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|Contra Costa County, CA||November 7, 2006 Election|
Regional Cooperation; not Regional Government
By Arne SimonsenCandidate for Member of the State Assembly; District 11
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Communities become cities for a reason - to provide better services to their residents.I have built personal working relationships with the mayors and council members of the 19 cities in Contra Costa County and the 14 cities in Alameda County.
Through these relationships I have been able build alliances supporting the widening of Highway 4, the designation of Vasco Road at Highway 84 and the Byron Highway as Highway 239.
In 2002 I formed an East Bay Legislation Committee which looked at legislation in Sacramento which only impacted Alameda and Contra Costa Counties; legislation that was previously overlooked.
The 33 cities in our two counties now realize that we need to pay attention to Sacramento and become proactive in reviewing legislation. The East Bay Division has since taken positions on bills in the State Senate and Assembly. Our legislators now know that they are being watched and have actively sought our input on proposed legislation.
Recently there was a push to force "smart growth" on the cities by a coalition of special interest groups. What those special interest groups neglected to recognize is that high density housing may be fine for San Francisco and Oakland, but it is not what our residents want.
People want the American Dream - a single family detached house; not social engineering into high density housing.
The State needs to respect that each city should be unique. Not every city has BART (in fact, less than 1/2 of the cities have BART) which could accommodate "transit-oriented development."
We need to promote regional cooperation; not regional government.
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