Fluoride Action Network

Measure B defeated in Palo Alto

Source: Palo Alto Weekly | November 5th, 2003 | by Grace Rauh

A proposal to remove fluoride from the city’s drinking water was brushed aside Tuesday night.

Palo Alto voters overwhelmingly rejected Measure B, with “no” votes garnering 10,639 votes (79.43 percent) versus 2,755 votes (20.57 percent) for the “yes” faction.

A “yes” vote indicated fluoride should be removed, while a “no” vote registered support of the cavity-fighting compound.

Measure B proponents were disappointed but not surprised by the election results.

“It’s the first round. There’s a lot of educating to do in this town and it will take a long time,” said Susan Willis, a local mom and psychologist who spearheaded the campaign.

The anti-B crowd gathered in the Cardinal Hotel lobby to watch election results come in with several City Council candidates. They patted each others backs — literally — and were relieved and elated by the early results.

“This is a vote for common sense,” said Jan Gabus, a dentist in Menlo Park.

Despite the wide lead on election night, anti-B campaigners weren’t always convinced they had a sure win. Gabus’ patients called him up until yesterday to ask his advice on the measure, and last week he included a reminder to ‘vote no on B’ with his outgoing bills.

“They caught us off guard,” Gabus said of Measure B proponents. “We were kind of asleep at the switch.”

The pro-B group gathered in Willis’ living room, ate dinner, drank wine, and socialized while catching Bay Area election coverage on television. A computer with updated Measure B results sat, largely ignored, in the next room as partygoers filled their plates with food.

Maureen Jones, who carried pro-B signs on University Avenue with Willis on Tuesday, was in charge of the main course.

“We brought in some lasagna from unfluoridated San Jose,” she said pointedly.