SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A Sacramento natural foods store has fallen in the crosshairs of California’s vaccine debate after inviting a state Senator to a groundbreaking for a new store.
The new location for Sacramento Natural Foods Co-Op hasn’t been built yet, but it’s in the middle of a continuing fight over mandatory childhood vaccines in California.READ MORE: 1 Person In Custody After Man Found Dead In Sacramento County
State Sen. Richard Pan has been invited take part in the groundbreaking ceremony. Pan was the author of Senate Bill 277, which removed some vaccination exemptions for children entering public schools in the wake of a measles outbreak at Disneyland last winter.
The legislation drew a backlash from vaccination opponents.
“We are trying to recall him; he shouldn’t be welcome anywhere,” Joshua Coleman said. “He’s a person who’s not for the rights of parents.”
Coleman is opposed to requiring children to be vaccinated, and he’s opposed to Pan showing up at the groundbreaking.
“We’ve definitely let the Sacramento Natural Food Co-Op know our opposition to this and that we are not happy with it. And I’m going to stop shopping there personally,” he said.READ MORE: 81 Pounds Of Meth, 11 Pounds Of Fentanyl Tablets Found After CHP Pulls Over Speeding Car
The co-op is currently located just blocks away from where their new store will soon be built.
“We are not for Republicans, or Democrats or independents, or libertarians, we just sell food,” said general manager Paul Cultrera.
He says they’ve received dozens of calls and emails from angry people who oppose the new law.
“I’d say the tone is pretty passionate bordering on hostile, saying we are never going to shop at your store again,” he said. “There’s definitely an organized campaign.”
Pan released a statement that reads in part, “While I respect freedom of speech, I hope the views of a few extremists do not distract from the co-op’s mission to build a healthier Sacramento.”MORE NEWS: Gov. Newsom Pushes Full California Public School Reopening by Fall As Many Districts Resist
The groundbreaking is set for Sept. 3.