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Paul Gallegos, Humboldt County District Attorney (6 mins)
Kaitlin-Sopoci-Belknap, Campaign Co-Manager for Measure T (19 mins)
John Bonifaz, Attorney and Founder of the National Voting Rights Institute (17 mins)
Paul Gallegos Statement
Humboldt Coalition for Community Rights Press Conference
First, I want to express my sincere gratitude to the hundreds of unpaid local volunteers who participated in this effort. Many actually spent their holidays petitioning in the rains to ensure that this initiative will be on the ballot in June. Such a demonstration of civic determination truly reflects the best spirit of Humboldt County. It is worth repeating that every person working on this campaign is a local unpaid volunteer--in marked contrast to the Recall effort, when outside corporations spent $8 per signature in an effort to overturn an election.
It is with great pride and pleasure that I offer my full endorsement and support of this important campaign. Out-of-county corporate political donations are a real and persistent problem in Humboldt elections, and the Humboldt Coalition for Community Rights is providing a clear and straightforward solution.
Some have questioned whether the citizens of Humboldt County have the legal authority to pass such a law. Of course we do! The ability to protect the integrity of our elections is not merely our right - it is our responsibility.
In this respect I agree with former U.S. Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist's opinion in the case of Citizens Against Rent Control vs. Berkley when he wrote:
"The Supreme Court has always recognized that preserving the integrity of the electoral process, preventing actual or perceived corruption, and preserving citizen confidence in government is an interest of the highest importance in ballot measure elections."
As a lawyer, I am acutely aware that there are times when the courts have been wrong. And on those occasions, it is the responsibility of citizens to engage in the process to change such laws. Remember that the courts once held that indigenous people were not legally "persons," that Africans could be held in slavery, that women had "lesser" legal rights than men, that trade unions were a criminal conspiracy, and that Jim Crow segregation did not violate the equal protection clause of the 14 th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Courts and judges were profoundly wrong in each of those instances, and thank goodness engaged and active citizens challenged those legal doctrines.
As an active and engaged citizen of Humboldt County myself, I am honored to be part of the Humboldt Coalition for Community Rights. I look forward to working with them to pass this much-needed reform to protect our right to fair elections and local democracy.
Paul Gallegos is the District Attorney of Humboldt County.
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!
Learn more about Measure T in a Pros and Cons Video, produced by Eileen McGee (51 mins)
Humboldt Coalition for Community Rights