Dear Council Members: Let me acknowledge the tough job you face addressing the financial challenges our city and our nation faces as we move slowly out of a massive financial melt-down. Adding to our worries are continuing closures of our business, and those in neighboring areas, such as Campbell Soup, Comcast and Coca-Cola to name a few. Despite tough financial times, this council is poised to make monumental decisions in this budget that will affect quality of life for years to come. In many cases, in well known dangerous areas, your decisions will truly be a matter of life and death. I have grave concerns about violent crime and police staffing and how we address both in this
While this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. celebration was a wonderful event, I am making a video commentary on MLK and some of the possible shortcomings in our approach to advancing social justice.
A couple of years back around the 4th of July, a Sacramento Bee article touted the virtues of voting and participating in government: it blasted Americans for a lack of civic engagement. I agree that too many Americans foolishly ignore the privilege of voting, lazily observe what government is doing and blatantly fail to get involved. But the article, like many people do, failed to address a very real and dangerous aspect of this predicament. The problem is unofficial efforts to suppress citizen involvement and then minimizing their actions when they do engage in the political process. Governing officials use a variety of strategies to achieve outcomes they want and the concer
OPEN LETTER TO COUNCILMEMBER JAY SCHENIRER Councilmember Jay Schenirer, District 5 915 I Street Sacramento CA 96814 September 24, 2012 Dear Councilmember: Before I state my complaint I will make a quick comment. You have stated that, “This is perhaps the most exciting time to live in Oak Park in over 50 years.” From one point of view you are correct. However, and I have raised this issue at council, if you are black you are witnessing gentrification of your village at an alarming rate. The economic injustice black Americans have experienced since our beginning is still at play; and now that same economic injustice is being used to push people out. Every day I see young blacks who are
As a leader you have to stand for something. There are times when ambiguousness, inaction and a soft voice are unacceptable – times when you can’t keep your head down hoping to emerge with no blood stains, scrapes or cuts. Our city is telling employees to start paying all of the employee portions of retirement or face deep staffing cuts. According to one news report, “62 firefighters and 34 police officers face losing their jobs.” Now, Mayor Johnson and council members need to tell us what they stand for. Each council member should make some detailed comments on the current proposed cuts to the fire and police departments. As of Sunday, May 20th, none of our elected had a position pa