UTLA looks to bolster declining union membership with push into charters–continues to LOSE Members

Great news for freedom and the rights of workers not to be forced to pay bribes.  LAUSD, owned and controlled by the unions, is having a major change to its operation.  The teachers union, UTLA, is losing members—thanks to the freedom teachers have in charter schools.

“As the Los Angeles teachers union continues to try to organize educators at the city’s largest charter school network, teachers at one of the few independent charter schools that joined the union voted to leave it after less than two years because union officials were pushing their own agenda, according to interviews and documents reviewed by LA School Report.

Teachers at Port of Los Angeles High School had come to United Teachers Los Angeles looking to secure a voice during a time of tumult in the school’s leadership, but they left the union after they failed to get contract waivers they said union leadership had promised.”

You would think someone with a college degree, and a teacher, would know not to believe a union.  They should have known that the bullies of education would lie about supporting teachers.  This is another reason charter schools are better than government/unions schools—charter school teachers think for themselves, are not part of “group think”.

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Even as UTLA looks to bolster declining union membership with push into charters, one school’s teachers voted to decertify after just two years

LA School Report, 2/12/18

As the Los Angeles teachers union continues to try to organize educators at the city’s largest charter school network, teachers at one of the few independent charter schools that joined the union voted to leave it after less than two years because union officials were pushing their own agenda, according to interviews and documents reviewed by LA School Report.

Teachers at Port of Los Angeles High School had come to United Teachers Los Angeles looking to secure a voice during a time of tumult in the school’s leadership, but they left the union after they failed to get contract waivers they said union leadership had promised.

The goals of the teachers and the union clashed, Principal Tom Scotti said.

“From what I’ve been told, there were many reasons for why” the school’s teachers voted to leave the union, he said, but the main reason was “a bait and switch with the union.”

“They were told that if they did not want tenure, the union wouldn’t push for it, but that turned out to be not the case.”

He said the teachers had given UTLA their list of priorities, “and salaries were lower on that list, it was more about having a voice.” But the union “made it more about compensation. It became about the voice of the union and not the voice of our teachers,” he said. “They were constantly told (by UTLA), ‘This is how we do it.’ But that’s not why the teachers brought them in.”

The union was “brought in so that they could make sure neither the board nor basically someone in my position could just force change without at least the voice of faculty and staff, which they have now,” Scotti said.

UTLA’s membership has declined more than 25 percent since 2008, mirroring a national trend in the percentage of American workers who belong to labor unions. Unions nationwide are bracing for further losses this year, when a U.S. Supreme Court decision in Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees could deal a severe blow to their coffers. The case, which will be argued in front of the high court this month, challenges whether public employee unions can charge non-members for fees related to collective bargaining.

The turmoil at the high school in the heart of Los Angeles’s port area began when Scotti announced in October 2014 he was leaving. Fearing that new leadership would dismantle successes, teachers voted to join UTLA. Under Scotti’s leadership, the school raised its test scores and started a career technical program with five pathways, including boat operations and Coast Guard certification and residential and commercial construction — jobs needed at the thriving Port of Los Angeles, which moves more cargo annually than any other port in the Western Hemisphere.

However, a month later, Scotti agreed to return to his post after negotiating with the school’s governing board to redefine his role, the Daily Breeze reported. As the teachers worked to hammer out their collective bargaining agreements, they say the union resisted adjusting their contract to the school’s unique needs even though assurances had been made before the teachers decided to join the union. That sparked a new drive, this time to leave.

A petition to decertify was filed more than a year ago, and during an election held by the Public Employee Relations Board, 32 out of 57 teachers, psychologists, and counselors voted to withdraw from the union.

“During bargaining and contract discussions, a majority of POLA’s teachers recognized that the unique ideals and practices of the school were not supported by UTLA,” the teachers said in a statement. “Teachers realized that UTLA policies would take precedence over POLA’s practices. Essentially, the decision-making process was no longer entirely under the teachers’ control. With UTLA on campus, teachers were pitted against administrators, yet both are essential in educating students.”

One teacher wrote in an email to his colleagues that was included as part of paperwork filed with the Public Employee Relations Board:

“There was talk of a hidden agenda by UTLA, that they didn’t really support charter schools, etc. The reason to push for decertification was NOT to banish all unions forever, but to give us a chance to find the one that fits the needs of our unique situation here at POLAHS. Many of us felt (and still do feel) that we jumped into bed with UTLA too abruptly (albeit understandably) because we had some major issues facing us (Scotti leaving the Board situation, etc.) but together we were stronger and a bold move had to be made. After the dust settled and there had been time for reflection, a split occurred.”

The decertification vote came as the union has worked aggressively for more than two years to sign up teachers at Alliance College-Ready Public Schools, LA’s largest charter management network. Alliance’s network spans 28 schools employing more than 660 teachers and counselors.

