Santa Cruz Message Board

Welcome to the Santa Cruz County Message Board! Here you can talk with other volunteers in your area, organize, and help get this initiative on the 2012 Ballot!

Use the tabs "Announcement, Alphabetical, Locations, etc." to sort the messages to find what your looking for.

Use "Buddy Wanted" to tag your message if you are trying to find another volunteer to join you to go out and petition together.  Or you can post an event in the volunteer calendar of where and when your going to gather and see if anyone will join you.

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.

Sign up here when you want to gather signatures

Please sign up for our approved locations, or go tell us where your going too on our "Tell Us Where You'll be Petitioning - Sign-Up"

This will give us Ideas, and enter your feedback after in the comments box!

Now click this button & get OUT there:
Sign Up Now!
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Where to get Loaner Tables

Volunteer loaning tables   -   Location   -   Contact Preference

Tarah Locke - By Dominican Hosp.- Text me please 831 246 1626 

Mary Graydon Fontana - By Staff of Life - 831 818 8487

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Jan 27th Volunteer Email Letter



Sponsored by The Committee For The Right To Know.  California Recipient Committee # 1337480



-  Supplies

-  Ways to sign up for signature gathering time slots

-  Staff of LIfe (good) News

-  Share your contact info?  What’s this?

-  Help with Volunteer T-shirts? and more FUN things



Saturday, Feb. 18th - 3pm to 5pm at the Live Oak Grange on 17th Ave.



Signature Gathering “Kit”

Hey - all you great signature gatherers - we’re hoping that you are “chomping at the bit!”  to get out there and get those petitions filled with signatures!  February 18th is our official date for beginning signature gathering.  With that date in mind, we are asking that you start putting together a Signature Gathering “Kit” for yourself - which should include:

-  4 or 5 pens                                                                                                                                         

-Two legal size clipboards

-  Several “petition” boards (9x18 sturdy cardboard with rubber bands) - can be used to hold petitions for other counties or a form to sign up enthusiastic people who want to volunteer, etc.

-  The campaign sign if you were given one at our Jan. 7th Organizing Event.  If possible, please laminate it so it will hold up in the weather.  (Staples, Office Max, or at Fed - Ex)

-  Also, be thinking about having a small chair or stool that you can use to sit at a table - some of the stores are requiring that we sit at a table.


Got Tables?

Please let us know at if you have your own folding table (card table or smaller) that you can use at a venue where you will be collecting signatures.  We have a limited number of tables to “spread around”  to so many time slots at so many venues. Whole Foods has said that we must be sitting or standing at a table as we collect signatures.  Most New Leaf Marketsrequire that we be sitting at a table while we collect signatures. (New Leaf Market, Felton & Boulder Creek do not have this requirement) So far, none of these venues has said that we can store our tables at their location.  We are in the process of finding places where we can store tables that volunteers can pick up for their shifts - but it’s very slow going.  So it will help tremendously if you have (or can borrow) a table to use and if you have your own stool or chair.  If you are able to buy a table, Costco has the best-sized ones (about 1 1/2 ft. by 2 1/2 ft.) for $20.


What We Will Provide:

We will be providing campaign signs for your tables (for those who don’t have them yet), petitions, a half page flyer to give out to people who want more info, sandwich board type signs for us to wear (optional), volunteer “badges” for you to wear.   And we do have some tables.

We don’t have a lot of $ - but we will be providing LOTS of ENCOURAGEMENT  and APPRECIATION to all of you who have chosen to take on this challenge.  It’s truly a “David and Goliath” effort - YOU will be working to protect our food supply from being contaminated forever. Once GMOs are in the environment there is no way to prevent their spread - we have no time to waste!


Signing Up for Signature-Gathering Time Slots

We are in the process of filling in our scheduled time slots for gathering signatures at the 2 Whole Foods stores, the 5 New Leaf Markets, and at the 5 Farmers Markets and Staff of life.  We are working on getting other businesses on board.  There will be various ways that you can sign up for these time slots:

1.   You can sign up at our “Launch Event” on February 18th at the Live Oak Grange from 3-5pm. We’ll have sign-up sheets there.

2.   Tarah is working on a website which potentially can be an interactive site where volunteers can sign up  for time slots.  This could be our invaluable online network hub for coordinating volunteers and talking with each other, but for this to be effective, everyone needs to sign-up on our website, - For those having technical difficulties-instructions are written near the bottom of our website’s homepage (Please note: Our Santa Cruz Website is helping test this out for the WHOLE campaign, so if there are any bugs, please report to Tarah)_

3.   Then there will be the labor intensive "old-fashioned way" of signing up.  Someone will be phoning and/or emailing you individually to request your time for available venues and time slots.

4.   Any other creative ways we can come up with that will work to get all of you out there helping to get this initiative on the ballot for Nov. 2012!We know that all of you will also be collecting signatures from friends, families, groups you belong to, out on the street corners, etc. - and that is GREAT - every valid signature counts!


