Council members and the public have made comments about my contributions to political campaigns.
These contributions have come from my personal funds, my savings. I am not a corporation. I have no financial interest in any businesses or have financial investments in Livermore or the Tri-Valley. The only property I own is my house, where I have lived for more than 50 years.
I have heard it said that I have “special” interests. My only special interest is for what I believe helps make Livermore special.
My political contributions are reported as required by the rules of the FPPC for public view. I have not violated any rules. When I was younger, I would be walking neighborhoods, distributing information and gathering signatures on petitions. Among other projects, I worked for school parcel taxes, funds to build the city library and community center, urban growth boundaries and political candidates. I am not able to do that now, so I contribute funds and let others do the physical work. But it is implied that it is wrong for me to do that, which seems as though you are telling me where and how much I can spend my money.
I also feel it is important to contribute funds to causes and non-profits in Livermore and the Valley. Do you want to tell me to whom and how much I can contribute to them? Is Open Heart Kitchen, ok? Del Valle Fine Arts, Fertile GroundWorks, Friends of the Livermore Library, Friends of Open Space and Vineyards, Hope Hospice, Las Positas Foundation, Livermore-Amador Symphony, Livermore Valley Opera, Livermore Heritage Guild, Missing Man Ministries, Ohlone Audubon, Partners for Change, Pedrozzi Scholarship Foundation, Save Mt. Diablo, Shakespeare’s Associates, Shepherds Gate, Student Education Loan Fund, Sunflower Hill, Tri-Valley Conservancy, Valley Concert Chorale, and Valley Humane Society? And yes, I have contributed to the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center, which has established a capital reserve fund. Is it ok if I have contributed to those among other local and national organizations and to my church? I want to contribute to my community in a variety of ways.