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Petition Drive To Repeal Parking Meter Deal Kicks Off Saturday

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The Parking Ticket Geek

The Geek is an idiot, who gets a lot of parking tickets, and knows how to fight back.

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There's another front developing on the battle against the parking meter lease deal.

And it comes in the form of volunteers armed with pens and clipboards.

A group called ANSWER Chicago is spearheading a petition drive to help Chicagoans voice their distaste for the parking meter lease deal with the "Chicago Parking Meter Campaign."

According to John Beacham, coordinator for ANSWER Chicago, the group plans to gather as many signatures as possible and present them to the Mayor and aldermen at City Hall sometime in late summer or early fall.

"Our intention is to collect tens of thousands of signatures, and bring it to the attention of the Mayor and City council," explains Beacham. "We (also) want to flood the Mayor's e-mail box and fax machine."

According to their website, the campaign's main goals are to roll back current meter rate hikes and stop future rate hikes, reverse the deal that privatized the parking meters, and stop the installation of new meters and pay boxes.

"There's a lot of frustration (with the deal)," says Beacham, when asked why his group began this campaign. "If you want things changed, you have to do it yourself. The Mayor and City Council are not concerned with what people want. People feel helpless."

While the group has already has dozens of volunteers and started collecting signatures, the main push begins this Saturday.

At noon, volunteers interested in the Chicago Parking Meter Campaign, will meet at the group's Albany Park offices for a short training session before hitting the streets, neighborhoods and weekend festivals to collect signatures. ANSWER Chicago's offices are located at 3334 W. Lawrence, #202, which is right off the Kimball Brown line stop.

"We'll be all over the city basically," says Beacham. "Our strategy is to go where there are lots of people. "

Not surprisingly, according to Beacham, reaction to the petition has been overwhelmingly positive so far.

"We're getting a favorable reaction," says Beacham, a community college teacher and former Green Party candidate for Illinois State Assembly. "People are happy someone's out on the street, doing something about it."

Chicagoans frustrated with the meter deal, also have the option of signing the group's online petition, located on the group's website.

For more information or to volunteer, check out the website for the kickoff meeting or call 773-463-0311.

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