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<b>REVVING ENGINES:</b>  Though the City Council election is more than two months away, candidates (from left: Megan Diaz Alley, Gregg Hart, Cruzito Cruz, Mathew Kramer, David Landecker, and Jason Nelson) are already jockeying for position by weighing in on a host of hot-button issues.

Paul Wellman

REVVING ENGINES: Though the City Council election is more than two months away, candidates (from left: Megan Diaz Alley, Gregg Hart, Cruzito Cruz, Mathew Kramer, David Landecker, and Jason Nelson) are already jockeying for position by weighing in on a host of hot-button issues.


No Love for Gang Injunction

Latino Democrats Get Jump on Candidates’ Forum


Thursday, August 29, 2013
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A conspicuous lack of any support for Santa Barbara’s proposed gang injunction marked this year’s first City Council candidates forum, which was organized by a consortium of five Latino organizations and spearheaded by the Latino Democrats. Even Jason Nelson, the only candidate to list youth violence as the city’s most pressing problem, dismissed the injunction as a bad idea “for civil liberties reasons.” If the response was notably one-sided, that may be because four of the 10 candidates ​— ​including incumbents Bendy White and Frank Hotchkiss, who have supported the injunction in the past ​— ​were not present.

Last week’s meeting was organized in a hurry, and candidates were given only a week’s notice. In addition, it was held two weeks before Labor Day ​— ​the traditional start of the campaign season ​— ​when the City Council is on a three-week recess. Candidate Gregg Hart, one of two former councilmembers now seeking to make a political comeback, sought to make hay out of these absences, expressing “surprise and disappointment” that White and Hotchkiss did not show, nor did candidates Michael Jordan and Lesley Wiscomb, a planning commissioner and parks commissioner, respectively. “I don’t think that’s appropriate,” Hart said.

And while all candidates present were critical of the injunction, Hart ​— ​a moderate Democrat during his previous tenure on the council ​— ​proved the most outspokenly so. He objected that City Hall had spent at least $500,000 to pursue the injunction, claiming it would only affect 15 people, when there were other legal remedies to control and incarcerate repeat offenders. He also objected that the current council embraced the injunction without first holding any public hearings. “That’s extremely poor judgment,” he said. By contrast, he noted City Hall has funded only one half-time position for youth services.

Candidate David Landecker, the other former councilmember on the comeback trail, said the current council was given bad political and legal advice about the injunction, noting that as an attorney, he could have added much-needed legal expertise to the council deliberations, which took place behind closed doors. But Landecker ​— ​who enjoys key support from Mayor Helene Schneider and Councilmember White, both injunction supporters ​— ​was more circumspect in his criticism, saying only that the council needed to be given “space” to move away from its commitment to the injunction. First-time candidate Megan Diaz Alley ​— ​a member of the Parks and Recreation Commission ​— ​termed it “a travesty” that youth programs had been cut as much as they’d been, a note frequently sounded by third-time candidate Cruzito Cruz. The gang injunction, first unveiled two years ago, remains embroiled in the courts.

In this November’s council race, the mayoral seat is up for grabs ​— ​challenging incumbent Helene Schneider is outsider candidate and Mesa maverick Wayne Scoles ​— ​as are three council seats. Of those, two council seats are occupied by incumbents ​— ​White and Hotchkiss ​— ​who have already raised sizable sums to retain them, leaving one bona fide open spot. With no obvious unifying issues, both sides of the political aisle have been stricken by fragmentation. As a result, there are more “liberal Democrats” running than there are available seats; the same holds true for the conservatives. On the so-called left are White, Landecker, Hart, and Alley. Alley ​— ​a political newcomer ​— ​is running as a renter, Latina, and environmentalist. On the right the lines are more blurry, with Hotchkiss the one clear-cut conservative Republican in the fray, though Wiscomb and Nelson ​— ​both decline-to-states ​— ​can be expected to draw from that same voter base. Candidate and planning commissioner Michael Jordan, also a declined-to-state, should garner support from the downtown business community having served many years on the Downtown Organization board. Cruzito Cruz, now on his third campaign, and Mathew Kramer, running his second, will use the forums to raise issues throughout the race, but not money. In fact, at last week’s forum, Kramer dismissed campaign contributions as “bribes” and urged those in attendance not to give him any.

