Virginia Delegate Harvey B. Morgan as the February “Lilburne Award” winner. Morgan is honored for his work to preserve the rights of Virginia citizens to petition their government and voice their opinions, unafraid of repercussions.

Read More About Delegate Harvey B. Morgan

January 2009- Paul Weyrich

Paul Weyrich received the Lilburne award posthumously for his lifelong commitment to the initiative and referendum process. Weyrich was a major proponent of the ballot initiative and referendum process and prominent leader of the conservative movement. He died in December 2008. Weyrich believed in the use of ballot initiatives and referenda as mechanisms of popular democracy that help in cutting corruption in politics…

Read More About Paul Weyrich

December 2008- Robert Corry

Corry is honored for his work to defeat Colorado Referendum O, a measure placed on the ballot by the Colorado general assembly which would have effectively gutted Colorado’s initiative process increasing the number of signatures required to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot, required signatures meet a geographical distribution, and reduced the time period that initiative proponents have to circulate petitions …

Read More About Robert Cory

November 2008- Eric Ehst

Ehst is honored for his work to defeat Proposition 105, which would have severely hampered Arizona’s initiative process by requiring a virtually impossible majority of all registered voters, not just those actually voting, to pass any initiative that would raise a tax or fee or that mandated any spending at all. Voters clobbered Proposition 105 on November 4 by a margin of 66 to 34 percent …

Read More About Eric Ehst