Stand Up for LIBERTY--One Bay Scoping Meeting--July 19-7PM

Hi All! Just a short report on this Plan Bay Area meeting I attended on Thursday night in Oakland with two of the Ron Paul people. It's not totally hopeless, and I do think we made a small impact on the government bureaucrats that are now busy deciding how the 7 million people in the 9 counties of the Bay Area will be living in the next 25 years. When we came in, I was a little disappointed that a lot of the chairs in the room (Scottish Rite Center near Lake Merritt) were empty, and it seemed that our large contingent of liberty-concerned folks did not show up. However, once things settled in, our prospects improved. Pretty much, all those in favor of Plan Bay Area's plans sat in the front rows, and the liberty folks sat at the back. Interestingly, the vested interests did not have their small army of admirers (some have been from ACORN in the past) there and rather we the working folks were there instead. (I suspect if it were a daytime
meeting, it would be switched.) Supervisors Scott Weiner and Christina Olague from The City were there too. While our numbers were smaller than hoped, we were loud, boisterous, almost obnoxious at times, and most of us had signs (Mimi had extra ones for those who wanted one). Talk about boring meeting--when the governmental folks conduct their business in incomprehensible Governmenttalk, you can barely even figure out what they're saying. It's all central planning mumbo jumbo. Phil would have fallen asleep for sure! Finally, they gave the public a chance to speak, and that's where we shined. Speaker after speaker from the liberty crowd spoke up against Plan Bay Area, governmental power grabs, and the assault on liberty. A Libertarian's dream to hear those words uttered in public! (My hands were sore from clapping.) They limited our time to 90 seconds each, so it wasn't much time to make a stink. It was telling that when one someone
for Plan Bay Area got up to speak and ran past the 90 seconds (which we all did), the guy running the meeting did not cut them off like he cut us off, and he had to be reminded from our part of the audience that it was past 90 seconds. He was better about that as the meeting went on. Charles #2 who attended our last meeting was there and spoke about how the emissions are so much better in the Bay Area these days that the goals have already been met so Plan Bay Area should be abandoned. I spoke about jobs and the ridiculous probability of matching employees and employers when you're limited to a small radius of a few miles, especially in the high tech world we're in and how specialized so many jobs are these days--my emphasis was on Plan Bay Area's limiting of possibilities for everyone, not expanding them. All in all, we gave them a pretty good piece of our mind.

So what good did it do? While obviously most of the government folks couldn't stand us, a few seemed to hear a little of what we said. (The women seemed more receptive.) One talked about having more meetings and to get the public more involved. A few others mentioned about the poor estimates that have been provided for the environmental impact report and the need to come up with better estimates. While their aim is still the same, some seem more willing to take away our liberties in a more open manner. This gives us a chance for more time to wake up the public and stop this madness.

I encourage everyone to get involved. Tell everyone you know, write letters to the editor (Les already does this, but I'm thinking of just sending in one myself about Plan Bay Area and asking why the papers don't cover this subject--only radio KSFO has been good about publicizing Plan Bay Area), and come to these meetings with us. For those squeamish about public speaking (it's not so hard after all), then just show up and hold up a sign (bring your own or Mimi can give you one). Let them know that we're not going down without a fight. If us Libertarians don't get involved in this battle, then shame on us. I didn't go looking for this issue, but once I found out about it, it not only infuriates me--it's an excellent one for the LPSF to show what we're all about. Let's not be armchair activists on this one!

Thanks!
Aubrey

Hi Aubrey,

  Thank you so much for going to this and speaking out, and for the report! From the description I saw, I did not get the sense it would be such a public event, more like just an ordinary board meeting, or I might have made more effort to go (I told my mom about it, since she lives out there, but she was not super interested).

  Any word on what's coming up next for "Plan Bay Area"/Agenda 21?

  Jim Gray, our VP candidate, will be in town on Monday for various events including an Obama fundraiser happening in Oakland. Any thoughts on how else we could take advantage of this visit?

Love & Liberty,
                                  ((( starchild )))

Hi Aubrey,

Thanks for going to this meeting and for the report! If you hear about further meetings, let us know; I will post on our website and on our Facebook.

I can imagine that the discussion was government speak and sleep inducing. However, I am hoping the next meeting is in the City, so I can go and try to figure out what EXACTLY the current plans are. The only CONCRETE assault on liberty that I could find right now is the proposal to require GPS in every car so a vehicle miles tax can be levied. The rest is green buildings housing 900 employees with only 4 parking spaces! which is crazy, but not something you can pin point as anti-liberty.

BTW, if I attend any of these meetings, I will not be carrying the suggested signs, since I feel the only thing bureaucrats respond to is a possibility of loosing their jobs as a result of being specifically targeted with specific issues (such as diverting scarce funds from education, killing jobs, discriminating against any groups).

Marcy

Hi Starchild! I just checked my EIR (environmental impact report) schedule from Plan Bay Area, and it says July-December to "Prepare Draft EIR." It mentions December 14 as the date to release the draft for public review. I don't think it's any coincidence that a 25-year plan that will affect every aspect of 7 million peoples' lives will be released shortly before Christmas when most folks are busy thinking about the holidays and not boring bureaucrat meetings. Very clever. At any rate, I'm working with Mimi Steel from CAPR (Citizens Alliance for Property Rights), and we'll be trying to whip up some opposition to the plan in the upcoming months. I live in Miraloma Park, which contains around 2,000 single family homes, and folks here really treasure their property values, so I am working on a letter to our local homeowner association that I hope to get in our next monthly newsletter about Plan Bay Area. I've asked Mimi to come speak to our
homeowners, and I will try to help organize that. She also has a bunch of leaflets made out for different groups/interests, so I envision a major canvassing here in Miraloma Park, as well as other parts of The City that have large groups of homeowners. Plan Bay Area is really on a fast track to push this through--April 2013 is the date for the MTC and ABAG to adopt the final plan--so now is the time to mobilize. Expect regular updates from me from now on!

Your mother not interested? Ask her if she'd like to live amidst Section 8 housing. They now "score" each neighborhood, and if yours has "too high" incomes or "high-performing" schools, then "affordable housing" might be coming to your neighborhood. "Equity" is a big part of this whole nightmare, not just the environment. True, the bureaucrats flapping their gums is quite boring, but when the public gets up to the mike, there's fire in the air!

Sorry I missed Jim Gray's appearance, but I definitely want to plan some campaigning and canvassing for Johnson/Gray after Labor Day.

Thanks!
Aubrey

Aubrey,

  Okay, I'll put December 14th on my calendar. But I'll bet they've got other stuff going on before then. Have you already got contact info for MTC and ABAG? If not, I'm going to look it up, so I can call them and ask questions. I know my mom opposes this whole agenda, I just think she didn't want to go to Oakland that particular evening.

  I missed Jim Gray speaking, but the Oakland protests Monday got a good turnout, and he received some good coverage in at least one write-up (see below - boldface added). I brought my megaphone and threw some promotion of Gary Johnson into the mix along with stuff against the Drug War and Obama. None of the marchers seemed to mind the occasional plug, which I take as a positive sign!

Love & Liberty,
                                ((( starchild )))