2014 has been another eventful year for Committee for Green Foothills. We have celebrated many wins for the protection of local open space and nature. Thanks to the support of our members, in 2014 we:
- Helped pass not one, but two critical ballot measures providing needed funding to our local open space districts. We were involved in both the Measure Q and Measure AA campaigns to protect open space for future generations. We played a lead role in the Measure Q campaign, which increases funding for the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority. We championed campaign fundraising, recruited volunteers, led phone banks, and turned out voters for Measure Q. We also educated voters, recruited dozens of volunteers, and helped outreach for the successful Measure AA campaign, which provides funding for the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District.
- Restored public access to Martin’s Beach. When billionaire Vinod Khosla blocked public access from this historic beach, Committee for Green Foothills took action. We submitted oral and written comments, supported legislation which sought to restore public access, and Legislative Advocate Lennie Roberts joined the Surfrider trail against Khosla by serving as an expert witness. After years of hard work and a lengthy trial, we can celebrate. The judge has ruled against Khosla, opening Martin’s Beach to the public.
- Joined forces with other leaders to stop the City of Santa Clara from destroying 10 acres of Ulistac Natural Area. The City of Santa Clara was considering placing artificial turf soccer fields in the middle of Ulistac. Our Legislative Advocate, Alice Kaufman, was at the very forefront of this issue. Alice organized local environmental leaders, met with community members, and spoke up to protect Ulistac through written and oral testimony with the city council. The City of Santa Clara Parks Commission ended up declining to recommend developing sports fields at Ulistac. This little natural oasis, the result of years of volunteer work, remains protected for now.
- Led the victory to stop a proposal to develop environmentally-sensitive hillside habitat southeast of San Jose. YCS Investments proposed to build an 80-lot subdivision on the 2150-acre Young Ranch. Located just outside San Jose, the property contains very sensitive habitat. The Santa Clara County Planning Commission, after unwavering involvement by Legislative Advocate Julie Hutcheson, found the Young Ranch development proposal inconsistent with the general plan.
A big THANK YOU to all of our members, volunteers, and supporters who helped make all of these wins possible! We’re looking forward to another great year full of more epic wins for nature.