The union’s efforts to organize charter school teachers have come as membership has dwindled from 45,000 in 2008 to about 33,000. The union says it represents 900 charter school teachers, most of them at district schools that converted to charter status.

A UTLA official who declined to speak on the record because he was not authorized to do so said in both cases the Port of Los Angeles teachers and those at Alliance came to UTLA to unionize.

 

Assemblymember Carrillo Urges Trump to Rescind Decision Ending Temporary Protected Status for Salvadorans Preceding Assembly Delegation Mission to El Salvador

The Speaker of the Assembly and an Assemblywoman who represents illegal aliens have gone to El Salvador—which is Not in the district of either officeholder.  Instead, continuing the effort of Guv Brown to declare California a separate nation/State, they are working with their constituents, the people of El Salvador, to keep El Salvadorians in our nation on temporary visas—for close to twenty years.  They knew they had to return to their native country—now the Democrats want their votes—so California now has a policy against another aspect of the Federal immigration policy.

“As an immigrant from El Salvador, it’s my duty to shine light on President Trump’s misguided decision to end TPS,” said Assemblymember Carrillo. “HR 69 builds upon California’s commitment to protect our communities and the hardworking people in them. Our state is home to 49,000 Salvadorans and in just 18 months they could face removal from the U.S. and the inevitable split of thousands of families at a tragic human cost. I will continue fighting for solutions to find routes to permanent residency for Salvadorans.”

Carrillo made it clear—she is representing people from her native country, not the nation she now claims an oath of allegiance.  Did you really think Democrats want to represent honest Californians?  Another example of the Socialist/Democrat Party abusing the taxpayers of California.

In this photo taken Monday, Dec. 5, 2016, California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Paramount, third from left, flanked by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, right, and other Democratic lawmakers, discusses a pair of proposed measures to protect immigrants, during a news conference in Sacramento, Calif. California is among the states that voted for Hillary Clinton and that could find themselves at odds with President-elect Donald Trump on such issues as immigration, health care and climate change. Rendon said the intent of the legislation is to put a "firewall" around Californians. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Assemblymember Carrillo Urges Trump to Rescind Decision Ending Temporary Protected Status for Salvadorans Preceding Assembly Delegation Mission to El Salvador

 

Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo, 2/14/18

(Sacramento) – Today, Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo (D-Los Angeles) presented House Resolution (HR) 69 in the Assembly Committee on Judiciary. The measure, presented on the eve of an Assembly Delegation mission to El Salvador co-led by Carrillo, calls for the President to reverse his decision to terminate the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for El Salvador and urges him to work with Congress to find a legislative solution to establish permanent legal resident status for Salvadorans who were granted TPS.  HR 69 passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee on a 7 to 0 vote.

“As an immigrant from El Salvador, it’s my duty to shine light on President Trump’s misguided decision to end TPS,” said Assemblymember Carrillo. “HR 69 builds upon California’s commitment to protect our communities and the hardworking people in them. Our state is home to 49,000 Salvadorans and in just 18 months they could face removal from the U.S. and the inevitable split of thousands of families at a tragic human cost. I will continue fighting for solutions to find routes to permanent residency for Salvadorans.”

Forty nine thousand Salvadorans protected by TPS call California home. They participate in the labor force at a rate of 88% and 25% of them pay mortgages. The leading industries they work in are construction, restaurants, landscaping services, child day care services, and grocery stores. TPS beneficiaries contribute about $3.1 billion in gross domestic product to the United States and their removal will only serve to hurt our economy.

“The termination of TPS is devastating for the nearly 50,000 Salvadorans who have lived and worked in California for two decades, raising citizen children and contributing to our state’s prosperity,” said Martha Arevalo, Executive Director of the Central American Resource Center.  “HR 69 sends a powerful message from California that the Trump Administration’s decision is not based on conditions in El Salvador, where underdevelopment and violence persist. Once again, California legislators take the lead by standing with immigrant families.”

Tomorrow, Assemblymember Carrillo and Speaker Anthony Rendon will lead an Assembly delegation to El Salvador to promote sustained ties with the country, particularly in light of the federal administration’s attempts to disengage. HR 69 exemplifies California’s commitment to its Salvadoran residents and to El Salvador with which California shares deep historical and cultural bonds.

HR 69 now heads to the Assembly Floor for consideration.

 

Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian Urges Colleagues to Oppose Trump Administration

Santa Clara County is one of 3,000 in the nation.  It has among the highest taxes and costs of living.  You need to be really rich to live in a slum in this town.  They hate cars and the poor—but love illegal aliens, drugs and making lots of money.  It is also a non union town, at least the tech firms hate unions.  Now a former Democrat Assemblyman, now a Supervisor, wants the County to take to the front lines and use its resources to fight President Donald Trump, fight tax cuts and a great economy.  Joe also wants it clear, he does not care if ISIS is defeated, as long as Trump is in the White House, he has little problem with terrorism.

“Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors President Joe Simitian turned the annual State of the County address on Tuesday into a rallying cry against President Trump’s harmful agenda and divisive rhetoric.

In keeping with the theme of the speech, “Partnership and Progress,” Simitian called on the county to “stand up, speak up and push back” on a number of Trump’s initiatives.

The newly appointed board president stressed the importance of supporting Dreamers—that is, recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an Obama-era policy that protects undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from deportation. Simitian reminded the audience that the county sued the Trump administration last fall over its attempt to reverse those protections.”

In reality, like other Democrats, they demand low cost labor, labor that can be exploited by the tech firms and other large corporations.  Why do Democrats abuse illegal aliens?  Because they can.  Now Santa Clara is going on record to enslave illegal aliens—makes you proud to be a Democrat.

US Vice President Mike Pence (L) and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R) applaud as US President Donald J. Trump (C) arrives to deliver his first address to a joint session of Congress from the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington, DC, USA, 28 February 2017.  / AFP / POOL / JIM LO SCALZO        (Photo credit should read JIM LO SCALZO/AFP/Getty Images)

Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian Urges Colleagues to Oppose Trump Administration

By Stephen Perez. SanJoseInside,  2/7/18

“It gives me no pleasure to use the resources of one level of government to bring suit against another,” Simitian said. “But in the current circumstances, the courts are often our last best hope.”

Simitian offered little in the way of specifics about how the county will continue its efforts to protect undocumented immigrants, but repeatedly acknowledged their struggle and their importance to the community.

“Here in the center of Silicon Valley, our county boasts an economy that is the envy of the nation” Simitian said.

He noted that almost 40 percent of the region is foreign born, a point he believes is “not a matter of coincidence.”

Simitian followed his message of resistance with a call for progress, outlining a long list of priorities that elicited applause from the audience. He said the county needs to boost the number of jobs with livable wages, combat homelessness, provide “healthcare for all” and improve public transportation.

“[The county needs] transit that takes us from where we are to where we want to go, and back again—quickly, safely, affordably and reliably,” he said.

Simitian touted his affordable housing credentials, too, noting that the county prevented the displacement of 400 low-income residents by stepping in to preserve the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park in Palo Alto last year.

“I highlight the Buena Vista today not as a history lesson,” he said, “but as a lesson for the future—that partnerships are key to the progress we must make.”

A more recent board action to allocate $8 million for all-inclusive playgrounds made it into Simitian’s speech as well. He thanked his colleague, Supervisor Cindy Chavez, for her help securing that funding for six parks throughout the region.

While politics remain polarizing on the national level, Simitian said, local governments can continue to foster productive partnerships.

“Such partnerships … require all of us …  to reject the divisiveness of what currently passes for political dialogue in the nation,” he said.

“A week ago the President of the United States firmly declared that, ‘The state of our union is strong because our people are strong.’ I agree,” Simitian said. “And at the local level, the state of our county is strong because our people are strong. All of our people.”

Below is a copy of the State of the County address in its entirety.

A year ago, when my colleague Supervisor Cortese stood at this podium to deliver his State of the County, we really couldn’t know what the future would look like. We had a new congress, a new administration. We couldn’t help but wonder.

Whatever our hopes or our fears. Our aspirations or our anxieties. We could only wonder; but we really couldn’t know.

Well, now we know.

We know that the 1.9 million people who call this county home, and the County government that is here to serve them, are too often at odds with the current administration and Congress.

The question now, the question we must all ask and answer is, how do we respond?

How do we respond when confronted with views and values we find abhorrent?

How do we respond when we are asked to acquiesce or feign agreement?

How do we respond when national “leaders” countenance conduct and comments that deserve our condemnation?

To use the language of the day, we have to resist. We have to stand up, speak out and push back.

As we have; and as we will.

We’ve spoken up with no false hope that decision makers in D.C. are waiting with baited breath to hear what we have to say.

Nevertheless, we’ve spoken up in the absolute conviction that if we add our voice to a chorus of others, then eventually we will be heard.

And we have done so, not just as individual elected officials, but as a County organization — united more often than not by a unanimous view that we are obliged to act on behalf of our residents when what we hear

from our nation’s capital either impedes our ability to serve the public, or presents a direct threat to the well-being of our residents — or both. This is as it should be.

Now, if you say our first obligation is to effectively manage the $6.5 billion dollar enterprise that is County government, well, I would agree.

If you argue that rhetoric and resolutions alone will not make a better nation, or even a better county, I’d say I think you’re right.

And if you suggest that we have to get past the partisanship and personality politics that are hobbling us at the national level, I’d say “I’m with you.”

But we find ourselves at a time unlike any other —and so, necessarily, we are obliged to respond in ways unlike other times.

Our County is determined to stand up, speak up and push back because we believe that it is in the interest of the 1.9 million people who call Santa Clara County home for us to do so.

