The Idealism and Vision of the 1976 Campaign Platform for the OB Community Planning Group

by on February 17, 2015 · 2 comments

in California, Civil Rights, Culture, Environment, History, Ocean Beach

OB CPG Broc CandFoto

CPG candidates for the May 4, 1976 election. Maryann Zounes, Jerry Hildwine, Dolores Frank, Frank Gormlie, Lars Tollefson, Chris Bystrom, Ed Riel, Tom Kozden, Judy Czujko, Rich Cornish, Jill Mitchell, Doug Card, and Pete Elsbree (Norma Fragoza not pictured). Layla the dog is in front.

 The Platform Was a Guide to Making Ocean Beach a Citizens’ Paradise

Editor: The following is the 1976 campaign platform for the Ocean Beach Community Planning Group, the forerunner to today’s OB Planning Board. The OB CGP ran a slate of candidates for the May 4, 1976 election and won 8 of the 14 seats on OB’s very first Planning Board.

The platform was hammered out over numerous meetings by CPG’s membership and the CPG candidates all had to endorse it once it was finalized.  Reading it now – 4 decades later – is an amazing experience of appreciating the idealism and vision of the grassroots volunteers and activists who forged OB’s first planning board.

See the text of the group’s campaign brochure, and see the history of the group that is responsible for bringing us democratic elections to neighborhood planning committees.

And don’t forget, the current OB Planning Board is holding their annual election on March 10th at the OB Rec Center. Check out the procedures and voting requirements.

OB CPG Broc CovrCOMMUNITY PLANNING GROUP

CAMPAIGN PLATFORM

• Preamble

Recognizing that all communities have a right to self-determination, we believe that the Community Planning Board is a step toward community self-government.

With this in mind, we believe the Community Planning Board, once elected will have and exercise real decision-making power over the planning decisions that affect Ocean Beach.

Planning, in the broad sense that we believe it represents, is more than density limits, traffic designs or height limitations. Planning has economic. social. political, environmental. and cultural aspects that 8fe just as important. In a word, people.

In the planning proceu, the majority of people in the community should have the right to make decisions affecting all of their lives. This includes public utilities, health care, the police and fire departments, social services. child care, educational and recreational resources.

While understanding that Ocean Beach is one community of many within the larger region of Sin Diego,  and realizing the need for coordination with other communities, we believe that the elected Board should have the power to decide local issues.

Historically the Precise Plan has be,n an urban renewal design pushed by groups and forces who represent the rich, and corporations wishing to completely alter the community. The original Precise Plan would have caused the “Miami Beachization” of the community and would have made it impossible for poor, elderly. and working people to reside in Ocean Beach. We understand that Ocean Beach has a monumental battle ahead of it, against corporate and real estate exploiters if it is to achieve self-determination.  We must unite to win in this struggle.

For three years the Community Planning Group has led this fight. The Community Planning Group has fought for the right of poor, elderly, and working people to live in their community, and to decide what goes on in their community.

Thus, we lee the fight for a decent plan and environment for Obean Beach as a struggle between the vast majority of the people of the community, who are tenants, homeowners, and pr0gressive-minded small business people, versus the small group of wealthy elite,  who would like to turn our community into a playground and resort area for the rich.

OB CPG Broc graf3SELF-DETERMINATION

The Ocean Beach Community Planning Group recognizes that all communities should have the right to self-determination and we believe the Community Planning Board is a step toward fulfilling this right.

Equally important as the elected body are neighborhood and block organizational networks. These group’s should get together regularly to work out issues and proposals to be put before the Board. These groups can deal directly with any problems or issues relating to their neighborhood. CPG sees the task of initiating and providing initial guidance for these networks as a top priority.

The Community Planning Board should address Itself to the various problems of the community concerning public services and facilities.

The Community Planning Board should set up a sytem to process citizen complaints concerning all public services, including public health care, utilities, education, library, sanitation, street up keep, recreation, police and fire protection and legal rights.

The Community Planning Board should be provided with staff and office by turning over to the Bosrd facilities now under used.  A study of existing use of county/city facilities should be made to determine this.

EDUCATION AND HEALTH CARE

We beieve the CPG should promote community participation and decision making in education. CPG supports the designation of Ocean Beach Elementary School, as a community school. It is right that a valuable resource, like a school should be more accessible more often to all of the community.

OB CPG Broc Graf2Further we recognize  the Ocean Beach Elementary Community School Council as embodying the concept of community self-determination in education.

OB CPG Broc Graf01Care care is a right. We believe that all  children need a place to play together, to learn, to share, to develop their potentials, s0 that they can be happy, healthy, self-disciplined responsible people. All parents need free time to work, to learn, to play, to get involved in community affairs.

