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Santa Cruz Indymedia | Environment & Forest Defense | Government & Elections | Health, Housing, and Public Services
Over 8,000 signatures for Right To Vote On Desalination in Santa Cruz
Tues. 5/29: Petition Turn-in Rally at Santa Cruz City Hall.
For Immediate Release - May 25, 2012
Interviews & Visual Opportunities Available
Contact: Paul Gratz
pauljg45 [at] pacbell.net
Tuesday Petition Turn-in Rally Set for City Hall. Over 8,000 Right To Vote On Desal Initiative Signatures Collected in Less Than 4 Months!
Santa Cruz – At 12:45pm on Tuesday, May 29, the Right To Vote on Desal (RTVOD) Coalition will rally at City Hall and turn-in over 8,000 petition signatures to City officials to tabulate and certify. The event will highlight the unprecedented level of citizen and water ratepayer support to place the historic measure on the November ballot.
In mid-February, volunteers began circulating the petition among City voters to obtain 5,442 valid signatures within 180 days required to qualify the initiative. Despite high-visibility attempts by both desal backers and political insiders to defeat the community-driven petition campaign (see attachments), the RTVOD Coalition surpassed the required number of signatures in less than 4 months.
If passed in the November election, the Charter Amendment would guarantee the community the right to make the final decision on the controversial regional seawater desal project. Most importantly, a Charter Amendment can only be approved by the people and cannot be reversed by the City Council.
If approved, the expandable desal factory would cost an estimated $180M merely to construct - - making it the most expensive and massive infrastructure project in the town’s history. For the cash-strapped city, it would have far-reaching economic, political, environmental, and social impacts.
Many local observers expect that the linkage of water policy, UCSC growth, government transparency, and blue green job creation will be the central theme determining the outcome of the City Council elections in 2012 and 2014. The RTVOD initiative on the ballot will certainly guarantee that.