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Stung by the surprise defeat of Measure C earlier this year, water-conscious progressives in Napa County have banded together and are running for positions across the county. Measure C set out to provide additional measures of water security in a region where, some say, the "Peak Wine" moment has come and left the county vulnerable when it comes to long-term availability of water for residents. Measure C lost by a hair, and activists vowed to turn on the heat at the voting booth this year. These candidates have also vowed to not take any corporate campaign donations this campaign season, and that's very Beto of them. They've got our nod.
Geoff Ellsworth sits on the board of the City Council of St. Helena and is running for mayor this year. He's been a big proponent of transparency, and campaign materials note that he's been hard charging to improve water quality and lower water rates for resident via charges on big wineries and hospitality venues so that they're paying, he says, "a fair price for the city water they use." Sounds fair to us.
Jason Kishineff hopes to join the American Canyon City Council and plans, if elected, to introduce "participatory budgeting" to the city so "the people can decide how to spend their tax dollars." Now there's a radical thought we can get behind. He's also pushing a health-focused agenda this fall, promising to introduce initiatives in support of farmers markets, a pesticide ban and skate parks.
Amy Martenson sits on the Napa Valley College Board of Trustees and was an out-front proponent of Measure C. Her campaign materials promise a robust push-back "against proposals that would privatize publicly owned lands and turn over profits to developers and winery owners." She notes as well that the current makeup of the board of trustees skews to members with ties to the wine industry.
Xulio Soriano is running for a seat on the Napa Valley Board of Trustees and lays claim to being "one of the first indigenous candidates to run in Napa County in recent times." He's hoping to close the achievement gap in underrepresented groups and was also an out-front supporter of Measure C.
Donald Williams' campaign is pretty cut-and-dry: He's running for a seat on the Calistoga City Council and pledges to stand for responsible city planning "that respects the town's small-town character." Call us convinced.