SodaCanyonRoad | Napa Votes for the Environment

Napa Votes for the Environment
Mike Hackett | Nov 23, 2022 on: Campaign 2022

After the narrow defeat of Measure C, the 2018 watershed and oak woodland protection initiative, the local Farm Bureau spokesman publicly stated that the Farm Bureau would become the lead voice in matters relating to the grape farming industry and land use decisions. Since then, large sums of donations have come into the Farm Bureau’s coffers, the vast majority of it from the extremely rich who are interested in the continued development on our watershed lands and open space.

The Farm Bureau courted candidates for the November 2022 election, and even went to far as to award like-minded elected officials and even the former CEO of Napa County, Minh Tran, who supported their development agenda.

But look what happened on Election Day. It was a veritable referendum on the unbridled growth and development ambitions of those that believe that all Napa land is theirs to develop without regard to environmental consequences. Well, the citizens of the county spoke with a resounding voice and expressed their concerns about our environment, social inequities, and awareness that our shared natural resources are at stake. The developer candidates were resoundingly defeated.

Some may call this a watershed moment, and perhaps a watershed election. But what has happened is a reawakening of our voters that unbridled development in this world renowned fragile valley, has negative impacts on many levels, from water quality and availability, to erosion of our hillsides, and the loss of our heritage oaks. All to what purpose? The continued enrichment of Napa Valley’s super rich and the wine conglomerates bottom lines? Or is it for the vainglorious and frivolous acquisitions of environmentally sensitive hillside lands for its future degradation? Since the super-rich have no terminal capacity to their voracious gobbling up of our hillsides and watershed lands, we, as citizens, showed that enough is enough! Big money will no longer control the lens through which our county land-use decisions are made. The first priority will now be, as it should have been all along, “Is it doing further harm to our Napa Valley?”

We are especially proud of the residents from St. Helena who had to make a clear choice about the future of St. Helena. Eric Hall was a development conscious man who would have liked to have seen St. Helena boom into a Vail or Carmel kind of place. Paul Dohring on the other hand, was a strong proponent of maintaining St. Helena’s small town charm. Another clear example of a referendum on the future, proved their desire to keep its current character, thank you very much!

We have hope for the first time in a long time. Everyone saw through the money smoke screen and voted with a sharing attitude. We came here to support one another, not to extract more than is one’s fair share. We celebrate as the Green Wave envelopes us in its warmth. For those of us who love Napa and what it has to offer us, to our children, grandchildren and residents of the next millennium, we think Napa is a living space for us all?"not just the land barons in our midst. Our Mother Earth pleads: ”please stop” and we have answered at the polls.

Mike Hackett and Yeoryios Apallas

NVR version 11/23/22: Election showed Napa residents concerned about environment