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CA GP: Grandma, not Developers on Eminent Domain

California Green Party State Convention delegates side with ‘Grandma’s house,’ and not developers in eminent domain duel on June ballot

The Green Party of California – meeting here Saturday and Sunday at its State Convention – voted to side with homeowners and local governments to prohibit eminent domain abuse by approving resolutions opposing Prop. 98 and supporting Prop. 99 on the June ballot.

Greens also approved resolutions calling for bans on cloned animals and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), and the support of “Green Chemistry” to help the environment.

Delegates to the convention, held at UC Berkeley, agreed by consensus that the expansion of eminent domain – normally reserved for “public uses” that include such things parks, schools and roads – to now include seizing homes for transfer to a developer is an abuse of eminent domain.

“We oppose Prop. 98 because it has hidden agendas that threaten local land use planning and environmental protections and was deliberately crafted to challenge affordable housing policies, including the elimination of rent control and eviction protections.,” said Alameda Green Lisa Stephens, a member of the Berkeley Rent Board.

Conversely, in support of Prop. 99, Greens said it is a real eminent domain reform measure intended to constitutionally protect homeowners without the hidden agendas and adverse consequences of Prop. 98.

“Prop. 99 will prohibit government from using eminent domain to take a home to transfer to a private developer. It is an alternative for homeowners, environmentalists, labor, cities and counties, and will prevent ‘Grandma’s house’ from being razed to build condos or a Wal-Mart parking lot,” said
Stephens.

The GPCA also called for warning labels on products using GMOs or cloned animals, and wants to require the USDA to alert counties, and neighboring farmers if GMOs are being used in their areas. Greens would also require the source biotechnology corporation be legally accountable for any “genetic pollution.” A new plank approved by the GPCA would deal with “Green Chemistry,” which is the design and use of “chemicals, processes and products that are safer for human and environmental health (to prevent) hazardous exposures.”

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