A Latina point of view
“The government is the strongest of which every man feels himself a part,” said Thomas Jefferson in 1807. He, of course, was talking about the white man in the United States of America.
Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard, during his State of the City address at Pasadena City College on Jan 23, was also addressing special people: the “elite” in Pasadena.
Latinos were invisible. For those with a doubt, this “winter resort for the wealthy” had a vibrant Mexican population when incorporated in 1886. We are here now, and in spite of opinions to the contrary, we will continue to be here as our successful birthrate can attest. The only difference is that our stories are rarely shared and, of course, we were glaringly omitted from the State of the City address last week.
The video produced by KPAS, our city’s cable TV station, ignored my people. Our faces, our voices, our efforts, our lives shined by their absence.
Pasadena: This is a city where Latinos, at the pleasure of police officers, still get their cars impounded due to their inability to obtain driver’s licenses. They lose their cars. They do not just get traffic tickets like the other members of the community do.
This is a city where a panhandler is allowed to conduct business at the freeway exits, but Latinos, by city ordinance, cannot solicit jobs on their own streets.
This is a city where the City Attorney prosecutes a Latino victim of a robbery because a city employee killed the robber. Yes, the victim lied in order to receive help to recover his stolen property.
This is a city where Latino families need to wait years before Section 8 housing assistance can be obtained.
This is a city where poor Latinos have difficulty paying for water and power while the Department of Water and Power requests rate increases to have enough money to squander on knick-knacks made in China and sponsoring its favorite events and organizations.
This is a city which, a few years ago, transferred funds from affordable housing to fund the pensions of public employees, thereby depleting funds to provide affordable housing as intended and required by law.
This is a city which is reluctant to consider the accountability of its Police Department. Latinos receive the enforcement policies head-on with no palpable recourse.
This is a city which requested and obtained state waivers so that homeowners do not build a second house in a residential area so as to maintain its “ritzy” neighborhoods.
While I am extremely proud of having Caltech in our midst, Art Center as a welcomed part of our community, and PCC as the educator of our children, I feel that identifying the city’s challenges, that is, those experiences which are not necessarily glamorous and exciting, should also be included in the State of the City address.
~ YUNY PARADA, PASADENA
Praise for Sheriff Baca
Sheriff Lee Baca did a great job for Los Angeles County. He was a no-nonsense sheriff during a time when we needed just such a leader.
Baca was controversial at times, loved many times and even hated sometimes. When you do your job in law enforcement correctly, such opinions go with the territory.
Baca did not view his position as a popularity contest. He simply did what he felt was right at all times for the people and the county of Los Angeles.
Thank you for your service, Mr. Baca, and for a job well done.
~ GEORGE VREELAND HILL, BEVERLY HILLS
FROM THE WEB:
Re: “High marks, low
attendance,” Dec. 12
Let me get this right. The Office of Independent Review report on McDade is approaching the 2-year mark? Really? Where is the leadership of the chief of police, the city manager and the council on this matter? How can they allow such an important report linger for such a long time? Are you kidding me? C’mon people! The general public should be outraged at this unbelievable delay.
Re: “SeaWorld of Hurt,” Dec. 12
Geez, do the writers at the Pasadena Weekly just make up this stuff as they write? The Tournament of Roses does not just randomly put a float in the parade. Sea World, Honda and all the other corporations pay the float builders to design and build them. These corporations pay an entry fee to put them into the parade (obviously, the TOR would frown on a rubber pecker entry). As for the big anti-China protest, that never materialized and the Occupy people, again, never happened. If you want to classify an Occupy protest as falling in at the back, then I guess you’ll have to include all the sign carrying Jesus freaks, trash trucks, and people racing to their vehicles as an organized protest. Don’t make up news; write about it PW.
Re: “Scraping the bottom,” Jan. 2
In the end, the county will pay for hundreds of dump-truck loads to clean out the basin, but if the public tries to take rocks for personal use as building materials they will be arrested.
Re: Schmuck Dynasty,” Jan. 9
Who cares? Free speech is free speech. If you like yours, you gotta allow his. Get over it. Everybody says things that others don’t like or agree with. That includes Phil Robertson, Chris Rock and everybody in between.
Re: Angry ‘girls,’” Jan. 16
On what planet is it appropriate for a VP to wear tank tops and be an hourly employee? This is ridiculous.
[Steve] Mulheim is out of line. On what planet is it appropriate for an employer to refer to an employee’s breasts as “the girls?” How awkward and uncomfortable! You can’t limit only one female employee on their clothing either, especially if the reasoning is based on their breasts! Oh, and pay your employees appropriately and don’t try and cut corners because you will inevitably end up with a lawsuit on your hands. The whole situation is SO unprofessional!
I agree with Meganfarrell. As a male, I would even feel disrespectful saying those things to a female employee. I think he should have referred to the employee handbook before singling this woman out. Sounds a bit like an attack on his end. n