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NYC CAN understands that due to the unprecedented nature of this initiative, the public will have many questions about it. If your question is not addressed below, we encourage you to contact us directly at Maintaining an active dialogue with you will ensure that NYCCAN achieves its goal of establishing a new, independent 9/11 Commission.

Q: How many signatures are required for the referendum to be placed on the ballot?

The requirement to put the petition before City Council is 30,000 signatures. With this number the petition can be filed with the City Clerk, who certifies its validity and submits it to City Council, which then votes on whether or not to place the referendum on the ballot.

On June 24, 2009 NYC CAN submitted 52,000 signatures to the City Clerk in hopes of meeting the requirement of 30,000 valid signatures.

In the unlikely event City Council does not approve the placement of the referendum on the ballot or fails to act on it within the allotted 60-day period, NYC CAN will submit an additional 30,000+ signatures on or around August 24, in hopes of eclipsing the 15,000 valid signatures needed by law to override City Council and guarantee it goes on the ballot.

Q: When is the deadline for submitting the petition?

NYC CAN chose to file the petition on June, 24, 2009, ten days prior to the initial submission deadline of July 3, 2009.

In the unlikely event City Council does not approve the placement of the referendum on the ballot or fails to act on it within the allotted 60-day period, NYC CAN will have until September 3, 2009 to file the second petition containing at least 15,000 valid signatures.

Q: If I signed the petition in 2008, is my signature still valid in 2009?

Yes. Each of the 30,000+ signatures collected in 2008 remain valid until the signer is no longer a registered voter in New York City.

Q: Who can sign the petition?

Anyone registered to vote in one of New York City’s five boroughs.

Q: How can I sign the petition?

Please go to The Petition page for instructions on how to sign the petition.

Q: Can I sign the Petition online?

No. Unfortunately, this kind of petition must be filled out and signed on paper. Please go to the Petition page for instructions on how to sign the Petition.

Q: What allows for New York City voters to pass a law by way of public referendum?

Section 37 of the New York Municipal Home Rule Law lays out the process by which the voters of any city in New York State can petition and vote for the adoption of amendments to their city charter.

Q: How will this new investigation proceed?

This investigation will be non-partisan and independent of government control. A panel of Commissioners will conduct hearings to evaluate evidence provided by teams of researchers. These teams will compile evidence on every possible category of investigation. They will question witnesses, experts, and issue subpoenas when necessary. The scientists, legal counsel, researchers and investigators who make up the commission will follow the trail of evidence wherever it may lead. Finally, the Commission will publish one or more reports, and will have the ability based on its findings to seek indictments and to work with prosecutorial agencies towards achieving justice for the events of 9/11.

Q: Will a new investigation work to obtain justice and necessary benefits for 9/11 First Responders and others who were at the scene?

Yes. Up to 70% of First Responders and others afflicted have died or become ill, and many more will likely become ill in the future. There are also reports of birth defects in children of First Responders. Illnesses reported in First Responders include cancers of the lung, throat, tongue, testicles, breasts, bladder, kidney, colon, intestine, and rare blood cancers, as well as other cancers such as lymphoma, leukemia, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma. The government has yet to allocate the necessary funds to deal with this health crisis, consistently refusing to acknowledge that any of these people are sick because of 9/11. Congress allocated $1 billion to a fund for First Responders and other injured parties, under the name World Trade Center Captive Insurance Company, but so far, none of the 8,000+ claims filed toward this fund have been granted. Additionally, many are suffering terrible financial losses from medical expenses and inability to work.

Q: Will the Commission really have subpoena power?

Yes. The Commission’s subpoena power will be broad and will extend to all governmental agencies. Just as the first 9/11 Commission experienced difficulty in gaining access to needed documents and testimony, the new Commission will likely encounter resistance. However, the new Commission, unlike the first 9/11 Commission, will not hesitate to issue subpoenas and go through federal courts to attain enforcement orders.

Q: How do we know this Commission will do a better job than the first 9/11 Commission?

Unlike the first 9/11 Commission, the new Commission will be completely independent because it will be comprised of individuals with no interest in protecting the government from accountability. To guarantee that this Commission will be completely independent and pursue the evidence wherever it may lead, the selection of the first eight Commissioners has been written into the petition, and the additional Commissioners (the Commission will have up to fifteen members) will be appointed only by majority vote of the existing Commission members.

Q: Will the public be able to have any input on the selection of additional Commissioners?

Yes. NYCCAN will maintain a dialogue between the public and the Commissioners enabling the public to nominate candidates for the remaining Commission seats. If you would like to nominate a candidate, please email us at

Q: How were the Commissioners selected?

The Commissioners were selected by the crafters of the petition based on an assessment of each candidate’s investigative ability and commitment to following the evidence wherever it may lead. The crafters of the petition sought candidates from diverse backgrounds who are widely respected and can be trusted to investigate rigorously on the public’s behalf.

Q: Why is the Commission going to be independently funded?

The Commission will be independently funded to guarantee that it remains completely independent from government influence. It is anticipated that thousands of people in New York City and across the country will contribute. Donors will exert no influence on the direction of the investigation. Those who contribute will do so because they believe in the need for an independent investigation that follows the evidence wherever it may lead.

Q: Will the new Commission have a bias or pre-determined conclusion about the events of September 11?

The investigation will commence from a starting point of zero assumption or bias about the events of September 11. The investigation will be fact-driven and will use only the most rigorous legal standards for establishing the truth about those tragic events.

Q: What results will come out of this new investigation?

The Commission will publish one or more reports to inform the public of its findings, and it will have the ability based on its findings to seek indictments and to work with prosecutorial agencies towards achieving justice for the events of 9/11.

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