Friday, October 20, 2006

933 forum last night, thoughts

Last night the Thurston Democrats held a forum on 933 (Protecting Communities).

A few points that stuck out for me.

In recent polling, 933 was below 50 percent. Even though the "no" votes were even well below that, the important number is really the yes votes. Initiatives tend to peak in their support in August, around primary time, and then decrease until November. The support for 933 is already burning, and may be down below 50 percent. Most of the undecides, I guess, will end up voting against it.

David Troutt, of the Nisqually River Council, pointed out that even if we end up winning, there is still a problem. People don't trust government to set fair land use rules. While 933 probably wouldn't have done anything to actually make government more responsive, we haven't paid very close attention to this in the past either. We probably should, and he used the example of local planning efforts, like the recent effort in the Graham area. The closer this type of planning is to the people, the better.

Sen. Karen Fraser pointed out that 933 may violate I-601, which outlawed new programs for local government with no new funding.

The conversation overall last night was very nice, I think everyone would agree with that, but in terms of the number of folks that showed up, I'm disapointed. This is the second of these forums we've had, and turnout has been a disapointment.

At one point last night, I think we ran out of steam, not because the panelists didn't have anything to say, but with the open question format, we ran out of questions.

It is on me to get folks to turn out for these events, and I have to say I'm at a loss of what to do. Maybe I should personally call 50 people and ask them to attend. Whatever I'm doing, I'm doing it wrong.

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