(SACRAMENTO,CA) – With the California Legislature’s anticipated return to business at the State Capitol on Monday, January 11, calls are mounting for them to abandon the $1 billion plan to demolish and replace the historic Capitol Annex building. Organizations including Save Our Capitol!, Public Accountability for our Capitol, taxpayer groups and chambers of commerce opposing the “Capitol Annex Project” are today urging legislators to focus on the needs of Californians and businesses recovering from COVID-19 hardships rather than wasting taxpayer dollars on a palatial project for legislators and lobbyists.
“Right now, our state leaders need to concentrate on distributing as much COVID-19 vaccine as possible as quickly as possible to as many people as possible. With most small businesses under incredible financial pressure to simply survive, a massive renovation of the state capitol building seems ill-timed,” said Paul Little, President and CEO, Pasadena Chamber of Commerce.
California preservationists, environmentalists, small business advocates, and taxpayer organizations who oppose the “Capitol Annex Project” are now joined by state and local organizations calling for the plan to be revised, particularly as Californians face economic and humanitarian crises. Strong and growing opposition now includes:
In addition to demolishing the historic Capitol Annex building, the project will destroy untold numbers of irreplaceable trees in Capitol Park by:
Organizations and individuals seeking to stop the project also point out that the plan was devised largely behind closed doors, with little public knowledge or input. Indeed, the Historic State Capitol Commission, created by the Legislature in 1976 for the express purpose of protecting the State Capitol's historical and architectural restoration integrity, was denied project information, resulting in the resignation in protest of two commission members. In addition, Tribal Communities have provided public comments indicating that they were not engaged in or included in the planning process, as required by law.
“We are calling on the Legislature and Governor Newsom to put themselves in the shoes of Californians in need. Put a stop to the $1 billion Capitol Annex Project. People in crisis must come first. Our state leadership should pursue an alternative that protects the health and safety of the building’s occupants but is less costly, welcomes public participation, and preserves the sacred ground and cultural resources of our state’s Tribal Communities,” said Dick Cowan, Public Accountability for Our Capitol.
About Save Our Capitol!
Save Our Capitol is dedicated to preserving the historic Capitol and its surrounding Park as the center and symbol of Californians’ right to truth, transparency, and trust in our form of self-governance. Follow Save Our Capitol! on Twitter and learn more by visiting www.SaveOurCapitol.org.