December First, 2015. Huntington Park,CA
In spite of a long-standing cold and the sniffles, I showed up to the city council meeting. I looked forward to seeing Valentin once again, who had been away on a business trip for the city to increase trade with Huntington Park and improve the local economy.
Before the meeting, I met with Nick the Greek. He was glad to see me, so that I could help him wiht something. He reregistered as a Republican. The restoration has begun. Good times are getting better in Huntington Park, a city which has been a long-time Democratic stronghold (or strangle-hold) at the expense of law-abiding citizens who just want the city and state governments to do their jobs representing the best interests of the legal residents.
At the city council meeting, a large number of young people arrived to receive an award. They were fighting for environmental justice, according to one of the members. I spoke with this young group for about five minutes, talking about the issues facing the city, and why We the People Rising had been attending the meetings for the last four months. The students were respectful. The leader of the group informed me that some of the students spoke out on behalf of the two illegal appointments.
More of us working against the rogue city council recognize that we need to reach out to all members of the community, and show them how the city's corruption and mismanagement is hurting everyone.
When the city council meeting began, I noticed that one of the appointed illegals, Julian Zatarain, had arrived. What was he doing there? He is not a legal resident, and we have continued putting on the pressure, demanding enforcement of the rule of law.
It has often bothered me that the city council members open up their meetings with a prayer to God. What god are they praying to? They do not honor the Word, the obviously have never read the Bible. Their actions routinely flout and offend civic culture and civil discourse. Sandra Orozco commented, and I thought fitly, that they are praying to the Devil. There certainly are a growing number of wicked forces at work in that city.
The city council had their usual parade of presentations and awards. In two rare and illegal moves, the city attorney informed the council that they could reject a request for public comment on a presentation. That is against the law. They then brokered the public comment by a motion, with comments on the agenda first, and public comment on non-agenda items last.
They never cease to amaze the upstanding citizens in the audience. They keep trying to shut us down and shove us off to the side. We are not going anywhere.
During their closed session, viewers in their homes indicated that the cameras were still rolling, and that residents of the city could see everyone in the chambers. We all rushed to the cameras to show our signs demanding recall and arrest of the four rogue councilmembers.
The closed session lasted an an unusually long period that night. With the time available for us, I approached the one illegal, Julian Zatarain. We told him how We the People Rising went on our enforcement tour. He seemed willing to listen. We reminded him that because we are a nation of laws. He admitted his understanding about this issue. We then pressed on him why he was not doing the right thing, by becoming a legal resident. His response: "I am trying."
OK, fine. He needs to get that right first, then become a city commissioner. We told him as much, and kept emphasizing the necessity to follow the law. I shared with the members of our group and the audience that many friends of mine came to the United States legally not just to look for a better job, but to escape the lawlessness and corruption.
Zatarain grew uncomfortable with our queries, then tried to flee the council chambers. I followed him, and Robin Hvidston with camera in hand recorded us. He tried to flee into a discussion room, then one of the city staffers escorted him into another room. Such cowardice. For a man who stood boldly before the cameras and paraded his illegal status and appointment to the city commission, what has happened to him now?
After an overextended closed sessions, the Huntington Park City Council members returned to open session. The council proceeded through the agenda items, for which the council refuses to offer or permit public comment. When public comment finally began, we were all ready to share our concerns and thoughts at length.
No one in the audience spoke on behalf of the illegal appointments. As more of us protested their decision and shamed them for their wilfull disregard of the law, Mayor Macias suddenly announced a five minute recess -- which actually lasted much longer. They violated the Brown Act once again, having a serial meeting outside of the public's viewing and hearing.
One of the most damaging revelations of the night came from former city councilmember Linda Caraballo, who not called out their illegal actions and maneuvers, but exposed the lesbian behaviors of the three women sitting on the city council: Marilyn Sanabria, Graciela Ortiz, and mayor Karina Macias.
They city council is cracking under our constant pressure for the rule of law. We are not going to give up our fight, because we are fighting for values and principles of eternal quality, which cannot budge nor be taken away by legislative or judicial fiat.