• Petitioning Mayor and Common Council, City of Summit

This petition will be delivered to:

Mayor and Common Council, City of Summit

Remove Voting from the Summit Public Schools

    1. Petition by

      Concerned Parents of Summit, NJ

For a few days each year, absolutely anyone is able to walk, unquestioned, into the Summit Public Schools to vote. Parents of schoolchildren are required to call ahead before they come into school, get "buzzed in" the locked school doors, and wear identifying badges while visiting school. Voters are able to walk in unlocked school doors and through school hallways without question, identification, or supervision.  No additional indoor security is provided by the Board of Elections, the Board of Education, or the Summit Police Department.  The lack of oversight and forethought on this issue puts the more than 3,400 children and staff in the Summit Public Schools in harm's way, and though discussions on the matter have been happening for years, absolutely nothing has been done. 

This is a tragedy waiting to happen.   According to data maintained by Everytown for Gun Safety, there have been approximately 74 school shootings in the 18 months since the December 2012 incident in Newtown, CT.   The majority of these incidents, 39 in total, have taken place in K-12 schools.  This averages to more than one shooting per week while school is in session.  This is a national issue, affecting a total of 31 states, which have experienced gun violence in their schools.  It would be foolhardy to assume that Summit, NJ, is somehow immune to this risk.  We ask the Common Council to put our children first, support the effort to remove voting from the Summit Public Schools, and assist the citizens in cutting through the red tape with the Union County Board of Elections...before we're dealing with crime scene tape.

Mayor and Common Council, City of Summit
I am in support of removing voting from the Summit Public Schools

[Your name]

Recent signatures



      If you'd like to help promote the cause, please consider displaying a lawn sign in your yard. A limited number are available, and are free to anyone who signed the petition. (If you'd like to contribute to the printing costs, they are $4 per sign.) Please email concernedparentsofsummit@gmail.com with your address, or text (908) 247-4718, and give the address for delivery. Thanks!

    2. We Need Your Help...Email Campaign Launched!

      The effort to remove voting from Summit's schools is gaining widespread support. Not only did the Independent Press give the issue front page coverage, but we’ve learned that administrators including Board of Ed President Celia Colbert, former BOE President/current Board Member Gloria Ron-Fornes, and many of Summit's school principals will attend our 11/17 presentation to the Common Council to lend support. An important item to note is that the Common Council is tracking the growing number of signatures on the petition. Additionally, Council members weigh letters from their constituents very heavily. Even if you’ve already signed the petition, if you would take a minute to email the Common Council about your support of moving voting out of Summit Public Schools, it would be a huge help. For your convenience, a form letter, requiring an update of your name, address, and the date is available at the link shown below, or feel free to write your own. Email your letter to: edickson@cityofsummit.org, phurley@cityofsummit.org, dhughes@cityofsummit.org, adill@cityofsummit.org, gdrummond@cityofsummit.org, slizza@cityofsummit.org, rmadden@cityofsummit.org, mmcternan@cityofsummit.org, rrubino@cityofsummit.org

      If you have questions, ideas, or want to help, please email concernedparentsofsummit@gmail.com. Thank you for your continued support.

      Link to letter: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ixx42u7nys14soc/Voting%20Letter-1.docx?n=252783802

      To use the form letter, please follow these steps:
      1. Download the letter from Dropbox at the link above. Click the link and Dropbox will display a copy of the letter. You must click the blue “download” button on the top right-hand corner of Dropbox and select "Direct Download" in order to make edits.
      2. Open the downloaded letter in Word
      3. Click in the grey highlighted areas to add your name (both top and bottom) and address.
      4. From Word, you can email the file directly by choosing File>>Share>>Email As Attachment, (or you can save the file to your computer and email as an attachment in the traditional way.)
      5. Select the group of email addresses listed below and copy them. In your email, paste the addresses in the To: field.
      6. Make sure your letter file is attached, and send your email.

