LWV League of Women Voters of California
San Luis Obispo County, CA November 7, 2000 Election
Smart Voter Political Philosophy for Colby Crotzer

Candidate for
Mayor; City of Morro Bay

This information is provided by the candidate

The U.S. Constitution is an historic document that launched the most noble experiment and egalitarian government the world has ever seen. Other democracies continue to struggle to make our 200-year experiment a success for them.

However, the influence of the mass media and the consolidation of wealth in the hands of a relative few, mainly through their control over our commonwealth by corporate decisionmakers, puts our democratic heritage and all of the benefits of democracy at risk.

The two-party monopoly of the democratic process combined with less than 50% voter turnout on average throughout our nation indicates that many people are alienated from participation in their own democratic process. Their visions of the potential for our country and our democracy have been minimized to the point where they have become satisfied with being part of a culture of consumerism, which puts true democracy at risk.

Through education, consumers hopefully will realize this self-indulgent credo will endanger the environment and create worldwide conflict, and ultimately compromise our ideal of the pursuit of happiness that we all share.

The solution to this dilemma is to follow the path that other democracies are discovering: more inclusion of people in the democratic process. This will heighten citizen awareness of the need to direct our commonwealth toward productive enterprises, elevating the whole earth in ecological ethics about simple consumer tastes in place of products created from corporate-shaped desires.

Campaign finance reform is the first step toward real fulfillment of true democratic participation and securing the high-percentage expression of voters that will allow them to make real choices about the really important questions that face our society.

My personal philosophy is democracy at the grassroots is made to work through door-step conversations, using the voter registration process and most of all forcing politicians to provide the information on which their decisions are based along with detailed voting records. These are effective ways to achieve greater citizen participation, and we need to do these things systematically and consistently. If we did, I believe we would end up with a much more informed, motivated and empowered electorate.

A prime example of how this can be made to work is Measure M, the SOAR initiative on the Nov. 7 ballot throughout the county. It involves voters in the most fundamental decisions about the communities they live in. The initiative would give county residents the right to vote on conversion of agricultural and open space land for urban development. We in the county face what many other communities, like Los Angeles and Orange County, failed to confront: urban sprawl resulting from turning agricultural and open space land into tracts and shopping centers, which destroyed the quality of life in those areas. We have a chance to avoid a repeat here in San Luis Obispo County by taking those land conversion decisions out of the hands of the Board of Supervisors, who can be influenced by special interests, and placing them in the hands of the people, whose only self-interest is making sure that this remains a wonderful place to live.

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ca/slo Created from information supplied by the candidate: October 29, 2000 17:07
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