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San Mateo, Santa Clara County, CA November 7, 2006 Election
Smart Voter

Santa Clara County Open Space Initiative

By Virginia Chang Kiraly

Candidate for Member of the State Assembly; District 21

This information is provided by the candidate
Virginia's testimony before the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors on June 20, 2006 supporting placing the Santa Clara County Open Space Initiative on the November 7 ballot in Santa Clara County
This morning, I went before the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors and spoke in favor of putting the Open Space Initiative on the November 7 ballot. I know it is a controversial issue in the California Republican party, but I believe my decision to support the initiative is the right one.

In November, the voters in Santa Clara County will have the opportunity to accept the initiative or not. In its simplest form, the initiative will allow for smart growth to happen in AD 21. This is something we need as our population continues to grow.

I go back to my original question of "what kind of California are we leaving our children?" Not only am I thinking of economic and fiscal issues, but I'm also thinking of how I want our landscape to look. Fast forward to 20 years from now... do I want to see sprawl, or do I want to see cities that are making the most of their land? More importantly, what do I want my children and my grandchildren to see? The visual is so strong in my mind because I see the beautiful open space that surrounds us now whether I'm heading to Half Moon Bay or San Jose. This is what I want for future generations.

The Open Space Initiative is not unreasonable. It preserves agricultural land, prevents sprawl, and gives us, as a society, the opportunity to think about smart growth solutions that work. It also helps relieve the county from infrastructure expenses for sprawling developments. As the Business Journal noted during my testimony before the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors today:

"Virginia Chang Kiraly, a Republican candidate for California Assembly, told supervisors that she was not opposed to developers, but wanted "smart growth" within county cities."

Business Journals around the country carried the story about the Santa Clara County Open Space Initiative.

I am well aware that eminent domain might be an issue here. However, to me, the more pressing eminent domain issues deal with private property being taken by redevelopment agencies without just compensation. This is a clear violation of the U.S. Constitution, so our focus should be on redevelopment reform with the basic premise that private property cannot be taken by the government for a public purpose without just compensation.

To learn more about the initiative, please visit:

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