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The Planet

PRESS RELEASE: CALIFORNIA PROPOSITION 187

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 6, 1994

Contact: Dan Sullivan, Sierra Club 415/626-8153 Michael Paparian, Sierra Club 916-557-1100 Richard Toshiyuki Drury, CBE 415-243-8373

ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERS DENOUNCE PROPOSITION 187 -- IT WON'T SAVE OUR STATE

San Francisco ... Four state environmental organizations today announced their opposition to Proposition 187. The Sierra Club, the Planning and Conservation League, the California League of Conservation Voters, and Citizens for a Better Environment joined in denouncing Proposition 187 because of the devastating impact it will have on public health, and because of the damage it will cause to public education and the general quality of life in the state.

"Proposition 187 claims to save our state by prohibiting virtually all health care for 1.6 million California residents, and by forcing over 300,000 children out of the school system. This won't save our state -- it's more likely to plague our state," said Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope. "Proposition 187 is nothing less than a direct frontal assault on both public health and public education."

"Don't be fooled by promises of magic solutions and big savings," said Santa Cruz County Supervisor Gary Patton, speaking for the Planning and Conservation League. "Proposition 187 is so poorly drafted, and it violates so many federal laws, that it threatens $15 billion in federal aid to our schools and hospitals. Proposition 187 will do nothing to solve California's problems -- it will only make them worse."

"I was stunned when I read the text of this proposition," said Richard Drury, a staff attorney for Citizens for a Better Environment. "It will exclude a vast number of California residents from virtually every form of licensed health care. It doesn't matter whether they are suffering from a contagious disease or poisoning from pollution -- they will stay away from all medical clinics. This is incredibly cruel and short-sighted. It will just lead to epidemics of contagious diseases that will affect everyone, and it may create a black market in health services."

"We call on all California voters to reject this extreme and costly initiative," said Sam Schuchat, the Executive Director of the California League of Conservation Voters. "It would do nothing but damage our health, our educational opportunities, and our sense of community."

The Sierra Club is a national organization with 150,000 members in California. Sierra Club California, its state division, leads environmental advocacy campaigns on California state issues.

The Planning and Conservation League is a Sacramento-based environmental organization. It is the principal sponsor of Proposition 185 on the November ballot, which will provide funding to promote public transportation and reduce air pollution.

Citizens for a Better Environment is a statewide environmental organization with offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles. It works to reduce threats to public health and the environment posed by toxic pollution.

The California League of Conservation Voters campaigns for candidates who support environmental protection. It also campaigns for ballot measures that are environmentally sound, and against measures that will be harmful.

Statement by Carl Pope, Sierra Club Executive Director, on the Club's opposition to CA Prop 187


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