A vote for Blake Hooper
EDITOR: Ballots will soon be mailed for the June 7 election. I hope people are paying attention to the race for District 2 supervisor. Blake Hooper is the candidate we need to meet Sonoma County’s myriad challenges. Check out his website at https://blakehooper.com/. About housing instability, Blake proposes fast-tracking housing projects that focus on easy access to public transit, developing more affordable housing through infill projects, passing tenant rights and more. About climate change, Blake proposes shoring up rain storage, investing in large scale solar projects, building sustainable agricultural and dairy practices and more. About increasing community engagement, Blake proposes providing equitable language access, holding regular town halls and regular office hours throughout the district, making sure important documents are easy for the public to read and understand and more. You get the idea. Blake has plans and with his voice on the Board of Supervisors we’ll achieve a healthier and more equitable Sonoma County. Please vote for Blake Hooper for supervisor on June 7.
A vote for David Rabbitt
EDITOR: Save Our Sonoma Roads supports David Rabbitt for supervisor. We have worked with David since we began in 2011, and he has been a relentless advocate to find funds to refurbish Sonoma County’s crumbling road system. Under his leadership, county funding for pavement preservation has been boosted tenfold, making our county the most generous contributor of county general funds to roads in California.
This is the primary reason that 456 miles of county roads will have been refurbished between 2012 and 2023. Rabbitt’s leadership also enabled the widening of Highway 101, Sonoma County’s main transportation artery.
When SOSroads began, our road system was among the worst in California because supervisors had neglected for decades their core responsibility to maintain and rehabilitate it.
Supervisor Rabbitt’s leadership turned this around, directing funding to roads and adopting creative solutions to refurbish our road infrastructure. He coauthored Sonoma County’s first long term road plan, and has helped direct $128 million so far to implementing it.
Our roads are improving, but we still have a very long way to go. The county has made important steps in what is necessarily a long journey to refurbish our county road system.
We want to stay the course without backsliding. Vote for David Rabbitt.
Craig S. Harrison
Making safe streets a reality
EDITOR: Safe Streets Petaluma (safestreetspetaluma.org) is a coalition of community members, groups, and businesses who want to see faster progress in making it safer, easier, and more rewarding for people to get around town.
At its May 2 meeting, the City Council unanimously voted for safe streets as a top priority, but it is up to the constituents to help make the safe streets policy platform a reality. Council members Kevin McDonnell, Dennis Pocekay, D’Lynda Fischer and Brian Barnacle supported using Safe Streets Petaluma’s 10-Point Policy Platform as the starting point for the city's work on the priority, while others said the committees and commissions should define the platform. The submitted Safe Streets Petaluma Policy Platform provides staff with clear direction that we can and must do more to make streets safer, such as reduce speeds, contribute to the sidewalk repair loan program, and establish a budget for quick-build and connectivity projects.
As a member of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee, I believe what we need most is clear direction from the Council to accelerate active transportation improvements. Safe Streets Petaluma worked thoughtfully to develop the policy platform, knowing neither the constituents nor the staff have time for committees and commissions to do this work.
With climate catastrophe looming, a bike share program soon to arrive, and data showing pedestrians and bicyclists are 40% more likely to be hit in Petaluma than in Santa Rosa, we must act with urgency. I hope you will join me in encouraging all members of Council to support the Safe Streets Petaluma Policy Platform at the June 2 meeting when the Council finalizes its goals.
Reform university perks
EDITOR: In a Press Democrat editorial calling for an independent look at CSU scandals, incidents at Sonoma State and Fresno State were cited. However, no mention was made of the use of retreat rights, a contract provision allowing administrators to return to the faculty. These rights are handled on a campus by campus basis and are generally written without any caveats for misconduct. It is up to each campus to delineate how, if at all, the right to retreat is limited. It is time for systemwide standards for the use of this provision in all contracts, and the standards should apply retroactively.