SANTA MONICA–Hundreds of volunteers from the Oaks Project gathered in San Diego, Santa Monica and San Francisco today to launch the grassroots effort to educate voters, gain support and recruit more volunteers for the campaign to pass Proposition 9. Consumer advocates and volunteers denounced the $28 billion bailout of the utilities under the current electric deregulation law and pledged that Proposition 9 would lower electric rates for Californians.
“Throughout the state and country, California’s electric deregulation law is being called a fiasco,” said Harvey Rosenfield, co-chair of the Yes on Prop. 9 campaign. “It has not delivered on its promises of lower rates and competition. Instead, it delivered a multi- billion dollar bailout to PG&E, SoCal Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric to pay for their bad investments in nuclear and other inefficient power plants.”
Proposition 9 ends the utility taxes Californians pay PG&E, SoCal Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric for this bailout, and will reduce rates by up to 37 percent, according to a staff analysis by the California Energy Commission.
“The utilities are spending millions to defeat this consumer initiative, and they’ll benefit if they kill Prop. 9,” said Harry Snyder, Senior Advocate at Consumers Union. “But you won’t see them in the TV, radio, and newspaper ads attacking Prop. 9. They use front groups in the ads because voters won’t trust them when they beg for billions of dollars. Do you trust SDG&E, PG&E, or Edison? Or do you trust Consumer Reports, Ralph Nader and the League of Women Voters?”
Volunteers with the Oaks Project, the campaign leadership institute which is spearheading the grassroots effort to pass Prop. 9, will make history by contacting over one million voters face to face. More than 300 Oaks Project volunteers throughout the state have been trained for this effort by campaign veterans. The volunteer campaign coordinators will lead a massive public education effort to pass Prop. 9.
“Our grassroots strategy is simple. We will deliver the Yes on 9 message directly to the voters,” said Bill Gallagher, Oaks Project Director. “The Oaks volunteers are bringing citizen democracy back to life. Working to pass Prop. 9 is the best way to show citizen power this fall.”
Gallagher and other volunteer campaigners urged passers-by to become involved citizens, learn about Prop. 9 and join the Oaks Project’s effort. “We challenge each of you to become part of history by organizing 10 friends, co-workers, neighbors or family members to support Prop. 9. Get their support and help get out the vote,” Gallagher said. “Look for Prop. 9’s Oak volunteers talking to voters at your supermarket and join them in this historic David versus Goliath battle,” Gallagher concluded.