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Council candidate: For the record...

L A Wood
Monday July 15, 2002

To the Editor: 


Last weekend’s article “Two Green(s) Vying for District 4” makes too many assumptions and several outright mistakes including the spelling of my name. For the record, my name isn’t LA, as in la-di-da, but L A, like the city, and it’s Wood, not Woods. Easy to remember: Wood is just a four-letter word. 

Your reporter also suggests that little separates the activism of the incumbent and myself and our “deeply rooted environmentalism.” In truth, we are miles apart. While she has been preoccupied with pronouncements concerning global issues, I have been in the trenches for more than a decade, as the incumbent states, “banging the drum” for concerns affecting local residents.  

In fact, the incumbent raises this very point with the example of the city’s recently constructed playing fields in west Berkeley. After paying UCB too much for a toxic site and spending an additional million dollars in management and cleanup, the city has been forced to post air quality warnings for park users before the skateboard park has even opened! Perhaps Berkeley taxpayers will remember this budgetary fiasco when contemplating this year’s financial shortfall. 

The incumbent says she simply didn’t know about the air quality problems because the city staff failed to provide that information to the council. 

Has the incumbent already forgotten that I raised this very issue in the environmental review and that it was also the central focus of both my legal appeals of the Harrison Park projects? The public record is quite clear. 

Moreover, it doesn’t require a staff report to understand the stupidity of building a park in the heart of the city’s industrial sector and on the shoulder of I-80, just a little common sense. 

Obviously, there are many shades of green. I was willing to raise issues of health despite the public ridicule I endured from a very aggressive lobby of soccer parents. The incumbent chose to remain silent.  

Her response in the article was that “he (L A) thinks I compromise too much” and that “he’s a bit more of a perfectionist than I am.” And later states, “Sometimes it’s better to compromise.” Let my record stand for itself. I would rather be called a perfectionist than a compromiser when it comes to the health of our children. That’s being green. That’s the difference. 



L A Wood