Oct 06, 2016 12:43PM
● By Elena Hutslar
Martinez residents announced the creation of “Thousand Friends of Martinez,” a new political organization that will work to: educate the public, elect informed representatives, support open government, enhance the local quality of life by promoting a livable city, defend parks and open spaces, conserve natural areas, and protect historic resources in the greater Martinez region. The committee’s founders include Harriett Burt, Mike Benson, Kay Cox, Tim Platt, Seth Adams, Paul Craig, Sherida Bush, Gay Gerlack, Dylan Radke, Harlan Strickland, Mark Thomson, Aaron Chabot, and Deidre Siguenza, among others.
“Our name is aspirational,” said Cox. “We’ll be regularly communicating with residents and hope to build more than a thousand supporters over the next year on Facebook and other social media.” The organization does not have a president, but Thomson and Adams are co-facilitators, Strickland is treasurer, and Cox is secretary. Thousand Friends of Martinez is a California Fair Political Practices General Purpose Committee, I.D. #1381454.
“Martinez should be a leader on conservation issues,” said Thomson. “We expect to consider city council endorsements this election season.” Thousand Friends of Martinez will support public officials who are well informed, practice transparent decision-making, promote conscientious land-use planning, and defend our valuable parks, open space, wetlands, and historic resources.
“Our town is the home of John Muir, the founder of the conservation movement,” said Adams. “In the past several years we’ve lost some of our most prominent elected representatives on conservation issues. Our hope is that our new political organization will help raise attention locally about conservation, quality of life issues, and good government.”
Thousand Friends believes that important city decisions should be more environmentally sensitive and represent the majority of Martinez residents who want to protect a healthy quality of life in our town, maintain the character of our neighborhoods, and defend our beautiful parks and open spaces. The organization will promote better land-use planning, endorse candidates, and support or oppose ballot measures to those ends.
Founders share the belief that a better community relies on the vigilant efforts of its citizens to support good governance. Most of the best ideas in and around Martinez have originated from everyday citizens who have worked hard to establish parks, open space and trails, and who have helped save or improve historic buildings, such as the Borland House and city library. Many of the town’s treasured natural and historic resources would not be here today if it were not for dedicated citizen action, including Waterfront Park, open space in the Franklin Hills, and John Muir’s home and property at the John Muir National Historic Site.
Thousand Friends of Martinez is founded on the idea that citizens should have a voice in shaping the character of their neighborhoods and protecting their quality of life. We believe voters have a right to be well informed, benefit from transparent government, and have the option of selecting conscientious leaders. When land-use development takes place, it should be well planned and well designed in order to enhance the city and quality of life of area residents.
Visit us on the web and donate at www.thousandfriendsofmartinez.org. Follow us on Facebook at “Thousand Friends of Martinez.” Contributions may also be made by sending your check to: Thousand Friends of Martinez, P.O. Box 225, Martinez, CA 94553.