Hello Everybody! Well, this was quite a bad week for me. I have to tell you what happened at the City Council Meeting, and then what our next steps will be. First, the meeting on April 20 was pretty eye-opening, even for a strawberry. It was clear from the beginning that the members of the City Council (with the exception of JoAnne Mounce, who was absent), were all in favor of the development and were unwilling to hear testimony from those of us–more than 20–who were opposed to the annexation. They shut down the meeting before everyone who wanted to was able to speak, and mysteriously “lost” cards with people’s names on them who were ready to testify for me. So now we are going to regroup and keep fighting. First of all, thank you so much to all who have written letters to the City and to the Lodi newspaper and who have commented on our blog. We all understand the great value of farmland and appreciate having our own local fresh and clean food to eat! We are not going away! Now here’s what you can do:
1)Keep contacting the City and writing those letters! The annexation still has one more hurdle to cross–it has to go through the County board known as LAFCO (Local Agency Formation Commision). This board takes into account not only the decisions of the City but also the voices of its residents. They want to hear from you, because they realize that any project of this nature disrupts many people. We will have more information on that as it becomes available, so keep checking the blog.
2) How about a petition? This is vital because each signature is so important in showing LAFCO that we love our strawberries and don’t want more farmland taken away. We don’t have a standard form, but here’s how to make your own–Just write or type “Please don’t let us lose our strawberries–vote NO on the South Hutchins Annexation Project” across the top, and then fill the rest of the paper with signatures. Even a few are OK! Pass it around your neighborhood, your church community, your apartment complex, your office, your school (it would be a great project for a classroom, as you could have your kids maybe plant their own strawberry patch), and your gym–anywhere you can think of. We will tell you where you can drop off the signatures soon.
3)Finally, support our strawberry patch and tell the proprietors that we want to see them there for a long time. We all love our local, healthy food and we all have a stake in keeping it here in Lodi.
Thank you so much, everybody! Your hard work and dedication to the strawberry make it wonderful to be a resident of Lodi!