Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Let The People Speak!

This is empowerment of the people at its finest! We have fought hard to put the brakes on the runaway train of unfettered casino development and expansion and now we have an opportunity to stop the process before it starts. This article by Steven Harmon of the Contra Costa Times shares some of the details.
Assembly OKs measure giving communities input on casinos
SACRAMENTO - Communities would be able to vote on whether they believe Indian casinos should be allowed in urban areas in a measure approved Tuesday in the state Assembly.

The votes would be advisory, so they would not have any binding power. But they would show the Legislature and governor the communities' views on casinos coming into their backyard, supporters said.

Berkeley Democratic Assemblywoman Loni Hancock's legislation, approved unanimously out of the Assembly Elections and Redistricting Committee, is part of a backlash against efforts by the casino industry to place gaming facilities in urban settings.

"This is the only way that the people can express themselves on gaming casinos," said Hancock. "People feel passionately about gambling casinos in their communities and right now they have no voice."

Hancock's district, which encompasses Alameda and Contra Costa counties, may soon be the most casino-rich urban district of the state. Richmond and North Richmond are considering building casinos, while Casino San Pablo is seeking to expand its facility to allow hundreds of Las Vegas-style slot machines.

Please check out the rest of the article by CLICKING HERE.

Friday, April 21, 2006

We're Taking it to the People!

We are continuing the momentum. By your request, and to support your activism, we will be doing more and more activities to "Bring it to the People." With your support, Clean Money will be a reality!

If you are in the area, please take some time out of your day to come down to the meeting.
West County League of Women Voters -- 11:30 a.m., Denny's Restaurant, 11344 San Pablo Ave., corner of Potrero Avenue, El Cerrito. Annual luncheon meeting will feature Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, who will speak on "Clean Money and Fair Elections." $15.. 510-232-3767.

If you have any questions about the bill or would like to know how you can help, please call my office at 510-559-1406.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Lets Get Clean - The Momentum is Growing!


The momentum for Clean Money is growing stronger and stronger each day. A lot of this is due to your help and support and continued activism. But we must not let up! This is a great editorial from the San Francisco Chronicle:
THE CALIFORNIA Clean Money and Fair Elections Act, AB583, will have its first state Senate hearing Thursday. If it passes -- and every senator should vote for it -- expect a sea change in California politics.

Imagine election campaigns focused on ideas, not scare tactics and smears. Imagine a Legislature that's more reflective of California: more women and minorities. Imagine real leadership on tough issues, such as health care and education funding. Sound like a dream? It happened in Arizona and Maine when those states adopted public campaign financing.

Now is the time to act. California voters are frustrated and dissatisfied with the elections process: so dissatisfied that 57 percent of them support public financing, according to research by the Public Policy Institute of California. That's quite a mandate in a fiscally conservative state.

For those who are still suspicious, consider the status quo: annual lobbying scandals, expensive special elections, legislators who change their votes after leaving the floor to please campaign contributors. We'll pay far more in the long run, if we continue to have legislators who don't feel beholden to us.

AB583, by Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, calls for state financing of up to $1.5 million for qualifying candidates. It's not a perfect bill -- it doesn't specify where the money will come from, and it may not be enough if campaign-spending levels continue their exponential growth. The state Senate will probably tinker with it.

That body should feel free to do so -- as long as the senators don't weaken its provisions or water down its mission. Voters will probably have the final say after the governor, and they're ready for real change. Imagine that.

Yeah... imagine that...

Monday, April 17, 2006

"Put Stop to Corporate Welfare!"


This editorial by Berkeley resident Roslyn Fuerman in the Contra Costa Times hits the point exactly! I appreciate her comments and the support from all of you for our historic actions and the continued fight against Corporate Welfare!
Put stop to corporate welfare
I read with great interest that Assemblywoman Loni Hancock is sponsoring legislation to force corporate disclosure regarding tax breaks in "Enterprise Zones."

As every good school teacher knows, the way to control the classroom is to "put the monkey on their backs."

Merely having to disclose, and having the press publish who is getting what for what and where, will clean up millions of dollars of abuses.

The legislation is broke, but that does not mean it was not a good idea. It just needs to be tweaked. And Hancock is on the right track.

The first step is simple information, and the state does not need to spend millions tracking that information when it is readily available.

If the state can monitor the most intimate details of citizens' lives to make sure they do not get excessive welfare benefits, the state ought to be able to monitor public corporations to induce public disclosure of corporate welfare.