The Tahoma Activist

"Changing the Media, One Story at a Time"

This website is your Pierce County source for progressive news and opinion. If you want to be a part of The Tahoma Activist, send all submissions here. We will print anything that makes sense and touches on the important issues of the day.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

My response to pro-933 attack in the Tacoma Weekly

Here's my response to the pro-933 attack piece by Mr. Ken Miller, which will hopefully get printed in next week's Weekly:

Wow. Mr. Miller certainly does have strong opinions. But let's be real here, cause that's all they are. I'd like to take a minute to refute his assertions, and explain why the sensible choice is to vote no on I-933.

Mr. Miller says he can't believe that you printed such a completely erroneous piece. I guess he doesn't understand what a guest editorial is. Editors have the right, if their publisher agrees with them, to run pieces that don't necessarily reflect the opinions of the editorial staff or the publisher.

To his next point, I received most of my information on I-933 from advocates within the No on I-933 campaign, ranging from environmentalists to government officials to advocates of sustainable land use practices like independent family farmers. Many of the specifics of my argument were informed by my father, who is a City Councilman in Gig Harbor and an attorney for Pierce County's Civil Prosecuting Division.

As far as my occupation, I am a union letter carrier and a delegate to the Pierce County Central Labor Council from my union, NALC 130. While Mr. Miller claims I am spreading lies, I am simply stating what this initiative will likely allow, since these same problems are popping up in Oregon, where the nearly identical Measure 37 passed iin 2004. And as for community organizations, I volunteer with America in Solidarity, where I am chair of the Education Committee, the Progressive Roundtable, and Northwest Media Action. I am a Green, a proud liberal, and occasionally register as a Democrat to take advantage of our pick-a-party Primary. I've helped organize anti-war rallies, marched in support of immigrant workers, and I continue to fought for the interests of Washington's working families.

Though Mr. Miller seems to be aware of the "problems" with the CAO, he clearly has no concern for the populations it's designed to protect, including threatened wildlife species, indigenous tribes, and lower-income property owners. While a buffer requirement may seem pointless to Mr. Miller, it's actually a very effective way to protect smaller landowners from the effects of their neighbors' development.

As for farmers, I have a lot of respect for them. I want them to be able to keep farming on land they've lived on for generations. I'd prefer not to see their kids, who are tired of working the land, sell off all their land to some rich developer, to turn into warehouses and cookie-cutter housing devlopments. The CAO and the GMA make that more difficult for good reason. Preserving family farms is essential to preserving the agricultural heritage of this region, not to mention protecting us from sudden shifts iin agricultural output in other parts of the country.

And as far as my credentials go, who needs credentials to speak the truth? And don't rely on the Farm Bureau, Washington State's largest private insurance company for farmers, to tell you how to vote on I-933. Talk to people you trust, people who will be affected by this law: local government officials, public sector employees, small business owners. They're the ones who are going to be hit hardest if this thing passes.

Jeff Richardson
Education Director
America in Solidarity

Categories: Politics - Local, Alternative Media

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At 9:30 PM, Blogger Tilter said...

Way to go TA. I haven't read the Tacoma Weekly much but, you certainly make me want to read it now. You know, with the fair and balanced reproting concept, how can the Tacoma Weekly do anything else except print this.


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