During each election season, we all get the opportunity to rise up and make our values heard on the issues that matter most to us. Elections give us the opportunity to support initiatives that further protect our communities and natural resources, especially when we select elected officials we trust to look out for our best interests.
While the votes are still being counted in federal elections, we are inspired by local voter participation and local election results.
In Orange County alone, we saw a 77% voter turnout, with over 1.3 million ballots cast in this election, according to the Orange County Registrar of Voters. Seeing that our community cares about and is involved in local issues is reassuring to our democracy.
But we also saw things locally that give us pause.
For example, special interest groups, like Poseidon, tried to undermine our democratic process. Poseidon is determined to put its cronies on our local water boards by spending 50% more money in the election than what was raised by all 18 countywide water board candidates combined. According to the Orange County Register, Poseidon spent a whopping $419,000 in the past two months in those races in an attempt to gain majority control of the boards.
We’re happy to see the amount of money they contributed did not seem to sway voters. Voters did their own research and chose the most qualified candidates that best represented the priorities of the community.
While Poseidon’s two favored candidates in the Orange County Water District, Tri Ta of Division 4 and Cathy Green of Division 6, managed to clench a victory, not all Poseidon cronies won a seat on our local water boards.
In the Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC), Poseidon’s financially supported candidates – Tyler Diep, Debbie Neev and Stacy Lynne Taylor – all lost their races by a large margin in Division 3, Division 7 and Division 4, respectively. Poseidon’s heavy investment in this election is remarkable, as in the past 22 years they contributed less than $6,000 to MWDOC board candidates.
Poseidon is hungry for control of our local water boards so that it can obtain a guaranteed purchase of all the water they produce at a price three times higher than other water, and to acquire approval of a $400 million subsidy. We have faith that members of our community will continue to help us protect our local coastal waters and marine habitats. Coastkeeper remains committed to fighting against this harmful, unnecessary, and outrageously costly desalination plant. Ratepayers, who are already strapped, cannot afford to and should not have to pay to subsidize a wealthy international corporation.
We must fight now to protect our coastal waters and marine habitats so future generations are able to enjoy California’s most precious resource: our coast.
Here’s how you can join us in our fight for safe, accessible and healthy water resources for all: