The poor need support
I am disappointed in Mayor Bill Bogaard’s criticism of Randy Jurado Ertll. I wonder if the mayor knows the amount of personal sacrifice a community activist like Randy made to direct a low-budget community organization like El Centro de Accion Social. Did the mayor know about the long hours of work and the endless weekends of commitment Randy spent during his eight-year tenure?
Instead of questioning Randy’s decision to leave, why didn’t the mayor work with the El Centro board to secure better funding for the educational programs that he claims decreased during the last two years?
One common issue among community activists is burn-out due to excessive workloads and low salaries. Something the mayor should learn is how to keep good citizens like Randy working in Pasadena. He should support with money and actions organizations like El Centro.
The new executive director will find a small, low-budget organization doing more with less money that is in better shape thanks to Randy’s leadership. The next executive director will find the same economic challenges.
It is time that the mayor and Pasadena City Council pay more attention to the poor and low-income people from Pasadena. They should increase city funding instead of cutting it.
~ RICARDO MORENO, PASADENA PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
This morning, after turning on the news from my hospital bed, I was driven to tears, happy, joyous tears, all due to the magnanimous act of a professional athlete. This unrehearsed, unintended-for-the-sensationalism-of-publicity act involved the attendance of a terminally ill 19-year-old man at a recent baseball game between the Dodgers and Giants.
It seems some people got together to buy a front-row ticket for the young man. Dodger centerfielder Matt Kemp got wind of the youngster sitting in the front-row seats. Without preplanning or fanfare whatsoever, Matt approached to autograph the boy’s baseball, but that wasn’t enough to satisfy the magnanimity of the centerfielder. He took off his cap and placed it in the boy’s hand; then his Dodgers shirt and his cleats all landed in the lap of this startled young man.
I continue to shed tears imagining this tremendous gesture and power of love that is so rarely transmitted from a celebrity of the status of a Matt Kemp to someone whose name he didn’t even know.
~ MIGUEL ESPINOSA JR., OXNARD
FROM THE WEB:
Re: “Guilt by computer,” May 30
How thin is that line between “predicting” crime and helping produce it (as a proactive conduct intended to insure job security)?
Re: “The only way,” May 30
El Centro has been around since 1968. It has broken the heart of just about everyone who ever worked there. It is a thankless and impossible job. Congratulations to Randy for surviving eight years of it. Best wishes for your future.
Boy is this city ripe for new leadership on the council. It’s going to be hard for an incumbent to win the next election. If they’re not ineffective they’re apathetic. That’s not good for this progressive town.
I can’t comment on Randy’s efficacy at El Centro; however, I do think that publicly funded groups that cater to specific ethnicities further ethnic divisions instead of unity. Too often we view society through race-based lenses, which perpetuates the problem.
~ TRUE FREEDOM
Re: “Life either way,” June 6
Sad story. Happens a lot. Lesson to be learned. Take a little time and take the citizen test when you can.
~ TRUE REASON
Re: “The Pasadena Way,” June 6
Sorry to be such a stickler for accuracy, but charter schools ARE public schools: They’re attended by regular kids for free, paid for (albeit at a lesser rate) by public funds. Setting up the education landscape as an “us vs. them” scenario does nothing to help students and only strokes the egos of those who’d co-opt education for their own political agenda.
Sorry to be such a stickler for accuracy, but charter schools ARE NOT public schools.
Read on and learn something. “Despite all the marketing hype promulgated by deep-pocketed trade associations like the California Charter Schools Association, charter schools are not public schools. Instead, charters are privately managed entities whose only claim to the word public is the fact that they drain public funds. Dozens of court cases have ruled that charter schools are not “public entities.” Two well-known examples include the following:
The California Court of Appeals, which ruled that charter-voucher schools are NOT “public agents.”
The 9th Circuit US Court of Appeals, which ruled that charter-voucher schools are NOT “public actors.”
Moreover, the US Census Department expressed difficulty in obtaining information from charter-voucher schools because they are NOT public entities.
It’s a bit too late to try to brush off the multimillion-dollar initiative to privatize California’s public schools, seen in the huge influxes of money from right-wing billionaires attempting to defeat Steve Zimmer and Monica Ratliff in recent LAUSD school board elections. Despite millions of dollars against them, the people of their districts refused to be bought, and both Zimmer and Ratliff were elected, astonishing all the “experts.” Voters in those elections voted against the relentless, heavily funded privatization efforts of Eli Broad, Michael Bloomberg, Rupert Murdoch, the Walton (Wal-Mart) Foundation and other far right-wing plutocrats here and elsewhere.
Perhaps those voters should have ignored the us vs. them scenario of billionaires trying to buy local elections. Or perhaps not — instead, their message was clear: public education is worth fighting for, and privatization of our public schools must be stopped.