Absent the emergence of any defining issues, the race promises to be a contest about personality, experience, and leadership skills. To that end, none of the candidates hit any home runs; none blew it either. When asked to identify the top issues of concern to Latino residents, all but one of the candidates ​— ​Nelson ​— ​cited lack of affordable housing and explained to what extent they would ​— ​or would not ​— ​push existing zoning densities to promote the development of affordable rental housing. Traffic congestion came in a close second. Regardless of ethnicity, it appears, housing and transportation remain the alpha and omega of Santa Barbara politics.

Comments

Independent Discussion Guidelines

"Alley ​— ​a political newcomer ​— ​is running as a renter, Latina, and environmentalist." Do the rest of you realize just how vacuous and stupid this is? Plus, it is just plain old racist to say you are somehow qualified, and that is the implication, because you are of a particular genetic pool.

"Italiansurg-a political newcomer-is running as a homeowner, Italian, and environmentalist". Wow!

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
August 29, 2013 at 6:32 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Americans voted twice for a person (Obama) with minimal qualifications as president. Obama is having a negative impact on ALL Americans in almost everything he is doing, primarily because he was not prepared for the responsibilities of the office and has surrounded himself with people that know little more than he does!

I have to agree with "italiansurg," it can only be defined as a "stupid" to vote for anyone with little or no qualifications for a public office they seek.

whatsinsb (anonymous profile)
August 29, 2013 at 7:30 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Oh brother, not one of them supported the gang injunction (at least at this meeting). Can someone sack up and come out of the closet please?

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
August 29, 2013 at 11:06 a.m. (Suggest removal)

People afraid of the candidate in a skirt? I might have to put my doobie down for this election.

BongHit (anonymous profile)
August 29, 2013 at 11:07 a.m. (Suggest removal)

BongHit - Keep on puffing, I'm afraid you are likely one of many that voted for the inexperienced, unknowing and unquestionably, incompetent and anti-American, Obama.

I doubt anyone is afraid of any candidate in a "skirt." We should be afraid of any candidate in pants or a skirt that does not have the education, background, experience and other criteria needed for the office they seek. Voters should have some confidence that the person they vote for will have an idea about what the office they seek entails and they are prepared to meet the challenge!

Being a Mexican renter & environmentalist vying for public office is almost like being a black community organizer. We can see on a daily basis the problems inexperience and stupidity has created all Americans by the president, a former community organizer. Don't try & comment on his senate experience as Obama did nothing in this position.

You have probably missed all the destruction to America created by Obama due to your continued activity with your doobie(s). Best you stay home.

whatsinsb (anonymous profile)
August 29, 2013 at 11:41 a.m. (Suggest removal)

*** Exactly what destruction has Obama wrought on the US? ****

7 million jobs and counting have been created under Obama in less than 8 years; only 1 million jobs were created under Bush in 8 years.

The country was losing 700,000 jobs a month at the end of the Bush term; under Obama there have been 41 months of job growth in the private sector.

The stock market has soared; the rich are making out like bandits; the deficit is coming down at the fastest rate since WWII. He has gotten us out of Iraq, and is speeding up the withdrawal from Afghanistan.

According to Forbes magazine about healthcare:
"A new Congressional Budget Office report out last week has the healthcare world scratching its head over the possibility that Obamacare might—in part—be responsible for what is being described as a significant slowdown in the growth of healthcare costs in America.

According to the report, hundreds of billions of dollars in federal spending for Medicare and Medicaid are being removed from government projections as federal healthcare spending is now expected to be full 15 percent less than what had been initially budgeted for 2012. The surprisingly low spending projections come as the growth in healthcare spending has hit a new low for the fourth consecutive year."

http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar...

*** So please, provide facts that support your charge. ****

I await the list with great expectation.

tabatha (anonymous profile)
August 29, 2013 at 12:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Grab the printed version-
Every time there is a story about the evils of the gang injunction on the
News of the Week page,it is accompanied by a story in the Law and Disorder column featuring another alleged gang stabbing.This week is no exception with Gabriel Nicholas Rivera," well known" to area law enforcement,who was arrested for stabbing 2 men on hwy 154.I wonder if he would be on the short list of those on the proposed gang injunction.If so,how much would the county have saved keeping him off the street freeing those funds for after school graffiti programs.I wonder if Nick and the rest see the irony when those page layouts come out.

garfish (anonymous profile)
August 29, 2013 at 12:44 p.m. (Suggest removal)

there's six names i drew a line through....some of them 3 times.

lawdy (anonymous profile)
August 29, 2013 at 1:27 p.m. (Suggest removal)

tabatha that is not true at all, we are worse off than when Obama came into office. That isn't because Obama has done anything different than Bush, he has expanded everything that Bush did. Obama is like Bush 2.0. Obama has expanded our overseas empire and done everything he can to destroy the economy.

