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Critics Jeer at Regional Planning Workshop

Over 200 people showed up to voice their opinion at last night's One Bay Area workshop at the Marin Center.

Critics of the regional plan for cutting greenhouse gases in regards to state standards spoke out at a workshop last night at the Marin Center. 

One Bay Area is a plan to address the state-ordered cuts to greenhouse gases caused by transportation.

The plan, which includes work from organizations like Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), will include an outline that aims to reduce car travel in regards to how the Bay Area can grow in the coming decades, according to the Marin Independent Journal.

In 2008, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Senate Bill 375, which requires the California's metro areas to develop a long-term plan for land use, housing and transportation that will reduce the per-capita carbon dioxide emissions from cars.

MTC will help develop the plan, and hopes to encourage bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly development near jobs and public transportation.

Many people are concerned about the regional and state mandates limiting their local control.

The above video is a section of the public comment from the meeting. Click here for more coverage of the workshop.

John Ferguson January 19, 2012 at 01:40 AM
I really wanted to go and hear what they were planning to focus on but a work commitment prevented me from attending. From the looks of the video, I'm glad I didn't go as it looks like the meeting got sidetracked by activists who want to keep the planning for more stringent greenhouse gas emissions from moving forward. Climate change deniers in Marin - who'da thunk it?
Alex Zwissler January 19, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Well...I was there. Where to start...I thought I was going to participate in a community meeting of Marin residents to provide input to MTC on the regional plan...naive boy,nothing of the sort. The entire evening was usurped by a group of about 15 active (yelling, filming, etc) and maybe another 25 passive (knitting, smiling,cheering on the first group) Tea Party activists. While each seemed to have their own particular hobby horse (the evil of govt, taxation, denial of climate change etc) a common theme had something to do with their perception that this planning process was somehow linked to a UN takeover, as in United Nations, of the United states. I'm not kidding. I thought I had stepped into Bizzaro World. I thought at any moment Alan Funt was going to come up to me and let me in on the joke. No such luck. Frankly , the video above doesn't even really capture the disruptive impact of the group. I sat through two sessions that resulted in no meaningful input to the plan, mainly due to the fact that the entire time was spent listening to Tea Party shouted interruptions and demands for explanations. It was ludicrous. A colleague who I know from MTC told me that this group has been showing up at all these local meetings. Few of them were even Marin residents. My public comment to the officials was to urge them to abandon this process because it was pointless, having been taken over by the mob. Bizzaro World in Marin...who knew.
Kevin Moore January 19, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Too bad people were being rude at the event. I hate it when people talk over other people. I would have gone, but the sign up said it was filled. Looked like there were a lot of empty seats. Sounds like the Vice Mayor of Corte Madera was voicing a concern that local people / governments are not being listened to.
Lee Lull January 19, 2012 at 05:27 PM
The low info tea party types and other science impaired luddites are trying to return us to the age of the robber barons and earth destruction in the name of their own selfish short sighted ignorance...often egged on by their corporate masters. Why in the world would they want to railroad a democratic gathering for discussion?
Scott Hochstrasser January 19, 2012 at 05:35 PM
One Bay Area plan is a responsible and reasonable approach to comprehensive land and transportation planning for a very densely populated region. Other countries in the world have approached regional planning in a civil and socially just way, the Netherlands for example. Their Green Plan approach is a bottom up approach. The top down planning model being used by ABAG will not succeed in a culturally diverse and economically stratified region like the SF Bay Region.
David Edmondson January 19, 2012 at 06:24 PM
It's likely that they thought it would be full because the disruptive folks described signed up multiple times thinking the meetings were screened. I have no idea how organizers would actually know who was Tea Party and who wasn't, but I guess one who believes the UN wants to take over land use policy will believe anything.
David D. January 19, 2012 at 06:56 PM
I attended this meeting because I was curious about the ongoing planning process. I was in attendance at the first meeting, which was held last year at the nearby Embassy Suites, and it was fairly civil. Unfortunately, a group of about 15 noisy conspiracy theorists (I won't call them Tea Party activists because I'm not sure that's an appropriate label) attempted to disrupt every aspect of the meeting. They shouted over other participants and had a decidedly agitated manner towards workshop staff and anyone else they thought was behind a United Nations plot to overthrow the United States. Not kidding. In one of the break-out sessions, for example, an older man (I will NOT call him a "gentleman") angrily asked questions of the staff present, and then he proceeded to talk *over* the staff while they answered his questions, proclaiming that they were not answering his questions. This type of behavior persisted throughout the evening, and a meaningful discussion did not occur because the noisy loonies overshadowed everything. What a mockery of the planning process Tuesday night was!