That’s why we push back.

That’s why we push back on the Muslim ban.

We push back on efforts to gut the Clean Power Plan.

We push back on efforts to abandon our Dreamers.

We push back on efforts to undermine Net Neutrality.

We push back on partisan gerrymandering.

We push back on punitive efforts to withhold federal funding rightfully belonging to our county and its residents.

We push back on efforts to limit family planning and access to contraception.

We push back on these and a host of other actions — not to “make a statement,” but to serve a purpose.

We’ve pushed back and spoken up, fully realizing that neither the current administration nor the Congress is likely to provide much relief. And so, we’ve turned to the courts. Not as a matter of choice, but as a matter of necessity.

If regulatory comment is the proper course, we comment.

If litigation is required, we’re on it.

If a friend of the court filing is called for, well, no one is friendlier than Santa Clara County.

Now let me be clear on this. It gives me no pleasure to use the resources of one level of government to bring suit against another. But in the current circumstances, the courts are often our last best hope.

We should be thankful for an independent judiciary; and, by the way, for a County Counsel’s office that represents us so ably in that arena.

But resistance alone is not enough. Holding the line is not enough. Manning the barricades is not enough. Our work is too important. The need is too great. And our potential too vast to squander.

So yes, we will resist, because we are obliged to. But our constituents demand more than resistance. They want progress, and they deserve it. All of us do. We want progress on a dozen and one fronts.

We want progress on creating and sustaining economic opportunity — not just for some, but for all. Decent jobs, a livable wage, a middle class life, and a shot at something more.

We want progress on criminal justice — we want a system that deters crime, keeps us safe, delivers just punishment, and rehabilitates rather than recycles those who are incarcerated. And we expect that system of justice to respect the community it serves — with due process, privacy protections and use of force only as needed.

We want progress on the challenge of homelessness — and we rightfully wonder why, in one of the richest places on the planet, we still have 7,000 people on the streets every night.

We want progress on the environment— on every possible front. Development that is wise and well managed — complemented by parks and open spaces that provide opportunities for contemplation, recreation and inspiration. Places of solitude, and places of joyous laughter. Places that serve as habitat, that offer elbow room for all.

And energy sources that look to the future — clean and green and renewable — mindful of the obligation each and all of us have to address the issue of climate change here on our own little piece of the planet.

We want progress for our families, however defined, whatever their makeup. For the children who are this Valley’s future, and the seniors who represent the accumulated work and wisdom of prior generations.

We want progress on health care, healthcare for all — a notion so basic we are constantly surprised to hear it described as anything other than a fundamental right — and constantly alarmed by the roller coaster ride we’re on nationally with respect to health care.

We want progress on mental health — to push away the stigma — to confront mental health issues for what they are: health care issues — and to respond accordingly. Across all ages, all incomes and all populations — with a particular commitment to address the tragedy of young lives lost.

We want progress on traffic. Roads that work. Highways that move. Transit that takes us from where we are to where we want to go, and back again. Quickly, safely, affordably and reliably. It’s hard to enjoy our great quality of life in the parking lot we call 101.

We want progress on housing. In part to create more diverse and inclusive communities — but also because an adequate supply of affordable housing is indispensable to our economy, essential to solving our traffic woes, and, by the way, integral to our safety and security — because if the folks who actually make this Valley work on a daily basis aren’t here for us in the event of a crisis or calamity — well then, the rest of us will quite literally have to fend for ourselves.

And because we cannot truly call ourselves a place of opportunity if there is no place, no space, for those who would be our neighbors.

We want a County government that gets the job done while making careful use of taxpayer dollars — with efficiency, effectiveness and accountability. A County government that’s ahead of the curve, preparing and planning for a changing future.

And as ambitious as it may sound, we want progress in creating communities where ‘unity in diversity’ is real— where none of us — none of us — is disrespected, discriminated against, or marginalized by virtue of race or religion, age or ethnicity; gender, class, or sexual orientation. Where each of us is valued for the good we bring to our common endeavor, and the whole really is more than the sum of its parts.

Because we create community from the ground up. Because here in Santa Clara County we pull together, even as others would pull us apart.

Because we can forge a sense of shared purpose, a common understanding, even as we respect and reflect the diversity of this county’s residents.

We want all this, and it is within our reach; but it will take work. Lots and lots of work.

So resistance alone will not be enough. We can’t accept a year—or two—or four—or more—without progress on all these fronts. We have work to be done, and notwithstanding the unprecedented political and institutional challenges we face, we must do it. Even as we resist, we must make progress.

And if we work together in partnership with one another—there really is no limit to the progress we can make. While there are certainly limits to the progress any one organization can achieve — even one as large as our County — when we partner, then the potential for progress is truly without limit.

Which is why I am so glad that Erika Escalante could be here today. To remind us of the power of partnerships.

