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Old Baldy, Canada | photo by Cameron Schaus
Political endorsements

Sierra Club Endorses

June 2006

Central Coast Candidates
Monterey County
Santa Cruz
Statewide Office

Central Coast Candidates

Sam Farr
U.S. House of Representatives

Sam Farr At The Pinnacles
Representative Farr at the recent opening of the 1700-acre addition to the Pinnacles National Monument

The Political Committee of the Ventana Chapter has again endorsed Representative Sam Farr for re-election.

Sam Farr was awarded the National Sierra Club's prestigious Ed Wayburn Award in 2004 for his strong leadership in environmental legislation. He has also worked on the Southern Sea Otter Research and Recovery Act, the US Commission on Ocean Policy report, and secured funds for the planning and design of a new Agricultural Research Service facility in Salinas.

Recently Congressman Farr was able to help Pinnacles National Monument get funds to purchase the 1700-acre Pinnacles Ranch which will include the first public campground for the park. The additional lands also mean additional grassland, riparian, endangered species, and migratory habitat. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee Sam has said, "I'll be fighting to prevent exploitation of our natural resources as debate over this bill continues."

Keep Sam Farr representing our communities in Washington D.C.

John Laird
27th State Assembly District

John Laird
John Laird

Sierra Club endorses John Laird for re-election to the State Assembly. During the past year John has assumed a leadership role as Budget Committee Chair. He is fighting to ensure California's environmental protection is strong and develop new water conservation standards.

Three of his key water conservation bills currently pending are

AB 984, which calls for control or eradication of invasive tamarisk on the Colorado River in order to increase water supply and restore habitat;

AB 1881, which implements urban landscape irrigation conservation recommendations that resulted from a previously enacted bill; and

AB 2496, which will save billions of gallons of water through mandating use of high-efficiency toilets.

John has been an excellent representative of our district in the State Assembly.

Monterey County

Jyl Lutes
Monterey County Supervisor 2nd District

Jyl Lutes
Jyl Lutes

The Ventana Chapter enthusiastically endorses Jyl Lutes for Monterey County District 2 Supervisor. A Salinas City Councilperson for seven years and Mayor Pro-Tem, Lutes is an advocate for smart growth, responsive government and leadership that puts residents before special interests. Lutes is committed to ending the special-interest funded politics that currently dominates Monterey County. She pledges to fight for the public's right to know, to participate and to decide what is best for their community.

On the City Council, Lutes guided a new vision for the Salinas General Plan. She promoted vibrant, compact, mixed-use, mixed-income, pedestrian-friendly communities and city-centered growth. The Salinas General Plan has earned recognition from the Congress of New Urbanism.

Lutes helped craft a progressive, low-income housing ordinance which is now included in the City's General Plan. Among all County jurisdictions, Salinas now requires the highest percentage of new affordable housing.

Lutes helped transform the Salinas budget crisis into a "Standard and Poor A+" credit rating. As a member of the Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC), Lutes consistently advocated for alternatives to automobile travel, and it was Lutes' vote that killed the Hatton Canyon Freeway.

Understanding the economic and environmental costs of sprawl, Lutes supports the Community General Plan Initiative. As Supervisor, she intends to continue advocating city-centered growth and keeping rural areas rural. She wants guarantees from developers that affordable housing, adequate infrastructure and community services will be included in all plans for future growth in Monterey County.

Her experience includes serving as a councilmember for seven years, as an Alisal School District Trustee, and as Chair of the Transportation Agency for Monterey County.

To help with her campaign, contact Lutes at 443-5040 or visit

Santa Cruz

Christopher Krohn
Santa Cruz County Supervisor, 3rd District

Christopher Krohn
Christopher Krohn

The Sierra Club is pleased to endorse Chris Krohn for Santa Cruz County Supervisor, 3rd District. Krohn's commitment to protection of Santa Cruz County's natural and open space lands is one of his top priorities. He is firmly on record as opposing the widening of Highway 1 and supporting environmentally-friendly public transportation including a bicycle-pedestrian trail on the rail right-of way. Krohn promotes affordable housing within current urban footprints at levels that ensure adequate water supplies. He believes in strengthening the local economy by attracting green businesses that will provide employment without pollution.

As a Santa Cruz City Council member, Krohn successfully fought to improve water quality by stopping timber harvesting in the City's watershed lands. He has worked to preserve agricultural lands from development.

Krohn is a former Mayor of Santa Cruz. He is currently the Environmental Studies Internship Coordinator at UCSC, and his wife, Rachel, is Chair of the Environmental Studies Department at San Jose State University. The Santa Cruz Group of the Sierra Club feels that Krohn reflects the values of the Sierra Club.

