June 11, 2001
For Immediate Release
Contact: Carlos Petroni, Progressive Left (415) 452-9992
PROGRESSIVE LEFT CALLS FOR WORKERS AND CONSUMERS TO RUN MUD
Slate of Candidates for the MUD Board will Fight for Public Power
Controlled and Managed by Workers and Consumers
The Progressive Left and its member organizations have supported and
campaigned for the idea of public power for over ten years. Our
candidates for different City offices in 1996, 1998 and 2000 ran on a
platform for public power. We also support and will campaign hard
for the MUD proposal on the local ballot for the November, 2001
Many politicians of the local political machine like Mayor Willie
Brown and State Senator John Burton have been in bed with the
utility companies (particularly PG&E) for years. Under pressure from
a public outraged at the energy crisis, the increase in rates and the
threats of rolling blackouts, they are now coming in support of
State Senator John Burton was instrumental in granting California
Governor Gray Davis the legislation necessary to bailout both PG&E
and Southern Cal Edison to the tune of billions of dollars. Willie
tried by all means to put alternative "public power" proposals on the
same ballot. Burton is now appearing on the MUD kickoff campaign
press conference supporting it. Burton and Willie's plans are not
hard to guess. Unable to oppose it they are now trying to control it
by running candidates for the MUD board that will cozy up with PG&E
and try to give them the best deal possible.
The Progressive Left candidates for the MUD Board differ with other
reformers of the energy industry, like anti-union Bay Guardian Editor
Bruce Brugman and former Supervisor Angela Alioto in that we advocate:
a) Public Ownership of both gas and electricity production sources,
distribution grids and retail operations.
b) We are against paying PG&E any compensation for losing the usage
of SF-owned electricity and paying low royalties for their
distribution in the City. Decades of uncontrolled and exorbitant
profits at the expense of working class consumers make compensation
not only unnecessary but unfair to the public.
c) We are not about to vote for Public Power only to turn it over to
the same politicians of the Republican and Democratic Parties that
brought us the energy crisis in the first place.
Public Power in the hands of politicians in the pocket of PG&E and
the big utilities will change little.
The PROGRESSIVE LEFT is a coalition of Labor, Immigrant and community
activists, Greens, Socialists, environmentalists and others who are
dedicated to social justice and independent, working class political
action and politics.