[I sent this letter in reply to the" East Bay Express" which they will not print.]
You can't make it up. The promoters of "smart growth", who claim to be the environmentalists, are now calling for the undoing of the California Environmental Quality Act through their reliable mouthpiece, Robert Gammon at the East Bay Express. How much more evidence does one need of the corporate takeover or the "neo" environmental movement? Funny how a lot of banker, developer enriching ideas are taking hold since they told us about global warming.
Mr Gammon seems to consider it unseemly and selfish to fight for your "quality of life" in your own back yard. But that is how environments are protected-- by local people who will be affected by the actions of those with the big bucks. It's called grassroots activism. Gammon suggests that only "bona fide" environmental groups should be allowed to sue to block development. Does that mean only the new style mainstream, oil company sponsored, groups with paid CEOs?
This whole smart growth initiative has not percolated from below. Greenbelt Alliance, mentioned several times in your article, is a well funded, top down group that is carrying out orders from ICLEI, the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives. They are unelected, and unaccountable to Berkeley citizens, yet they are inserting themselves in the planning departments of our city and other Bay Area cities telling them we must build, build denser denser, and keep packing in those high rises. There are so many already, and they are mostly unoccupied.
Wake up Berkeley sleepy heads. The money that gets diverted to redevelopment agencies and bond brokers is sucked from the city's general fund and county services. We citizens of Berkeley are taking the risk for this insanity and will be left holding the bag.
"Reforming" CEQA is "the Lord's work" says Jerry Brown, according to your article. If he refers to the "Lords" of the landed gentry, yes, they always know how to work the system, don't they?