This week’s edition of Looking Back at the Week features articles, commentaries, columns, toons, and other work by San Diego Free Press regulars, irregulars, columnists, at-large contributors, cartoonists, and sourced writers on: resistance, A Day Without Immigrants, Altar Boyz, Ecopsychology as Human Supremacism, ACLU suing San Diego, SD lawyers’ rally, and lots of other grassroots news & progressive views from San Diego’s friendly, neighborhood, all volunteer, slightly funky, community news site. [Read more…]
“Trump’s a fool, Trump’s a clown, we are here to shut him down”– crowd chant.
The bad weather took a pause for Saturday’s Solidarity with Immigrants rally. SDFP editor Frank Gormlie counted two thousand people as the crowd left the staging area in front of the County Administration Building.
Speakers included Sharia Alam (Rage against Fascism), Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzales-Fletcher, Ismahan Abdullahi (PANA), Former Los Angeles Major Antonio Villaraigosa, Dreamer Maren Ramos, Imam Taha Hassane (Islamic Center San Diego) and Christian Ramirez (Alliance San Diego). [Read more…]
The sun rose
without an executive order
Unvetted clouds immigrated
Crows bullied each other
over the tallest lampposts
in vacant parking lots
More than two dozen ways to get involved
Congress will be taking a break next week to listen to their constituents, except for the 200 Republican members of the House of Representatives who refuse contact with the public.
By contrast, in the first two months of 2015, Republicans held 222 in-person events.
Donald Trump is already campaigning for 2020, and as was true with his last launch event, people are being paid to be there.
So what can you do? There’s plenty of local activism to support. Check out this week’s Progressive Calendar listings [Read more…]
South Bay took a big blow in comprehensive news coverage and support this week when reporter Christine Huard was laid off from the San Diego Union Tribune.
Huard covered all of the South Bay school districts, often uncovering scandals such as the fact that San Ysidro has paid millions, but not yet received their solar panels from Manzana Energy — a company whose owner also owns La Prensa San Diego. She also covered school board irregularities, celebrated school successes and so much more. This has now, overnight, disappeared.
Huard is only one of two regular South Bay writers at the Union Tribune, Allison Sampite-Montecalvo being the other reporter who serves approximately 450,000 residents south of the I-54 to the border. The other reporters laid off with Huard apparently are going to be staff members who wrote about the Chargers in the sports section. This is yet another example of under-covered and sometimes outright ignored communities losing a key voice who skillfully and thoroughly took on tough assignments necessary to get to the truth [Read more…]
A week of immigration roundups by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has triggered a wave of one-day strikes impacting business and schools in cities throughout the United States.
Eyewitness reports from around the country belie the administration’s assurances that enforcement efforts are aimed at criminal offenders. Deportation forces are harassing legal residents and targeting DACA-recipients, domestic violence survivors, and those seeking shelter from cold weather at a church.
Thus far, San Diego seems to have been spared, according to local advocates. People are afraid, nonetheless. [Read more…]
Several hundred people crowdfunded a full page ad in the Union-Tribune on Tuesday, inviting Congressman Darrell Issa to a town hall in Vista on February 21.
For weeks now people in the 49th Congressional district have been calling, writing, and even picketing hoping to get Issa to directly engage with them on issues of concern, especially what in store for them with the promised repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
The wily congressman tried to dodge the issue by staging a “telephone conference” involving carefully screened callers. He rolled out a proposal for ‘accessible’ health care, hoping people wouldn’t notice they’d have no way to afford it. It didn’t work. [Read more…]
On Monday evening the President of the United States accepted the resignation of his national security advisor, Ret. General Michael Flynn.
The oft-stated scenario has Flynn falling on his sword following news accounts calling into question his ties with the Russian government and the Trump administration’s refusing to acknowledge there might be a security problem because of the relationship.
There is, as you will see, a three-dimensional chess game going on in world politics, and this incident is just the latest move. [Read more…]
On Tuesday, February 14, the San Diego City Council will vote on whether to join the Washington State lawsuit challenging the Trump Travel Ban. Local activists are being asked to support this effort by contacting City Council members and attending a hearing on the matter.
Although a unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a temporary restraining order preventing enforcement of a ban on travel from some Muslim-majority nations, the suit challenging the executive order continues to move forward.
One year ago the very idea of San Diego joining this lawsuit would not have been considered. The election of Mara Elliott as City Attorney has changed the political landscape. [Read more…]
Over the last few weeks I’ve had the pleasure of speaking at a variety of forums along with folks from other activist groups about what needs to be done in the age of Trump. During one of these events at Grossmont College, I was struck by something a colleague of mine who leads nature expeditions for the Sierra Club said about his students and their relationship or lack thereof to the natural world.
