A Dark and Stormy Night!

It was a dark and stormy night. Well, actually the weather was quite lovely that night, but inside the Escondido City Council Chambers at the April 5th meeting, it was overcast and thunderous. The two main items were item 11 City Response to AB 805, and item 12, the City Council Response to SB 54.

Abed open the discussion on AB 805, saying “me and Deputy Mayor Masson” had put the item on the agenda. Well, I know Abed speaks about five languages, which is four more than I do, so I really shouldn’t criticize, but it reminded me of my 9th grade English teacher. I can imagine her roaring at Abed, “Deputy Mayor Masson and I!!!” When you are admonished by a strict grammarian like Mrs. Carter, you do not easily forget.

Abed heatedly railed against AB 805, and its sponsor Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, referring to her only as Assembelymember Gonzales. This bill would disenfranchise many cities. It was overreach by the state. It was political grandstanding. It would eliminate the tally vote so San Diego and Chula Vista would decide everything. It was a power-grab by the unions. It would mean that SANDAG would spend every dollar on public transit. There’s been quite a bit written about this bill, but I found nothing in it even remotely indicating a power grab by the unions. Masson added that it was a classical overreach from Sacramento, and if passed would mean all the money for transportation would stay in the south. http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/topics/government/the-fight-over-gonzalez-fletchers-sandag-reform-bill-is-taking-shape/ http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/topics/government/the-fight-over-gonzalez-fletchers-sandag-reform-bill-is-taking-shape/

Councilwoman Olga Diaz pointed out that it was not Sacramento, but a local representative from the San Diego area who had introduced the measure. It would be nice, she chided Abed and Masson, if they would refer to her preferred name, Gonzalez Fletcher. She noted that the fiasco of SANDAG’s over its purposeful overstatement of the benefits of Measure A, showed that SANDAG needed better oversight. See http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/topics/government/omg-wtf-sandag-knew-its-forecasts-were-wrong-went-to-voters-with-false-promise-anyway-emails-show/ for information about that fiasco. She did not like the proposed weighted voting called for in this overhaul of SANDAG, but felt it would be better to write a letter to amend the proposal rather than just opposing it. It was not a labor union power grab, the bill would make the mayor of San Diego the permanent chair of SANDAG, and that mayor was a Republican. She strongly favored the independent audit committee for SANDAG AB 805 proposed.

Abed insisted it was not giving power to Mayor Faulconer, but to the San Diego City Council, with their Democratic majority. Councilman Ed Gallo opined that Measure A had not failed because of the amount of money it was projected to raise, adding that the South County liked public transit more, and North County like cars more. Councilman Mike Morasco noted that Transnet I and II had underserved Escondido, and this change to SANDAG would make things worse for Escondido. The audit committee makes sense to Morasco, but the rest was malarkey and a power grab. Diaz pointed out that SANDAG had been formed by an action of the state legislature, and this was a push for accountability.

The measure was approved with “four yes votes, Diaz voting no.”

The discussion of item 12 was quite a bit more tempestuous than item 11. I wrote about State Senator Joel Anderson’s “coffee” where Anderson lambasted SB 54, https://ablueviewescondido.com/2017/03/13/fear-of-felons-or-fear-of-change/  Abed’s fellow in bringing this item before the council was Morasco, but it was Abed who led the charge. He belittled the bill’s title “California Values Act” as total BS, nothing of value here, he insisted. It was a very unprecedented overreach by the state into local government. In the last ten years, Abed bragged, Escondido had deported 2,000 criminals. Changing his usual theme of how the crime rate was increasing due to various new state laws, he insisted that Escondido’s cooperation with ICE was the reason there had been a 22% reduction in crime. He continued to parrot all of Anderson’s talking points (the Republican Party’s talking points,) with the false statements about how serious criminals would escape deportation when their time in jail was finished. He then insisted that the state’s action would result in the state losing millions in federal funding if the bill passed. The state was $500 billion in dept. It was the most overtaxed state. It has a pension crisis. To continue with these state policies was insanity. The far left ideology would take us over a cliff. AB 54 was insanity, “cowardness”, and violates the oath to uphold the constitution. (I may have left out a few of his pejoratives.) He ended by vowing that he would do what he could to ensure the sovereignty (of Escondido?), and would refuse to comply with the law if it were passed. Maybe they would deport him, and he would come back as an illegal alien, then he would have protection in California.

