I'm Making a List, Checking it Twice...

After last week’s Beaumont City Council meeting, Council Member Brian DeForge commented on his Facebook page about the Gateway warehouse project, the subject of a zoning change request in front of the County of Riverside Board of Supervisor. He said, (I am paraphrasing here) the project has only been proposed and that the draft EIR hasn’t been completed yet and we don’t know what the environmental impacts will be and what the mitigation measures will be put in place. He went on to say we need to actively pursue the County Supervisors to make sure our objections are heard.

All he said was true but what concerned me most was what he didn’t say. He didn’t say he was against the project. I replied to his comment asking him if the EIR was completed and it proved there was very little negative environmental impact and that the mitigation measures were sufficient, would he be in favor of the project? I told him I hope not. I know if our elected officials would join us in our No Way Gateway campaign it would help us to raise the community awareness and get the overwhelming support form Pass area citizens we are going to need to influence the outcome.

Mr. DeForge announced today on his Facebook: “For the record and unequivocally, I oppose this project and will contact all the “electeds” via written correspondence and in person to express our opposition.

I believe we can use the Internet, Facebook and other social networks to defeat this project and discourage any other warehouse projects coming to our community. I am developing an online platform to organize and direct our energies towards the decision makers and the stakeholders.

In the last week, Beaumont City Council Member David Castaldo, County Supervisor Candidate Mark Orozco and Mr. DeForge have announced opposition to the Gateway project. We should know where all our elected officials stand, whether they are up for re-election or not. Candidates seeking our votes should also go on record for or against the Gateway project. I'd also like to hear what side our Chamber of commerce is on.

I am creating a list of the elected officials, and the candidates, to record their public stance, or lack thereof. I will include their contact information (email, website address, Facebook page, office phone number, etc…), Then, we can direct our efforts towards getting each one of them on the record either for or against, there is no in between. Then we will know where they stand and we will be more informed voters.

This will be a significant undertaking and I am asking for your help. I can get the email addresses and other contact information for the Beaumont City Council but I need some help with the others. By the end of next week I hope to have a new website in place where we will be able to track tasks like this and focus our actions towards a common goal. More on that later. I have a new Facebook page in place (Business Friendly Pass) which I will use to coordinate a social network campaign with the new website. We can use this page to make it easy to collect the information. I will have the complete list posted in the new website when I launch it.

So here’s how you can help. Find the following information for the elected officials described below and anyone who has declared their candidacy for one of these positions. You will notice that most of these officials, including Beaumont’s City Council, have no official control over the project but they all have influence with those who do.

Here’s what I am looking for:

Email Address, Website address, official Facebook page name, and official office phone number.

I will not post any personal contact information, website or Facebook page. I'm also not interested in their business information unlesss the officially operate in their place of business. I will not allow what I am doing to become a personal attack on anyone, their business, or their families. This doesn’t need to get personal and it won’t.

Here are the officials I am interested in:

Riverside County Board of Supervisors members; City Council Members for Beaumont, Calimesa, Banning and Yucaipa; Commissioners and board members for Cherry Valley Water District, Pass Water Agency and Yucaipa Valley Water District. Beaumont Unified School Board. State Assembly and State Senators for the Pass area.  US congress representative.

If you are a Facebook user you may post the information on the “Business Friendly Pass” Facebook page. This page will be the primary tool for collaborating on this, and future activities. We will be able to follow the progress and everyone will be able to know what information is still needed. If you are not a Facebooker, or you want to help anonymously, you can email the information to me at OurFocusOurKids@gmail.com. I promise to maintain your privacy and not share your name or email address to anyone without your explicit authorization.

If you want to follow the progress, or need to know what information we still need, please go to the Facebook page to “like” it and then invite your friends to like it as well.

Thank you in advance for your help and support. We can do this! No Way Gateway!