LAKE WORTH VOTES AGAIN ON NOVEMBER 17...
The PBCEC endorsed Javier del Sol in the first round of local elections, and we are proud to have been associated with his amazing success in running an environmental campaign (from re-using signs to recycled paper and soy-ink for handouts). He also engaged populations in Lake Worth who have had little-to-no voice in political life. Although he didn't win the votes we feel he deserved (as much of his support came from a segment of our community excluded from elections) his effort will certainly shape elections to come.
But in Lake Worth, we were extremely fortunate to have more than one great environmental candidate running for Mayor. Now that the Run-Off is upon us, we are also proud to offer our full support to Laurence McNamara, who made it into the final round with candidate Rene Varela.
Laurence was chair of the committee that wrote the Public Land/Public Vote charter amendment for the 2005 ballot, so now our public land (parks and beach in particular) cannot be sold without voter approval. This stopped 5 ten-story condos from being built in the intercoastal and an 8 story condo on Old Bridge Park. He has worked on every Lake Worth land-use campaign to prevent overdevelopment in the neighborhoods and on the beach. Laurence was vice-chair of the city's Climate Action Task Force, which made recommendations to the city on energy conservation measures. He wants to promote water conservation through cisterns for all new development and he wants to see renewable energy become a reality in Lake Worth.
Laurence McNamara is open-minded, honest, and environmentally pro-active. He also received the official endorsement of the local Sierra Club Executive Committee.
Rene Varela, on the other hand, is charismatic and talks a good talk. But he has not participated in anything substantial in the City of Lake Worth except to run for office twice. He has taken different positions on immigration depending on the audience (he has not expressed support for the Resource Center, which the local immigrant advocacy community has worked hard towards opening). He claims to be an environmentalist, but has no record of taking any position on local issues. Of special concern is Rene's professional participation in the capture of wild dolphins for profit. Varela is featured in the documentary film "Dolphin Dealer", in which he identifies pregnant wild dolphins after they are captured. The dolphin captures in the film are traumatizing and often deadly for dolphins. He works for Ocean Embassy, a company that says they help marine animals, but their work is abhorred in the US and other countries for lacking standards. Groups like Humane Society and Earth Island Institute have spoken out against Varela's business affiliations.
Rene Varela is running a campaign wholly based on image, not substance. From what we can gather, it seems Varela is being groomed for politics in Tallahassee. He is likely to be the slickest greenwasher ever. We want to make sure he does not get his start here.
To make financial donations or to help volunteer with McNamara's campaign reach Lake Worth voters, visit: http://www.laurencemcnamara.com/