Sunday, January 26, 2014

2014 Is The Year For Action

2014 Is The Year For Action.

For the past 5 years, Senator Alex Padilla (D-LA) who sponsored SB 405 has pushed to ban plastic bags statewide. It was lasted voted in May'13 with 18-to-17 votes, 3 votes short of 21 votes to pass. In December'13, Senator Padilla vowed to bring back the bill as soon as the Senate is in session again. With the bag banners pushing hard on the last few democrats who are still holding out, after 5 years of fighting, it seem like it might pass.

But, not all hope is lost.
Even if it passed, the people can still do a repeal intiative to repeal it.
Though S.F. Bay Area is very liberal, there are plenty not so liberal cities that will give us enough votes. So, not all hope is lost. With the ban bans hitting home so close and hurting many businesses and consumers, it has created a perfect storm which might turn this blue state purple.

But we need to send enough signals to Sacramento that people are against the ban.

We see oppositions sponsored by citizens in many cities in various states, one was sponsored by a City Council Member, which are all very encouraging.

In Issaquah, WA, Craig Keller of Save Our Choice; successfully gathered enough signatures to put repeal ballots on 2/11/14 election. We are excited and can't wait for result.

In Durango, CO, Kirsten Smith of No Durango Bag Tax successfully repealed the bag tax with 56% to 44% votes in November'13.

In Homer, Alaska, in October'13 Voters voted down the bag ban passed in 2012 with approximate 54% to 44% votes.

In Walnut Creek, CA, in November'13, Councilman Justin Wedel sponsored Speak Up For Walnut Creek (SU4WC), to preempt plastic bag ban. It also wants to repeal smoking ban in multi-units residential buildings, for the ban violates people's liberty to choose.

In December'13, in Huntington Beach, SoCal, Frank LoGrosso has a very ambitious plan to gather 13,000+ signatures to repeal bag ban which took effect on 11/1/13. With his well connected Republican members, and volunteers deployed in 4 separate districts, we pray that sufficient signatures will be gathered by March'14. Please spread the words and volunteer.

And in January'14, two more parties in Encino and Sherman Oaks, L.A. have stepped up and expressed interest in driving repeal efforts. We welcome their enthusiasm. All of us here would love to share our knowledge / resources, and lend moral support.

Though in December'13, the repeal initiative in Campbell, CA fell short of the 2300 signatures required; 1200+ were gathered, we have learned much from the experience. With the bag ban taking effect on D-Day 1/27/14, we hope the public uproar will give us the needed energy to relaunch the repeal initiative. Please volunteer and donate.

Although writing to City Councils, County Supervisors and State Lawmakers make sense, with most of them yield to eco-fads and the "EIR"; the whipped up Environmental Impact Review which is most flaw,  and bag ban supporters who are relentless in their need to "modify public behavior", our writing fell into deaf ears. Our writing has no teeth.

To be effective, as recommended by Councilman Michael Winkler of Arcata:

If citizens disagree with any laws passed by the City Council they have a number of options:
-Contact us and express their opinion and get us to change our legislation
-Put a measure on the ballot and get it passed reversing our decision
-Elect someone else to office who will reverse our decision
-Remove us in a recall election
-Successfully file a lawsuit that our legislation is either a violation of state or federal law or a violation of the state or federal constitution

We think the second option of repeal ballot and the third option of removing them from offices are the most viable.

Since Craig Keller has done 4 repeal efforts in WA, these pointers are from his hard earned experience. His step-by-step primer:
Title:  "Just DO it!"
Subtitle:  "How to overturn a fascist bag ban"

The Petition
Referendum or Initative?

1.  Ballotpedia link

And cut and paste Ballotpedia's most relevant passages from their page.  Particularly the text from within the webpage expansion of "Ordinance Initiative Process"

2.  Signature Collection tactics (my rank by importance)
a.  precinct work (including the very key door drops with envelope + petition)
b.  storefront work (probably the best recruitment activity and media attractant)
c.  mailings (including placement of petitions in newspapers as insert "advertisement" - I've done this in every campaign.)
d  professional collectors.

3.  Administrative
a.  self validation against voter data base (secretary)
b.  campaign finance reporting (treasurer)
c.  PO Box

4.  Recruitment
1.  Petitioning is the most effective
2.  Website
3.  Press releases to media

And here are our contact:, Seattle, WA:
Craig Keller

Stop the Bag Ban, San Jose, CA
Don Williams & Joseph Sze

Fight The Plastic Bag Ban, Ventura, CA
Anthony Van Leeuwen

No Durango Bag Tax, Durango, CO
Kristen Smith

Speak Up For Walnut Creek, Walnut Creek, CA
Councilman Justin Wedel

Me. Terry Chong

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