Petition Closed
Petitioning Mayor, Watertown City Council Jeffrey E. Graham and 4 others

Watertown, New York City Council: Oppose "No Roommates Allowed" Law.

One woman should not decide how modern families should be constructed. Tell Watertown City Council that families are more than blood lines and marriage certificates. New Yorkers will not be forced out of their homes!


Oppose Legislation that Bans Unrelated Roommates!


On Monday February 4, 2013, City Council Members in Watertown, New York voted 3-2 to pass legislation that bans unrelated roommates from living together.  The move was prompted by city-resident Deborah Cavallario who was upset that her neighbor, city employee Travis Hartman was living with his unwed fiancée and two roommates.  Cavallario's reasoning?  She didn't want to see her neighbor's situation becoming commonplace in her residential neighborhood.


Mrs. Cavallario's concerns were brought to the City Council who, rather than protect the rights of its citizens, bent to the whims of a local busy-body.  The law, which would prevent unrelated roommates from sharing a "single-family" home, could prevent unwed couples, domestic partners, and military personnel from living together and sharing the costs.  


Coupled with the lack of full-time employment, benefits and affordable housing, the "No Roommates Allowed" law makes it difficult for young adults to move out of their family's home and start a life for themselves.


The story has received international attention and has been publicized by mainstream media outlets, as well as commentary from celebrity comedian, Drew Carey.

 WWNY 7NEWS Report

Watertown Daily Times

Drew Carey Tweets about the "No Roommates Allowed" Law


Now we are calling on Watertown City Council to right the wrongs.  Do not let the concerns of one woman interfere with the livelihood of modern families.  Your duty is not to Deborah Cavallario, but to the people of Watertown, New York.


About me:  I started this petition, not as a concerned "California woman" who saw the news story break online, but as a former Watertown resident with friends, family and loved ones still living, working and going to school in Watertown.  This law is personal.  And I will work my hardest to counteract it, even if there is a continent between me and the Watertown City Council.

Letter to
Mayor, Watertown City Council Jeffrey E. Graham
City Council Member Roxanne M Burns
City Council Member Joseph M Butler Jr
and 2 others
City Council Member Teresa R Macaluso
City Council Member Jeffrey M Smith
Oppose Legislation that Bans Unrelated Roommates!

This letter is in response to Watertown City Council's February 4th decision to pass what is being called the "No Roommates Allowed" Law. I, and hundreds of other citizens are asking you to review and reverse your decision to dictate what constitutes a family, and which members of that family may live together under one roof.

In a time when unemployment, lack of full-time benefits, and living costs are high, it is unthinkable that the Watertown City Council would allow the meddling concerns of one woman dictate the livelihood of Watertowns 30,000 other residents. We owe our young adults, our service members, and the students who will be leading our future the chance and opportunity to begin a life of independence for themselves, rather than confining them to financial burden.

In the spirit of your responsibilities as an elected official, we urge you to remember your duty, not to Deborah Cavallario, but to the citizens of Watertown, New York.

Repeal the "No Roommates Allowed" Law.