by Chelsea Sektnan and Mark McDermott
Will the initiative intended to rid Redondo Beach of the AES power plant help create a seaside park or a litigation nightmare?
Melanie Cohen stood outside the north Redondo Albertson’s grocery store on a recent Saturday afternoon holding a clipboard. She came prepared for the heat. She wore sunglasses and a khaki hat and brought a fold-up chair and a stack of green pamphlets.
Her aim was to rid the city’s waterfront of the AES power plant.
“Sir,” she asked a man walking into the store pushing a cart. “Are you registered to vote in Redondo Beach?”
He ignored her and continued into the store. Behind her a NoPowerPlant.com poster leaned against the grocery store wall. On her chest, Cohen publicized her cause more urgently with a pin encircled by the words, “It’s now or never.”
She targeted the next patron who made eye contact. Yes, he said, he was a registered voter. She held up a laminated pamphlet that activist groups Building a Better Redondo and NoPowerPlant have been using to argue repowering of the power plant isn’t necessary, along with a flyer that said “Help Get the Initiative On the March Ballot.”
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