Consider that most of the jobs 'created' are government jobs and part-time retail positions. People from the private sector have to produce in order to pay for government jobs and we have to pay China to buy the stuff that is being sold in retail stores. So those jobs are actually COSTING US MORE!! State and local governments are going bankrupt, private industry is going bankrupt. Individuals and governments have more debt than ever before. The stock market is at an all-time high, yet the economy is slumped and employment is still in the toilet. That is a really bad sign of things to come.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
August 29, 2013 at 5:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)

That said, a 'gang injunction' is completely unconstitutional and ignores the underlying problems of our society. The more people against it the better.

The reason why gang members sell drugs is because it is very lucrative, drugs are popular and that is their best opportunity to make a lot of money. When you create a black market, those who participate are generally risk-taking individuals which means people who are more likely to be involved in crime and YOUNGER PEOPLE. Younger people are also more sociable. So that is why most drug dealers are in school, it is because they are young, sociable risk-takers and that is their best opportunity to make money.

The answer is obvious: legalize drugs and you will take away the funding source for gang activity and you will reduce the need for gangs to organize and protect their territory for trafficking drugs.

Gang problems are entirely created by making drugs illegal in the first place. It is so painfully obvious I can't believe people still have to voice this argument.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
August 29, 2013 at 5:29 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"Consider that most of the jobs 'created' are government jobs and part-time retail positions."

ABSOLUTELY FALSE.

The government jobs have decreased significantly. Please find a source to back up your completely fallacious claim.

And please explain to me where he has expanded our overseas empire? Facts, please.

tabatha (anonymous profile)
August 29, 2013 at 6:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The employment recovery during Mr. Bush's first term was very sluggish, and private employment was down 946,000 jobs at the end of his first term. At the end of Mr. Bush's second term, private employment was collapsing, and there were net 665,000 jobs lost during Mr. Bush's two terms.

The recovery has been sluggish under Mr. Obama's presidency too, and there were only 1,933,000 more private sector jobs at the end of Mr. Obama's first term. A couple of months into Mr. Obama's second term, there are now 2,282,000 more private sector jobs than when he took office.

A big difference between Mr. Bush's tenure in office and Mr. Obama's presidency has been public sector employment. The public sector grew during Mr. Bush's term (up 1,748,000 jobs), but the public sector has declined since Obama took office (down 718,000 jobs). These job losses have mostly been at the state and local level, but they are still a significant drag on overall employment.

Read more at http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/201...

Repeat:

PUBLIC SECTOR UNDER BUSH - plus 1,748,000
PUBLIC SECTOR UNDER OBAMA - minus 718,000

tabatha (anonymous profile)
August 29, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I'm certainly no fan of Obama but to call him "anti-American" as whatsinsb did is just plain dumb. It really clobbers the credibility of whoever makes such a statement. It's Faux Noise talking points infecting all the goobers who buy into it. Get real, whatsinsb, and maybe your posts will become worth reading.

SezMe (anonymous profile)
August 30, 2013 at 2:10 a.m. (Suggest removal)

whatsinsb, we've yet to hear you respond to various posters annihilating your ridiculous garbage and innuendo. Try reading up a bit; tabatha supplies webref, facts, YOU simply repeat ultra-right talking points.
Particularly about Obama being "anti-American" -- support this; you have nothing.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
August 30, 2013 at 6:31 a.m. (Suggest removal)

tabatha you make a good case however you also admit that most of the job losses in the public sector have come from state and local governments. This is because they are driven by revenue from the private sector and so because the private sector revenue has been reduced, the public sector has also shrunk drastically. The private sector jobs you are talking about that are being created are probably about half the salary of the jobs they are replacing. We are talking retail and food service in place of jobs that used to be able to raise families and buy houses. So total # of people on payroll is not necessarily a very good indicator of our economic recovery.

The Federal Govt. can just print money to pay for whatever they want, including wars. Unfortunately that causes our money and our wages to become less valuable each passing day. We see this in rising prices in oil, energy, housing, food and various other sectors.

Obama is still spending militarily at very high levels in an era of drones where the cost of doing 'war' is going down which is why I think I can still get away with saying he is expanding our overseas empire. He has expanded the use of drones significantly over Bush and it is not saving any innocent lives. And the fact is we really can't afford to continue to spend at Bush or near-Bush levels.