As Erika noted a few minutes ago, there was a time — just a few years ago — when 400 residents at the Buena Vista thought there was no hope—when any objective observer would correctly conclude that none of us had it within our power to make progress on a seemingly intractable issue.

And then we here at the County began to work in partnership with others. Our role in the partnership to “Save the Buena Vista” began right here when Supervisor Cortese and I partnered in drafting a memo to our Board, and our colleagues expressed their immediate willingness to take the lead in an effort to acquire and improve the Buena Vista.

And then, there were so many others who saw that in partnership we could do together what none of us could do alone:

  • The City of Palo Alto, whose City Council unanimously agreed to match the County’s funding commitment;
  • Our indispensable third partner in the effort to acquire and improve the Buena Vista, the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Clara;
  • Caritas, the California-based nonprofit, experienced and skilled at preserving affordable mobile home communities, who reached out to us in the early days of our effort, and who is now under contract to actively manage the new Buena Vista;
  • Our Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, State Senator Jerry Hill and former State Assemblyman Rich Gordon, all of whom lent their support, and helped with the search for funding;
  • Two dozen former Mayors and City Council members from Palo Alto who spoke out in support of the effort to save the Buena Vista;
  • Eighteen local school board members (past and present) who likewise expressed their support;
  • More than 500 community members who rallied at Palo Alto City Hall to show their support for their Buena Vista neighbors;
  • Our local news media, including the Mercury News, the Palo Alto Weekly, and the Daily Post, all of which lent their editorial support;
  • The Palo Alto Council of PTAs, and the 6th District PTA — representing PTA councils throughout our county and beyond;
  • The many non-profits who stepped forward to offer support, including the Asian Law Alliance, Neighborhood Housing Services, the Housing Trust Silicon Valley, Working Partnerships, TransForm, the League of Women Voters Palo Alto and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, among others;
  • The Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, who represented the residents throughout their ordeal;
  • The aptly named Friends of Buena Vista; and, of course,
  • The residents themselves, represented by the Buena Vista Residents Association.

So many good folks who came together and partnered with our County:

  • Partnered to prevent the loss of 117 units of desperately needed affordable housing;
  • Partnered to prevent the eviction of more than 400 of our neighbors; and,
  • Partnered to make sure that the park’s previous owner received full and fair market value upon sale of the property.

What happened at the Buena Vista happened only because of a remarkable and wide-ranging partnership.

Now, I highlight the Buena Vista today not as a history lesson — but as a lesson for the future — that partnerships are key to the progress we must make.

When Supervisor Chavez and I brought forward a proposal to provide partial funding for all-inclusive playgrounds throughout the County, serving children and families with and without disabilities, we were hoping to build — literally and figuratively — we were hoping to build on partnerships already begun by the Rotary PlayGarden in San Jose and the Magical Bridge in Palo Alto.

And now we have.

With the grants approved just two weeks ago, our County will be partnering in a half dozen neighborhoods, up and down the County, partnering with four cities, a school district, a non-profit, generous donors (including our local businesses), and community volunteers—all to the benefit of kids and their families—in numbers beyond count, for decades to come.

And we’ll be pursuing these initial partnerships in the hope that the number of such partnerships will grow—not just here in our County, but across the region, the state and the nation.

Similarly, when Supervisor Wasserman and I approached our colleagues about the challenges of senior transportation in the West Valley—we knew that partnerships were the essential ingredient.

Funding from five different cities — cutting across three supervisorial districts — along with financial support from our County and the Valley Transportation Authority was the necessary precondition for RYDE (Reach Your Destination Easily).

A senior mobility program serving older adults in Campbell, Cupertino, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno and Saratoga. With two established and well regarded non-profits — the Saratoga Senior Center and West Valley Community Services — providing the local know-how, leadership and volunteers necessary to actually deliver the service.

And when Supervisor Yeager and I pushed for funding for a public health nurse assigned to oversee the provision of psychotropic medication for our foster youth, we were partnering with a separate and independent branch of government—our local judiciary—because we knew that we needed to partner if we were going to stop the over reliance on drugs for “managing” the kids in our system.

The press reported the problem. Supervisor Yeager scheduled the hearing. The Courts expressed their need. And our Board stepped in to do its part. That’s how partnerships are formed.

Such partnerships, of course, require all of us, each of us, to reject the divisiveness of what currently passes for political dialogue in the nation—and to work in partnership with any and all who share our commitment to find common ground in the name of progress. And so we will.

Our County will partner with business and labor, who too often forget that they need each other.

We’ll partner with other levels of government — including the 15 cities and towns in this county whose residents are our own.

We’ll partner with this county’s rich panoply of non-profits—too often overlooked and underappreciated.

They’re our secret weapon. Close to the ground, and often more nimble than government in seeing and responding to changed conditions.

We’ll partner with our schools and our colleges and our universities.

