Skip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.

Initiatives; said and known

Much is said these days about the initiative process. But saying and knowing can differ.

Know that the initiative is upheld in the California Constitution as a way for people to advance important issues in a political climate perhaps dominated by a powerful business culture. The initiative is no mere “notion” as some say.

Progressive leaders in 1911 rallied popular interest enough to overcome the wealthy railroad elite which controlled Sacramento and placed the initiative process squarely in our State Constitution. There it remains for Californians to address resolution of important issues which elitists may want to ignore, belittle or thwart to this day.

Issues involving water or natural resources often have common interest held by the many downstream in this state. Many know their security in shared health and happiness may depend on it.

Much earlier, Jeremy Bentham stated that we should aim to obtain “the greatest happiness of the greatest number.” Happiness for the many is no notion either. One can read the opening lines of the Declaration of Independence (or, my letter to the editor of July 5, 2017) to know the rightful purpose it plays in modern democracy, made manifest by initiative in California.

People of Napa County have become familiar with the initiative process. They have known to enact important protections for shared resources by initiative (like Measures J and P). They know complexities involved and that more needs to be done from time to time. Napa voters can be trusted with reason to vote yes on Measure C this time around.

Now, wealthy landholding elitists will say anything to obfuscate issues of protecting our watersheds and oak woodlands. They even besmirch the initiative process, insulting the intelligence of Napa voters. Their corporate-driven development plans evade common interest to cut down stately old oak trees, grub out stabilizing roots, rip away soils and degrade clean waters of our streams, reservoirs and river with harmful sedimentation, left at greater burden for rate payers or nature to try and mend later.

I happily join many Napa citizens downstream of our wooded hillsides in voting yes on Measure C.

Tony Norris


Catch the latest in Opinion

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

As the 2017 chair of the Napa Valley Vintners board of directors, I worked with other community members to develop what has become Measure C. …

Sometimes lost in the debate about the controversial Measure C are the advantages of natural woodlands in both carbon sequestration (aka green…

Political battles over land use issues in Napa county have raged since before creation of the Ag Preserve in 1968. The solution for solving cu…

Napa County’s Agricultural Preserve has been aptly characterized as the goose that laid the golden eggs. Certainly anyone lucky or shrewd enou…

I sit and think about what could be in the years to come for you and me.

Not yet addressed in the Measure C controversy, and depending on the actual oak subspecies (if I have the designation correct), oaks can live …

I have educated myself on the Watershed and Oak Woodland Protection initiative and I am asking others to do the same; you will probably vote No.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


News Alerts

Breaking News