Mayor Catherine Blakespear stated in her Jan. 6, 2022, newsletter: “The foundation of democracy is this: eligible people must be able to vote, the votes must be counted and the results must be respected.”
Has anyone noticed the hypocrisy of our mayor? Has Mayor Blakespear “respected” the results of our local elections? (Quoted text below is from her newsletter.)
- She promoted Measure T that contained clear language that would have removed our Proposition A right to vote on all increases in zoning density and building height that exceeds 30 feet. When Measure T was voted down by the electorate of Encinitas, she doubled down with Measure U.
- “Our precious democracy is at a tipping point.” The mayor formed a Housing Task Force to develop a new ballot measure. Several citizens put forth ideas that residents of Encinitas would accept. None of those ideas were included. The mayor arbitrarily overrode the Planning Commission’s lower height plan. The new measure contained language that would remove our Prop A rights. Measure U did not pass.
- “And no matter who wins, we must agree to let the winner hold the seat of power until the next election.” When Measure U failed to pass, it went to the courts. During the trial, the city argued that the citizens of Encinitas would never pass a Housing Element no matter what was presented.
- “The delegitimizing of our elections leads people to think that violence and physically thwarting the certification process is justifiable in the name of patriotism.” The city failed to defend prop A in court, siding instead with developers in its attempt to help delegitimize Prop A. The judge gave the city council 180 days to put forth a housing plan that would satisfy state requirements, allowing the mayor to set aside our Prop A voting right for one housing cycle. Instead of creating a voter-acceptable plan, she overstepped “the seat of power” (the people) and submitted the failed Measure U to the Housing and Community Development Agency (HCD).
- “I call on each of us to speak out and demand that our elected officials participate in our democracy with faith to the Constitution.” Has she? The mayor did not stop at just “delegitimizing” two elections. She sued her citizens to permanently remove their voting rights. The mayor claims that she was seeking clarification. But I received notice that the city had filed a suit against the supporters of Prop A, asking the court to permanently set aside our voting right. The mayor later amended that suit to replace us with HCD, a friendlier defendant. The intent was the same: remove our voting rights. Prop A supporters filed as interveners which allowed us to defend our voting rights from this “delegitimizing” attack by the mayor. The decision sided with the citizens, upholding our constitutional right to vote on all up zoning.
- “My biggest concern is that the delegitimizing of elections that led to this attack will become more coordinated and infiltrate deeper down into our system.” Mayor Blakespear used the word “democracy” 17 times in her newsletter. Either the mayor doesn’t understand the meaning or she has revised its definition. The greatest threat to local democracy, “delegitimizing” our local elections, and restricting voter rights, is Catherine Blakespear.