We’ll partner with all the good people of this county, whoever they are, whatever they look like, and wherever they came from. All will be included in the partnerships we forge and the progress we make.

We will include them as a matter of fundamental fairness.

We will include them because our decision making will be better when we have the benefit of their diverse views, values, backgrounds and experience.

And we will include them, quite frankly, as a matter of self- interest. Because given the challenges we face, we can’t afford to waste the talent that our more recent arrivals represent.

While the divisiveness over immigration rages on in D.C., let me offer a pair of observations:

My first observation is economic. Ours is a region rightly renowned as a center of innovation and entrepreneurship. Here in the center of Silicon Valley our County boasts an economy that is the envy of the nation.

The second observation is demographic: Almost 40 percent of the population in Santa Clara County is foreign born. They’re immigrants.

Now, let me connect the dots. Santa Clara County is a county of immigrants and a county of prosperity. This is not a matter of coincidence.

And yet, on a daily basis we are subjected to the suggestion that a foreign born friend or neighbor, a classmate or a colleague, is somehow not one of us. They’re different. They’re scary. They’re “the other.”

I have to tell you, I look out in our chambers today and I see no “other.” I see only partners — past, present, and most importantly, partners for the future, partners in progress for the coming year, and in all the years ahead.

A week ago the President of the United States firmly declared that, “… the state of our union is strong because our people are strong.” I agree.

And at the local level, the state of our county is strong because our people are strong. All of our people.

Now, I have purposefully eschewed the opportunity today to offer a personal agenda for the coming year.

It’s not because I don’t have individual plans or ambitions for the year ahead. Of course I do.

I have a “to do list” as long as your arm—longer, in fact. So do my colleagues. So do the community leaders and advocates who have joined us here today. So do we all.

But I want the conversation we begin today to be about something more than any individual Supervisor’s individual ambitions.

I want it to be about the work we can do together as partners.

The work any one of us does on our Board can only be done in partnership with our colleagues — and with our staff. To actually deliver results we rely on the very capable people seated behind me, our Board appointed officials; and another 20,000 or so capable and caring County employees who do the hard work that is county government.

We’ll need their help to foster these partnerships — within our own organization and out in the community. In a large organization partnership doesn’t always come naturally.

And of course, I want to partner with all of you.

As the year unfolds you’ll hear me return again and again to these two themes: partnership and progress. Because I’m confident that however tumultuous the scene may be at the state or national level, progress can be made — will be made — by good people partnering with one another to make progress for us all.

So let’s make 2018 a year of partnership and progress. In fact, let’s make partnership and progress the hallmark of all the years to come.

We have so much to do. So let’s get to it.

Walters: Cities should fess up about taxes and pensions

CalPERS is claiming that for the first time in years, equity income puts the agency in the black.  Why do they have to lie about the financial status of the collapsing agency?  If true, why did they increase mandatory donations in 2018 by 19%.  If true, why are they doubling mandatory contributions by 100% over a five year period?  Why do they believe Californians are stupid?

“Three blocks from the Capitol, in Sacramento’s city hall, Mayor Darrell Steinberg – a former leader of the state Senate – and other officials are seeing pension costs skyrocket.

“Over the past nine years, the city’s pension expense has increased by 28 percent or $14.5 million,” says a passage in the city’s 2017-18 budget. “Over the next eight years, the city’s pension cost is expected to more than double what is currently paid.”

Even the radical city of Sacramento understands that CalPERS is the real danger to the people of this city.  When will Brown and his Socialist/Democrat friends reform the failing system?  Could it be that they do not care?  Lack of action by them makes that conclusion the only one for rational people to believe.

Taxes

Commentary: Cities should fess up about taxes and pensions

By Dan Walters, CalMatters,  2/11/18

 

California’s political leaders don’t have to look very far to find a stark example of the pension cost crisis facing the state’s 482 cities.

Three blocks from the Capitol, in Sacramento’s city hall, Mayor Darrell Steinberg – a former leader of the state Senate – and other officials are seeing pension costs skyrocket.

“Over the past nine years, the city’s pension expense has increased by 28 percent or $14.5 million,” says a passage in the city’s 2017-18 budget. “Over the next eight years, the city’s pension cost is expected to more than double what is currently paid.”

The California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), which handles pensions for virtually all Sacramento city employees, says in its most recent “actuarial evaluations” that the city’s costs will rise from $92.8 million in 2018-19 to $159.4 million by 2024-25, a $66.6 million increase.

Keep that number in mind, because it bears an uncanny resemblance to another figure.

Immediately after explaining the rising pension costs, the city’s budget talks about Measure U, a half-cent increase in the sales tax that city voters approved in 2012 and that will expire next year.

Based on current retail sales activity in the city – $6.4 billion in 2016, the last year for which complete data are available – the half-cent tax now generates about $32 million a year, mostly dedicated to police and fire services.

