Atherton police prepare for nurse rally at Meg Whitman’s home
San Jose Mercury News, 7/15/10
By Shaun Bishop
San Jose Mercury News
July 15, 2010
Atherton police are bracing for the town's quiet streets to be flooded today with hundreds of nurses for a rally outside the home of Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman.
The California Nurses Association says the noontime rally — which is expected to draw up to 1,000 nurses to the former eBay executive's house on Edge Road near Menlo-Atherton High School — is a "response to a decision by candidate Whitman to mount an offensive attack directly against the" union.
"Since Meg Whitman refuses to talk directly to nurses, without the filter of her handlers and high-priced consultants, our members are coming to deliver a message to her: RNs and CNA will not be pushed around or bullied like one of her subordinates or subjects," said Malinda Markowitz, co-president of the union, in a statement.
Whitman won't be home — she'll be in Southern California at an event, said campaign spokeswoman Sarah Pompei. On a campaign website, Whitman's campaign manager said the nurses union, which endorsed Democrat Jerry Brown, "is far more interested in partisan theatrics in support of one candidate than a civil discussion of the issues."
Atherton police, who only learned about the protest on Tuesday, sent a request for backup to agencies throughout San Mateo County, said Lt. Joe Wade. He expects 25 to 40 officers from various agencies to be on hand today.
"We just don't have the officers here in Atherton to make it safe for
1,000 people," Wade said. "That's really what we want, is just to make sure the people who come in (arrive) safely and are able to leave safely."
Police sent an electronic alert Wednesday to residents saying streets around the protest will be closed between 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Residents are encouraged to avoid Oak Grove Avenue between Middlefield Road and Greenoaks Drive; Toyon Road; and Edge Road.