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Humboldt County, CA June 6, 2006 Election
Smart Voter

Building a United Arcata

By Gregory P. Allen

Candidate for Green Party County Council; County of Humboldt

This information is provided by the candidate
Greg Allen believes a new spirit of cooperation with Mayor Machi and a reformed Council setting a respectful tone has the potential to unleash Arcata's economic and cultural vitality -- but only with the right tiebreaker in the fifth seat.
The November election showed that the people of Arcata were ready for a change in our City Council. No longer is the Council Chamber a dark, hostile, unfriendly place where speakers were routinely verbally attacked and insulted by the Council. The most obvious result is the courtesy being shown by the Council and most speakers.

What is less obvious is the beginnings of a new spirit of cooperation between individuals and organizations in the private sector, and the city.

Perhaps this is heresy, but my vision for Arcata is increased participation, action and funding from the private sector to help with projects for the betterment of Arcata. At present there just is not much money in the city coffers to spend on non-essential projects. This is time for the private sector to step in and lend a hand.

Rotary is providing a great example of the public/private sector partnership I envision. Rotary identified a problem, the need for a teen center with computers for Arcata. Rotary then contacted the city, raised money, went through the permits and building process and got it done. I believe the center will be opening soon. Outstanding job Rotary! You've given something wonderful to Arcata, and have provided some important leadership by doing it the old fashioned way, by example.

I believe Arcata has more strength by engaging the private sector to provide some additional leadership and direction to the city. The fine example of Rotary can and should be a model for us, and cities everywhere. By engaging and including leaders and organizations from the private sector to examine and contribute to the resolution of city problems, or the reaching of city goals, we have the greater strength of more talent, more ideas, more leadership and additional, private sources of funding.

The homelessness task force is another reason for optimism. The council wants to actually do something to help some of Arcata's homelessness problems. By creating a task force covering such diverse elements of the city's citizens, we have a chance for success.

The thread connecting all of this is increased participation by the community to solve the community's problems. On the face of it, good ideas, skills, learning and leadership are not the province of just the Council or city staff.

In Arcata, we have many talented, able, and caring people. In our town people want to make things better. By creating an alliance of the public and private sectors, we have more talent, energy and ideas available to solve problems and go forward with plans.

The new more genial, respectful, courteous tone set by the council is creating an atmosphere where the community can work together to move forward into a better future.

We're seeing now a stronger spirit of cooperation in Arcata, and this trend needs to continue. All of us in Arcata are connected to each other. By working together we add to and reinforce our sense of community.

Political power and political identity start at home. By working together in the community to address issues and solve problems, we multiply our strength and resolve rather than dilute them by not doing so. In our unity we find our own strength and spirit.

This election represents an exciting time for Arcata politics. The new council member is potentially a tiebreaker. My ability both from my legal training and experience and the broad scope of different kinds of people with whom I associate professionally and socially, gives me a broad base for understanding the diverse people and opinions in Arcata. Conservatives, please examine my economic platforms. I suggest there is much we can agree on, and I'm very interested in your opinions, beliefs and ideas.

Above all, I'm very approachable. If you see me around town, say hello, tell me what you're thinking, what your concerns are. I want to listen and to hear you.

I encourage everyone in joining me in my support for the new council and Mayor Machi. By working in a spirit of cooperation we can step forward together to make the future we want for Arcata. I believe we can do these things together.

I pledge to work for unity and cooperation. Please honor me with your vote March 8.

Contact me at

Greg Allen is an attorney, chairman of the Green Party of Humboldt County, and a member of the boards of the ACLU Redwood Chapter, the Northern California Affiliate in San Francisco.

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