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Cast your vote for Trautman

Environmentally Speaking

Posted: April 3, 2008 4:29 p.m.
Updated: June 4, 2008 5:05 a.m.
Most people care about the environment. Almost everyone recycles because they understand how this simple act can help save a canyon from becoming a landfill. We are all starting to think about how much we drive, and not just because of high gas prices. We are beginning to understand that each of our actions really makes a difference.

So the result of our individual efforts to work at home or walk, bike or take a train to the office at least a few days a week will not only save money and energy but also reduce air pollution and global warming.
Our individual choices at the market make a difference, too. Are you worried about pesticides? Then buy organic. As the market for organically grown foods increases, fewer pesticides will be used to produce our food.

Buying locally produced foods reduces transportation needs and their associated impacts. While buying an orange from Argentina at the market rather than our own local oranges from Ventura County may cost the same, the Argentine orange came on a freighter that burned enormous amounts of oil to get here. Then it was loaded on a truck that added air pollution and traffic to our communities.

We understand that we can really change the world with our individual actions. So why is it that we haven't yet realized the importance of voting? Only between 10 and 15 percent of Santa Clarita residents voted in city elections over the past several election cycles.

Imagine what a difference we could make if the 80 percent of people who care about the environment went to the polls and voted for a candidate who would support their concerns.

I often ask people why they don't vote. Sometimes they forget the day and so never get to the polls. So let me remind you right now, the election is this coming Tuesday, April 8. If you requested an absentee ballot, it is not too late to send it in. In fact, you can even bring your absentee ballot to the polls and drop it off there.

But the most common reason I hear is that the voter doesn't know anything about the candidates. How can that be? I get dozens of mailings from each candidate. But that is because I always vote and candidates always send mailings to "high propensity" voters. If you are new to our community or you haven't voted in a past election, then you probably won't get these mailers.

So let me suggest that if you want to make your environmental vote count and use your individual efforts to help change our world, that you cast your vote for Diane Trautman. Both the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters endorse her. Why? Because she has consistently worked to support a cleaner environment in her volunteer efforts and in her official capacity as a city planning commissioner.

She has experience and a proven voting record.

It is easy to promote clean air and saving the Santa Clara River, but all the talk means nothing without actions and a vote to back it up.

Not only has Diane walked the walk, but her votes support her positions. She had the courage to say "no" to developers that wanted to build in the flood plain of the river in an effort to both protect our river and over concern for future home owners.

Traffic is a huge concern to all of us. Poor air quality affects everyone. While other candidates claim that they will solve these problems by adding more roads and more lanes to existing roads, this is only a small part of the answer. Diane knows that roads must be part of the answer, but they can't be the only answer.

As with national energy issues for which solar, wind and biofuels will all be part of a solution, we must look to a whole portfolio of ideas that include public transportation and land-use decisions, more jobs closer to home and walk-able neighborhoods. We need a wide variety of answers to our transportation needs and a candidate who we know has the knowledge and courage to promote them.

Your individual effort will make a difference in the world, and your individual vote can make a big difference on whom we elect to our City Council. I hope you will vote for Diane Trautman, and make a difference for our environment and our community.

Lynne Plambeck is president of the Santa Clarita Organization for Planning and the Environment (SCOPE) and a Santa Clarita resident. Her column reflects her own view and not necessarily that of The Signal.


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