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Over 8,000 signatures for Right To Vote On Desalination in Santa Cruz
by paul gratz
Friday May 25th, 2012 5:12 PM
Tues. 5/29: Petition Turn-in Rally at Santa Cruz City Hall.

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.

For Immediate Release - May 25, 2012
Interviews & Visual Opportunities Available
Contact: Paul Gratz
831.419.6441
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.

Files Attached

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by John E. Colby
Saturday May 26th, 2012 4:03 PM
This is really great news. It shows we can exercise democratic government in Santa Cruz even when the entire Santa Cruz government establishment is against us. The next ballot measure should be rent control. With the petition process, we can circumvent the entrenched political interests who have been ruling this town for ages like their personal fiefdom.

This is the first step in taking our town back from political hacks and their enabling cvil servants.
The following organizations and individuals are desalination backers and political insiders who are working to defeat the community-driven petition campaign:

Conference and Visitors Council of Santa Cruz County

Lodging Association of Santa Cruz County

Santa Cruz Area Chamber of Commerce

Downtown Association


Germaine Aiken
Emily Bernard
Donna Blitzer
Bill Brooks
Paul Brown
Jennifer Cosby
Gary Griggs
Tom Honig
Maggie Ivy
Joni Janecki
Rama Khalsa, PhD
Doug Ley
Cynthia Mathews
Ian McRae
Larry Pearson
Trink Praxel
Kris Reyes
Mike Rotkin
Conrad Seales
Matthew Thompson
Bill Tysseling
Judy Warner
by John E. Colby
Monday May 28th, 2012 12:43 PM
I recommend submitting a public records request to City Clerk Bren Lehr for all written and email correspondence between the people and organizations on the list you mentioned and Santa Cruz staff/officials/office/agencies (regarding the Desal plant). I am certain they are all connected in perfidious ways.

If you are uncertain how to submit such a request, ask me how.