I am an official endorser of NO on D measure position-- I am pro-workers -- and here will argue albeit obliquely against E. I am NO on E. Keep the park a park.
Ironically, I had plotted to help the anaerobic digester plan. I tried to enlist Rob Syrett to draw up my idea for a poster that I thought would help. I envisioned a giant soft ice cream cone icon, in key lime or Palo Alto green and the terse slogan "Green Goop YES!". I was going to pay for the printing myself, as an art project. But too many other little projects and ideas got in the way and instead of surprising my friend Peter Drekmeier (our former mayor; my former Bay Area Action and Earth Day colleague), I offered it to him in passing. And he passed.
Since that time, especially due to the reasoning of elders like Tom Jordan and Emily Renzel, I have changed my mind. I am against the initiative that would un-dedicate 10 acres of Bixbee Park towards building a compost facility. I am now "Green Goop NO". (the concept works even worse in the negative; do not picture an ice cream cone -- I had been looking at a lot of Claes Oldenburgs, in real life -- in SF, and Minneapolis, and on paper at Stanford's Cantor Museum, and Seuss).
What tipped the scale for me is the one-sheet I picked up yesterday at City Hall, at a meeting about climate change. The one-sheet is too glossy! To me that is a "tell", in the David Mamet sense. In my mind, there is a cognitive dissonance in building something -- with costs in the millions -- as an environmental measure. Like, is buying a new hybrid car more environmental that making do with your old car, or doing more biking and walking and public trani? At best, we are too ahead of the game with our proposed digester.
When I started Earthwise Productions, a spin off of the Earthwise Traditions section of Earth Day here in 1993, the designers who made my first two event posters each insisted I use soy based inks, recycled papers (and union labor, with a dingbat). It's a small point, but I think the glossy FPPC 1327763 product tips the scales against them. Here for the record is the list of our civic leaders I think are in the wrong on this issue: Peter Drekmeier, Pat Burt, Larry Klein, Jim Burch, Gail Price, Jack Morton, Leland Levy, Ellen Fletcher, Donald Kennedy, Walt Hays, Debbie Mytels, Stephen Levy, Ray Bacchetti, Julie Jerome and Carolyn Tucher. I admire most of this list quite a lot and generally side with them on the issues, but not here. Jordan and Renzel are right.
As someone who has been Earthwise, professionally and personally, for 17 years, I see a lot of dissonance on environmental subjects. And outright greenwashing. If built, this facility might end up being our Solyndra.
It might be telling -- more so than my observation about the flyer -- that six of our current council members are not on the list of people in favor of the facility.
In a related matter, I am apparently going to be listed as an official endorser of the NO on D campaign. In short, I abhor the bashing of our working class, our rank-and-file and our unions. I was put in touch with the campaign after a conversation with Alan Davis, the former school board member, father of my Gunn classmate Lori Davis Cottle and a labor lawyer by vocation. There are at least four generations of the Davis's who have lived in Palo Alto and I generally think they have the rest of our best interests at heart. Our council was split 5-4 on this issue but I think the rest of us voters should send a more pronounced voice against the scapegoating we've seen in recent years here.
I don't have a clever slogan (or even an inane one) about being pro-labor (or anti-scapegoating of the workers) other than to say I rode an elevator once with Budd Schulberg and found more merit in that brief interaction than I could possibly imagine in all the hours ever documented of Glenn Beck, Laura Ingraham and Rush Limbaugh.