The Charter Project of Mendocino County is a coalition of people striving to increase local sovereignty with a home rule charter. We want Mendocino to join the 14 other California counties that have established home rule charters under Article XI of the California Constitution.

The greatest advantage to a home rule charter is that provisions of the charter have the same force and effect as state law [Art XI, §3(a)]. That means that whatever we write into the charter, once approved by the voters, will be like state law, but applicable only to our county.

We are all quite proud of Measure H, the 2004 measure, which banned GMO agriculture in Mendocino County.  Mendocino was the first county in the Western Hemisphere to ban GMO crops.  Measure H had a domino effect in which many other counties in the USA, and provinces and states around the world all followed suit and banned GMO agriculture.  In response, ALEC (the American Legislative Exchange Council) pressured states to prohibit counties from banning GMO agriculture. 

“ALEC's response to cities and counties acting as laboratories of democracy has traditionally been to crush it through ‘state preemption laws’ that prohibit local governments from raising the minimum wage, regulating GMO's or building municipal broadband.”

Considering that Measure H is but a measure from a general law county, it could be overturned if the State of California followed ALEC's lead and prohibited counties from prohibiting GMO crops.  If the new charter stated that Mendocino agriculture must be GMO free, it would have the same force and effect as state law and could not be overturned by the State. 

Becoming a charter county is a three-step process. After the correct number of signatures has been collected and validated, there will be two charter measures on the June 2016 ballot for the electorate to vote on. The first is: “Shall a charter commission be elected to propose a Mendocino County charter?” The second will be a list of (at least) 15 people who are running for charter commissioner. If a majority vote “yes” on the first question, then the 15 people with the most votes will be elected to the charter commission. They will draft a charter for the county. Once completed, the charter will then go on the ballot for the people to approve the proposed charter. Once approved by the voters and adopted by the Secretary of State, it then becomes equivalent to state law.

Other provisions that could be included in a home rule charter include protections for the water, air, soil and scenic beauty within the county. Instant Runoff Voting (aka Ranked Choice Voting) in which we could vote for our favorite candidate instead of the lesser of 2 evils. If your #1 choice doesn’t win, then your vote would go to your #2 choice. San Francisco uses IRV, which saves money on runoff elections. We could include anti-corruption laws that prohibit donors outside the County from contributing to local candidates. Also, several of our local measures can be reiterated in the charter, strengthening their impact.

A county charter will also strengthen the case to establish a county public bank and remove our public funds from Bank of America, a felon that is too big to fail, and has derivatives exposures on the world market 28X their total assets. Another worldwide economic downturn is inevitable, and the casino derivatives market is unregulated and has super-priority status over every other debt. Therefore, when the derivatives bubble bursts, our public funds will not be safe in BoA. The sooner we find another safe location for our county’s public funds, the better. The Democratic Central Committee of Mendocino County and the CADems have both endorsed a Mendocino County public bank. Hopefully, when established, it will be a democratically operated benefit corporation called the Public Bank of Mendocino County.

Sign a petition now to get the charter question on the ballot and vote YES on the charter question in June 2016!


Or send a check to Charter Project of Mendocino County
PO Box 1133 Ukiah, CA 95482-1133

 Watch Dr. Vandana Shiva in Willits September 7, 2015 on our YouTube page:VShivaFace1in  


W Endorsers

  • Judy Albert
  • The Apple Farm
  • Daniel AuClair
  • Laura Balows
  • Tim Bates
  • Suzanne Beers
  • Pat Black
  • Ali Boecker
  • Sue Boecker
  • Marilyn Boosinger
  • Jeff Box
  • Christine Boyd
  • Pam Brown
  • Michael Burgess
  • Elaine Charkowski
  • John Russel Cobbe
  • Els Cooperrider
  • Meg Courtney
  • Cecile Cutler
  • Govinda Dalton
  • Jed Davis
  • Tammy Davis
  • Norman de Vall
  • John Fremont
  • Katrina Frey
  • Frey Vineyards
  • Denise Gallagher
  • Clifford A. Gosset
  • David Gourney
  • Anderson Valley Grange
  • Inglenook Grange
  • Little Lake Grange
  • Redwood Valley Community Guild
  • Kathryn Green
  • David Gourney
  • Supervisor Dan Hamburg
  • James R. Hochgraef
  • Crispin B. Hollingshead
  • Kimber Holmes
  • David A. Jeffreys
  • Linda Jupiter
  • Margaret Koster
  • Andrea Lacedonia
  • Blaire Ladd
  • Ronald Lippert
  • Freddie Long
  • John Marshall
  • Jane E. McCabe
  • Lynda McClure
  • Doug McKenty
  • Mendocino Cannabis Policy Council
  • Mendocino County Democratic Central Committee
  • Mendocino Women's Political Coalition
  • Richard Louis Miller
  • Cathy Monroe
  • Trudy Morgan
  • Miranda Mott
  • Val Muchowski
  • Ron & Susan Munson
  • Traci Pellar
  • Tami Pleck
  • Linda Posner
  • Ann Rennacker
  • Holly Rick
  • Bettina Robbi [Tara Sufiana]
  • Ellen Rosser
  • Mark Safron
  • Ana Victoria Salcido
  • Steve Scalmanini
  • Jef Schultz
  • Robert Paul Sloan Jr.
  • David Sowder
  • Jon Spitz
  • Maria Teresa St. John
  • Michael St. John
  • Lori-Rachel Stone
  • Madge Strong
  • Acorn Sunbeam
  • Robin Sunbeam
  • Jim & Judy Tarbell
  • Sheila Dawn Tracy
  • Turtle Creek Associates
  • Maggie Watson
  • Alessandro Welsh
  • William F. White
  • Agnes Woolsey
  • Anne Wright
  • Keith Wyner
  • Mary Zellachild