Plain Pro-Development Folk
Plan for the People plays up down-home feeling.
Thursday, March 1, 2007
Former Supervisor Butch Lindley, just two months ago, would not have been standing next to a bale of hay in a Salinas parking lot on a Tuesday afternoon. Instead, the vintner-turned-politician would have been sitting in an all-day meeting—not his favorite place to be.
On Tuesday, Feb. 27, Lindley stood in the parking lot, ready to MC an event at which Plan for the People was to announce its opposition to the General Plan Initiative. This was actually the second time the group kicked off this campaign. The first happened in February 2006, and while Armanasco Public Relations also coordinated that one, it wasn’t as slick.
Before any of the speakers took the stage—outfitted in hay bales, local wines, fresh Monterey County cabbage, cauliflower and other veggies, and American flags—Common Ground’s Tom Carvey and Chris Bunn, Jr., sang folk songs. Many of the speakers identified themselves as parents and grandparents. All of them railed against LandWatch, whom they (inaccurately) portrayed as all white, all rich and pure evil.
“If the LandWatch initiative becomes law…it will increase the disparity between rich and poor,” said Center for Community Advocacy’s Juan Uranga. “Should voters on the Peninsula dictate where people live and work in Salinas Valley? It is not social justice to have wealthy Peninsula people vote on how our community can grow.”
“Ag is not the bad guy,” said Koster. “We are family-owned businesses, founded by immigrants. We don’t need to save farmland from farmers, we need to save farmers from LandWatch.”
Some did speak to the initiative: The said that it’s inflexible, and it prohibits any changes to the General Plan—even small ones—without a countywide vote. But the facts got lost in the set design.