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Northern California Politics are Changing!Eric Salerno Salem-News.com
Kathie Thelen has separated herself from her fellow political candidates by managing her own campaign with friends, and not hiring outside consulting firms.
(SACRAMENTO) - This past month of March has seen a new breed of political candidates in the Northern California area. Regular citizens some new to the political arena have stepped into the ring putting their time and energy into changing their communities.
In Yuba County a community activist and retired hotel hospitality manager, Kathie Thelen is running for Board of Supervisor in District 5.
She has separated herself from her fellow political candidates by managing her own campaign with friends, and not hiring outside consulting firms.
She has also funded her own campaign which is not the norm for most political candidates, when asked why she took this approach? Mrs. Thelen stated that "she did not want to owe any special interest group any favors".
She is well known locally for joining the Yuba County Growers Association a group of medical marijuana patients which filed a lawsuit in 2011 calling for a proper ordinance to be drafted allowing cultivation of medical marijuana.
The group was successful, and today Yuba County has one of the most progressive ordinances for patients that has gone unchallenged so far. She is now setting her sights on changing the rest of the community, so that other issues like jobs, water, and private property rights can be addressed and resolved for the betterment of her district.
In the Shasta County area of District 5, an eight year veteran of the Anderson City Council and former two term Mayor Rodney Jones, has thrown his hat into the ring.
Focusing his campaign in a grassroots effort, he has pinpointed issues on jobs, increasing infrastructure to support graduates, and revitalizing the community as a whole. Shasta County Supervisors recently tried to ban medical marijuana patients from growing completely. A referendum was produced with enough signatures to buy time for the patients in the area to continue their fight.
Rodney who is a MMJ patient himself sees this as a personal freedom issue and plans to focus questions on this topic into that category.
While speaking to an audience this past week during a meet the candidate event he told attendees that every industry needs to be explored in Shasta County to bring stability to the area. During the discussion he stated "not only is the cannabis industry vital, but also the industrial farming of hemp".
Shasta County also has a unique micro climate that in conducive to viticulture.
He would like to see grape farmers bring their industry in Shasta county and expand the available agricultural commodities produced locally, thus providing much needed employment in the area, and increasing tourism in the same turn.
It has been interesting to see the political climate change so drastically in such a short time, people are standing up for their rights and wanting to take back their communities. Focusing positive energy in fighting for all the people in their areas and not only the select few who fill their campaign coffers with funds.
I believe it is safe to say that this is sure to continue, it's has bolstered the idea that we can have public officials with integrity who are part of the movement for greater good. Just some of the things that all of these candidates have in common is that they are all medical marijuana patients, they all want to see their communities become a richer more fulfilling place to live, and they all see themselves as the beginning of a new era in politics here in California.
I wish all of these upstanding candidates the best of luck and applaud them for hearing the righteous call to public service.
Eric Salerno is a Salem-News.com writer from Butte County, California. His background is with State and Federal Agencies assisting in recovery efforts in disaster stricken states.
In 2008 he began advocating for medical marijuana in his home state. This journey began after the supervisors in his district of Butte County enacted a moratorium on legal Prop. 215 patients rights to access and grow their own medicine. He was one of only 10 people to show up at the meeting and voice his concerns with their actions.
That year a coalition of mores than 300 residents was formed and a Vote NO on measure A campaign began. These residents of Butte County united to stop the interference of the county.
This campaign was successful with a large voter drive initiative and media campaign securing 55% of the voters saying NO on measure A.
Today Eric works endlessly from Southern California to Northern California advising and implementing political tactics, to ensure every Californian has the right to access legal safe medicine under the law.
You can write to Eric at this address: Ericsalerno@sbcglobal.net
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