Letter to the Editor: Analyzing Citizens For Laguna’s Future’s Mission Statement

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The Indy recently published an article about the latest Political Action Committee to be launched in Laguna. So, Let’s analyze the Mission Statement of this Political Action Committee, “Citizens For Laguna’s Future (CFLF).” Here are their words and my analysis.

They profess to be a “coalition of concerned, caring residents and organizations committed to protecting our treasured small-town atmosphere and unique quality of life for generations to come.

Me: yes, a deep pocket coalition of many of the same interests who backed Peter Blake, and the “Liberate Laguna PAC” was then renamed “Laguna Forward PAC” during the past four years. All focused on building hotels downtown, two and three-story buildings everywhere plus block-long apartment buildings along the Canyon and on Coast Highway. 

To this end, Citizens for Laguna’s Future is committed to: 

Resoundingly defeat the damaging Laguna Residents First ballot proposal now known as “Measure Q.”

Me: they may do that given the incredible amount of money being donated to this PAC and their candidates. 

Avoiding the need to increase taxes on Laguna residents by restoring our business district’s existing buildings and infrastructure. Giving our small business owners a boost will help generate much-needed new City revenues and create more jobs for residents. 

Me: an appeal to Laguna residents who are worried about increasing taxes by advocating changing the structures downtown to generate more business to developers.

Assuring the low-scale, welcoming streetscape that is characteristic of Laguna continues and height limits are not breached.

Me: an appeal to residents concerned about increasing density and view preservation. Yet, how often have developers tried to change the height limit and streetscape?

Helping our firefighters and paramedics maintain fast, fire and Medical emergency response times by supporting plans to build a new fire station and renovate existing ones as needed without a public vote which could delay its completion for two years.

Me: implying that measure “Q” would require a vote of residents to build a fire station. A false scenario that, if a public structure was proposed, the City would reject and that voters, if presented with such a choice, would reject. 

Fully funding our police department to maintain personnel levels and acquire the crime-fighting tools needed to keep us safe.

Me: what does this have to do with Q? A red herring playing on residents’ fears. Everyone believes in funding our police!

Uniting our City so, together, we can meet the challenges that face all of us in the decades ahead.

Me: Yes, uniting us like they did by supporting a damaged council member in 2018.

According to the campaign filings submitted to the City, this PAC has received the bulk of their money from a local opaque “PAC Protect Laguna Now,” The Californian Association of Realtors PAC, the “Liberate Laguna PAC” and various development-focused individuals. And they want us to believe they are for “protecting our treasured small-town atmosphere!”

Armando Baez, Laguna Beach

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Armando says, “All focused on building hotels downtown, two and three-story buildings everywhere plus block-long apartment buildings along the Canyon and on Coast Highway.”
    What complete and utter nonsense! Please get you facts in order! Maybe if you came to a council meeting or a planning commission meeting once in a while you might become enlightened. Making up such utter BS is easy. Knowing the real facts takes a bit of effort which you clearly don’t have time or desire for.

  2. Thanks for reading my Letter above. I wrote it because I wondered why else would the California Realtors Association and the National Realtors Association, Laguna Forward PAC, and a number of other development focused entities fund this PAC in opposition to the resident’s “Q” initiative?

    Here is what one enlightened resident reported recently (including documentation from the City’s own web site of the contributors, amount, occupations and locations) on the NextDoor web site:

    “$121,000 collected in 5 weeks by this PAC! What a “Grass Roots” effort! The PAC: Citizens for Laguna’s Future has racked up another major “local” donation from the National Association of Realtors – in the amount of $26,798!! They are now at about $121,000 collected from their developer, real-estate speculator and big business supporters to try to defeat Measure Q. That’s $69,989 from PACs alone. The majority of the rest from real estate speculators and the like. There’s very little “concerned resident without financial incentive” money involved. Don’t be fooled, this PAC is rooting for Q’s defeat so that they can continue to attract more “vitality” to the City and fill their pockets accordingly”

    Makes sense to me.

  3. I wish Armando Baez and other Laguna Residents First leaders would stop whining about the amount of money Citizens for Laguna’s Future has raised to defeat Measure Q. They only have themselves to blame. It’s not our fault that they wrote a deeply flawed initiative. It’s not our fault that they got over 2000 signatures to put it on the ballot but can’t raise as much money as we have. It’s not our fault that they passed up a golden opportunity to declare victory and withdraw Measure Q when the City Council passed Ordinance 1675 which addresses a number of their core concerns. It is not our fault that they shy away from debating the merits of Measure Q, in favor of attacking our motives because some of us are developers, even though most of us are not. It’s not our fault they think they have an exclusive franchise on loving the town the way it is. Our town urgently needs to find ways to work together despite our differences, which are real. But the only thing Measure Q has done is to further divide us. Win or lose, that will be the legacy of Measure Q.

  4. Chris, Ha Ha! Who is whining now?

    “Citizens For Laguna’s Future PAC” talking points reminds me of the Wizard of Oz when Toto pulled the curtain open. They, like the Wizard, ask us to ignore the organizations and leaders responsible for the up to now 121k in contributions received from a handful out of Laguna PACs and local commercial developers (29 contributors in total).

    As i wrote above, why would so much money be rolling in to the No on Q PAC from so few contributors?

    So, Chris says that because the Yes on Q committee does not have big money financial interests supporting its efforts, it is residents fault! Now, that is funny!

  5. Chris, if you want to read about the pros of “Q” please go to:

    https://lagunaresidentsfirst.org/

    There you will find the text of the initiative, Q&A on its merits, impacts and solutions to overdevelopment. You can ask questions and get answers to your doubts and concerns.

    BTW, I am not on the board of Laguna Residents First nor an officer in the organization. Just a concerned resident worried about Laguna’s future.

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