Challenge: Water fluoridation opponents seized on the fact that Healdsburg was the only municipality in Sonoma County to use fluoride in drinking water. In 2014, they launched a signature gathering drive to put the issue before voters. Measure P asked voters whether or not to continue the community water fluoridation program. Embracing studies that concluded water fluoridation posed serious health risks if consumed, the opposition galvanized around those who embraced the studies and questioned the necessity or benefits associated with fluoridated drinking water.
Challenge: Gregory faced a well-known, 20-year incumbent who had repeatedly fended off challengers in previous campaigns. Gregory faced three other opponents in the race, including the 20-year incumbent and a well-respected conservative and progressive challenger.
CAMPAIGN: James Gore, a former White House appointee who served as Assistant Chief of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), launched his first campaign for public office six months after returning to his native Sonoma County from Washington D.C.
PROJECT: Sonoma County Farm Bureau and their members were being threatened as an initiative was placed on the ballot by the Occidental Art and Ecology Center and GE (Genetically Engineered) Free Sonoma County. The initiative’s goal was to ban anything from being grown or cultivated that was genetically modified or had products containing Genetically Modified Organisms. No clear exemptions were made for vaccines or other medical procedures. However, exemptions were made for the importation of food, including animal feed, that were made using genetically modified crops – this exception would put Sonoma County farmers at a major disadvantage.
PROJECT: Calpine Corporation proposed two new power plants at their Geysers facility in Northern California. The two plants would add nearly 100 megawatts to Calpine’s capacity. The new projects were proposed northwest of its existing complex, on 6,200 acres of leased private and state lands.