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Letter from Paul Lee

Letter from Paul Lee to the Santa Cruz community
Dear IndyMediites<

As you may have seen, the local Supervisors' race has exploded in the last three days with charges and responses. I myself have received over 250 emails from people claiming to represent the truth of the matters under hot dispute.

Of all of them, the one I've received that seems most focused on historical fact is the one I received from Paul Lee, who is fundamentally the founder of Santa Cruz progressive culture. I am posting it here for your information. Thanks for reading.

-Paul Wagner-
20-year affordable housing activist
30-year glbt community activist
40-year civil rights activist

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Dear fellow community member,

Mark Primack has a distinguished and auspicious record of public service in Santa Cruz. We met practically the day he arrived from London. He drove up to Covelo to meet Page Smith and me while we were visiting Alan Chadwick and
his garden project.

He struck me as a uniquely talented and visionary man not least because he called himself a "botanic architect", one who saw habitation and vegetation linked as has been the tradition of house and garden.

Mark has a vision of living in nature and not just on it or in spite of it. We talked about the Greenbelt around London and joined forces to launch the Save Pogonip/Greenbelt Campaign. He attended the first meeting I organized with Page Smith, Ed Gaines, and Bruce Anderson.

I applied for a grant from the Northern California Land Trust and took Mark up to meet the Sacred Oak in the middle of Pogonip He made it the logo for the poster he drew freehand with pencil, including the first map of the Greenbelt and a view from one of our favorite spots looking down over the town to Monterey Bay.

We became the best of friends. I performed his wedding ceremony. I'm a Dutch Uncle to his two children.

He championed the Tree Circus and saw the merit and unique asset of a local treasure that had been abandoned. Mark didn't tear down Cooper House; Mardi Wormhoudt did. He saved some of the bricks.

He served admirably on the Zoning Board for a decade; he has been a devoted
member of the Homeless Garden Project after serving as the architect for the
Page Smith Community House.

He is an uncompromising environmentalist, an advocate for the homeless and brings to local planning a rationally informed common sense.

He is not anti-labor or pro-development as the simple-minded labels would suggest and he never said he chained himself to a bulldozer as the Sentinel misquoted him -- as if that's a reason not to vote for him.

Mark is the future. I call upon all of my friends and associates to vote for Mark Primack.

My best regards,

Paul Lee

Santa Cruz Greenbelt Initiative: Proposition O, l978
Santa Cruz Electric Vehicle Project, 1995
Cedar Street Shelter, 1985
Interfaith Satellite Shelter Project (ISSP), 1986
Citizens' Committee for the Homeless, Chair, l985 -- 1997
River Street Shelter, 1986
Homeless Garden Project, l989
Ecotopia: Circle Trail and Ecology Hall of Fame (www.ecotopia.org), 1994
Northern California Land Trust, l972-4
William James Association, l972--96, Co-Chair with Page Smith
Herb Trade Association, l977-81
Platonic Academy School of Herbal Studies, l981
University Services Agency, l970-76; Re-established and renamed United
Services Agency l993--

Instructor at:
• Harvard University, Teaching Assistant, Humanities Courses and
Teaching Assistant to Paul Tillich, l956-62
• Mass. Institute of Technology, Assistant Professor of Humanities,
Philosophy and Religion, l962-65
• University of California, Santa Cruz, Assistant Professor of
Philosophy, Religious Studies (Founding Chair), and the History of
Consciousness, (Ph.D. program), l966-72
• Founder and Faculty Director: UCSC Student Garden Project, with Alan
Chadwick, l967--l972
• Founder of University Services Agency, a nonprofit corporation,with
the Rev. Herb Schmidt

Guest Lecturer at:
Emerson College, Forest Row, England; U. C. Berkeley; Cherry Center for the Arts, Carmel; Barnard; Rice University; Zen Center of San Francisco; Hartnell College; U.C.Santa Barbara; Governor's Conference on
Education, Nebraska; Rhode Island School of Design, The Getty Museum.

