Democracy is defined as government by the people. This means if we value Mendocino County’s democracy, we need to be actively engaged in keeping it strong. Becoming a Charter County can give us a greater say in how our county is governed, because it can include areas of interest not specifically covered by the CA constitution.

Provisions of the Charter will have the same force and effect as state legislative enactments [CA Constitution Article XI, §3(a)], so that whatever is written into the charter - once approved by the voters — will be equal to state law, but applicable only to our county. 15 volunteer Charter Commissioners from around the county, who will be elected on this same ballot for that specific purpose, will write the charter. The completed Charter must be approved by the voters at another date. A Charter may be revised, amended or rescinded by election — always giving county voters the final approval.

There are currently 14 charter counties in California, including Butte, El Dorado, Placer, San Diego and Tehama. Existing county charters legalize issues like: Instant Runoff Voting, Public oversight for investment of public funds, the Precautionary Principle, and using pesticide alternatives. The Charter gives the County more “Home Rule” authority where the millions of urban voters will not make the choices for this rural County.  

This election we have a chance to participate in our county's government. A YES vote costs nothing and obligates nothing. When the Charter is completed, then it can be examined for it’s value and merits. This vote is to develop a Charter with input from the People, and for approval by the People in a later election. Vote YES on Measure W to make Mendocino California's 15th Charter County!   Use your vote to help revitalize our democracy!