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Petition to Recall Council Member Kitchen Deemed 'Insufficient' by City Clerk

Callie Hernandez for KUT News
Callie Hernandez for KUT

A petition submitted by a political action committee attempting to recall Austin City Council member Ann Kitchen has been rejected by the City Clerk. The PAC Austin4All failed to notarize any of the petition's 989 pages, which was required to attest to the validity of the statement at the top of each petition: “The reason for [Council member Ann Kitchen's] recall is because she has purposefully hurt businesses that employ citizens of Austin.”

“Naturally I’m not surprised,” said Kitchen. “My constituents were very upset and very concerned about the misleading statements that were made at the door. So this failure to actually submit an affidavit that the statements are true, I’m not surprised. It fits with how this group has been operating.”

As it turns out, the petition would have been valid had the group notarized the pages. In the same memo from City Clerk Jannette Goodall to City Council, she wrote that the petition, which was turned in on Feb. 19, contained enough valid signatures — 4,935 of the 4,848 required — to initiate a recall process. Of the 5,290 signatures turned in, 355 were deemed invalid: 265 were duplicates and 90 could not be verified because of discrepancies in identifiable information such as name and birth date.

Kitchen's reaction Friday was one of relief. The Council member said she was not surprised by the petition's failure.

“This validates everything my constituents have been saying – that this PAC has operated in a manner that is not above board, that has been misleading the voters, and here they tried to submit a petition where they didn’t even validate, didn’t even follow the law, about an affidavit that the statements made are true.”

In an earlier interview with KUT, PAC co-director Tori Moreland said Kitchen was emblematic of leadership detached from the wants of residents.

“What we wanted to do, especially with Austin4All, as its first landmark operation, is to go for the root of the problem,” said Moreland. “Cut the snake off at its head. Go straight in for it and address the real issue, and that is this out-of-touch, elitist, corporate-funded, backwards-thinking mindset at City Hall.”

The PAC could still turn in another recall petition – but that petition would have to be new.

Below is the full report from Austin City Clerk Jannette Goodall. 

KUT has tried to reach Austin4All, but the PAC has not yet responded for comment. We will update this post as the story develops.

Audrey McGlinchy is KUT's housing reporter. She focuses on affordable housing solutions, renters’ rights and the battles over zoning. Got a tip? Email her at Follow her on Twitter @AKMcGlinchy.
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