Ventura County Star

Paul Jacob, president of Virginia-based Citizens in Charge Foundation, may be the fiercest defender of direct democracy in America. He’s helped organize more than 150 petition drives in 47 states, and feels so strongly about the righteousness of the initiative process that he risked going to prison by defying an Oklahoma law prohibiting the use of paid signature-gatherers in that state.
 
When Jacob comes to California, he feels right at home. He gives the state’s initiative process an A grade.
 

Measure C on the Nov. 3 ballot in Ventura never mentions Wal-Mart by name, but social justice advocates, unions and other proponents began crafting the initiative with one goal in mind: keeping the world’s largest retailer out of town. The measure, created in response to Wal-Mart’s plans to take over the former Kmart on Victoria Avenue, would ban any new store selling groceries that is larger than 90,000 square feet. A Walmart without groceries, however, would be allowed.

While Wal-Mart has submitted new plans to renovate and move into a shuttered Kmart in Ventura, opponents have vowed to intensify promotion of a November ballot measure to block the proposal. This is the third time Wal-Mart has submitted conceptual drawings to replace the former Kmart on Victoria Avenue, and each proposal has progressively gotten smaller. The latest plan shows a 98,000-square-foot store with food sales, which would comply with new city rules that restrict stores along the busy Victoria corridor to no more than 100,000 square feet.

An initiative that would establish rent control and offer ownership of condo conversions at El Dorado Mobile Estates will go before Fillmore voters in a special election Nov. 3. At an emotional City Council meeting earlier this month in which several members of the public denounced the Fair Rent and Homeownership Initiative, the council again rejected a request by the measure’s proponents to adopt it as a city ordinance. Instead, the council voted unanimously to place the measure on the ballot.

The Fillmore City Council has refused a request to adopt a mobile-home initiative as a city ordinance. The freshly certified ballot initiative would establish rent control and offer ownership of condo conversions at El Dorado Mobile Estates, a 302-unit park for seniors. The initiative is sponsored by Nancy Watkins, principal owner of the mobile home park.

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One of two rival proposed ballot initiatives that would establish rent control at El Dorado Mobile Estates in Fillmore has been declared invalid by the city attorney for failing to follow state law.

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Voters in Oxnard may decide on whether 2,500 moderate- and low-income homes are built on 165 acres of strawberry fields north of the city.

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