City officials not only want to ask voters to renew that tax, but Mayor Steinberg and other officials may ask them to double it to a full cent, which would raise at least $66 million a year as taxable sales rise.

Sound familiar? It’s very close to the projected increase in the city’s annual pension costs, driven primarily by those for police officers and firefighters. By 2024, CalPERS projects, Sacramento will be paying 61 cents into the pension fund for every dollar of police and fire salaries, up from 43 cents in 2018-19. For non-safety “miscellaneous” employees, payments will rise from 19 cents per $1 of payroll to nearly 28 cents.

Of course, rising pension costs aren’t being mentioned as a reason why the city may be asking its voters to pay more taxes.

During his State of the City address in January, Steinberg talked about creating a multibillion-dollar fund to pay for infrastructure, affordable housing, cultural amenities and incentives to attract new business.

“With more capital, we can direct and lead more of the change we want to see,” Steinberg said.

He said money for the new city improvement fund would come from a new tax and/or sale of unneeded city property.

Facts, however, are facts.

CalPERS is making ever-increasing demands on Sacramento and other local governments for more money to prop up its trust fund, which has scarcely two-thirds of the money it needs to meet current pension promises.

The City of Sacramento’s two CalPERS accounts are similarly short, with the police/fire system just 66.5 percent funded and the one for other employees only slightly better at 70.8 percent, its actuarial statements say.

Renewal of Sacramento’s expiring half-cent tax would cover perhaps half of the projected increase in annual pension costs, but crowd out other services the tax now finances. Were voters to double it to a full cent, virtually every new dollar it generated would be needed to pay increased CalPERS demands.

Asking voters to raise taxes for popular services without mentioning rising pension costs has become a common tactic in California’s cities.

The League of California Cities has raised the alarm about “unsustainable levels” of pension costs. Isn’t it time for the cities themselves to be truthful when they ask voters for new taxes? And isn’t Sacramento the right place to begin the truth-telling?

 

Mayor Garcetti Breaks His Promise! 40% of LA’s Streets have ‘D’ or ‘F’ Rating!

Eric Garcetti is a Socialist/Democrat.  Why would anyone believe a thing he says—he is into government power, control of businesses and families, not honesty and freedom.

“–One of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Back to Basics Priority Outcomes was the repair our streets.  But after almost five years as Mayor, very little progress has been made as “nearly 40% of our City streets have a D or F rating and more than 8,700 miles of streets in the City need rehabilitation” according to a recent motion filed by Councilmen Mitch Englander and Joe Buscaino.

The estimated cost to repair our failed streets is in the range of $3 to $4 billion.  Under the Englander/Buscaino plan, the City would issue long term bonds to finance the accelerated repair of our failed streets.  And rather than raising our sales tax by a half cent as was considered in 2014, the City would service the debt with the money received from its share of the newly instituted State gas tax (Senate Bill 1 (SB1) was passed in April 2017) and the Local Return revenues associated with Measure M, the recent half cent increase in our sales tax to fund Metro’s operating losses and capital expenditure program.”

After five years in office, where is the Garcetti Plan?  Importantly, since he is running for President in 2020, does he still have time to administer the city?  Does he want to be Mayor or is it just a stepping stone for another office?  Drive the streets of L.A. if you like gridlock and potholes—Los Angeles has been rated as having the worst streets in the nation.  Garcetti has worked hard to keep that title.

Photo courtesy of Eric Garcetti, Flickr.

Mayor Breaks His Promise! 40% of LA’s Streets have ‘D’ or ‘F’ Rating!

Jack Humphreville, City Watch LA,  2/12/18

LA WATCHDOG–One of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Back to Basics Priority Outcomes was the repair our streets.  But after almost five years as Mayor, very little progress has been made as “nearly 40% of our City streets have a D or F rating and more than 8,700 miles of streets in the City need rehabilitation” according to a recent motion filed by Councilmen Mitch Englander and Joe Buscaino.

With this motion, Englander and Buscaino have requested that the Chief Legislative Analyst and the City Administrative Officer prepare a report on how the City can expedite the repair of our failed streets in time for the 2028 Olympics.

The estimated cost to repair our failed streets is in the range of $3 to $4 billion.  Under the Englander/Buscaino plan, the City would issue long term bonds to finance the accelerated repair of our failed streets.  And rather than raising our sales tax by a half cent as was considered in 2014, the City would service the debt with the money received from its share of the newly instituted State gas tax (Senate Bill 1 (SB1) was passed in April 2017) and the Local Return revenues associated with Measure M, the recent half cent increase in our sales tax to fund Metro’s operating losses and capital expenditure program.

The City’s share of these two new taxes is estimated to be in the range of $100 to $150 million a year.  These funds would support anywhere from $1.5 to $3 billion of Street Repair Bonds, depending on the interest rate and the maturity of the bonds.