Author of:
The Quality Of Mercy, Homelessness in Santa Cruz, l985--,Platonic
Academy Press, l992, Foreword by Page Smith
Paul Tillich: A Remembrance
"Hermeneutics and Vitalism", Chapters in Festschrift for Frank Barron:
"Goethe's Italian Journey", edited by Montuori
"On the Wings of Thymos", Plato's Phaedrus, the Greenwood Press, San
Francisco

Editor of:

Paul Tillich: The Encounter Between Christianity and World Religions,
Columbia U. Press
Paul Tillich: The Meaning of Health, Introduction by Paul Lee, Platonic
Academy Press
Paul Ricoeur: Freud and Philosophy, Yale U. Press
Ralph Abraham: Chaos, Gaia, Eros, Harpers
Edmund Carpenter: The Pattern That Connects, Harry Abrams

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Comments

Questions?

Why are developers are falling all over themselves to donate to Primack's campaign?

Why did Paul Wagner and his Primack campaign crew contact all the realtors in town to ask them if they could put Primack signs on their property?

Why does Primack lie about being involved with saving Pogonip?

Why does Primack want to build on ag land and create sprawl rather than build less profitable higher density housing near urban corridors?

Why is Primack so concerned about the plight of developers?

The Metro endorses Mardi, so do all of the other Supervisors and all of the city council, except Primack of course. All the out-of-town developers endorse Primack along with the Sentinel. Choose wisely.

Remember what Primack said about the ordinances. Remember that Primack ran away rather than take a stand on the War In Iraq. Paul Lee is one of the good guys for sure, but his vision is clouded this time around.
 

Two Bad Apples on November 5th

Wormhoudt, from her second-term as Mayor in the late 80's, has been horrible on homeless civil rights issue, accessability at City Council, and community control of police. As Supervisor, she has made a joke of the Winter Shelter crisis. Those who challenged her (like Michael Schmidt, whose homeless position was much better than hers or Primack's) got not only publicly trashed, but privately blackballed.

Wormhoudt took no action to defend the thousands of homeless people in her district that suffer from the Sheriff's Department's misinterpretation of the Sleeping Ban on roadways, parks, and most public county property. She took no action to censure Sheriff Tracy when he allowed his deputies to collude with the DEA's raid on Valorie Corale.

Primack,on the other hand, has refused to return calls, maintained an arrogant attitude throughout his Council tenure, and backed away from early support of the Camp Paradise homeless folks. He has taken no action to protect the 80% of medical marijuana users who can't get into the WAMM club and who have been excluded from any legal protection by the City's May 2000 zone-out-all-other-clubs law.

Primack also has an absurd position on the Sleeping Ban. He blames homeless activists for there even being such a ban, reasoning that if them good homeless niggas would have only kept quiet, they would have been restored their civil rights. In fact it is the fear of bigoted residents and merchant and police pressure behind the scenes through the Rotkin-Wormhoudt-Laird-Kennedy-Fitzmaurice psuedo-progresive dynasty that has kept the Ban on the books for the last 24 years.

To his credit, Primack has spoken up against the destruction of low-income housing in the Beach Flats (the Dolphin, Lee, and Rex Court demolitions)--or at least asked questions about the huge expenditure of money that is creating less housing than was destroyed. And spending millions to do it.

But that's not much for two years in office. He jumped into the race, opportunistically sabotaging Schmidt's challenge of Wormhoudt, who herself has declined to move to set up grow areas (as are on the ballot in San Francisco) or specify allowable medical marijuana weight (as Andrea Tischler and other advocates have urged for years).

Both these politicians need to be put out to pasture and replaced with some real progressives. The only advantage in voting for Primack as we throw him out of City Council and we get rid of Wormhoudt. That's pretty small consolation.

As usual the real choices we face are the hard work of grass-roots organizing to create some real change with the assurance that we'll face opposition whoever wins.
 

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