With less than a month before voters decide the fate of a ballot proposition that introduces penalties for heavy air polluters and bans certain devices, two groups are gearing up on opposite sides of the issue.

Healthy Air Now helped craft and introduce Proposition 2. It and Interior Alaskans Opposed to Prop 2 are busy forming campaigns, refining stances and raising money for a heated debate.

Students are learning the power of initiative and referendum.

At the University of Berkley student Rachel Barge co-created the Green Initiative Fund, a student fee referendum put on the university ballot asking students to pay $5 a semester for a sustainability fund.

Three months ago, Los Angeles’ plan for a $3-billion solar energy installation seemed like it had come out of nowhere, with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and seven City Council members saying they needed to act quickly to get it on the March 3 ballot.

With events moving so rapidly, Department of Water and Power General Manager H. David Nahai told the council that he couldn’t give voters a financial analysis of the plan — including its effect on electricity rates — until this month, four weeks before the election.