For the record, I don't think this is a "Democrat" or "Republican" issue, I think both are just as guilty.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
August 30, 2013 at 10:45 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Who do these Latino Dems think they are? Latino Republicans? Seriously, get on the right page of social progress. ANYTHING short of compulsory incarceration for even joining a gang is unacceptable. The scourge of thug punkhood has got to come to a permanent end.

Draxor (anonymous profile)
August 30, 2013 at 10:54 a.m. (Suggest removal)

but Draxor, Gov Brown has just been ordered yet AGAIN to release thousands of prisoners (he's struggling to avoid this catastrophe); whatever the merit of "compulsory incarceration for even joining a gang" it's impossible, unworkable, and the voters will not vote to pay for it. BTW, how would you define "gang" and "joining a gang"?

DrDan (anonymous profile)
August 30, 2013 at 11:34 a.m. (Suggest removal)

So the reason I said above that many of these jobs pay 'half' is because not only do they pay a lower wage but most are part time. This is hugely in part because companies do not want to foot the bill for healthcare after Obamacare comes into play.

Also, when the report refers to private sector jobs, are these "private sector" jobs being funded by the government with public dollars? E.g., "private" prisons, "private" communications companies, doctors paid from Medicare, and farm-subsidy recipients? If so, what difference does it make if they are labeled "private" for accounting purposes if they are being paid by tax dollars?

loonpt (anonymous profile)
August 30, 2013 at 12:25 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Putting somebody in prison for "joining a gang" is a pretty gross and abhorrent affront to the Constitution of the United States which guarantees us the right to peaceably assemble. 99%+ of the time when gangs assemble they assemble peaceably. It's only when they don't assembly peaceably and cause violent crime that is the issue, and if you are going to arrest everybody in the gang for the actions of a few then you would have to treat everybody else that way. So if you have a good friend who goes to prison, you would have to go to prison with them even if you were not in any way involved in their crime.

Some people really hate the Constitution and they really hate freedom. The thuggery is caused by the war on drugs, if you want to end the thuggery end the war on drugs. Ending the war on drugs is compatible with freedom and the Constitution.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
August 30, 2013 at 12:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"thuggery is caused by the war on drugs" - ! Is it possible that addiction and poverty play a tiny role in drug abuse, and the then attendant crime? Loon, your Tea Party ideas lead you to crazy and illogical statements; read some more Ron Paul.
I love the Constitution and I read it; try reading it again yourself and support with REFS your senseless comment.
I do agree with your first paragraph.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
August 30, 2013 at 2:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"... most of the job losses in the public sector have come from state and local governments. This is because they are driven by revenue from the private sector ..."
-- loonpt

loon, I don't disagree with all your points but the above is only partially true. A lot of state and local monies come from the feds and the deep drops in this funding stream have contributed mightily to the loss in non-federal jobs. The police are probably the best example. Even the Creeks Division gets federal bucks.

SezMe (anonymous profile)
August 30, 2013 at 3:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)

As I've said before--even though many don't want to hear it--the injuction is just another band-aid over a malignant tumor. It's not a "good start", it's a band-aid.

Do you ever stop, sit still, contemplate (imagine sitting like Yogi on a hill in India) and ask the profound question "what did we do as a society that has led us to the need (or perceived need) of gun control, more drug laws, The Patriot Act, The National Defense Authorization Act (the deal where they can legally lock you up and keep you imprisoned indefinately without trial) drug-sniffing dogs in our schools, and the gang injuction?

Do any of our politicians dare to admit that the cheap labor Ponzi Scheme of illegal immigration is failing? Do any self-rightous "Progessives" have the guts to address why they no longer dare to talk about the consequences of overpopulation and overcrowding, and how our immigration policy and the Catholic Church have contributed to this? Do these same people realize that the "multicultural" approach (making sure Spanish-speaking immigrants don't have to assimilate into American culture) has contributed to the gang problem? Do they also realize how they play into the amoral vested interests of the Right Wing business sector when they sheepishly defend the politically correct argument that this cheap labor is "the backbone of our economy" when in fact creating a larger segement of impovershed undereducated people simply reduces us to the Third World society?

The problem is obvious that we are moving more toward a totalitarian sociaty, and as I've said before, the products of our ever-increasing dystopia don't worry about gang injunctions or going to prison, so if anyone is actually interesting in solving the problem itself, ask yourself "what were we doing BEFORE this was such a problem, but sadly most probably won't because leaving their comfort zone of long held assumptions is too uncomfortable for them, and we have been so conditioned as a sociaty that we should trust the government for everything, that the lie has become truth.

