Last week, Tucson residents exercised common sense by overwhelmingly rejecting Prop 412 in a special election. And whether you live in the city or not, this is a significant win for our future.
Disguised as a new agreement between the City of Tucson and Tucson Electric Power (TEP) to renew the Franchise Agreement for another 25 years using the current 2.25% fee, the proposal included a number of Green New Deal pet projects. Had it passed, it would have added a 0.75% “Community Resilience Fee” to fund the costs associated with building underground transmission facilities—and “projects that support the City’s implementation of the City’s approved Climate Action and Adaptation Plan.”
That would have meant:
- Lengthy construction projects removing driving lanes from roads (Road Diets)
- Permanently inhibiting access to small businesses
- Reducing personal vehicles by 40% by 2050
- Establishing Tucson as a 15-minute city with local travel restrictions removing personal choice
Now, the citizens of Tucson have spoken. And it’s clear that they don’t want Green New Deal mandates that take money from their wallet and freedom from their lives.
But make no mistake about it. TEP and its leftist ally Mayor Regina Romero are committed to their “climate change” agenda. Following the resounding defeat of Prop 412, TEP put out a statement that it still plans to move forward on adopting the Green New Deal by phasing out fossil fuels. This is the same utility company that is currently seeking a 12% rate hike from the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) before the end of the year! They have a monopoly and are assuming that the ACC will simply rubber stamp whatever rate hike they request.
That’s why it also shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that right before the defeat of Prop 412, the Tucson City Council voted to make public transit free indefinitely despite not having funding secured beyond December. That’s right, after three years of not charging for transportation services, the government failed to listen to the people again.
Community members have complained that this three-year experiment has led to a rise in crime and public nuisances. Bus driver unions have complained that free busing threatens public safety and forces drivers to act as transit police. And other public safety activists have claimed that free busing facilitates drug sales, trafficking, and even usage.
But liberals like Mayor Romero and other members of the Tucson City Council just don’t care. The Left is committed to its agenda, but when you stay informed, when you make passionate arguments based on facts, and when you hit the streets and fight back, you can defeat them. Prop 412 is the perfect example of that. Now, we need to be prepared for the next battle.
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