Referendum petition fails to meet deadline

photo by Karen Laslo
David Welch

posted Jan. 13
At a press conference today, David Welch, spokesperson for “No On Butte County Gerrymandering,” announced that the group fell short by just a few hundred signatures in its effort to petition for a referendum on the newly-adopted Butte County district map.

Group members, arguing that the redistricting map adopted by the conservative majority on the Board of Supervisors was heavily gerrymandered, said their work was hampered by the holidays, the Omicron variant and rainy weather. “The gerrymander of our county, against the backdrop of Republican gerrymandering across America, has aroused a level of passion I’ve rarely seen for a local issue,” said Welch, vowing that other options would be explored. — Karen Laslo read more

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Referendum effort launches over redistricting Group claims gerrymandering to dilute Latino and urban vote

photo by Karen Laslo
District 3 Supervisor Tami Ritter at today’s press conference.

posted Dec. 17

A “No on Butte County Gerrymandering” campaign launched today to circulate a petition for a referendum on the redistricting map adopted in a Dec. 14 split vote by the Butte County Board of Supervisors.

Speakers at today’s press conference said the map that was adopted was gerrymandered to disenfranchise urban voters in Chico by splitting the city into four districts. The map, which establishes two western agricultural districts, was approved by supervisors Bill Connelly, Tod Kimmelshue and Doug Teeter. read more

Redistricting battle heats up Two supervisors protest the slice-up-Chico map as gerrymandering

photo by Karen Laslo
Supervisor Debra Lucero (left), and Supervisor Tami Ritter (right), at Nov. 17 press conference.

District 2 Supervisor Debra Lucero, speaking today at The Hands in a press conference, warned that the Butte County Board of Supervisors’ conservative majority may attempt to pass a gerrymandered map at a special 1 p.m. Nov. 22 meeting.

The county spent some $80,000 on consultants who drew up several redistricting maps, but instead are considering a map proposed by Paradise Supervisor Doug Teeter that slices the city of Chico into four parts and the city of Oroville into three. Lucero says Teeter’s map was designed by a Republican strategist and she and District 3 Supervisor Tami Ritter argue it would dilute Chico’s representation and give lopsided power to agricultural interests.— Leslie Layton read more

Lucero: Public discourse on Tuscan Water District comes — but late "The public had not been part of the formation process"

photo by Karen Laslo
District 2 Supervisor Debra Lucero

by Debra Lucero
guest commentary

The Tuscan Water District story is unfolding in Butte County. This isn’t the first time large landowners have joined together to try to “preserve their way of life and heritage.” It has happened all over the state and more recently, in San Luis Obispo where the proposition to form a new, powerful California Water District failed.

So, how did this current effort in Butte County get birthed?

The former Butte County Water Conservation & Resource Department director, Paul Gosselin, (now the State of California’s deputy director of SGMA – Sustainable Groundwater Management Act) and a former longtime Sacramento Local Agency Formation Commission executive officer, John O’Farrell, came up with another idea — one that could circumvent the arduous San Luis Obispo process and even the Board of Supervisors. read more

Recall effort targets four CUSD board members Classrooms a battlefield as right shapes recall efforts statewide

photo by Leslie Layton
Trustee Matt Tennis, elected in November, has the support of Chico Parents for In-Person Learning that is working to recall the other board members.

by Natalie Hanson

Editor’s note: The effort to recall four CUSD board members ended unsuccessfully Oct. 12, when recall organizers failed to turn in the circulated petitions.

“If the school does not enforce the mandates, I pull my kids.”

Parent and Chico State student David Gregory worries about tension in Chico Unified School District (CUSD), as some parents press for removal of masking requirements — and of district leaders.

Gregory has three children who attend Paradise High, Inspire and Paradise Charter Middle School. While he is happy with mitigation at the high schools, he worries about his middle-schooler. read more

Election to recall Gov. Newsom underway Participation by Latinx, young adults, low so far

Secretary of State Shirley Weber

by Leslie Layton

Gov. Gavin Newsom has been described as one of the “most pro-Latino governors” in state history – but it’s still unclear whether Latinx voters will help him stave off the recall that would oust him from office.

California Secretary of State Shirley Weber said today that based on the absentee ballots pouring in, the recall is “proving to be a relatively popular election.” But there is still a distance to go by Sept. 14, which is, officially, election day for the recall.

“My goal is 80 percent turnout minimum,” Weber said at a news briefing today sponsored by Ethnic Media Services. “This election says what California is going to do.” read more