An election ends Gridley’s “political slumber” Chico Democrats look to the small farming town for lessons

photo courtesy of Catalina Sanchez
Sanchez will be the first Latina to serve on the Gridley City Council.

by Leslie Layton

There are many things to say about the Nov. 3 General Election, including this: in southern Butte County, the small town of Gridley has awoken from decades of political slumber.

Three incumbent city councilmembers were ousted in Gridley, and two of the candidates who won their seats are apparently the first Mexican-Americans elected to the Gridley City Council. This fact in itself is surprising, because about half of Gridley’s residents are identified as Hispanic or Latino, with the vast majority of that population coming from families that immigrated from Mexico. read more

Dismissing public health metrics, Gallagher says open up Reporter's Mlog: lawmaker's district torn over path forward

photo by Karen Laslo
Assemblyman James Gallagher, who represents most of Butte County and much of the Northern Sacramento Valley, preaches civil disobedience.

by Leslie Layton
analysis

Assemblyman James Gallagher (R-Yuba City) preached civil disobedience Thursday in front of the Chico Council Chambers, suggesting to unmasked constituents at an “Open Butte County” rally that opening up for business can be a necessary act of protest.

Speaking to almost 200 people, many of whom waved American flags or “Recall Newsom” signs, some sporting MAGA caps or Reopen T-shirts, the 3rd district assemblyman again said, as he has before, that shops and schools can consider reopening as acts of civil disobedience if they’re in violation of public health regulation. read more

Chico groups join statewide protest against fossil fuel projects

Steven Marquardt from Sunrise Chico (left) and Mary Kay Benson from 350 Butte County (right) were among activists from around the state protesting at the Capitol today in Sacramento.

Chico residents today joined a coalition of organizations protesting state energy policies that contribute to a carbon footprint fueling climate change.

Organizers of the #WeAreOutOfTime protest said California should immediately end the approval process for new fossil fuel projects and “drop existing fossil fuel production through a managed decline..”

“All over Chico and Butte County, we have seen, we have smelt, we have touched, we have tasted and we have felt the worst effects of the climate crisis,” said Chico’s Steven Marquardt, addressing the protest group. read more

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“The End of Oil?” It’s about time!

photo by Karen Laslo
2019: Steve Marquadt from Chico’s Sunrise Movement (left) and Mary Kay Benson from 350 Butte County protesting congressional inaction on climate change at a town hall.

by Karen Laslo
guest commentary

For years, environmental activists have been warning us about the most dire existential crisis of our lives: Climate Change. But despite their best efforts, very little has changed as people on all levels continue to behave as if there is no crisis, including many of the elected officials that we depend on for leadership and protection.

As a result of this inaction, all creatures, human and non-human, on this beautiful planet we call Earth, our only home, are in imminent peril of extinction. read more

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Voter turnout critical in Butte County; vote early, officials say Experts say mail-in voting is safe; voter suppression is the problem

So-called “voter suppression laws” made it difficult for millions – many African American – to participate in the 2016 election. Turnout will be key in the upcoming General Election.

by Leslie Layton

If you’re eligible to vote in the Nov. 3 General Election, Butte County Clerk-Recorder Candace Grubbs has a single, simple piece of advice: Don’t procrastinate.

To make sure your vote gets counted on election night, register or update your registration now. Vote when you receive your ballot in October. Call the Elections Office with questions, whether you speak English, Spanish or Hmong, Grubbs says.

But in what some people are calling a “vote-because-your-life-depends-on-it” election, there is plenty to worry about in terms of national polling. In some states, millions of people who have voted previously must re-register — and may not know that — because of tough and suppressive voter registration laws. read more

City of Chico says it will enforce mask-wearing Council tries new approach to public participation at meetings

photo by Karen Laslo
Because of the pandemic, city employees sat outside during the meeting, in the 90-degree heat, handing out speaker cards to those who wished to speak at the City Council meeting.

Public participation was allowed at the Aug.4 City Council meeting — but a citizen speaker tore off his mask at the microphone as he addressed the panel.

The Council allowed in-person public participation at the meeting for the first time since the pandemic set in, asking would-be speakers to wear a face covering in the chambers and line up outside, staying 6 feet apart, until their names were called. They were allowed to then enter one-by-one. One man pulled off his mask as he addressed the Council, pleading with it not to enforce mandatory mask compliance. read more