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These candidates support safe technology

These candidates support safe technology

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Napa Neighborhood Association for Safe Technology is a volunteer organization of Napa residents, working with the city and county to regulate wireless installations to protect public health, while closing the Digital Divide by building out a wired network to provide safe, fast, reliable internet to all who need it. We are nonpartisan, and our members and the local candidates we endorsed for this election span the political spectrum.

We made our endorsements based on responses we received to a candidate questionnaire and our knowledge of the candidates. All committed to use all available means to regulate close proximity microwave radiating antennas (CPMRAs), including the 2019 California Supreme Court ruling T-Mobile West LLC v. City and County of San Francisco that reinforced the police power of cities to regulate the design and location of wireless installations to address “negative health consequences” and “safety concerns.”

Eve Ryser for Napa Valley Unified School Board, Area 4: Eve spoke before Napa City Council in opposition to the city’s 3-2 approval of 28 Verizon 4G/5G-ready CPMRAs last year. Eve is smart, passionate, and articulate. She cares deeply about the health and safety of our community, and especially our youth, which led her to get involved in this issue. During the League of Women's Voters forum, Eve stated her continued opposition to 5G technology. Moreover, she said she would bring a science-based approach to evaluating the five-year lease agreement the school district has with Verizon for a 50-foot macro cell tower on the Napa High School campus, which is currently up for review. Now is the time for the district to inform Verizon in writing of its intent to terminate that contract; otherwise it automatically extends for four additional five-year terms.

David Campbell for Napa City Council, District 2: We want to acknowledge the work candidate James Hinton has done on this issue, speaking at city council meetings and helping us create a video showing no significant gap in Verizon telephone coverage at any of the 28 approved Verizon sites. However, we feel David can work with community and council members to advance this issue. David made one of his campaign priorities the removal of installing 5G network infrastructure to support autonomous vehicles as a goal in the draft Napa 2040 General Plan, unless the public is surveyed and supports that vision for Napa. Given the unanimous opposition to the 28 CPMRAs the City Council approved last year, we highly doubt the community would support one every 500 feet throughout the city to enable driverless cars.

Renee Cazares for Napa City Council, District 4: Not only has Renee contributed financially to our legal fund, but she also spoke recently before the City Council against including the infrastructure needed to have autonomous vehicles in the Napa 2040 General Plan. She understands the likely negative consequences of autonomous vehicles, namely increased traffic congestion, as experts predict that owners will allow them to roam instead of parking them while not needed, and the safety issues as these vehicles cannot predict unpredictable human behavior, such as a child running out into the street. During the League of Women Voters candidates forum, when asked about this issue, she stated that CPMRAs should not be in residential areas and should be confined to commercial areas instead, whereas her opponent did not express support for any type of regulation.

Doris Gentry for Mayor: While we appreciated Scott Sedgley’s earlier work on this issue, attempting to get on the agenda an emergency ordinance to regulate CPMRAs, ultimately he voted for the accommodation agreement with Verizon, whereas Doris Gentry voted against it along with council member Alessio. Councilmember Sedgley has continued to justify his vote, saying that legally the council’s hands were tied, even though our organization has provided him with court rulings bolstering local authority. Doris has given us a platform to continue informing the public about this issue by inviting us to appear on her local TV and radio shows. In addition, she recently asked the city manager to place Napa’s telecommunications regulations on the agenda to discuss stronger protections, such as requiring random, third-party testing for Radio Frequency (RF) radiation to ensure on-going compliance with the FFC’s exposure limits— a provision for which all three mayoral candidates recently expressed support during the Napa County Progressive Alliance’s candidates forum.

Last we heard, none of the approved 28 CPMRAs have actually been installed; however, Napa is at a crossroads as power elites secretly push a corporate-driven, “smart city” agenda for Napa without seeking public input or considering the impacts to residents’ health, privacy, and property values. We need elected leaders who value community feedback and will put our interests first. For more information about this issue and the science behind our concerns, please see our website at nna4safetech.org.

Valerie Wolf, co-coordinator

Napa Neighborhood Association for Safe Technology

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