Morasco, a bit more calmly, said SB 54 was complete overreach by the state. Its name was asinine, as it had no value. Though he was philosophically opposed to big government, he did not want to have federal funding eliminated. SB 54 was an overreaction to the Trump’s positions on immigration. It would hamstring officers of the law, and prohibited effective communication with ICE.

Diaz asked if her colleagues had read the bill. She had. She pointed out that if California were a nation, it would have the eighth largest economy in the world. She read from the bill noting that the bill specifically did not prevent any state law enforcement agency from:

Participating in a joint law enforcement task force, so long as the primary purpose of the joint law enforcement task force is not immigration enforcement, as defined in subdivision (f) of Section 7284.4. 7284.4, and participation in the task force by the California law enforcement does not violate any local law or policy of the jurisdiction in which the agency is operating. https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB54

Escondido could develop such a policy she explained.

Masson was having none of Diaz’s arguments. SB 54 he insisted was just a way to retaliate against the President, just a political gesture. Gallo echoed Masson’s sentiment, saying that people just couldn’t get over the results of the last election.

The measure passed with “four yes votes, Diaz voting no.”

The hypocrisy of Abed, Masson, Morasco, and Gallo can take my breath away. Abed and Gallo were on the Council when Marie Waldron introduced, and passed, a measure essentially making landlords ICE agents. The measure was subsequently thrown out in court—costing the city hundreds of thousands in legal expenses. But that measure was intended to bring out the anti-immigrant faction in town—Abed, Gallo and Waldron’s base. It had nothing to do with keeping Escondido’s citizens safe and everything to do with bringing out the vote of the racist Anglos. As Abed et al. would say, it was a purely political action.

And, the Republicans are still at it. Just this week, the Republican Party of San Diego County has put on its Facebook page a hit piece on Diaz.

Escondido’s Democrat Councilmember Olga Diaz voted last week in support of shielding convicted, violent illegal immigrant felons from federal immigration authorities. Really? Pleas SHARE and help us get the word out about Olga Diaz refusing to stand  with Escondido residents who want to live free from these types of predators. Have the Democrats no shame?

This is fear mongering at its worst. Have the Republicans no shame.

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7 thoughts on “A Dark and Stormy Night!

  1. Rick Bova

    I thought it was the practice / tradition of the Escondido City Council not to pass resolutions on laws passed or being considered by either the state or federal government. IE in 2003, why waste time passing a resolution objecting to the war in Iraq.

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  2. SoCalBaker

    I think it kind of funny the liberal smugness I read on this site; I always try to read different views other than my own to understand everyones point of view, but I never get that same feeling from the Progressive Left, which I assume you are a member. The reality is this, Escondido has a poverty problem and a Illegal Alien problem, and both problems overlap a lot, just look at the Mission District to see what I am talking about one of the poorest areas in San Diego.
    The majority of people in Escondido and in California see Illegal Aliens as law breakers and also degrading our neighborhoods because they are poor and are willing to double and triple up in apartments. Cities have a couple of options to deal with poverty and Illegal Aliens, they can create programs that support these people and maintain the status quo or you can use enforcement to encourage change in the status quo.
    I take it that you like Escondido just as it is and you would prefer social programs to keep the Poor and the Illegal Aliens in place, because any new development or enforcement program will impact these groups the most.
    I would like, and I assume the Council Majority would like to see change which means nicer neighborhoods, new housing, better schools. Most people don’t really care what color people are or what country they immigrated from, but what people don’t like are homeless people pushing shopping carts, gang shootings, and 10 people living in a 1 bedroom apartment.

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    1. mmliles Post author

      The majority of people in Escondido are Latino, and definitely do not consider undocumented immigrants as illegal. There are many apartments in Escondido, because during the 1970s and 1980s, developer friendly Councils (like the four males on the current Council) approved zoning change after zoning change to change single-family areas to multi-family residential areas. That’s why Proposition S passed in 1998. I’m a native Californian, and have always enjoyed Escondido since my high school days from 1958 to 1962 when my speech team would travel from Holtville (where I grew up–on a farm near Holtville) to participate in speech tournaments at Palomar College. I always though it would be a wonderful place to live, and have lived here since 1980. You seem to think like Sam Abed–try to make conditions for poor people so bad they’ll move away. That’s not going to happen. I suspect that if all these immigrants were from Canada–white and speaking English, you wouldn’t care so much about them being poor. The way to improve the quality of life in Escondido is to improve opportunities for poor people to improve their lives–better libraries, better parks, better and more after-school activities, a better safety net that would get the homeless off the streets, all the things that sensible governments from the federal to the city practice. It is the Keynesian economics practiced by the 13 countries in the world that have better standards of living than we do. I look at the facts, not the alternative facts put out by FOX noise, and the other conservative media with their alternative facts (AKA lies). If you consider that being smug, so be it. I have a scientific background. I look at the empirical evidence and make my judgments accordingly. Your comments indicate that you do not have the same respect for empirical evidence.

