THE PASADENA WAY

The City Council’s action on April 3, 2017, to “pause” the troubled YWCA/Hotel project has hit a resounding chord with so many in the Pasadena community. The West Pasadena Residents Association, the Linda Vista-Annandale Association, the Downtown Pasadena Neighborhood Association, the League of Women Voters, and the Pasadena Civic Center Coalition, among others, have taken positions against this proposed YWCA/185-room hotel in the Civic Center and most of these organizations have contributed funds to the Coalition’s lawsuit against this project. These groups understand that our beloved Civic Center is on the chopping block. Pasadena’s Civic Center is one of the most beautiful as well as among the few remaining intact City Beautiful Movement civic centers in the United States. Can we not rehabilitate the “Y” without destroying the Civic Center to do it? Both historic resources need to be preserved, but not one at the expense of the other.

The final rejection of this project hangs by a thread. Behind the scenes, a focused and vigorous lobbying effort is under way to derail the “no” councilmembers’ votes on the proposed $30 million subsidy for the project.  If the subsidy for the project is “reconsidered” and approved, a ground lease between the city and the developer would have to be approved to give the developer control of the property.  What is truly alarming is that city staff stated that the city’s decision on the proposed 99-year ground lease of city-owned land and building in the Civic Center (essentially, a sale of city property) to KHP III, LLC, developers of the YWCA/hotel project, will be done in a closed session of the City Council with no public hearing. The public will not be notified when this behind-closed-doors ground lease approval is to take place and cannot weigh in on its provisions. This is business as usual at City Hall — this project has been the subject of thirteen Closed Sessions already.

This monster project is now temporarily napping, but could be awakened at any time to run through the streets.  Can Pasadena do better? Yes, it always has and it always will.  Let’s pull our citizens together and figure it out the Pasadena Way — citizen participation and transparency in government. Why not?

~ MARSHA V. ROOD, FAICP, PASADENA

WWJD?

Since the 1930s corporatists have taken over the evangelical Christian Church in the US for their own capitalistic and political ends. Now, knowing the “so called” Christian Right are almost Trump’s entire voting base, does it not make sense to remind and re-educate them to know that Trump does not in any way represent Christian values in his treatment of the people or the planet?

His voters must be shown they have been duped, taken advantage of and manipulated by the extreme rhetoric of Republican politicians who continually marry corporate capitalism to Christian values and religiosity, purely to gain and maintain their own political power over the Christian right.

To bring Trump down we must do what he does NOT expect. Rather than just attacking Trump and his fascist administration, surely we must attack the moral standing of his Christian Right voting base by challenging them to re-examine the teachings of Christ in relation to the party they support. Offer them the realization that their capitalist version of Christianity separates them from regular folk and that it is unkind, authoritarian and, above all, hypocritical. Suggest they be unconditional in their loving, compassionate toward all people of every faith and “love the sinner” as Jesus taught.

Remind them, too, that their Christian beliefs have been hijacked by coldblooded Republicans, for their own selfish power agenda. Tell them their vote supports corporate domination of our democracy, penalizes the poor, supports imperialism through armed conflict and leaves us at the mercy of predatory Republicans who have no recent record of doing anything but harm to the man in the street.

The pope has spoken out against Trump but there are many regular Christian church leaders in the US who do not subscribe to the narrow vision of the Christian Right who should be “proclaiming Christ’s love and his true teachings” above the cacophony of the mind control of biblical fundamentalism. Maybe their raised voices, along with those of thousands of Catholic priests in the US, could speak out for the true teachings of Christ and persuade Christian Right voters to be less Republican and more Christian; reminding them to be compassionate and to have love and empathy for ALL people. Right now, they are being led by the nose, under the banner of an anti-gay, abortion hating Christ of the fundamentalist echo chambers of FOX News and unholy Christian capitalism. Jesus would be ashamed.

The Christian Right continues to be manipulated and radicalized by unscrupulous Republicans and profit-seeking pastors who act against the best interest of the Christian religion, their country and themselves. Their allegiance to the Republican’s right-wing agenda supports a war against the free thinking of all those who are not them. Their self-righteous behavior is causing them to separate from anyone who does not submit to the blind will of the Christian Right and the unscrupulous Republicans who are leading us all further into the quagmire of world destruction.

The Christian Right seeks to brainwash and convert the entire world to their peculiar version of Christ. The fake news of their authoritarian, capitalist right-wing religion must be brought down as surely as Trump must. The Christian Right fails to realize beneath Trump’s mask of sanity and his pretense of loving God is a psychopath ready to kill us all in the name of Jesus.

~  CHRISTOPHER JUDGES, VENTURA

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