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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 7, 2006 Get Involved Today!

Contact: Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, Humboldt Coalition for Community Rights, (707) 362-0626 or

Humboldt County, CA Stands Up for Local Control and Community Rights as "Measure T" Goes Into Effect

EUREKA, CA - On June 6 voters of Humboldt County, California passed the Ordinance to Protect Fair Elections & Local Democracy by 55% of the vote. Known locally as Measure T, the groundbreaking citizens initiative forbids out-of-county corporations from making political contributions in local elections. The ordinance went into legal effect yesterday.

Although no lawsuit has yet been filed, Measure T opponents repeatedly threatened to sue to overturn the law if it passed. Billionaire financier Robin Arkley Jr, who is one of Governor Schwarzenegger's largest contributors, sent a memo to the County Board of Supervisors during the campaign warning them of a lawsuit if Measure T passed.

"The people of Humboldt County sent a powerful message that our confidence in the integrity of our own elections is undermined by corporate money," said Measure T spokesperson Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap. "Corporate leaders should respect the will of the people, but if a corporation tries to deny our community's right to local control of our elections then we are prepared to offer the County assistance in defending the people's will," she continued.

Measure T received national attention because it includes a direct challenge to "corporate personhood," which is the legal doctrine that allows a corporation to claim constitutional rights. "Money does not equal speech, and corporations should not be allowed to claim First Amendment rights - we the people have an obligation to challenge unjust laws," said Sopoci-Belknap. "Measure T follows in the footsteps of the suffragists, the abolitionists and the Civil Rights activists who fought against segregation. Humboldt County has taken a stand for the rights of people and communities over the so-called rights of corporations, and we invite other communities to stand with us."

Robert Benson, Professor of Law at Loyola University in Los Angeles, defended the rationale for Measure T. "Citizen activists play a vital role in our society when they challenge the courts to justify judicial doctrines that have lost touch with fundamental democratic values. Measure T does just that," he said. "If I lived in Humboldt County I would have proudly voted for it," he concluded.

For more information about Measure T visit the website of the Humboldt Coalition for Community Rights or Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County.


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Humboldt County Leaders Endorse Measure T!

Democratic Party of Humboldt County

Green Party of Humboldt County

Central Labor Council of Humboldt and Del Norte Counties

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local #1684

Building and Construction Trades of Humboldt and Del Norte Counties

Carpenters Union Local #751

Operating Engineers Union Local #3 AFL-CIO

Paul Gallegos, Humboldt County District Attorney

Peter LaVallee, Eureka Mayor

Chris Kerrigan, Eureka City Council

Dave Meserve, Arcata City Council

Harmony Groves, Arcata City Council

Paul Pitino, Arcata City Council

Bob Ornelas, Former Arcata Mayor

Connie Stewart, Former Arcata Mayor

Elizabeth Conner, Former Arcata City Council

Julie Fulkerson, Former Humboldt County Board of Supervisors

... and hundreds of other individuals and local businesses! Join us today!

View the full list of public endorsements!


Learn More!

Pros and Cons of Measure T

Learn more about Measure T in a Pros and Cons Video, produced by Eileen McGee (51 mins)


Radio Ads


Chris Kerrigan, Eureka City Counsel, and Kate Christensen, owner of The Garden Gate, support Measure T! (1 min)


Paul Gallegos, Humboldt County District Attorney, and Nezzie Wade, community member, support Measure T! (1 min)


Larry Glass, owner of The Works, and Dennis Rael, owner of Los Bagles, support Measure T! (1 min)