Staff of LIfe (good) News

Jaws dropped last Sunday night when we told attendees at our signature gathering training that we stillhad not been able to get Staff of Life to allow us to collect signatures at their store. So we wanted to let you know that we just got word that we finally have their permission to collect signatures at their store.  YAY!  We will soon have time slots to sign-up for!


Share Your Contact Info?  What’s This?

We would like to create a way that trained signature gatherers can contact each other if they choose to do so.  This would facilitate your being able to  phone/email  each other to pair up for signature gathering time slots; make it possible for you to share materials if needed, maybe hand off tables and chairs; contact another volunteer to ask if he/she can take your place if you can’t fill a scheduled time slot that you have signed up for, etc., etc.

Tarah is creating a google document on the web that shows all our Trained Volunteers and our available shifts. When it's ready, you’ll get a link to view it in your email, save this email so you can easily access the document. Tarah and Mary will be the only ones able to fill in the shifts in this document. PLEASE LET US KNOW OTHER PLACES YOU ARE PLANNING TO COLLECT SIGNATURES so others can see where we are all gathering and not go at the same time.

Remember  - you are one of a special group of approximately 80 people who have been trained to gather signatures for this initiative in the Santa Cruz area.   This document will ONLY share contact information among trained signature gatherers (that’s you).  We have over 800 supporters on our email list who have signed up just to get updates.  Your contact information will NOT be available to them through this document.

 If you do not want your contact info included in this document, then let us know what you would like included: Name only, name and phone only, name and email address only and we will comply with your wishes.


As we get closer to our petitioning start date PLEASE STAY TUNED TO EMAILS FROM GMO-FREE SANTA CRUZ, as it is our main avenue of communication with you!  More information about our Launch Event will be coming soon.

Your Local Team Coordinators

Mary & Tarah



Other  FUN AND INTERESTING ways to help & participate in this exciting  and growing non-GMO movement:


  • Interested in helping with the volunteer t-shirt project? Please email us and let us know! We have a local Environmentally Conscious Business, Notorious Teaze, that is willing to work with us on Label GMO Volunteer T-shirts.  The only problem we have is time; Mary and I are very busy and can’t take on another project. 

  • GMO Class on GMO Food Education & Labeling Movement.  It`s at the Santa Cruz Reskilling Expo on Feb. 5th at 11:30am.                                                                                                              Come & encourage your friends also

  • FLASH MOB- Santa Cruz Label GMOs!  Please help make this message go viral!

Share this with your friends through email, Facebook, twitter, etc.


The Green Carnation Pesticide Awareness Month
FEBRUARY is The Green Carnation Pesticide Awareness Month

Spread the News!

This simple demonstration shows exactly how a plant takes up pesticide and cannot be washed off.  It is an "Ah Ha" moment for everyone.

Simply put some WHITE CARNATIONS into a jar/vase of water with a generous amount of GREEN FOOD COLORING overnight or a few hours.

Check out the Website for more insight.

jan10cover3d1a.jpegNew Leaf image.jpgGrange.pngNew Natives.pngway of life.png 

GMO-Free Santa Cruz Coordinators 
   Tarah Locke  & Mary Graydon-Fontana
UCSC Label GMO Coordinators 
   Kyle Fujisawa & Wayland He 
CA 2012 Label GMO Ballot Initiative
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Location Suggestions

High traffic areas, weekends and 4-6pm weekdays are ideal, don’t waste your time with inactive venues.  We will also have scheduling and available time-slots for the most important venues.  If you want help, there are plenty of us that will partner with you.

Farmers Markets > We have permission to table at everyone, check in with manager when you get there except Downtown.

Markets >Trader Joes, Safeway (Approach manager that day, or stay on public sidewalks)

Public sidewalk <setup a table on the sidewalk in the busiest area of town at the busiest time
< or, you could walk up & down main with your petitions and a Sandwich board around your neck
< a table is ok as long as you do not block traffic
Ex. WestCliff, Eastcliff, Downtown, Capitola Village

Businesses < see if you can sign-up all their employees  --they might let you setup a little table somewhere  --think busy places, or many employees

 Non-Profits < see if you can sign-up everyone in the office

Events < talk to the organizer and see if you can participate  --meetups (, look at weekly events, festivals, parties, business mixers, Occupy protests

Your event < movie, pot-luck (dishes labeled non-GMO), bash, Seminar, birthday

Schools    < University UCSC, College Cabrillo, Set up table when its Pick up time at your kid's school, etc

Churches or places of worship

Other    < Post Offices, Library, Coffee shops, mom & pop stores, Beach Art Show, the bike lane at the beach, garage sales  --Where are the lines? (big movies premeir, concerts)

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Print and post our flyer!

