Nearly five hundred people jammed the Escondido Planning Commission meeting on Tuesday night. At issue was a request for a conditional use permit to open a 96 bed shelter in a now-shuttered nursing home for unaccompanied minors detained after crossing the border.
Escondido’s now-famous racism ran rampant in the room. Despite Escondido Commission Chairman Jeff Weber repeatedly emphasizing that, by law, the panel could only consider local land-use issues, the fear of being overrun with Brown People dominated the discussion.
The mood at the meeting was overwhelmingly hostile, coming after a concerted campaign waged via right wing blogs and news media whipping up fears of crime, disease and gangs.
By a 7-0 vote the commission decided not to approve the project, saying it would generate more noise and traffic in the neighborhood.
Here’s an example of what was being used to whip up hatred in the community:
The people of Escondido are about to be invaded with criminals from foreign countries, sent to them by the President of the United States. A former hospital, closed due to low ObamaCare reimbursements, is being transformed into either a prison or a group home. Of course, once Barack drops them off in Northern San Diego County nothing stops them from walking away and into the shadows of our large towns nearby
The facility in question, once known as the Palomar Continuing Care Center, was closed due to cuts in payments from the State of California caused by the 2011 budget crisis.
A few people dared to brave the stank in the air.
From UT-San Diego’s coverage:
There were some speakers who favored the plans. In the middle of the hearing — to the jeers of much of the crowd — a group of about 20 people representing various Latino organizations came to the podium.
“Stand on the side of humanity,” Iris Mendoza urged the commission. Some in her group were children who Mendoza said would soon be deported. She said the center was about helping children. After their minute to speak was up, the group marched out chanting in Spanish “people united will never be defeated.”
Outside the packed chambers, Mendoza said she thinks “it is horrible that people are so biased and hold onto their political beliefs” and ignore the humanitarian needs of kids.
The atmosphere in the chambers was not unlike eight years ago when the City Council proposed an ordinance that would have punished landlords for renting to undocumented immigrants.
— Abbie Alford (@AbbieCBS8) June 25, 2014
Lest you think I’m overstating the racism argument, here’s some more of the filth spread in that community in the run-up to the hearing:
No one can tell us the background of these children. Are they bringing disease such as small pox, measles, mumps, polio, etc. into the community as a result of poor medical care and lacking inoculations?
Could your children be at medical risk when these children are bused into your children’s schools for 2 weeks to 2 months while being held in a local detention center in your area? Are they teen age gang members who will be emboldened to commit crimes because they see no consequence to breaking the law to enter our country?
How will you feel if your wife, your mother, your daughter, your neighbor, your friend is a victim of violent crime, robbery, rape, even murder because you did nothing when the building down your street was conditionally permitted to be used as a temporary prison with only a six foot wrought iron fence to keep these “unaccompanied youth” housed and controlled?
There are two other facilities operating in San Diego County run by Southwest Key Properties, a nonprofit group that would contract with the federal government to operate the center. No problems have been reported at either of these locations.
Here’s a bit of the background on this humanitarian crisis via KPBS:
Border authorities in the Southwest have apprehended more than 52,000 unaccompanied immigrant children since October — a nearly 100 percent increase over the previous year. Children from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala are responsible for most of the increase.
A U.N. report based on interviews with more than 400 unaccompanied migrant children from Central America found that more than half faced violence in their homes or communities.
The federal government is struggling to house immigrant children while they wait for their hearings in immigration court.
Occupy Balboa Park?
Here’s organizer David Lundin’s lastest missive on Facebook (Emphasis added):
The staff person at the City Park & Rec department E. Mailed today regarding our long-pending requests for firm dates for the 2015 Balboa Park Panama-California Exhibition Centennial and associated fees.She could not yet provide firm dates. She could not yet give estimated fees. And then there was this ZINGER : “Our Department has not opened up the Plaza de Panama for permitting to groups that have not previously used it in the past. At this time, we cannot issue you a permit for its use. “
SERIOUSLY ?? The former parking lot restored to its 1915 Glory as the heart of the Park cannot be used to celebrate the Centennial. Because we have never done this before…..
Perhaps the event should be held in some other venue ? Easier and perhaps less expensive. I SPEAK ONLY FOR MYSELF–NOT FOR ALL THE AMAZING VOLUNTEERS, C100 AND SOHO.
PLEASE “SHARE” THIS WITH ALL YOUR FACEBOOK FRIENDS. Send a few E Mails to Kevin Faulconer@SanDiego.gov and ToddGloria@SanDiego.gov. Tell them what YOU think.
One commenter chimed in, suggesting it might just be better to skip the bureaucracy altogether:
A great friend called with the idea of the Night. A Guerilla/ OCCUPY/Flash Mob Centennial. Volunteer acoustic musicians, wear your period or semi-period costume of choice, volunteer Docents in many areas of the Park; Docents in public area for North Park, South Park, Mission Hills, Hillcrest, University Heights; talented and auditioned BUSKERS; dancing on the Plaza de Panama and Plaza de California; BYO food and drink; themed and fun scavenger hunts; picnic anywhere and BYO Birthday cake; no security, no porta-potties, no transit or parking coordination, no commercial vendors or food sellers, no permits and no fees. Plan some details but tell no one. Just show up Saturday morning. 100,000 or so great , well-behaved friends of the Park.
It Ain’t Over ‘Till It’s Over
San Diego’s Democrats for Equality are hosting a forum Thursday, June 26th featuring Richard Barrera SDUSD Board Member and Secretary/Treasurer of the San Diego and Imperial County Labor Council; San Diego City Council President Todd Gloria; and the Environmental Health Coalition’s Georgette Gomez to discuss “nullification politics.”
Nullification politics is buying legislation through initiatives and referendums when elected officials won’t be bought. Here’s the lowdown from the Dems for Equality newsletter:
Defeat of the Barrio Logan Plan will certainly not be the last example of nullification politics either. Plans have already been set in motion to promote an initiative whose only purpose is to confuse and confound the City Council’s work to enact a livable minimum wage in the City. The initiative will indeed enact a higher minimum wage, but only for a very limited number of people who are not among the more than 90% of employers/industries exempted by this dishonest initiative.
Barrera and Gomez will talk about their experience fighting campaigns to pack the School Board, take away City employee pensions and overturn Barrio Logan’s Community Plan. Council President Gloria will talk about his proposal to raise the minimum wage in San Diego and the initiative campaign gearing up to confuse and defeat it.
The group meets at Joyce Beers Uptown Community Center, 3900 Vermont St in Hillcrest. They start with a social [half] hour at 6:30pm with the program beginning at 7pm.
On This Day: 1938 – The Fair Labor Standards Act passed Congress, banning child labor and setting the 40-hour work week. 1964 – President Lyndon Johnson ordered 200 naval personnel to Mississippi to assist in finding three missing civil rights workers. 1992 – Billy Joel got his high school diploma. He overslept and missed English and Gym finals 25 years before.
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