Open Letter to Torrance City Council: Reject Ferrer's Mandates, No More Masks, Open the City Fully
Dear Torrance City Council:
I recently learned about a letter issued from a number of locally elected officials throughout the South Bay:
We, the undersigned mayors and council members from the South Bay Cities demand the reversal of the latest county health order on behalf of our constituents. At a minimum, we appeal to be exempted based on our vaccination rates and much lower COVID case numbers.
We need a director and a health department that sets warranted policies based on our unique service area demands and needs. We need a credible director and a health department that we can trust.
In the most populated county with more than 10 million residents and the size of several countries in Europe, Dr. Ferrer calls 1902 new cases “alarming.” These are 1902 cases where more than 98% will recover, according to medical literature. While we recognize that every death is tragic, she reports that six died out of 10 million people. That data is being used out of context to establish a health order that punishes fully vaccinated and compliant citizens. For the same period, the lives lost under varying circumstances such as car accidents, overdose, cancer should put into perspective the percentage of Covid related deaths. Further, we think it is imperative to consider how many took their own lives out of desperation and financial ruin due to this pandemic and how the new policies will add to this growing number. Reporting this data and establishing health orders based on it without the proper context does not help us develop sound and balanced public health policy.
Our constituents are questioning why they were told to vaccinate to see normalcy because our constituents did follow protocol and vaccinate themselves. The vaccination rates in our cities have reached what many scientific journals label “herd immunity” for vaccines with 95% efficacy. With this herd immunity established, why are these individuals now being told to wear masks again? We must be exempt.
We have had enough of these policies! We demand that you stop this one-size-fits-all approach to health and health outcomes. If the goal is to have more people vaccinated, then the health department needs to contextualize that data by service area and establish health directives by using the power of data and persuasion instead of setting mandates that defy common sense and science. This most recent order will drive people away from the vaccine. We, as community leaders, did, and continue to do, our jobs to lead our communities to be fully vaccinated. In our cases, the evidence is clear. We need Dr. Ferrer out of our way.
We are not alone in our strong disagreement with this order. The CDC and even our state policies do not align with this recent order. Even county officials are not in agreement with the order. The utter confusion and anguish caused by this order in our communities are unnecessary and painful. We see no reason to punish this county when 57 counties in this state are open to business and not requiring mask-wearing for individuals who have been vaccinated.
We implore you to modify this recent order, engage with us, and set a policy that better reflects the unique context of our area. The arbitrary nature of these health policies only contributes to the instability of our individual and collective recovery from this pandemic.
Hon. Drew Boyles, Mayor City of El Segundo
Hon. Suzanne Hadley, Mayor of Manhattan Beach
Hon. Mike Griffiths, Mayor Pro Tem City of Torrance
Hon. Aurelio Mattucci, Council Member City of Torrance
Hon. Heidi Ashcraft, Council Member City of Torrance
Hon. Michael Kemps, Mayor City of Palos Verdes Estates
Hon. David McGowan, Council Member City of Palos Verdes Estates
Hon. Eric Alegria, Mayor City of Rancho Palos Verdes
Hon. John Cruikshank, Council Member City of Rancho Palos Verdes
Hon. Frank V. Zerunyan, Mayor Pro Tem City of Rolling Hills Estates
Hon. Velveth Schmitz, Council Member City of Rolling Hills Estates
First of all, I wish to commend Councilmembers Griffiths, Ashcraft, and Mattucci for joining this letter.
Second, I urge the remaining members of the Torrance City Council--Walser, Kalani, Chen, and Mayor Furey--to join this letter.
Third, the Torrance City Council must issue a clear directive via resolution to every business and every property owner in the city of Torrance that the city will not enforce any so-called mandate from LA County Health Director Barbara Ferrer. This unconstitutional, unscientific madness must cease. It is the government's job to protect the rights of the citizens. It is not the government's job to protect the citizenry's health. It is not the government's job to protect every citizen from death, to paraphrase Manhattan Beach city councilwoman Suzanne Hadley.
Last of all, the city of Torrance should repeal the Local Emergency declarations once and for all. The city may lose government money in the short-term with this action, but businesses will be able to thrive and conduct commerce once again, more than making up for any losses from missing out on COVID-19 relief. Other cities in Southern California (Yorba Linda, Laguna Niguel) have already repealed their emergency orders. Torrance should do the same.
Cities must rise up against this overreach. As Councilwoman Ashcraft had shared with me a few weeks ago, we all simply need to learn to live with COVID-19, or any other pathogen. This whole pandemic overreach has never been about public health or public safety. This whole scam has been about control. It's time for the city of Torrance to take back its control, and let the citizens control their lives to the fullest extent possible.
Contact the Torrance City Council, and tell them to:
1. Reject Ferrer's Mandates
2. Tell all businesses and property owners that the city will not enforce mask mandates
3. Repeal the Local Emergency Order and Let the City of Torrance Open Fully