Friday, February 04, 2005

Update on Contacting City Councilmembers

I made a series of phone calls on Thursday morning to thank Arcata City Councilmembers for agreeing to consider the No Confidence Resolution. I gave just a brief thanks to Paul Pitino who was the Councilmember to move the resolution forward. This alone is a tremendous contribution to the cause. Paul is content, however, to allow Councilmember Harmony Groves and Vice Mayor Dave Meserve to work as a subcommittee on refining the resolution.

In the last GuvWurld blog entry I noted that there were two open questions about how things would proceed now: timing, and transparency. In speaking to Harmony, it seemed the resolution would indeed get its hearing at the very next Council meeting on Feb. 16. From my conversation with Dave, however, it seems possible there might be a delay now that he has taken an interest in a potentially more urgent proposal brought forth by Brian Willson who wants to make Arcata a sanctuary for conscientious objectors to military service.

I regret that I missed hearing Brian speak about this at the Council on Wed and again last night when I made an early departure from the Vets For Peace meeting. Dave Meserve filled me in somewhat and I will certainly post future updates on this topic as support is likely to grow with increased exposure. So the timing for consideration of the No Confidence Resolution is still somewhat unclear though it is now definitely in the pipeline. According to Dave, it is still a possibility that it will come up on 2/16.

Regarding transparency, I am referring to whether the subcommittee will meet privately or with members of the public. According to Dave, it is by nature a private body though as the author of the resolution, I was assured that my input would be sought on proposed changes. To me this underscores the importance of community members contacting Councilmembers, especially Dave and Harmony, to lobby for the aspects of the resolution that are most important to leave as-is. Any such calls would be greatly welcomed and appreciated by me, but especially so for those who will emphasize the importance of the key frame "no basis for confidence." I also hope Councilmembers will hear support for keeping the reference to the Consent of the Governed. For a deeper understanding of why these are the most important parts, as well as to review a general list of talking points, please see the No Confidence Movement Campaign Primer.

Emboldened by this progress, I am also pleased to report that a call to Eureka City Councilmember Chris Kerrigan has resulted in an agreement to meet next week to discuss the creation of a town hall forum on Instant Runoff Voting. This is more than just a small piece of the otherwise comprehensive election reform platform that is the No Confidence Resolution. From a legal standpoint, the City of Eureka has all the right characteristics to become another IRV town. Eureka Councilmembers would be well served by hearing from constituents eager to see an aggressive policy of implementation.

Here are Councilmember contacts:



Peter La Vallee Mayor

Mary Beth Wolford Councilmember Ward 1

Virginia Bass-Jackson Councilmember Ward 2

Jeff Leonard Councilmember Ward 3

Chris Kerrigan Councilmember Ward 4

Mike Jones Councilmember Ward 5



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