Citizen Statement "Action Van"
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Geoff Ellsworth | Feb 3, 2015

In the St Helena Star: Citizens protest winery expansion

Taking a page from the Sonoma County playbook, Citizen Statement "Action Van" hits the street.

We will have signs out at 5pm to hold before St. Helena Planning Commission special meeting today at Vintage Hall, 465 Main St. in front of St. Helena High School for anyone wanting to join in.

Regarding SIGNS, I am thinking maybe a movement can build that has some resonance by March 10, but also as tourism season builds. Taking a sign campaign from inside the BOS/Planning meetings out to the roads and streets as we see in Sonoma County.

I was thinking of doing something like "Stand Up Saturdays/Sundays" where we wouldn't have to do any great co-ordination, everybody or group that wanted to could just go to a spot of their own choosing on Hwy 29 or the Silverado Trail from like 10-1 every Saturday or Sunday, just to get a little routine going.

We could do it as a bigger group also but wouldn't necessarily need to. Big cardboard signs with just 3 or 4 people can be effective as everybody has to go up and down these same roads and if they pass a bunch of smaller demonstrations it may be as effective, I think it also encourages other residents that it may not be too late to stand up.

The narrowness of the two main roads I think is to our advantage here, everyone has to come up these roads and would see the signs of discontent at the over co-opting of our home and region into a product and marketing platform without understanding the impacts to the residents.

People could also go out on other days too of course ( I plan too), but I think if we start some kind of routine maybe we can get a movement of people to coalesce around the idea of going to particular areas or event centers or tourist hotspots and we can demonstrate the will and the power to effect change.

Hopefully it is raining this Saturday but then there are 4 Saturdays/Sundays before the big March 10 meeting and I think we could be making a statement by then, something big enough to get awareness from the press and wine tourism industry

I will have the big signs outside the BOS meeting this Tuesday, Feb 10,maybe along the Silverdado Trail entrances to the Campus if there is a good spot. We already have a few people committed to hold signs but more is merrier.

I think home made signs are effective but we could also design some to be ordered. I have paint and cardboard.
I am happy to crank out more at my house if anybody has ideas to put on them,

My fear/worry is if we don't start getting leverage soon, long time residents will give up, start packing it in and moving away, I hear the rumblings and so want to work on getting the people who are willing to go out there if possible.

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