The Socialist Party of Southern Maine strongly condemns Portland City Government for disallowing the Fair Rent Portland and Give Neighborhoods a Voice referendum campaigns a place on this November’s municipal ballot. City officials listed August 9th as the deadline for signatures to be submitted in order for these referenda to be included on the ballot. Both campaigns followed instructions in good faith and met the established deadline, but were then told that the clerks office “just determined” the deadline was incorrect, as it did not give the city enough time hold a public hearing before the November election. Denying each of these campaigns a spot on the ballot by changing the rules after-ther fact, whether an act of incompetence or prejudice (or both), will result in an unfair and undemocratic municipal election. The Socialist Party of Southern Maine finds this unacceptable, and demands that the City of Portland adhere to its original rules and to give Portlanders the ability to vote on both referenda on the November ballot. These two campaigns did the hard work to get the measures to the ballot, and the voters of Portland deserve a voice on these important issues. In the difficult political condition our nation currently faces, we need government to be more fair and transparent, and work harder to inspire public engagement; instead our municipal government is treating Fair Rent Portland and Give Neighborhoods a Voice capriciously and denying our citizens a democratic say in Portland’s future. We call on City Council and the Mayor to immediately correct this injustice by instructing City Government to place these two referenda on the ballot, thereby allowing Portlanders the unfettered and fair democratic process they are due.