We have a race in the First District.
One week after incumbent Supervisor Rex Bohn launched his campaign for a fourth term on the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, digital creator/film producer Gordon Clatworthy has thrown his hat in the ring.
A political unknown here in Humboldt, Clatworthy filed his Form 501 candidate intention statement with the elections office yesterday, and early this morning he posted a lengthy statement on Facebook outlining some of his key platform positions.
We reached Clatworthy by phone briefly this morning. He was on his way to San Francisco, he said, and the reception was a bit spotty. Before the connection started skipping out he told us that he’s been considering running for public office for a while now.
“When I moved into my house, Rex was already one of the supervisors,” Clatworthy said. “I’ve just slowly been watching kind of the madness unfurl as it goes. This time he was running unopposed so I was like, I can’t let that happen.”
He said the First District should have somebody who represents what he believes to be the majority of Humboldt County. He noted that one in five residents live below the poverty line.
“There’s just a lot of government overreach right now,” he said. “I want to kind of make the county work for people.”
At that point, the phone reception got spotty, so we agreed to connect later in the day for a longer conversation.
In the meantime, here’s the statement Clatworthy posted to Facebook at 1:39 a.m. today:
TLDR: Clean roads, clean streets, clean energy, less gentrification, more representation and be kind to each other.
For those wondering, I have filed a 501 statement to run for 1st district supervisor against Rex Bohn.
I just want to talk about the problems and solutions.
As people suffer some of the worst inflation it begins to hit the lower and middle classes hardest. Many people are suffering in this county, people able to be in compliance with grows are found needing to build roads in places the county couldn’t and this is going to cause livelihoods that are already stretched thin to quickly be at odds with law enforcement if compliance doesn’t happen. For a supervisor that has almost 13.1M sq ft of permitted grows in his district this seems odd as the county doesn’t want to give exemptions or draw back the HCRI [Humboldt Cannabis Reform Initiative]- A plan that changes fundamentally the general plan of Humboldt County instead pushing forward with limiting licenses so that eventually only the wealthy few can be allowed to grow here. I stand with the Humboldt County Growers Alliance in saying that the HCRI is terrible for the established growers that are here now, that are our neighbors, that are our family, and that are members of the community that bring tax money to our county that helps provide the roads we drive on and the building of much needed housing.
This is also exasperating [sic] the homelessness crisis of which there are as of 2022 1,309 unsheltered people including Veterans like myself, Students, and people with addiction and mental health needs. By the census there are also almost 1 in 5 people in Humboldt county living below the poverty line. Those people aren’t getting heard with the current supervisor. Most of the issues we face can treated with the building of low income housing, something that The Humboldt County Housing Trust Fund and Homelessness Committee have made clear in multiple studies and of the buildings the county has put forward funds toward less than 5% of the needed low income housing has been allocated to be built, and even that is threatened with initiatives masqueraded as housing, one can blame it on being a problem for Eureka voters but the number of housing units that could be built won’t be enough to help even half of the population that needs it. It shouldn’t be decided by voters in more and more contested areas, we need housing now! It is an emergency and it is being ignored. I will do whatever it takes to help solve this crisis that will only get worse as people come here to take refuge from climate change.
When people are able to get homes they should be allowed to use their home as they see fit, using the power of the county supervisor position to limit the people who may be able to scrape by and begin setting up limited rentals, people including teachers and people housing parents of students that come for a week to see their child graduate or help them move during a time when most hotels are crowded or being used to house those who have lost their homes in fires. The people have a right to use their own homes without requiring paying the county for licensing their home as a business. We don’t require month to month renters to do so, and if it is such a problem in one neighborhood they should just start an HOA [home-owners’ association], the government doesn’t need to micromanage every aspect of people’s lives. Research shows that Air BnB and other short term rental agencies are dwindling, people are choosing to use other ways to stay in an area. We don’t need to litigate people’s rights to property.
That brings me to wind. There is an energy company attempting to build windmills offshore, this is better than when they tried to build on sacred grounds. Wind and other renewable energy sources are a big part of fixing the damage caused by climate change, according to a recent study sulfur rich fuel used by very large shipping vessels have been helping negate some effects of the climate change by seeding clouds over the ocean and reflecting back the sun’s rays. Renewable energy is great! It’s wonderful that California requires all new buildings to have at least some solar installed. However, driving down the price of renewables is what happens when there’s parts of the day that get more power than others. What Humboldt County needs is a power storage plant that can sell energy back during peak times when solar and wind aren’t producing. That’s the best way forward without compromising our bay.
As our bay needs so much work, shipping from overseas costs the same as shipping something just one mile by truck. When San Francisco and Los Angeles had so many boats backed up trying to deliver cargo premiums were getting paid, money this county couldn’t receive due to our own dilapidated docks and inability to attract shipping. Our bay is the jewel of our county but it is being treated like the eyesore it is. Let’s work together to make it work for us, it can create jobs, bring cheaper prices for goods, and revitalize our economy! (plus who wouldn’t want to sell some weed from a boat in LA? Why can’t we make that happen?)
I know technology is advancing, yet somehow we still have people in the county using paper time sheets? We definitely need to find ways to make the Auditor-Controller’s Office work more efficiently as a supervisor should but no one seemed to step up when the county lost more than 2.3 million dollars during an audit. Say what you will but we needed supervisors to come in and help work together to solve this issue. Healthcare is another underdeveloped area that could use tax dollars to help beef up the nonprofit sector and get help for the people who love here so they don’t have to drive hours for a basic checkup or wait in overcrowded urgent care or emergency rooms.
This brings me to Rex, it seems like everyday there’s some more news about some embarrassing thing he’s done or said, some apology about disparaging remarks made toward members of our community. As a comedian myself I know the importance of punching up, not down. As a supervisor you need to understand that how you act towards others reflects on how people see their government working for them. Public service is a public trust and that is something I don’t believe he feels when he interacts with the public, so I fear how he must act when he is outside the purview of the Humboldt County voter.
Now I want to say that though you may not agree with me on every issue, if you show me a study that would refute my findings I will keep an open mind. I can change my mind, I can work as a team. I was a logistics officer in the Coast Guard, I’ve had training with both leadership and management, and I’ve lived by the motto that public service is a public trust and that we should elect fair people that we can believe in. In the coming months I am going to reach out more to others in the district who may need help and want to talk to someone who will listen. My E-mail address is email@example.com please reach out if you feel that you need to, I will try and post responses here as I can.
Thank you for taking the time to read over this,
running for 1st district supervisor, Humboldt County California