Letter to the editor: I’m happy to be voting no on O — we need housing now, not a dream of it

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To the editor:

With the Measure O campaign thankfully coming to a close in Santa Cruz, I have a chance to reflect on the overall picture.

The campaign is basically between a set of dreams for a certain kind of downtown and a specific plan for a new library, affordable apartments and replacement parking.

This might be a difficult choice for some but it wasn’t for me. I’m happy to be with no on O.

I’m proud to be part the team that includes a realistic and tangible affordable housing project. The team that’s working for the best library rather than one that will settle for mediocrity. The side that honors the community engagement process. The side that doesn’t demonize the builders of housing and libraries in this community. The side that hasn’t cried “corruption” every time they didn’t get their way. The team that has the support of a large and diverse set of community organizations and residents.

I’m pleased to be with an effort that supports green building practices rather than one that claims that replacement parking is equal to environmental catastrophe. The side that plants trees and uses parking lots efficiently rather than protecting ill, nonnative trees and a decrepit parking lot.

Most important, I’m happy to be on a side committed to getting something positive done for our community.

There’s nothing wrong with the other sides’ big dreams. But dreams put forward to the community without specific or realistic plans for things they’re promising (affordable housing and a commons, for instance) aren’t meaningful.

I have no idea what the result will be on Measure O, but I’m glad to have a role in helping some folks understand what’s at stake. Best wishes to all of us.

Don Lane
Santa Cruz