|SouthSanJose.com: The Community Web Site Serving Santa Teresa, Almaden Valley, Blossom Valley, Coyote Valley and Evergreen|
|Sunday, August 1st, 1999 @ 10:19 PM|
Subj: CAIR Update to All - Action Requested (Letter Writing, Block Captains, Etc.)|
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (The Chase Family)
Dear Friends and Members of Care,
This is the first of 3 emails I will send out this evening. Because it has been some time since I have written, I want to give you all an update on the tremendous progress we are making in forming our community group, and in our efforts to challenge the proposed Broadway/John Muir co-location
As a result of the tremendous response of the community, our informal group has taken steps to organize formally as a committee action group. We have selected the name Community Action In Robertsville, or CAIR, and our mission is simply to maintain and promote the quality of life in the Robertsville Area. While our initial efforts are focused on the Broadway issue, we intend for this group to monitor all activities that impact our community and to work with our elected officials at all levels to insure that our interests are protected.
We have a tremendous Web site (with plenty of information about our activities and background on the Broadway issue) and a dynamite logo to use on all our published material. We also have a PO Box, and a Bank Account established, and are in the process of obtaining a non-profit status for our group. We have elected officers and have about 30 active members on our steering committee. One of the next emails I will send is a copy of the press release we are sending out this evening about the formation of the group.
The steering committee meets every 2 weeks to plan for fundraising and open meetings, as well as discuss other activities taking place on the Broadway issue and strategizing our next steps. We have PR, marketing, web developers, graphic designers, and other talented, hardworking people in our group. If you are interested and committed to our cause and have the time to participate, drop me an email. We can always use the help.
For those new to the email list or who don't know about Broadway and why CAIR is against the SJUSD proposal, please refer to our web page for history on this issue.)
The past 2-3 weeks have been busy for the CAIR Steering Committee. I personally have met with members of Assemblymen Jim Cunneen's and State Senator Byron Sher's staff to make them aware of the Broadway issue and that their constituents are not happy with the process that has taken place. I received positive feedback from both offices that out voices have been heard and that they will take some action to address the issue. In fact they mentioned specifically the fact that they have received many emails and letters regarding this issue from upset voters, so our letter writing is working!!! Please continue to let them, as well as the school district, know how you feel. Public awareness pressure is our biggest weapon in this fight. Please refer to the web site for names and addresses of our legislators and some sample letters.
*** Speaking of letter writing campaigns, I have a new request to ask of each of you. The school board has submitted a CEQA report, dated July 15, for public review. The essence of the report is that the building of the Broadway should pose minimal impacts to traffic and other environmental issues. Our lawyers, as well as the steering committee, find the report lacking in many areas. We are preparing a formal response to meet the 8/12 deadline, but we need other inputs as well. Please review the report and send your comments to the district office, cc to CAIR. You can get a copy of the report from the district, 855 Lenzen. The district is supposed to put it on their web site as well. Let me know if you can't get a copy and we'll try to help.
On the legal front, we have had other activity in addition to the CEQA report response. A letter was sent out 2 weeks ago bringing attention to the failure of the SJUSD board to follow both CEQA and Brown Act policies. In the letter, we advised the board to set aside the Broadway decision at their next meeting on August 5, or we would be forced to take further action. A portion of the Steering committee met with our counsel last week and was unanimous in support of our plan. For the sake of security I will not detail it here, but if you are interested give me a call and we can set up an appointment to talk.
As you no doubt understand, our challenge to the SJUSD on the Broadway issue will involve time, lawyers, and money. This is why fundraising activities are so crucial. We have already raised over $6000, but more is needed to continue our fight. We have several events planned, including a community wide garage sale (more details to come). We are preparing to sell T-shirts with our logo, and have a barbecue/raffle planned as well. If you can help organize one of these events, please let me know. I will put you in direct contact with Laura, our fundraising chairperson.
None of this, however, can replace the per household donations we are received by concerned residents. My thanks to each of you who has contributed thus far. We are suggesting a donation of $100 per household; if you want to help but don't have a lot of free time, this is the perfect way to make a difference. I don't want this to sound too much like a sales pitch, but lawyers cost money. If you are interested and committed to our cause, please send your donations, made out to CAIR, to the P.O. Box below. Any amount will be gratefully accepted. If you want more information after reviewing our web site, contact me directly. We are keeping track of all donations so that when we get non-profit status, receipts can be provided to all contributors.
Now, for my final request for you this evening. We desperately need block captains for each street in Robertsville. These captains will be responsible for handing out flyers and talking to your neighbors about our issue. Please reply to me if you can take on this task. We are planning another community wide meeting for this weekend and hope to get flyers out early.
That's it! The bottom line is that we have made great progress, and our momentum continues to build. There are so many people to thank that I cannot name them all here, but please be assured we would not be where we are without the efforts of a large, unified, talented group of people. If you run into one of them, give them a heartfelt "thanks" - they deserve it!
Thanks for taking the time to read this; I hope you found it worthwhile. Please send me your feedback - let me know how I can improve these communication letters. I may not respond to each email, but I will read every last one of them!
If you have any other inputs, send those too - I am sure some of you out there may have some great ideas we haven't come up with. Even if you can commit to working on CAIR doesn't mean we don't want to hear from you!
Still fighting to keep our community great,
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