End of an era
Let me thank you for allowing me to serve as your president for the past 12 years. I hope you will agree that, after these many years of “volunteering” and frontline advocacy, fatigue and burnout occurs. However, your support and confidence encouraged me to be steadfast and resolute while developing collaborations and partnerships with similar stakeholders without regard to profession, lifestyle or ethnicity.
As my tenure nears completion, I will adopt a quote about former President George W. Bush: “Leaders seldom swim with the stream and are almost always critiqued much harsher than anyone else. The truly great ones, however, are those who stand firm on their principles and never waiver from the solemn commitments they are entrusted with.”
Not all decisions were understood by a few. Support for marriage equality and the DREAM Act, and recognizing community members became only short-term distractions. Without a flinch, you as supporters and other community organizations reaffirmed this positive position. Time will prove the correctness of maintaining this resolve, although it faced the winds of controversy.
Let me take this opportunity to publicly say thanks to Pasadena city officials, the business community and especially Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez for his undaunted and steadfast courage to involve all the investigative agencies in determining “facts” for several unfortunate situations. His forthrightness and candor in keeping me updated on issues minimized my shortsightedness or a continual rush to decision.
Further, the contributions of [Rose Bowl General Manager] Mr. Darryl Dunn and [former Pasadena Board of Education member] Mr. Tommy McMullin will never be surpassed.
It is sometimes unpopular to stand up for what or who is right, to not give in to the sway of certain public opinions. But when a future generation or [our] grandchildren asks us about perilous times and how we made it through, we can smile and say that area residents [came] together and [were] in the right place at the right time to respond to the attacks on equality and fairness.
Your attendance and support at the 2012 awards even in September was the highlight for the area and one of the best and best attended in memory.
So, count on me, among a partial list of civil and community servants, who will also depart from positions of service and commitment at the end of 2012. We will leave a legacy in which we did our best for all ethnicities and tried to make a difference for equality.
Always Looking to God for My Strength
~ JOE BROWN, FORMER PRESIDENT, NAACP PASADENA BRANCH
FROM THE WEB:
Re: “Thinning the list,” Nov. 22
Detective [Keith] Gomez is one of the very best employees at the Pasadena Police Department. However, his name will be forever sullied by the small group of race-baiting African-American community members in Pasadena who know they do not have to prove “racism.” They need only accuse someone of it.
Re: “Pro-NFL inclinations,” Nov. 29
Just move. It’s the city of Pasadena, not the city of District 6, and absolutely nothing has been finalized yet. There are a whole lot of nice residential areas in the Inland Empire that have absolutely nothing going on. I’m sure they’d love to have you all.
The problem with the Rose Bowl area is the out-of-town riders and walkers who make the area so congested that it is impossible to navigate down there, even on non-game days. Pasadena is an urban area, and the Rose Bowl was here before any of the residents who want to turn back the clock and make it a rural, natural area again. Wish that I could afford to live in Linda Vista. I would gladly take it, NFL and all. [District 6 Councilman Steve] Madison is not always right, but he is right on this one.
Re: “Copter crash clues,” Nov. 29
I have been trying to get something done about the ridiculous amount of helicopter surveillance and noise pollution for at least the last two years. I’ve written the mayor, spoken to the heliport captain and spoken in front of the [City Council Public] Safety Committee about the heliport when they “investigated” the situation. The Pasadena Police Department apparently believes it is above the law and has no problem annoying the citizens of the city. As a real estate broker, I know the noise problem and invasion of privacy are affecting real estate values. Try relaxing in your hot tub with the war of the worlds buzzing over your backyard. It’s pathetic!
Re: The death of Kelly Thomas
Per current police brutality issues, Kelly Thomas is a sad example. Considering whether or not all parties are right or wrong, why not use modern methods to limit or even halt things to a good degree? Therefore, I’d like to offer an idea, via technology, to provide evidentiary methods of witness to such things.
Since police officers already have walkie-talkie live-circuit phones worn on their personal uniforms to record events taking place, why not include a camera device on each uniform as well? These cameras, akin to police car dashboard cameras, could accomplish several things.
First, they could provide opportunities to caution and warn any and all officers as to “when things are getting out of hand.” Included with such cameras could be an audible alarm on their uniforms, to be used to warn them to back off from the overuse of violence. These engagements with trouble-causers could and should be seen and judged by a panel and/or a superior-in-rank police officer back at the police station, whose job it should be to advise, judge and warn those whose anger has, perhaps, gotten out of control. Were such systems already in place, the Kelly Thomas incident could have been limited or, perhaps, squelched. A superior officer might have been able to save that very troubled young man’s life.
Now, even more importantly, why not have an established, well-chosen civilian board, or witnesses, who would also provide “live at the time” pa
nel members — members who could and should be able to intervene and/or at least see such things as they take place?
Largely, such a system — this new idea — could make all of our lives better, troublesome people notwithstanding. Police officers’ jobs and lives might be a bit easier and better too. Fear is a two-way street, and sometimes the wish to yield to authority is hard to recognize, either by the troubled potential “perp” or the engaged, combative police officers. We do, however, need to have better and much improved methods. Please, let us all try.