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Opinion

Letter to the editor: Fight disinformation, study up before voting, signing petitions

FPPC complaint mailers
Linda Bessin filed a complaint with the California Fair Political Practices Commission accusing the creators of a mailer, opposing Measure I and Proposition 13, of failing to include campaign ad disclosure. She writes this week to implore fellow residents to study up on issues before weighing in on them.
(Courtesy of Linda Bessin)

As a longtime resident of Burbank, I love my city. But what I have seen happen in the first two months of 2020 makes me concerned. As the Leader reported, I made an FPPC complaint regarding fliers pertaining to Measure I that I received in the mail that purposefully excluded required disclosure about who sent this misinformation. This lack of transparency was disturbing and illegal.

The Leader has now reported that the petition signed by thousands in Burbank regarding the LaTerra Select Burbank project was flawed to the extent that it is invalid. The flaw was that the conditions of approval set forth by the City Council were not included. I was told by the organizer that this omission is “something that happens all the time.” Yet this information is legally required, and these conditions should have been provided to everyone who signed the petition. Without them, people could not and did not make a completely informed decision about signing.

Measure I and the LaTerra project are two of the most divisive choices that I have ever seen here in Burbank. Yet our residents were asked to make decisions based on incomplete or disingenuous information. I know that we can do better than this. Please ask questions, request information, and double-check the information you receive. Your vote and your signature should not be given without knowing as much as possible before you decide. Disinformation can happen on a local level through many sources, and we need to fight against it.

Linda Bessin
Burbank

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