EASIEST- DRAG onto desktop then DRAG into your word or other program. Format so that you can resize it. Then Print!

OTHER Ways to save document to your computer:
1. On a mac have your cursor on the pic, hit "ctrl" and click with mouse. Scroll down and click "save as.."
2. With a 2 button mouse, right click and click the save as button. 

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Sandwich Board documents to print

Print out two pages. Paste on a firm poster board. Staple on ribbon material and wear as sandwich board.

Ways to save document to your computer:
1. On a mac have your cursor on the pic, hit "ctrl" and click with mouse. Scroll down and click "save as.."
2. With a 2 button mouse, right click and click the save as button. 

White font on Black tag:

Black font on White Tag:

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Dec. 30th Update Email to Trained Volunteers


|Re-filing Info||Jan 7th Party||Santa Cruz's team New Website||Whole Foods Agrees to let us gather at stores!|

Hi everyone...

You are now one of a special group of over 70 people who have been trained to gather signatures for the CA GMO Labeling Initiative in the Santa Cruz area! Statewide we have over 1,300 volunteer signature gatherers. With all of your help, we are going to get the needed number of signatures - and we are going to get this labeling initiative made into LAW!   Please be sure to keep “tuned in” to emails from GMO-Free Santa Cruz.  They are the best way for us to communicate with you about upcoming news, events, and any changes that might occur such as.....


About a month ago, there was a federal court case (the Cargill lawsuit) that included 2 rulings that made it necessary to change the wording of our initiative.  The two rulings had to do with (1.) GE foods not being allowed  to be called “natural”  and (2.) GE foods being labeled.

The federal court ruled that GE foods should not be allowed to be called “natural”.  Yay!  - but the second part about GE foods being labeled did not pass - because the Federal Government has their own labeling laws regarding ingredients, and these cannot be challenged at the state level.

We are very lucky that this was caught now and not AFTER we started gathering signatures, or when we finished gathering signatures - as it would never have gone through.  The other good news is that now included in the new text of the initiative is the statement that any food product that has GE ingredients or goes through the GE process cannot have anything with the word “natural” on the packaging. Yay again!
The actual labeling of processed (packaged) foods will be a little different than what was in the initial writing, but it will still be known that the product was “produced by genetic engineering” - it just won’t be specific to an ingredient because of the federal law.  According to the campaign, this change will actually make our initiative stronger legally.  It will be in compliance with a Federal court ruling, and it will include the part about products that are labeled as “natural” not being allowed to have GE ingredients in them.

The new text of the initiative has been sent into the State, and now we will receive our title and summary in the first week of February, instead of  January.  That means we will begin signature gathering in early Feb. instead of early January.  We will still have until mid-April to gather 850,000 signatures.  It will put us  back a little, but now we have an extra month to train more signature gatherers, to firm up more venues for signature gathering, to get our social network up and running, and  to generally get more organized.
We will be having more Signature Gathering Trainings in January. We'll send out the schedule when we make it.

In our last 2 signature gathering trainings we announced that we would be having a “Launching Event” on January 7th, the day we originally were going to start gathering signatures.   We were about to send a notification out to the rest of you - and then these changes happened.   SO...we still plan on having an event on Jan. 7th, but it will be a “Organizing Party” instead of a “Launching Event”.  It will be held at the Live Oak Grange on 17th Ave. on Jan. 7th between 9am and 11am.
At this event you can: 
        - socialize with other volunteers over some coffee/tea and breakfast  snacks
        - sign up to gather signatures at the venue of your choice
        - find others to collect signatures with
        - learn how to use the Label GMOs Social Network for Santa Cruz that we're getting up and running. 
(Try signing into intructions in Orange above "More Good News"
        - share your excitement about this historic initiative!         


Please look at your calendar to see if you can make our “Organizing Party” on January 7th and RSVP or on facebook at We need to know how many "yummy" breakfast snacks to get! 

SIGN IN TO OUR NEW WEBSITE! - for trained Signature Gatherers only
Go to Look at the top right corner, where it says "Sign in with Facebook, twitter, or email" and click "email" then you get the choice of signing in with facebook/twitter or by email.)  We'll give you more tips on how to work with this network at our Jan. 7th party.

MORE GOOD NEWS - if you can stand it!!
Thanks to Rachel Pachivas, East Bay Coordinator - we have been given permission to collect signatures in front of the Whole Foods stores in our area!   We will be talking with the individual managers to get the details and will pass them on to those of you who will be collecting signatures at their stores.  
We will continue to keep you apprised of our plans as they evolve.  We want to keep connected up with you through email, facebook, phone, and our GMOs'  Social Network for Santa Cruz when it gets up and running, etc.   Thank you again for choosing to be part of this vital campaign to keep our food safe!

Tarah Locke
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New Message Board Up and Running

Welcome!!! Here you can post comments, discuss strategy, and organize yourselves! 

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