Ten years ago, he observed, about half of the students he dealt with had had some experience hiking in the backcountry, roaming the desert, or visiting a state or national park, but that number has been consistently shrinking over the last decade or so.
He told a few stories of students on their first venture into the wild being afraid of getting attacked by mountain lions. Initially many of them are not sure what to do or how to act outside of the city. The experience, he explained, is uncomfortable for them at first, but, after some reassurance and education, they open their eyes to the wonder of the world. [Read more…]
This week’s edition of Looking Back at the Week features articles, commentaries, columns, toons, and other work by San Diego Free Press regulars, irregulars, columnists, at-large contributors, cartoonists, and sourced writers on: Dem Party and Labor’s Kasparian mess, Trump, immigration crackdown, Hershey Felder, Ajisen Ramen, Sunset Cliffs erosion, public transit as social justice, and lots of other grassroots news & progressive views from San Diego’s friendly, neighborhood, all volunteer, slightly funky, community news site. [Read more…]
Is migrating from all four directions
An unbroken procession
of broken lives
that pauses to tie prayers
on the wishing tree [Read more…]
Over Two Dozen Ways to Get Involved and Make Your Voice Heard
Congratulations, resistees! We have survived 1.4% of Donald Trump’s (only) four-year term. It’s more important than ever to remember we’re involved in a marathon, not a sprint.
The latest polling results are out as I write this, and they offer encouragement for those of us involved in this movement. Support for impeaching the president has risen from 40% to 46% in the past week. NBC’s Saturday Night Live comedy now has more credibility than the man in the oval office.
Congress-critters from around the country, even those in so-called safe districts are seeing angry voters whenever they appear in public. And when they won’t appear in public –we’re talking about you, Darrell Issa– congressional town halls sans congress-critters are being organized. [Read more…]
“… nine years and $16 million later, not a single solar panel has been installed.” Christine Huard at the San Diego Union Tribune reports this week.
Already back in April 2016, the U-T reported that the project was running behind schedule. A presentation by Manazana Energy had the owner quoted as saying, “November-December 2015: Ribbon Cutting. System Testing and Commissioning. Handover of System.”
In that very same article, the U-T wrote:
“We’re in April and nothing has been done,” said Rose Estevez, who has three children enrolled in San Ysidro schools. “It does concern me and a lot of other parents. We don’t know where this money went. We don’t know why the solar panels are not up yet.” [Read more…]
An open letter to Jessica Hayes, (Chair, San Diego Democratic Party) and Dale Kelly Bankhead (Secretary-Treasurer for the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council), from Sara Kent.
Over the past two months, I have hoped for brave action from each of you. As women who hold positions of power in San Diego who should be stalwarts of fundamental Democratic ideals, instead of being proud of your leadership, I am gravely disappointed.
Not only for you, but for all of us. [Read more…]
Guadalupe García de Rayos was taken into custody by agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Phoenix during a routine check-in with the agency on Wednesday.
Seven people were arrested as dozens of immigration activists blocked the gates surrounding the office in an effort to stop several vans and a bus from leaving. The mother of two was photographed attempting to communicate with her children from inside one of the vehicles, which are used to transport people in ICE custody to detention centers, or to Arizona’s border with Mexico for deportation.
Observers fear this could be the beginning of a nationwide crackdown, targeting as many as 8 million people. [Read more…]
A state law allowing emergency sleeping cabins could work for San Diego too.
San Diego County / City of San Diego are in the middle of a serious emergency shelter crisis. The Point in Time Count numbers for 2016 for the county counted 8,692 homeless persons, with an 18.9% increase in the number of unsheltered individuals. Numbers from the recent count will not be available until April, but are expected to be worse. San Diego has the unenviable distinction of having the 4th highest number of homeless people in the nation – more than Las Vegas, Washington DC, Chicago and San Francisco. By comparison, Santa Clara County / San Jose reported 6,556 homeless persons in 2015, and came in 9th for number of homeless people.
The San Jose Solution – San Jose took bold action to address the human crisis. [Read more…]
Indivisible Gets Visible at Local Congressional Offices, National City Hearing
Mitch McConnell and his Republican friends in the United States Senate handed the resistance movement a gift on Tuesday night when they invoke an obscure rule to silence Sen. Elizabeth Warren as she read from a letter by Coretta Scott King concerning the record of Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions.
