We should be able to rely on our elected officials. Isn’t this an attack on our representative democracy?

Myth: We should be able to rely on our elected officials. Isn’t this an attack on our representative democracy?

Fact: No. The California Constitution provides for citizen initiatives to PROTECT democracy. In a representative democracy most decisions are left to the discretion of the elected officials, who are expected to study the issues and make good decisions. These same democracies, however, especially at the local level, often have a few significant and irreversible decisions that must first be approved by the voters. It seems reasonable to treat the loss of city land from public use as we treat bond issues and major tax increases: by requiring voter approval.

The significant time, money, and energy spent by our City Council in support of Measure A, their decision to put it before the voters at substantial expense to the City, and the overwhelming defeat by more than 70% all indicate that our elected representatives can be out of touch with the vast majority of Los Altos residents. Accusations of being undemocratic for not trusting our public officials on these irreversible land use decisions ignore our true democratic principles.