Friday, February 26, 2016

Civil Rights Complaint Filed Against Huntington Park City Council

Former city coucilmember and current activist and paralegal Linda Caraballo has noticed a disturbing trend of discrimination from the Huntington Park City Council.

When Hispanic residents or activists speak at the podium, especially when they favor the council's lawless deeds, they are allowed to yell, shout, and interrupt those who oppose their points of view.

White and black members of the audience have been targeted for silence and retribution in the city council chambers time and again.

One man told a black lady to "go back to Africa."

Two white men--myself and Dr. Robert Newman--were ruled out of order and forced to leave the chambers, one for just asking a question, and another for saying "Yes" three times during public comment.

Another case of blatant discrimination occurred when Wes Parker addressed the city council, and I joined him at his reuest. The mayor and one of the police officers told me to sit down, and yet the public comment before us featured five people standing at the podium.

The City council is clearly picking favorites and they are all "brown".

There is the contents of the letter Mrs. Caraballo has submitted to legal offices--local, state, and federal:

US Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
950 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
Office of the Assistant
Attorney General, Main Washington DC 20530
Re: City of Huntington Park Council
To Whom It May Concern:

I am a regular attendee of the City of Huntington Park City Council meetings. For the past six months, or more members of the audience, have been told that they can not address the city council, unless they fill out a speaker card.

Prior to the commencement of the meetings, a Huntington Park Police Officer or the Chief of Police reads to the public a statement that state, individual's who do no comply with the rules of decorum will be removed or arrested. During the meetings several police officers are present with their hands on their guns. (The guns are in their holsters).

Linda Caraballo

From September 2015 to February 16, 2016 white members, and black members of the audience are singled out, and removed from the audience for just uttering the words "Yes Yes Yes". Latino attendees are treated much differently and never are warned that they will be removed.


White attendees are told to remove their signs, or just put them down or away. When Latino's have signs they are never addressed. White's are told to be quite and Latino's appeared to be encouraged to attack the whites.

This intrusion on my First Amendment rights has happened many times and has fallen on other members, too.

During public comment Latino's are given more time to speak and are allowed to share their time. For example at the February 16, 2016 meeting a group of young Latinos
jointly spoke against a city ordinance, and shared their three minutes. When a white speaker requested that one of his associates hold a poster for him, he was told no.

Many white speakers whom turn in speaker cards are often told that they can't speak because their speaker card disappeared. (Public comment is still open but are turned away).

At the February 16, 2016 meeting I turned in a speaker card along with my friend who is in a wheelchair. We were the first to turn in our speaker cards, but yet we were nearly
the last to be called. My friend who is in a wheelchair and disabled, she requested special
accommodations to speak first. Each and every time she is denied. During the month of December and the month of January a council member requested that all public comments be held to the end of the meeting. Public comment was not heard until 9:00pm or 11:00pm.

This illegal changes in the agenda took place for three months.

Only recently did the Huntington Park four-vote majority cease to engage in these suppressive activities.

Members of the audience have only three minutes to address the council on non agenda, agenda items or public comment. But if public comment is pushed to the end of the meeting then the public has no input on agenda items.

This abuse of power discourages residents in cities all over Los Angeles County. Rogue government boards want to prevent hard-working people from commenting and criticizing city councils.

I have asked my assemblyman David Hadley (R-Torrance) to submit legislation to end this abusive practice among city council members. Public comment should be available towards the beginning of every meeting, or at least in a timely fashion so that working and non-working residents in a community can speak to their elected officials to get results.

I have grave concerns regarding the censorship of the public and along with the racial tone of the City Council. One planning commissioner by the name of Efren Martinez is often seen and over heard informing people that the white attendees of the meetings are racist against Latinos. In a September 2015 this same commissioner and other's who were with him chanted to a black speaker go back to "Africa".

All of the City of Huntington Park's meetings are recorded and can be viewed on their website.
My concerns are over the racial overtones, the racial indifference, that disabled being treated poorly, and the censorship of the public.

I have also observed that all department heads are Latinos along with city staff. I do not see Blacks, Asians, or Whites as city staffers or department heads. The equality is un-balanced.

Individuals who are white, that attend the meetings are often interrupted during their public comments and threaten to be ejected. Public speech is being censored.

Linda Caraballo with the recall papers

Therefore I am requesting your assistance in this matter. I can be reached at the above address and phone number. I can also be reached via email at
Linda Caraballo

Civil Rights belong to everyone, and no one should be discriminated against, regardless of their color.

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