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  • Reinette Senum

My Opposition to SB 649, the "Small Cells" Bill

It was nearly a month ago that I testified against SB 649, a VERY controversial bill. The bill supersedes local authority, forces cities to rent out any lamppost, telephone pole or right of way (or county building) to telecoms to place their cell towers as they see fit. Currently all cell antennas have been 4G (4th Generation), but soon 5G will be added, and that's a radiowave-microwave radiation technology that remains untested on humans. SB 649 is being considered by the Appropriation's Committee right now. To retain local control and choice, and avoid being one giant human experiment, please call your Assembly Member or Appropriations Committee Chair Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher (D-80) 916-319-2080 or write to Assembly Member Gonzalez-Fletcher: State Capitol Room 2114, Sacramento CA 95814.

August 16th, 2017 Assembly Member Lorena S. Gonzalez Fletcher, Chair Assembly Appropriations Committee State Capitol, Room 2114 Sacramento, California 95814 Strongly oppose SB 649 (as amended on 7/18/2017)SB 649 (Hueso)- Dear Chair Gonzalez Fletcher, I write to you in opposition to SB 649 (Hueso) that would allow mass deployment of “small cells” throughout our city’s public right-of-way. Local governments typically encourage new technology, but this proposal goes too far by requiring local government to approve these “small cells” in all land-use zones, including private property, barring the public from decisions that will likely dramatically affect the aesthetics of the community, reduce property value, property tax, and the quality of our constituents’ health and environment. SB 649 is a Pandora's Box for California cities. This bill blatantly strips our local government of the authority to protect the quality of life of our residents, environment, and the public right-of-way. The de facto exemption of CEQA sets a very dangerous precedent; opening the door for any other industry to undermine local government control in order to deploy any kind of corporate undertaking without public or elected officials’ consent or lease agreement of publicly owned property. The 5G-network is being deployed with little guideline or standards, no long-term studies, no monitoring, and without protective agency oversight. This bill irresponsibly opens up cities, counties, and the state of California to liability claims made by our constituents while leaving us flying without a net: Lloyd’s of London excludes liability coverage for harm from RF-EMFs/wireless radiation. One must ask, who will foot this bill? The California taxpayer? If Lloyd’s of London understands the danger of Wi-Fi radiation, why don’t we follow the insurance company’s lead? Governments and representatives, including myself, have a responsibility to protect the quality of life of our constituents, protect public property in the public right-of-way, and from this corporate overreach. Over 200 California cities and 34 counties, representing more than two-thirds of our population, have already entered their formal opposition to SB 649. I implore that you do the right thing and vote “no” in committee. Most Sincerely, Reinette Senum,

City Councilmember/Former Mayor ​​

City of Nevada City​​​​​​

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