The new Ocean Beach Child Development center is a model of comprehensive day care under the control of Center parents and workers. The Community Planning Board should promote the growth of such centers in Ocean Beach to meet the still great need.

Health care is a right. The need presently exists for good health care in the community. A public health clinic must now be established in Ocean Beach.

BALANCED COMMUNITY

It’ is important that Ocean Beach include iii wide range of citizens on a social, economic and philosophical basis. In its implementation of the Precise Plan, the Community Planning Board should take actions which enhance the living possibilities for various groups and types of people including single people, couples, familie with children, people of all ages, people of various income levels, people from different ethnic and racial backgrounds, people with divergent life styles, etc .

Ocean Beach is a community where over 80% of its residents rent their homes rather than own them. In this light we support efforts to develop and protect the rights of tenants. We welcome the support of homeowners, residential landlords, and local business people in support of these efforts. We also support efforts to develop a fair rental contract between tenants and landlords.

We betiew that our society is suffering from its present degree of racial segregation. When we deprive each other and ourselves of meaningful contacts with those different from us, we restrict ourselves from the full rightness of life. We support efforts to increase the racial balance of the community. We endorse an effort to recognize cases of racial discrimination in the housing market and seek legal solutions as well as less formal community efforts to abolish this discrimination. We recognize that many other communities in our society are having serious racial conflict, however, we feel that because of the more open and progressive atmosphere of Ocean Beach, this could be a community where people of diverse ethnic groups could live together “and build a real sense of community.”

We support and encourage the concept of residential ownership, however, the present economic system makes it very difficult for low and middle income people to own their own homes, therefore, we support;

– lower density zoning so houses and duplexes are not replaced with apartments and condominiums.

– changes in property taxes to encourage rather than discourage home improvements and to prevent those on fixed incomes from being forced out of their homes.

– Collective, co-op or joint ownership of property as another alternative.

OB CPG Broc 7ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

The CPG has consistently taken stands for the protection of our environment from both an ecological and esthetic view point.

Many people are concerned about the erosion problem on the cliffs between the pier and Adair Street. The reality of the situation is this: the problem is only that individuals and developers were allowed to build too close to the cliffs. This was a mistake of the past which must not be repeated. The existing conditions puts some homes and apartments in jeopardy. But the results of some of the plans to stop the erosion puts these beautiful cliffs in jeopardy. This is the contradiction – the rights of landowners versus the rights of the people who enjoy these cliffs as a recreational area.

CPG takes a firm stand against rocks or jetties being used to protect the cliffs and seeks to maintain the beauty of this recreational area.

We propose that a trail be maintained along the cliffs to discourage the erosion caused by people.

The be8ches have increasingly become neglected in their maintenance. This process must be reversed and maintenance upgraded.

The sewer lines serving the area are currently being used beyond their designed capacity.

Sewage treatment at the Pt. Loma outfall is of the crude primary type and CPG will move to force commencement of secondary and tertiary treatment processes.

There are billboards at various locations throughout our community and the visual polltion they represent is especially severe along Voltaire Street. We propose, the removal of these signs, and further guidelines to govern the use of signs.

OB CPG Broc backSMALL RESIDENTIAL COMMUNITY

We believe that Ocean Beach is a unique community with many positive qualities which need to be protected. We would like to protect its residential character, its small-local business orientation, its recreational opportunities, its community related organizations and efforts, its emphasis on pedestrian and bike traffic and its general neighborhood orientation.

In order to maintain the best qualities of Ocean Beach we must maintain a population density close to our present level.

We would like to de-emphasize the use of automobiles by developing bike paths and better public transportation to other parts of the city and surrounding area.

We recognize the desirability of small locally owned businesses which fulfill the needs of the local community.

PROPOSED BOARD PROCEDURES

There are many rules made by the city which were set up to control the structure and functioning of the Board. We support changes in some of these rules which will make the Board more representative and democratic.

The existing rule for replacement of representatives is that the candidate with the next highest number of votes will fill the position. We would seek a change in this rule. When it becomes necessary to select a replacement for members who have lost their eligibility to serve (move from the district, etc.) the committee itself should select a replacement from a list of candidates nominated at a district meeting called by the remaining member from that district.

There should be a recall procedure established whereby those committee members elected who are obviously not supporting the wishes of the people of their district can be removed from the committee board and be replaced.

We feet that a 4 year term is unrealistically long and instead propose a 2 year term.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Avatar Judy Collier February 21, 2015 at 9:54 am

Good memories! We were all so young, but we were right, too.

Reply

Avatar Doug Card February 21, 2015 at 11:37 am

Good for you, Frank, Source, or whoever, for putting this historic campaign platform out there!
It still merits discussion. Being part of this movement some 40 years ago was one of the great experiences of my life.
More later.
Doug

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