Let people make decisions
In The San Francisco Examiner’s article concerning the local initiative on the Warriors’ proposed arena exceeding waterfront height limits, plaintiffs’ attorney Robin Johansen states, “You’re putting in front of the people something they have no power to enact.” What country does Johansen think she is living in? In this country, the people are sovereign, not the government.
This American principle of the people’s sovereignty began with “we the people” in the preamble to our Constitution. It was soon upheld in the 1792 case of Chisholm v. Georgia in which John Jay, our country’s first chief justice, wrote: “In Europe, the sovereignty is generally ascribed to the Prince; here, it rests with the people.” The state of California also affirms the people’s sovereignty in Government Code Section 100, where it states, “The sovereignty of the state resides in the people thereof, and all writs and processes shall issue in their name.”
John M. Kelly
Prop. B is NIMBY measure
It is important that San Francisco voters understand that Proposition B, the June initiative to stop development along the waterfront, is not about saving the waterfront at all. It was put on the ballot by professional NIMBYs whose real goal is to keep the waterfront frozen as a museum even if it means the waterfront and piers become dilapidated and eventually condemned with no public access at all.
The ballot box is a poor means for sorting out technical, individual land-use decisions. And “everybody votes on everything” is not a recipe for effective democracy. It’s a recipe for chaos. If Prop. B passes, expect to see future voter handbooks run hundreds of pages as every NIMBY group puts every development up for a vote. Is that what we want?