May 28, 9:30 am City Council will hold a public hearing on Smart Meters. You may have felt like our concerns fell on deaf ears when we put energy into this a year ago. Largely it did. Here is why and also why it is important to be present at City Hall on the morning of the 28th. This time we are in a much stronger position. The new Chair of the Environment and Energy Committee, Sawant, shares our views. This is the committee that. under the leadership of Mike O'Brian actually sponsored the climate action plan which includes the smart metering plan. Jordan, Erin and I met with one of CM Sawant's staff members this morning. He said that Sawant has concerns about the AMI ( smart meters ) systems - mainly the privacy issues and the fact that time of use billing affects the working class more than people with more flexible schedules. They were also concerned about the sham meetings set up by SCL to gather public input on smart meters. We are asking for a moratorium as an "opt out" still blankets the city with radiation. However, Sawant's staff member mentioned that if if it they decide to go ahead and upgrade the meters it is possible to negotiate for viable compromises such as - having an opt in rather than an opt out. - having the meters wired into the existing fiber optics system - have the information sent / collected once a month. - no time of use billing.
Joshua, Sawant's assistant, asked us if we could gather enough people to appear and speak at the council meeting on the 28th to show that Sawant has popular support on this issue. If we have a strong showing of support it will be easier to get this issue on the agenda so that we can at very least buy time as we gather momentum. We are becoming more knowable and have more tools .. This is our best chance so far to stop this toxic, invasive technology from running over our 4th Amendment Rights, preserving our health, and keeping electricity rates affordable. Please plan to come and give a one minute testimony. Or, if that isn't possible, you can write to Council Member Kshama Sawant's office [masked] (as Sawant is now the chair the Energy Committee) and register your concerns.