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Dems, Jobs, Limos


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I learned a lot from Ryan Burns' article about the Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee ("Dem Schism," April 26). I am also an associate member and as such have no voting rights. I do, however, attend most meetings.

I vigorously object to Burns' saying Richard Marks left "in a huff." Richard had been the target of unrelenting criticism for several months because of his choices in two races. Richard certainly doesn't need me to say so, but his deep, long-term commitment to unions and his principled stand on many of the issues facing us should speak for themselves. Like the rest of us in the working class, Richard knows the value of living-wage jobs.

HCDCC has had increasingly nasty, difficult endorsement fights among the limousine liberals, environmentalists, and those of us raised in the working class. As David Hull has suggested in his Prosperity! presentation, as a community we need to decide whether we want a community with living-wage jobs for ourselves and our children or whether we want to keep fighting about what we do want.

Hollie Klingel


Thank you for the succinct look at the schism within the Democratic Party here in Humboldt. Richard Marks implies that protecting the environment is a specialty of the far left. God help us. Far-lefties and whackos are the only people who believe that the environment is more important than our immediate financial needs. Considering that "environment" means the health of our planet, the only home we have, you'd think it would rate a little higher.

Meanwhile, it's more and more apparent that we're headed for big trouble on a global scale. We're hurtling into a future that looks increasingly grim. Many people acknowledge the depredations posed by global climate change, the huge problems we're leaving for our children and grandchildren, and then they say, "Yes, but ... "

But what?

When people talk about balancing environmental concerns with the economy, they always mean the same thing -- more development. More pollution, more greenhouse gases, more pavement, more energy-gobbling buildings and vehicles. We have a better-than-average balance in Humboldt County right now, but it's under assault every day. How much more "balancing" do we want?

Wouldn't the two sides of this debate come together if development meant something different? More than jobs provided by business-as-usual, we desperately need new ways of doing business. Our most pressing priorities are clean energy and smart technologies that use less energy. Give us models of sustainability and ecological stewardship. Loosen the death-grip of the fossil fuels profiteers. Think about what our needs really are. Think about our grandchildren.

Martha Walden


I was surprised to read your article about the divide in the Humboldt Democratic Party that included my photo, but nothing of what I said on the subject. I'd like to express some of my thoughts on the subject. The Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee is the grassroots structure of the Democratic Party that should be developing Democratic candidates to run for local office. Some of our other functions are endorsing candidates, raising money for the party, registering voters and representing Humboldt Democrats at the state and national party level.

Contrary to the claims of one of my opponents, we absolutely support creating living-wage jobs, sustainable development and expanding our economic base so that people can support themselves and their families.

One of the biggest issues that divide the candidates for the Central Committee is the imperative to support Democratic candidates in local elections. The insurgent group of candidates routinely supports non-Democrats for local offices while purporting to be loyal Democrats. Most of those they have supported in the past are former Republicans who still embrace Republican values, like blaming poor people for their poverty or believing in "trickle-down" economics. This support for non-Democrats is my main disagreement with our opponents. If they wish to do this as private citizens, that is their right, but don't pretend to be leaders in the Democratic Party while stabbing us in the back in local elections.

If you can't even support your local Democratic candidates, you shouldn't be trying to take control of our Central Committee. Our party has a big tent of ideals and perspectives and I embrace the debate that happens from these varied positions. It's time that Democrats pull together to support our ideals and promote our local Democratic candidates.

Linda Atkins,
Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee, District 4



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