Seven years ago, I voted to appoint Irais Lopez-Ortega to the City Council. Among the applicants, she was best qualified to balance the perspectives on the council. At that time, we had no Latinx voice, and no representative of women’s interests. She has filled those needs energetically, in addition to speaking to a broad range of other constituencies such as working families, and small business owners.
In the current race, one candidate urges you to vote for only him and to pocket your second vote. He implies that only he can add to the council. He apparently does not believe that the Latinx community needs a voice, or that women need to be represented on the council.
The large party he hosted at his Calistoga home in August indicates that he doesn’t believe rules to prevent the spread of COVID-19 apply to him. He’d like you to believe he’s a long-time resident, but he only registered to vote here in 2018. Active Transportation Committee? He has only attended five meetings. He is opposed to the bike path on Grant Street without mentioning that it runs in front of his house. How he plans to cap residential water and sewer rates given state law requiring costs be equal for all ratepayers is anyone’s guess. Spiro Makras told us that he was taking down the “Vote for Only Me” part of his campaign. But last week, in a flyer, the statement is there again. Not his fault, he says, other people paid for it. We can only guess where he stands on flying the LGBTQ flag.
A recent letter to the editor suggested that this candidate and Don Williams would form a progressive bloc on the council. But progressive politics don’t involve being cavalier about a pandemic, or tepidly supporting LGBTQ rights only after abstaining from a vote resulted in an uproar from the community or ignoring the need for Latinx and Women’s voices.
If you are going to vote for only one candidate, it should be Irais Ortega-Lopez. She is listed on the ballot first; it’s easy to find her name. Please remember this is the 100th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage, and think about the valuable contributions of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Calistoga City Councilmember
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