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Councilman's Petition Campaigns On Smoking, Plastic Bags Begin This Weekend

Justin Wedel has both petitions online and volunteers heading out this weekend to get signatures

Councilman's Petition Campaigns On Smoking, Plastic Bags Begin This Weekend
Walnut Creek City Councilman Justin Wedel's campaign to curb two city ordinances officially kicks off this weekend.

Wedel has placed his anti-smoking law petition as well as his carry-out bag ordinance petition on the website Speak Up for Walnut Creek.

Wedel is encouraging people to download the petitions and gather signatures themselves.

He said there are already volunteers who will be going to stores, farmers markets and other locations to gather signatures. The first group will be at the Walnut Creek Farmers Market from 10 a.m. to noon on Sunday.

The petition on smoking would repeal the anti-smoking law passed by the City Council on Oct. 1 and replace it with a new law that is less restrictive.

The other petition would prohibit the city from regulating or imposing a charge for carry-out bags without a majority vote of the public.

In late October, the council directed city staff to start drawing up an ordinance that would prohibit single-use carryout bags at Walnut Creek businesses.

The council voted 4-1 to approve both the anti-smoking rules and the plastic bag ban with Wedel the lone "no" vote each time.

In both cases, Wedel said he feels the government is overreaching its authority and violating private property rights.

Other council members have said these two laws deal with issues that involve public health and the environment.

Wedel announced his petition campaigns in late October. He needs 4,000 valid signatures of Walnut Creek residents to get the measures on the June ballot.

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