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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)
Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap Statement
Humboldt Coalition for Community Rights Press Conference
We are here today to mark what is quite literally a historic day. Historic because the effort to qualify the initiative for Fair Elections and Local Democracy collected more signatures than any other ballot initiative in the history of Humboldt County elections - over 7,600 signatures!
Over 300 ordinary folks have already participated in this petition drive, and it is not even a formal campaign yet! And every single one of us is an unpaid local resident of Humboldt County. Our campaign's local citizen volunteers stand in stark contrast to the paid petitioners that were sent into our community during Schwarzenegger's "special" election or the corporate-funded effort to Recall Paul Gallegos.
Even more remarkable is that we accomplished our task in 120 days rather than the usual 180 days, and we did our work over the holidays and during some rather tumultuous weather (even by Humboldt County standards).....
The success of the petition gathering stage of the campaign reflects the broad and deep support that this effort enjoys, representing every region of the county.
The Humboldt Coalition for Community Rights is a true coalition, consisting of the Humboldt County Democratic Party, organized labor, and numerous peace, social justice, and environmental protection groups.
We are also honored to have so many former and current elected officials endorsing our effort, including District Attorney Paul Gallegos, Eureka Mayor Peter LaVallee, Eureka City Council Member Chris Kerrigan, former Arcata Mayors Alex Stillman and Bob Ornelas, Arcata City Council members Harmony Groves, Dave Meserve, and Paul Pitino,and former Arcata City Council member Elizabeth Conner. Even more will be joining this list after we officially qualify for the June ballot.
We are also honored that so many people have come here this morning to celebrate the culmination of this petition drive.
Why has there been such an outpouring of civic energy to qualify this initiative? Why have so many respected community leaders and organizations endorsed the effort even before it has officially qualified for the ballot?
It is because the Initiative for Fair Elections & Local Democracy is a straightforward solution to a very real problem in our community. Large out-of-county corporations are corrupting the integrity of our local elections, and undermining the confidence of citizens in our government and our elected officials. And as the courts have repeatedly acknowledged, even the appearance of impropriety is sufficient reason to prohibit corporate political contributions.
This campaign will pose a simple question to Humboldt voters - does our community have the right to ensure local control of our elections?
We say of course!
Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap is the Campaign Manager for the Humboldt Coalition for Community Rights.
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