Tags >> election
May 18
2010

Prop 16 Protest

Posted by Bruce Robinson in technology , Santa Rosa , rights , politics , nonprofit orgs , news , Green , government , environment , election , economy , current events , climate change , carbon , California , business , alternative energy , activism

Bruce Robinson

The opposition campaign to PG&E’s big-budget backing for Proposition 16 took to the streets—well, actually the sidewalks—of downtown Santa Rosa yesterday (above, with Lady Liberty joined by Santa Rosa Mayor Susan Gorin and Healdsburg City Councilman Gary Plass), blasting the measure as “another bailout” for the utility.

The Yes on 16 campaign may have a much bigger budget, but the list of local governments and other groups who have lined up against it is impressive and growing. Ann Hancock, Executive Director of the Climate Protection Campaign, offered a sampling of that roster of opponents at the midday rally on Tuesday.

Healdsburg was among the founding members of the Northern California Power Agency (NCPA), a coalition of 17 cities that act as their own electric utility for their residents. ( Read their  statement opposing Prop 16 here.)  There are numerous other such operations elsewhere in the state. Expanding the service areas for any of them would be subject to the 2/3s vote requirement in Proposition 16, as would the creation of any additional local power purchasing entities, says Healdsburg City Council member Gary Plass. But while many cities oppose the measure, there is little they can do to directly combat it.

The lion’s share of the electricity used by the residents and businesses of municipal Healdsburg now comes from an array of renewable sources. Councilman Plass breaks it down for us.

Want to find our more about this measure? You can read an impartial analysis of Proposition 16  or to see the video ads against Prop 16 that won't be shown on television (due to no budget, not topical censorship), go here.

 

Apr 13
2010

Daniel Ellsberg Documentary

Posted by Bruce Robinson in war , speaker , protest , politics , news , media , journalism , jail , international , history , government , events , election , Congress , author , activism

Bruce Robinson

A single significant act of civil disobedience, one that may have changed the course of American history in the 20th century, is chronicled in the new documentary film, The Most Dangerous Man in America.

Daniel Ellsberg (seen here a in 1971 news photograph)  was arrested and faced serious criminal charges for making public the highly classified “Pentagon Papers.” But the case collapsed in a mistrial, when it was revealed that the Nixon administration had interfered in it, initially by engineering a surreptitious burglary of the office of Ellsberg’s psychiatrist. Looking back on those events now, film-maker Judith Erlich (below)  says, it’s entirely plausible to see Ellsberg as the catalyst for Richard Nixon’s downfall.

Having spent considerable time with Ellsberg over the five years it took to make the film, Erlich says she is convinced and appreciative of the sincerity of his motives, both in 1971 and over the years since.

Daniel Ellsberg was interviewed on the North Bay Report in November, 2006, prior to an appearance in Sebastopol. Here is that archival report.

This is the trailer for The Most Dangerous Man in America, currently showing at the Rialto cinemas Lakeside in Santa Rosa.

[video://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXlmQeSpqI4&feature=player_embedded 360x240]

Mar 30
2010

Proposition 16 and Local Electricity

Posted by Bruce Robinson in solar , politics , nonprofit orgs , Green , environment , election , climate change , carbon , California , alternative energy

Bruce Robinson

Buried among the ballot measures in California’s June 8th primary election is one that could define the future of electricity in our state.

Finding land for sprawling solar trough farms, such as the one seen below, is often less difficult than securing routes for the transmission lines to carry the electricity from the generation site to the population centers that need it.

The electoral process is only beginning to unfold, but as the power behind placing Proposition 16 on the ballot, PG&E is certainly prepared to spend big to get it passed. Ann Hancock, Executive Director of the  Climate Protection Campaign notes that the utility has not been bashful about funding similar moves in the past.

Marin County Supervisors voted narrowly last month to create the Marin Energy Authority, a new and hotly debated distribution entity. that the and Other cities or counties would be blocked from creating such a clean energy facility if Proposition 16 passes, Ann Hancock warns, and MEA’s ability to operate could be severely constrained.

 

Learn about greening our electric supply and the impact of Prop. 16
Wednesday, March 31st from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at the Glaser Center:
547 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa. This event is free and open to all.

Renata Brillinger (left)  of the Climate Protection Campaign will describe ongoing  efforts to green Sonoma County's electric supply and the impact of Proposition 16 - if passed. Proposition 16 will be on the June 2010 ballot. It  would enact a constitutional amendment requiring a two-thirds vote of any community before spending public money to investigate or implement non-profit power options such as municipalization or Community Choice Aggregation.  Co-sponsors: Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Santa Rosa - Seventh Principle Working Group and League of Women Voters Sonoma County

Mar 24
2010

Corporate Personhood

Posted by Bruce Robinson in rights , politics , nonprofit orgs , news , legislation , history , government , finances , election , corporate responsibiliyt , Congress , business , activism

Bruce Robinson

California’s far north coast is home to a nationwide campaign for a constitutional amendment to revoke the concept of “corporate personhood,” as recently extended by the US Supreme Court.

More information about the proposed constitutional amendment can be found at the website for Move to Amend. Humbolt County Attorney David Cobb predicts that this issue that will generate a grassroots political movement that will gain momentum as it sweeps across the country over the next 1-3 years.

Drafting a constitutional amendment to address this issue is a complex and delicate matter, so Cobb says that, too, is being worked out in a transparent and inclusive process.

Murray Hill, a public relations firm in Silver Spring, Maryland, has seized on the Citizens United ruling to become the first "corporate person" to run for public office. Here's "his" somewhat satirical campaign ad.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHRKkXtxDRA 250x250]

By way of contrast, Ira Glasser, head of the American Civil Liberties Union offers a dissenting view  on the Supreme Court decision.

 

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