valeri hood January 19, 2012 at 07:04 PM
I wanted to go to this meeting as well- I was in complete agreement with the councilwoman from Corte Madera- as to the disruption --there is a wing of the Republican party that is pushing this Agenda 21, world government conspiracy- mixed in with a little truth- (ie some of the very bad trade agreements, and corporate takeovers), are attacks against environmentalists, congress and local governments,, iclei, citaaslow etc.- and they are vicious attacks-the teabagger movement in our area seems to be growing- i hope that people will take a moment and do a web search to show how seriously misdirected these people have been- (just google United Nations Agenda 21 to get an earful)-- people need to understand the reasoning the Teabaggers are being fed, so it can be dissembled- unfortunately there are huge segments of the US population who believe in the same fantasy. I think it is better to understand than dismiss.
Alex Zwissler January 19, 2012 at 07:13 PM
Valeri...I totally agree that we should not dismiss these folks out of hand. While they are likely on the fringe of the spectrum, they do give voice to a fear/anxiety that seems to permeate many political discussions these days, both from the left and the right. That is, that somehow "outside forces' are conspiring to take over. If it's the extreme Occupy folks, those forces are some manifestation of Capitalism, and for the the Agenda 21 folks , its some socialist agenda...hmmm...this is all starting to sound eerily familiar....
Susan Kirsch January 20, 2012 at 03:02 AM
I appreciate all the previous comments. I attended this meeting and came away thinking it's hard to decide who was doing the most railroading: the disruptive members of the audience or the incompetent facilitators/leaders of this meeting who responded like puppets to say "that's a really good question" to every question that was asked, but never answered any of them. Financial expert Suze Orman was on "Meet the Press" on 1/15 and gave government an "F" in financial management and blamed government policies (or lack thereof) and agencies for eliminating the middle class and creating the freeway to poverty. OneBayArea speeds up that freeway. It attempts to reach a stated goal of reducing green house gas emissions by 15% by 2035, but instead of inviting public participation to build understanding and support of this goal, they've jumped to the conclusion that the problem can be solved by building high density housing near transit, without considering the wealth of other options. People are frustrated with undocumented assumptions, unrealistic projections, and an overwhelming feeling of manipulation from both sides of the issue. Planning is good, but SB375 is an example of poor legislation. It ought to be repealed to get a fresh start.
Buck Shaw January 21, 2012 at 01:47 AM
I really wanted to hear the definition of the term "Social Equity" It was used multiple times in reference to housing and land use. Any know what it means ?
Tammy February 04, 2012 at 11:27 PM
Dear Mr. Shaw Check out UN Agenda 21...it is chock full of the term "social equity" and "social justice". We must be fair as a society, if you have something, I have to have it too. Under Agenda 21 private property is social injustice because not everyone has private property so it is unfair, it it not equal. Under Agenda 21 private property must be abolished. Please don't believe me; please go read it for yourself. Find out if your town is a member of the ICLEI and follow the trail to Agenda 21. It is fairly simple, they do not hide it at all. I guarantee you won't like what you read. Most Sincerely, Tammy Tedesco
peggy January 23, 2013 at 03:54 AM
tammy - i was just about to respond to mr shaw when i read your response. you beat me to it. by almost a year! i just happened upon this page and decided to check out the comments. i have to say i was surprised by the pro agenda 21 majority here. that's okay. things are changing. quickly. mr shaw, you might find the link below helpful. thanks. http://www.democratsagainstunagenda21.com/index.html
Buck Shaw January 23, 2013 at 04:57 PM
A young man came to my door and asked if I would sign a pettition to force the mayor to make a regulation against plastic bags. I asked him why not be "Fair" and VOTE on it. He said NO it wouldn't get done. It's to long to wait. And people don't no how bad things are. We NEED to do this now, he said. I said show me a pettition to get it on the ballot and I'll sign. He stomped away after asking for a donation. I yelled at him " Sorry I waisted your time" I got the F word in reply. These seem to be the attitudes of the new young. This is the same attitude as the MTC and One Bay Area. Glad I raised my children "Right"
Jimmy Fishbob Geraghty March 06, 2013 at 11:08 PM
Social equity implies fair access to livelihood, education, and resources; full participation in the political and cultural life of the community; and self-determination in meeting fundamental needs. Sad to see so many giving you false information. Social equity is the same thing members of the audience wanted for themselves but would be quick to deny the same social equity to others with differing viewpoints.

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