Friday, March 1, 2024

#61 / Organize!


I recently got an email (from the "YES" on M campaign, which proposes a ballot measure that would let voters decide whether or not the "voters," not just the city planning staff and the City Council, should have to approve amendments to the General Plan of the City of Santa Cruz, or amendments to the City's Zoning Ordinance, if those proposed amendments would permit the construction of taller structures, going beyond what is currently allowed. 

The current General Plan provides plenty of leeway for tall buildings (check out what's being built now), but developers always want more, and the City Council has been rather willing to vote for very tall structures. Three current members of the Council, in fact, voted to allow 17-story buildings immediately adjacent to our existing downtown. Two of those Council Members (Sonia Brunner and Shebreh Kalantari-Johnson) are now running for reelection. The only current City Council Member who opposed those 17-story buildings (Sandy Brown) will be leaving the Council this year.

If the voters want to control the future shape and character of the City, a "YES" vote on Measure M is advised. Anyone who is not already clear on what they think about Measure M should consider checking out the YES on Measure M website, prior to submitting their ballot, on or before March 5th. 

In fact, though, I mention the YES on Measure M campaign only because that's where I got the image I am featuring above. I REALLY like that image. It pretty much sums up what I think is the key ingredient in any kind of genuine politics. Instead of "praying" to the "Big Fish," or "hating" on the "Big Fish," what we the people need to do is exactly what that image says: 

I was recently profiled as someone who has helped "shape" how politics is currently configured in Santa Cruz County. While proud to be recognized for my personal efforts, I tried to make clear, in the blog posting I just linked, that what really changed our politics (and helped protect and preserve Lighthouse Field, the Santa Cruz County North Coast, and agricultural land everywhere in the county) was "organized" political efforts. The YES on M campaign, of course, is in the spirit of what politics was like when I was more personally and directly involved. 

Don't take that "Big Fish" for some kind of inevitable force. Don't just assume that what that "Big Fish" wants is what it gets. The "Big Fish" can be "Big Money," or "Big Government," or the "Billionaires Club," or "Big Oil," or any other powerful individual or interest group. 

"Small fish," getting together, are absolutely able to take care of those "Big Fish" who think that their own "Big Fish" desires are all that really count. When we properly evaluate our system of democratic self-government, we will understand that it is "we, the people," who ultimately have the power. 

Yeah. That's right! We do! But ONLY if we organize!

Email, "YES" on Measure M Campaign

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