Coalition for a Better Sonoma County
We, the individual and organizational members of the COALITION FOR A BETTER SONOMA COUNTY, agree to the following statements of principle and agree to work collaboratively to implement them and to elect candidates who join us in supporting them:
We believe neighborhoods are the building blocks of our community. All neighborhoods should provide certain basics: housing for people of all income levels, abilities and ages, and neighborhood services such as grocery stores, parks, schools, small businesses and child care. Neighborhood character and history should be respected and reflected in any new development. Residents should be including in a meaningful way in changes that affect their neighborhoods.
We believe the way in which our county grows in both the short term and the long term has a profound effect on the quality of life for our residents and those who reside in communities around us.
We will work cooperatively with our neighbors.
We will conserve our natural resources, including hillsides, woodlands, oak lands, the Laguna de Santa Rosa, the Russian River, our creeks, our trees, and our clean air and clean water.
We support the preparation and implementation of a comprehensive water management plan for Sonoma County that effectively balances available water resources with current and future population growth, protects our groundwater, groundwater recharge lands, the Russian River, and our other water resources, and requires efficient and comprehensive water-saving practices and ever increasing re-use of treated wastewater.
We will protect our children who represent our future and our seniors who link us to our heritage.
We will work to implement principles of smart, responsible and sustainable development, including city-centered growth, downtown revitalization, fixed urban growth boundaries and growth management programs.
We believe a transportation system that emphasizes private automobiles is choking our county with traffic congestion, threatening the safety of our children, seniors, the disabled, and those who must or choose to walk and bicycle, and polluting our air, water, and scenic beauty. We believe this system costs the public millions of dollars in annual subsidies and resources that could be better spent in other ways.
We will work toward committing public resources for public trail systems, bike lanes, and sideways for safer ways to walk and bicycle through our community.
We will work toward regional public transportation, including passenger and freight rail.
We believe money has too great an influence on our local elections and decision-making process. The amount of money spent in our local elections has reached obscene proportions, is drowning out diverse voices in our political dialogue, and makes effective participation in our electoral process beyond the reach of most of our residents.
We support campaign finance limitations and public financing of local campaigns.
We support candidates who will voluntarily limit the amount of money they spend in campaigns while recognizing that the cost of campaigning in our county has skyrocketed due to size and the amount of money other candidates are willing to raise and spend.
We support some form of district elections within Santa Rosa to significantly reduce the geographic area in which a candidate must campaign, thereby reducing the cost of campaigns and expanding the pool of potential candidates, giving a voice to areas of our community that have historically been unrepresented in our government.
We believe a healthy community is one in which the needs of all people are met.
We support local living wage ordinances, which are sufficient to allow working families to live in our community, are fiscally prudent, and promote equity in the region.
We believe projects built with our local tax money should provide jobs for local workers paying living wages both to support our local residents and to support economic development within our own communities.
We believe in the social justice of better wages and benefits for workers, quality apprenticeship programs, and the use of Prequalification of Contractors on Public Works Projects, and Project Labor Agreements for their economic impact to the local workforce and their communities.
We support the right of workers to organize, and expect all employers to remain neutral if their employees choose to unionize.
We support permanent housing for people of low and very low incomes, not just housing for upper income levels. We support a public program requiring such housing to be included in all neighborhoods and the assessment of a commercial impact fee to help subsidize such new housing, along with other methods to achieve housing equity in our region.
We support and will work toward access to quality health care for all our local residents.