    3. Parents Address Common Council

      Members of Concerned Parents of Summit, representing the elementary, middle and high schools, attended Tuesday's Common Council meeting to urge the Council to remove voting from the Summit Public Schools. Wolfgang Guenther, President of the Lincoln-Hubbard PTO, addressed the Council. The statement read, in part, “Dozens of towns near Summit, including New Providence, Chatham Township, and Madison, have moved voting out of their schools with the full support of their Boards and their local governments. In Summit, while the ultimate decision maker on this issue is the Common Council, it should be noted that removing schools as polling venues has the full support of Superintendent Dr. Nathan Parker, Board of Ed President Celia Colbert, every school principal, the PTO presidents, and a large majority of the families in Summit, close to 1,000 of whom signed a petition requesting you find alternate voting venues. We have confirmation that the Union County Board of Elections is willing to move voting out of Summit’s schools, and that they have already approved the Summit Library as an alternate venue. Once the City Clerk provides the Elections board with a list of other available alternate venues, we can get this situation solved.” We are looking forward to making a full presentation on the topic as an agenda item at the November 17th Common Council meeting, to be held at 7:30 pm in Council Chambers. We hope you’ll be able to join us at that meeting. If you have comments, ideas, or would like to help in any way, please contact concernedparentsofsummit@gmail.com.

    4. Another Step Forward...

      We had an informative and productive meeting with Mayor Ellen Dickson and Councilman Pat Hurley, chair of the Common Council's Safety Committee, yesterday. We presented them with the many reasons why using schools as polling places is a real safety concern for our children, listed the dozens of towns surrounding us that have already removed schools as polling venues, and discussed alternative locations for future elections. Encouragingly, Mr. Hurley expressed his full support in our effort to get voting out of schools and invited us to present the petition and supporting information at the Common Council's Monday, November 17th meeting, which starts at 7:30 pm. We hope that as many of you as possible will be able to join us for that meeting, not only because the Council is very interested in how many of their constituents support this effort, but we anticipate that not every Council member will be initially agreeable to this idea and the physical presence of many supporters will give them a visual nudge in the right direction. You can continue to help by emailing local friends the link to this petition, emailing and calling Common Council members with your personal reasons why you don't want the public to have unfettered access to your child's school (http://www.cityofsummit.org/Council), and by attending the 11/17 Council meeting. Please note that all members in a household who are of voting age can sign the petition. Thank you for your continued support and your help in making sure Summit's children are safe in school every day of the year, including election days.

    5. Reached 750 signatures
    6. Petition update...September 2014

      Thank you for signing this important petition and joining us in working to protect Summit's children. Since last spring, we have learned that although the superintendent and the Board of Education have addressed this concern numerous times, they have not been successful in bringing it to a conclusion. It is apparent that it is now up to the parents and taxpayers to get something done, which means meeting with Summit's Common Council. So far, the Council has not been very receptive to the idea of removing voting from the schools, even though many towns around us, including New Providence and Berkeley Heights, have removed or are working to remove schools as polling venues. Please, join us in our effort to get this petition signed by as many people as possible. Forward it to all of your friends and families, and if you haven't already done so, please comment in the petition's comment section as to why removing voting from Summit's schools is important to you. Thank you for your help!

    7. Reached 500 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Lisa Aldape SUMMIT, NJ
      • 3 days ago

      MY CHILD's SAFETY. Seriously - how is this even allowed?

    • Ewa Misiewicz SUMMIT, NJ
      • 3 days ago

      Kids safety

    • Lori Rosen SUMMIT, NJ
      • 10 days ago

      This is a huge safety issue.

    • Virginia Williams SUMMIT, NJ
      • 11 days ago

      Safety and concern for our children. Don't want to leave our children vulnerable to anyone who has open unlimited access to our schools. That's very unsafe. Children need to feel safe and secure when they're in school.

    • Fred Wilkins MILLBURN, NJ
      • 12 days ago

      To protect my children at school


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