The letter was addressed to then-Sen. Strom Thurmond in 1986. In it, King objected to Sessions nomination to be a federal judge due to his use of “the power of his office as United States Attorney to intimidate and chill the free exercise of the ballot by citizens.” King continued, “Mr. Sessions has used the awesome powers of this office in a shabby attempt to intimidate and frighten elderly black voters.” [Read more…]
Andy Keatts story at Voice of San Diego about SANDAG (San Diego’s Regional Planning Agency) prompted one of those “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore” moments for me yesterday.
He’s obtained emails showing the agency’s executive director and other high-ranking officials deliberately misled the public regarding economic forecasts with significant errors overstating sales tax revenues expected for transportation projects included as part of Measure A. [Read more…]
Today we’ll look at some recent developments as the divisions of power within the White House are coming into focus.
So-called President Donald Trump is there for the fame and fortune. Vice President Pence and his buddy Reince Priebus are there to oversee the dismantling of the new deal social contract. And ‘Economic Nationalist’ Steve Bannon is overseeing the reshuffling of the world order while tweaking domestic social policies.
The rise of a nationwide resistance continues. While Senate Democrats won’t actually achieve the historically rare feat of denying cabinet confirmations, the drip, drip, drip of damning information combined with an increasingly aware and active electorate will continue to challenge the administration’s priorities. [Read more…]
By Michael-Leonard Creditor
Our president has a bug up his ass about the Johnson Amendment, part of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 prohibiting 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations from conducting political campaign activities to intervene in elections to public office. He thinks it unfairly restricts free speech.
But here’s the thing: the Johnson Amendment doesn’t stop church leaders from speaking out. Firstly, political activity is allowed so long as pastors stop short of directly or indirectly endorsing. But, even if pastors do actually endorse a candidate or ballot measure, only one church is known to have actually lost its tax-exemption due to electioneering. Also, some defiant clergy have repeatedly and for years, deliberately disregarded the Johnson Amendment. Some have even sent transcripts of their speeches to the IRS. That one church that lost its exemption, that was back in 1995.
All this rule does is pose a choice for clergy: do you wanna be a church or in politics? If you want the tax-exemption of being a church, you should simply stay out of politics. Can’t do both; choose. And this gets to the heart of the whole separation clause thing. I think the amendment solidifies the separation-of-church-and-state intent of the founding fathers. [Read more…]
The third weekend of the Trump administration saw protests and organizing events in cities large and small around the country.
Two Republican Congressman ignored the advice of their colleagues to stay away from in-person town halls and ended up having catching hell. Republican Reps. Tom McClintock in Roseville Ca., and Mike Coffman in Aurora, Co. tried and failed to limit attendance at their events; both ended up calling for a police escort to escape constituents angry over attempts to repeal Obamacare.
In San Diego, an organizing meeting for the downtown chapter of nascent Indivisible network drew nearly 200 people on Saturday. The Indivisible national registry indicates more than 50 such groups have sprung up in San Diego County since the Women’s March. [Read more…]
Last week I dedicated my column to outlining how, despite the emergence of inspiring protests in the streets and amongst the progressive base, many key Democratic figures in Congress and in the national leadership of the building trades unions still didn’t seem to understand what time it was. Sadly, it only took a few more days to see a couple of stunning examples of how not to be the resistance right here in San Diego.
On January 26th, Jessica Hayes, the newly elected chair of the San Diego County Democratic Party, took advantage of her presence at a forum hosted by the Democrats for Equality entitled “#The Resistance: Women Lead the Way” to attack not the dangerous plutocrats running the country, but a key element of the Democratic base: unions.
The last few weeks have also held its challenges for local labor leadership as protesters, including Donna Frye and Irene McCormack, picketed outside the monthly delegates meeting at which there was no mention whatsoever of the elephant in the room, the lawsuits filed against Labor Council President Mickey Kasparian and what this means for local labor at this perilous moment in the history of the movement. [Read more…]
By Miriam [Mimi] Pollack
Imagine you have had a good life with a stable job and family. Then, imagine that your life turns upside down, be it from war, religious persecution, or social unrest, and you have to start from scratch in a new country with a different language, culture, even alphabet! Welcome to the world of many of my adult ESL [English as a Second Language] students. Despite all that they have gone and continue to go through, they are very grateful to be here
Some people fear the unknown and are suspicious of newcomers, so I’d like to give you a glimpse of my world. I have been both an adult and community college ESL teacher at SDCE Mid-City Center and Grossmont College for over 30 years. I have worked with people from all over the world and their resilience never ceases to amaze me. In one class, I can have students ranging in age from 18 to 65 and from different socioeconomic and academic backgrounds, but they all have a mutual goal. They want to learn English and forge a better life for themselves and their children. For the most part, it is not easy. [Read more…]