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      1. SoCalBaker

        Bravo you managed to hit on all the typical liberal talking points, race bating, Fox news, Government programs, European socialism, Intellectual Superiority. For the record, I never mentioned anything about race, just legal status, but now that you mention the hoards of Illegal Alien Canadians that live in Escondido, I would be in favor of removing them as well.

        I take it that you agree with me that we should not tolerate 10 people living in a 1 bedroom apartment, since you believe the apartments should never have been built in the first place. As for making conditions hard for poor people, any new development or change will make it hard for poor people; if you prevent homeless from sleeping in Grape Day park, you are making it harder on them; when you bulldoze a camp in Reidy Creek you are making it hard on poor people. What would prefer, to leave it because it would make thing hard on poor people?

        Cities and schools can only do so much, they only have so much money to go around and when they try to raise taxes for infrastructure or schools people freak out or vote against Bond proposals. Everyone wants these nice after school programs and parks, you need development to pay for them, which I am sure you are against, and people in Escondido never want to increase fees or taxes on them selves to pay for them, I bet you were against the water rate increases.

        I have no problem voting for Bond measures or paying my taxes, which I pay a lot of, but my priorities for my taxes are different than yours. I want nice roads, good schools, nice parks, police and fire protection, libraries and clean neighborhoods. Once those things are fully funded then we can talk about after schools programs and social programs for the poor and homeless. Escondido is a great city, but it has been neglected and left to decay, I would quaddrople the amount of code enforcement officers and maintenance workers and let them loose in the city.

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        1. mmliles Post author

          I always hesitate to reply to conservatives like you, because it is a bit like talking to a brick wall. I offer empirical evidence about Keynesian economics working in Europe, and you label it “liberal talking points” without offering one bit of evidence to counter my facts. Let me dissect your latest blub.
          No, you never mentioned anything about race, you did not need to. Your sentence: “The majority of people in Escondido and in California see Illegal Aliens as law breakers and also degrading our neighborhoods because they are poor and are willing to double and triple up in apartments.” gave away your sentiments. The fact that you do not either realize or recognize the fact that the majority of people in Escondido are Latino shows that you do not consider these folks as part of the citizenship—at least not part of the citizens that matter—led by the good-ole-boy network. The idea that undocumented workers add to the crime rate is fallacious, race-baiting propaganda put out purposefully by people like Abed, Waldron, and Gallo to stir up their base—people like you. Several studies have shown that immigrants have a lower crime rate than natives. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/26/us/trump-illegal-immigrants-crime.html?_r=0
          I never said the apartments should never have been built—what I said was the planning for those apartments was very poor. Apartments are needed, and they need to be built with zoning in mind, not just helter-skelter throughout the city as was done in Escondido. I also have noted in previous blogs that the only way to make housing affordable in San Diego County is to have subsidized housing—as they do in socialized European countries. https://ablueviewescondido.com/2016/05/04/irrational-rationalization/ And, this is not such a foreign concept. From 1934 until 1980, our country made it a goal to promote the middle class. Since the initiation of the moronic Reaganomics, all the increased wealth in this country has gone to the top 10%. In the previous period, 70% of the increased wealth in the country went to the bottom 90%. That is the problem.
          You say you are willing to pay for parks, libraries, good schools, but Abed et al. have been unwilling to fund those programs—though quite willing to give away millions to developers by waiving impact fees. Meaning that the money that developers should have paid for roads, parks, police and fire protections, clean water, good sewers, schools etc., has been passed onto the backs of Escondido’s taxpayers. The money you would spend on code enforcement and maintenance would be much more cost-effectively spent on after school programs, parks, and libraries. (Abed et al. closed the East Valley Pkwy library so their crony Dennis Snyder could have the space for his white-flight Heritage Charter School.) Back in the 19th century people in this country figured out that schools are cheaper than jails, the same is true today. It is much cheaper to provide young Latinos with after school programs, keeping them out of gangs, than it is to clean up the graffiti or put them in jail for life.

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