Letters | October 29, 2010 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Spectrum - October 29, 2010


No on 23


Architects have long been promoting sustainability and environmentally responsible green designs and materials in their practices to create balanced and high-quality built environments.

The defeat of Proposition 23 will protect the goals and implementation of AB 32.

AB 32 is critically important for many reasons, including its systematic planning approach to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions that cause global warming.

In June 2008, The California Air Resources Board (CARB), the creator of the AB 32 scoping plan, released a report that stated not only would AB 32 have a negligible effect upon California, it would also provide job creation in the green economy. This will help everyone, including architects, designers, and contractors.

The board of directors of AIA Santa Clara Valley, aligned with AIA California Council, opposes Proposition 23 and encourages community members to do the same.

Mary Follenweider

President, AIA SCV Board of Directors

Prop 23's impact


Propositions on the ballot can be deceptively written, complicated and difficult to figure out.

Prop 23 is particularly confusing. It's funded by Texas oil refiners. See http://tinyurl.com/2aulo2g.

Big Oil wants to repeal AB 32 because it requires them to spend big money to reduce how much they pollute, and it creates competition from clean-energy. AB 32 has catalyzed billions of dollars in private-sector green investment.

Prop. 23 will delay implementation of AB 32, California's landmark law to limit greenhouse-gas emissions, until our unemployment rate drops below 5.5 percent for four consecutive quarters.

Given that the current unemployment rate is more than 12 percent, it will be a very long time until we see 5.5 percent. Thus, Prop. 23 effectively repeals AB 32.

For an objective analysis of all state propositions, with voting recommendations, see www.peterates.com.

Pat Marriott

Oakhurst Avenue

Los Altos

No on S


Measure S would switch Palo Alto City Council elections from odd to even numbered years. We have a highly active and engaged citizenry that participates on a wide variety of local issues. Measure S would undermine key parts of that citizens participation, changing the long-standing process of electing local officials during elections where local issues dominate.

Two examples: Palo Alto City Council seats are heavily contested: in our odd-year elections; an average of 2.7 candidates run for every open seat. In our neighboring communities that have even year elections (Menlo Park, Mountain View, Santa Clara, Los Altos Hills and Atherton) an average of 2 candidates run for each open seat.

In addition, switching council elections would seriously endanger our ability to hold special elections (e.g. citizen approval of taxes, bond issues, important land use and zoning changes) every year, eliminating a key focus of citizen involvement. As a community, we have had 13 of these special elections over the last 10 years, most of them in odd years.

Proponents claim that we will save $200,000 every two years. The actual difference in city payments to the County Clerk for each ballot issue between odd and even years over the last decade has averaged under $50,000 every two years. That right to vote on local candidates and critical local issues during times when the ballot is not dominated by big spending state and national issues cost us less that 1/30th of 1 percent of our annual city budget.

Active, participatory democracy is worth more than that.

Greg Schmid

City Councilman

Palo Alto

Yes on A for kids


The League of Women Voters of Palo Alto supports Measure A on the November ballot. Measure A, Santa Clara County Children's Health Protection, will create a stable source of funding for the Healthy Kids Program.

Healthy Kids provides medical, dental and vision benefits for all children in our county from low-income families that do not otherwise qualify for Medi-Cal or the Healthy Families Program.

Santa Clara County voters overwhelmingly believe that all children in our county should have access to basic health coverage. In 2001, the county launched the nation's first universal children's health insurance program known as Healthy Kids through the Children's Health Initiative (CHI). At that time, one out of eight children here was uninsured. Currently, almost 97 percent of children have coverage in our county.

New national health care legislation does not expand eligibility of public programs for our California children. Therefore, even after the legislation is fully implemented, Healthy Kids will still be needed. Vote YES on Measure A.

Phyllis Cassel,

President, League of Women Voters

Palo Alto


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