To break down everything I just said into on sentence: Let's stop creating the gang problem, then we won't have to keep fighting it/

billclausen (anonymous profile)
August 30, 2013 at 7:23 p.m. (Suggest removal)

But what’s critical to understand is that the drop-off in employment in state and local government wasn’t spread evenly across states, and this trend had almost nothing to do with Obama or his policies.

Nearly all of the job losses took place at the state and local level, and they were most severe in a handful of GOP-controlled states. In other words, erosion of public sector employment isn’t a problem affecting the entire country equally—it’s a problem in particular states, thanks to very particular legislators. As the following chart shows, seven states laid off more than 2.5 percent of their own state and local workforce. Other states lost, on average, less than half a percent of their workforce.

http://www.thenation.com/article/1670...

The largest reduction of public jobs were in a handful of GOP-controlled states. It was political-agenda driven, not any other dreamed-up reason.

tabatha (anonymous profile)
August 30, 2013 at 7:47 p.m. (Suggest removal)

SantaBarbara better do something about the Hispanic gang problems.
Your town is going the way of Oxnard and SantaMaria and Fillmore.

zuma7 (anonymous profile)
August 30, 2013 at 8:52 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The underlying problems with gangs, are gang members themselves. No one needs to look any further for the cause of gang problems.

Agree, scratch all those candidates who run merely on biography and who refuse to deal directly with gang issues, which are the gang members themselves.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
August 30, 2013 at 11:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"The underlying problems with gangs, are gang members themselves."
-- foofighter

A tautology. And so not useful. WHY does an individual join a gang? Work on that issue and you'll make some progress.

SezMe (anonymous profile)
August 31, 2013 at 12:21 a.m. (Suggest removal)

You can work on the issues of "what cause gang membership" all you want with your money and your time. We have community standards in this town and gang membership is not one of them. That is simple, easy and direct.

The cause of gang problems is gang membership. How many crimes are committed purely for ethos of gang membership, versus crimes committed because of "underlying causes"? Put some facts on that question because the crimes we see are purely gang membership ethos crimes, and there no other reason.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
August 31, 2013 at 9:19 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I just had an idea: They should treat gang membership the way they treat the business sector by saddling them with fees and permits. Think about it, businesses are leaving California in droves because of all the regulations, we should tell them that it's ok to join a gang but you have to go through a long permit process and red tape and get approval from the city, county and state and then they will get so disgusted they will move to Arizona which of course LOVES gangs. I'm sure these nice friendly loyal gang members will comply with the law. Why not?

Let's also make sure that we outlaw knives because that's often a weapon of choice, and lets also extend that to sporks, and baseball bats.

What I've suggested make about as much sense as anything else I've heard the politicians suggest.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
August 31, 2013 at 3:26 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Any activity that drains as many public resources as gang crime needs to be stopped ASAP.

Better analogy is treat is as an infectious disease that is a threat to public health: quarantine and isolate all who have contact with it. Barrier control for all those not currently infected, and sanitarium lockdowns for those that are.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
August 31, 2013 at 5:38 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Just enforce laws that are already on the books.... What a no brainer!

BondJamesBond (anonymous profile)
September 1, 2013 at 8:44 a.m. (Suggest removal)

NB: the old Daraka Larrimore HALL community organizing darling PEUBLO allegedly has risen again, this time as CAUSE.

Buyer beware.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
September 1, 2013 at 3:24 p.m. (Suggest removal)

tabatha I think those numbers you posted must be fudged

U.S. Labor Participation Rate at Lowest Level Since the 1970s
http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/2...

"The percentage of Americans working is at the lowest rate since the Carter Administration, as new data showed a continuing weak jobs picture for the country.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday the economy added just 169,000 jobs, well short of the 180,000 economists expected.

The unemployment rate fell to 7.3 percent from 7.4 percent but, as was the case last month, that was more of a function of more people leaving the workforce than an actual easing of joblessness. The Labor Department said 312,000 people dropped out of the workforce, meaning they were no longer actively looking for employment.

In fact, the labor-force participation rate, which tracks the percentage of working-age Americans who are actually employed or looking, fell to 63.2 percent in August. The country hasn't seen that few eligible people actually working since August 1978."

loonpt (anonymous profile)
September 6, 2013 at 10:05 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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