A group of Los Angeles County residents who want to see a small cross restored to the government seal there have begun a second effort to get an initiative placed on the ballot to do just that.

A petition drive with the deadline of March 1 failed to collect the 175,000 signatures needed, falling 66,000 short. But organizers are not deterred and are starting the collection process once more, hoping to have a measure placed on the November 2006 ballot.

Old L.A. County seal

As WorldNetDaily reported, last year the American Civil Liberties Union, or ACLU, threatened to sue the county if the L.A. County Board of Supervisors did not redesign the seal, leading to a 3-2 vote to remove the small cross. The ACLU claimed it violated the First Amendment of the Constitution.

The Board subsequently voted to approve a new cross-less seal.

In October, a judge dismissed a lawsuit against the county seeking the return of the old seal, which is when the first petition drive was launched.

“Everybody was disappointed for about five minutes” when the signature threshold was not met, organizer David Hernandez told WND. “But those who have worked on the campaign don’t want to see the time and effort they’ve put in go to waste, so they want to move forward.”

County officials will give the group another six-month period to collect the needed signatures, and Hernandez says he’s confident the goal will be met this time.

“We’ve seen a movement of religious organizations to become more pro-active in political issues,” Hernandez said. “We have a network of various churches of various denominations throughout the county.”

The 109,000 residents who signed a petition will have to sign one of the new ones for the renewed effort. The ballot initiative would mandate that the former county seal replace the revamped one.

Hernandez, an independent insurance adjuster, thinks the entire six months won’t be needed to collect the needed petitions.

“If we don’t achieve this in three months, then something’s wrong,” he told WND.

A new website, SaveTheSeal.net, has been set up for Los Angeles County registered voters to find out more about the petition drive, including various locations where copies are available. Hernandez says people also can download a copy of the petition from the site.

Previous stories:

Suit to restore cross on L.A. seal dismissed

L.A. County’s new cross-less seal

Voters to resurrect cross on county seal?

Los Angeles name too godly for U.S.?

Protesters march in defense of cross

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