On February 22, the Mendocino County Clerk announced that 3,285 Mendocino County registered voters provided valid signatures in favor of the county becoming a charter county, qualifying the charter initiative to be placed on the June Primary ballot as Measure W.

Mary Zellachild, member of the Charter Project of Mendocino County, which sponsored the initiative stated: “Democracy means 'Rule by the People.' Which also means that if people value their democracy, they need to be actively engaged in keeping it strong. Becoming a charter county will empower the citizens of Mendocino County to have a greater say in how our county is run.”

Measure W will appear on the ballot as a question: “Shall a Charter Commission be Elected to Propose a Mendocino County Charter?” On the same ballot, the voters will be asked to choose 15 commissioners. The 15 candidates who receive the most votes will then draft a charter, that, when completed, will be put to a vote of the people at a future election.

Explaining the enthusiasm of residents for this measure, Robin Sunbeam, another Charter Project member said: “The one thing we all have in common in Mendocino County is our love for clean air, clean water, clean soil, clean food and scenic beauty. A home rule charter can be written to protect Mendocino County from nationwide economic downturns as well as safeguarding its scenic beauty and natural resources from undue corporate exploitation. It can also include areas of interest not specifically covered by the California constitution. Once voted in, provisions of the charter will have the same force and effect as state law [CA Constitution Article XI, §3(a)].

To help keep our democracy strong, Vote YES on Measure W on June 7th.