To help with his campaign, contact Krohn at 420-1266 or visit

Statewide Offices

Phil Angelides and Steve Westly

Sierra Club California endorses both Angelides and Westly. Either would be the greenest governor California has ever had. Both candidates have used their current positions to safeguard our state's air, water, coast, and open space.

Angelides has guided California's huge pension funds, CALPERS and CALSTRS, into green investments. Westly has taken on the auto companies on global warming and the power plants on marine life protection.

Liz Figueroa, John Garamendi, and Jackie Speier
Lieutenant Governor

All three of these candidates have good records. Senator Figueroa has voted for all of the Club's most important bills in the Senate over the last three years. Insurance Commissioner Garamendi authored laws on clean energy and toxic clean-up when he served in the legislature. As Deputy Secretary for the U.S. Dept. of Interior he blocked the Ward Valley nuclear waste dump and implemented water reforms. Senator Speier voted for 83% of the Club's highest priority bills in the Senate over the last three years.

Jerry Brown
Attorney General

As Governor of California, Jerry Brown pushed for alternative energy and green building. He favored mass transit over highway construction and was a strong advocate for river and forest protection. During his interview with the Sierra Club, Brown emphasized the need to defend the state vigorously against efforts by the right-wing congressional leadership and the White House to preempt important state environmental laws with looser (or non-existent) federal standards. Brown will be a strong advocate for coastal and forest protection and will vigorously pursue polluters in court.

Debra Bowen
Secretary of State

One of the principal issues facing the secretary of state is the problem of applying modern technology to voting. As chair of the Senate Elections Committee, Senator Bowen has been an aggressive leader in fighting for safeguards to ensure that all votes will be accurately recorded and reported. She has been a strong supporter of Clean Money campaign finance reform.

Bowen has been an environmental leader during her 14 years in the legislature. She voted for 23 of the Club's 24 highest priority bills in the last three years.

Bill Lockyer

For eight years Lockyer has been the greenest attorney general in California history. He now promises to be the greenest treasurer. The treasurer can influence environmental policy through investment decisions of the pension funds and through leadership of the California Pollution Control Financing Authority.

Jack OíConnell
Superintendent of Public Instruction

Sierra Club's main interest in this position stems from our active involvement in environmental education. O'Connell has supported environmental education both in the classroom and in outdoor schools.

John Chiang and Joe Dunn

The controller sits on the State Lands Commission, the California Pollution Control Financing Authority and state pension funds.

On the Board of Equalization Chiang has consistently voted to uphold and rigorously enforce a series of "polluter-pays" fees that fund programs for electronic waste recycling, hazardous waste clean up and prevention of childhood lead poisoning. He advocated ocean and desert protection as a staff member for former Controller Gray Davis.

Senator Dunn has voted for all of the Club's highest priority bills in the Senate over the last three years. A successful consumer attorney, he demonstrated his investigative ability by leading a hard-hitting Senate inquiry into the profiteering energy companies such as Enron who abused California during the electricity crisis.


Community General Plan Initiative and Rancho San Juan Referendum
not on ballot

Monterey County voters will not be able to vote in June on two important land use ballot measures supported by the Ventana Chapter-the Community General Plan Initiative and the Rancho San Juan/Butterfly Village Referendum. These measures remain stalled in the Ninth Circuit Court. However, the lawsuit cited to justify their absence (Padilla v Lever) is scheduled to be reheard on June 22. Sierra Club is hopeful both measures will be restored to the November ballot.

Until these legal issues are resolved satisfactorily, Monterey County citizens will continue to be denied the rights to referendum and initiative, which the state constitution grants them. A well-respected election-law authority has filed legal papers with the court on the Padilla decision, laying out the serious issues it raises. We share his concerns, and we have raised them with local and state officials. You can read one of his submissions on this issue at:

Vote NO on Measure A
Donít subsidize development of farmland

Measure A is a proposal placed on the June ballot by the Transportation Agency of Monterey County (TAMC) to enact a 1/2 cent sales tax increase to begin land purchases for the Prunedale Bypass.

Measure A has many provisions that are of concern to the Ventana Chapter. First and foremost is the initiation of a land acquisition plan for the U.S. 101 Prunedale Freeway Bypass Project. This would be a new freeway leaving Hwy. 101 just north of Salinas, proceeding east of the present highway, and re-connecting with Hwy. 101 just north of Prunedale. Not only is it not needed, the Prunedale Bypass will enable development of the area east of Hwy. 101 and the Gavilan Range.

Developers do not like to pay for infrastructure. It is not a coincidence that they and big business are supporting this measure. They would much rather have working people foot their bills. It is clear that the function of this tax hike is to subsidize development making traffic and congestion worse. The Sierra Club and responsible urban planners know that you can't pave your way out of congestion.

Remember, vote no on Measure A.