11.16.2012 - Update on Hetch Hetchy
The good news is that San Francisco residents now know from where their water comes. Restore Hetch Hetchy (RHH), through its executive director Mike Marshall, will keep the drumbeat going, taking the old adage from Capitol Hill that it takes at least six years to get a bill or ballot measure passed.
Coalition members supported this local effort by writing letters to the editor, staffing phone banks, speaking on public radio programs, and speaking at debates, going up against the city political machine and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (PUC).
RHH, through its political arm Yosemite Restoration Committee, was unable to compete financially with a well-funded PUC. It also was dealt a blow when the local Sierra Club chapter did not take a position, although the Yosemite chapter pushed in favor of the measure. RHH is now reviewing its political strategies and we can expect it to launch its next effort in 2013.
Sarah Null, now Assistant Professor of Watershed Sciences at Utah State, explored the Hetch Hetchy Valley and the Raker Act for her masters thesis, and spoke recently to reporter Lyra Pierotti who wrote in Mammoth Sierra Magazine in November that as "the public's values shift and we find ourselves moving toward the unknowns of climate change, San Francisco could address its own role in public land use, as well as the long term reliability of its water source. This forward thinking would fit right in with the City's long history of innovation and progressive politics. . . "