By Robert Haugh
As a longtime Santa Claran, I happen to think there’s a lot the Mission City is doing right, especially in the last few years. Since Mayor Jamie Matthews mysteriously resigned in February, 2016, there’s been more transparency at City Hall. And a lot of the backroom deals with the 49ers and the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce have stopped.
Since I like the direction of the city, I don’t really like outsiders telling us what to do — especially if they are suing us for millions of dollars.
That’s the situation with Measure A. If you look at the ballot arguments from yesterday’s column, you’ll see that Santa Clarans who have done a lot for the city support Measure A. People who are suing the city or have other interests are opposed.
That’s a good enough reason to vote for Measure A. But here are some other good reasons:
- It was unanimously recommended by the Charter Review Committee. They were also a diverse group of people. As the ballot argument says: it was written by Santa Clarans for Santa Clarans.
- Two districts will balance representation in the city between north and south. That’s a good thing, especially the way Santa Clara is developing.
- Two districts means less money that candidates have to raise to campaign. That will help reduce special interest money. That’s just beginning to become a problem in Santa Clara. Or at least was a problem when the dark money group BluPac (likely a front for the 49ers) tried to take over the council in 2016.
- There’s no racially polarized voting in the city. I know a judge thinks so, but our legal sources think he had to really stretch the facts to make his case. We know Santa Clara neighborhoods and it’s really hard to show that we have neighborhoods that are being discriminated against.
- Ranked choice voting is interesting. It’s been used successfully in major cities in the Bay Area and all over the world. Some people think it makes campaigns less negative. If you can’t get someone’s vote, you want to be their second choice. So you’re not likely to attack other candidates.
- The Mercury News opposes Measure A. They are usually anti-Santa Clara and have a terrible track record on endorsements in our city for decades. Their opposition will likely push Mission City residents to vote for the measure.
- The Santa Clara Weekly opposes Measure A. Since they are considered opponents of all the reform that’s happened in Santa Clara in the last few years, hardly anyone takes them seriously. And they have few subscribers.
We hope we convinced you with these arguments. If not, watch this excellent 3-minute video. It sums up why you should vote Yes on A.