While Englander and Buscaino are citing the Olympics as the reason to repair our failed streets, the truth is that the health of our economy is dependent on an excellent transportation system.  As such, we cannot rely on the Mayor’s failed sound bite strategy of just maintaining our A, B, and C streets, filling potholes, and neglecting our failed streets.

But more importantly, by developing a strategy where these new transportation related revenues are directed to the repayment of the Street Repair Bonds, the Mayor and the City Council will not be able to divert this money to the General Fund to help cover the budget deficit caused by unsupportable raises for city employees and the ever increasing pension contributions mandated by the need to pay for the unfunded pension liability of $15 billion.

Unfortunately, the City has a history of diverting funds from their intended uses, whether it is from the Solid Waste and Sewer Fees that are part of our bimonthly bill from the Department of Water and Power, the Local Return revenues from Metro pursuant to Proposition A, Proposition C, and Measure R, or the Special Parking Revenue Fund.  Now the City is licking its chops as it prepares to chow down on a portion of the new linkage fees destined to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, of the fees associated with the Garcetti Exclusive Trash Franchise, and of the pot tax.

Englander and Buscaino deserve credit for once again pursuing the repair of our lunar cratered streets.  But first they must protect the funds from the SB1 State gas tax and the Measure M Local Return revenue from the Mayor, the City Council, and the campaign funding leaders of the City’s public sector unions.  Otherwise, our lunar cratered streets will not be repaired and Garcetti’s Back to Basics promises will be just another broken campaign promise.

(Jack Humphreville writes LA Watchdog for CityWatch. He is the President of the DWP Advocacy Committee and is the Budget and DWP representative for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council.  He is a Neighborhood Council Budget Advocate.  

 

Mentors Under Siege: California’s 5,000 Illegal Alien DACA Teachers

A classroom teacher is supposed to be a moral and ethical leader as well as an educator.  They are to explain why we live by rules, how to change the rules and why it is important not to break the law.  In California, we have 5,000 lawbreakers as teachers.  They are able to tell students that following the rules and laws are for fools.  Instead of reverence for the law—they tech, by their actions, that only fools follow the law.

“For a melting pot like California, his story is far from unique. Of the state’s roughly 223,000 DACA recipients, an estimated 5,000 are working teachers, according to the Migration Policy Institute, a Washington think tank. But with a March 5 deadline looming, California’s DACA teachers may soon find themselves locked out of jobs and careers.

Trump has lately rejected bipartisan immigration compromises that would have granted eventual citizenship to young immigrants like Aguilar, but which didn’t provide any funding for the president’s proposed border wall, or include White House demands for the termination of the current visa diversity lottery and deep cuts to the country’s traditional family reunification priorities.”

The comments about Trump are a lie, of course.  The Democrats wanted to give amnesty to 800,000 illegal aliens—Trump wants to give it to 1.8 million.  Why do the Democrats and protectors of criminals from foreign countries have to lie?  Because they still believe some will believe their lies.

Do you want law breakers as a teacher for your child?  In California 5,000 classrooms have law breakers teaching.  Sad.

Maria Ortiz, at left, a Mexican immigrant has been living in the United States for 23 years. "I am single. I work so hard to stay. I never needed support from the government," Ortiz said. She is not a citizen and works as a janitor, she said during an immigration protest outside Rep. Ed Royce's office in Brea. ///ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:   – MINDY SCHAUER, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER – Shot 111713 – immig.fast.11.19 Advocates for immigration reform will camp our near the office of Rep. Ed Royce for five days, where they will stage a fast.  They are asking OC's Republican leaders in Congress to publicly support an overhaul to the nation's immigration laws, including the so-called pathway to citizenship that would create a process for some 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally the right to become citizens.

Mentors Under Siege: California’s DACA Teachers

Of California’s roughly 223,000 DACA recipients, an estimated 5,000 are working teachers, according to the Migration Policy Institute, a Washington think tank.

Bill Raden, Capital and Main,  2/8/18

 

“I don’t understand why they’re trying to kick us out and recruiting people with our same qualifications when we’re already here.”
— San Bernardino math teacher

“Students were crying,” says Cristian Aguilar, recalling the Wednesday after Election Day, 2016. “Parents were calling me; there was just a lot of tension, a lot of emotions. … Because whether or not they were born here, they still felt threatened. They knew someone — either their families, their friends or their neighbors — that were [going to be] affected.” The man who had famously launched his candidacy by slurring America’s Latino immigrants was now the president-elect.

Most of all, the students of San Jose’s nearly 80 percent Latino Hoover Middle School were acutely aware that if Donald Trump made good on his threats to revoke DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), Aguilar, their 25-year-old public school teacher, would soon again be living under the murky cloud of deportation. Ironically, he had long made it a point to share his own immigration tale with his kids as a means of inspiring them and to connect with their families.

For a melting pot like California, his story is far from unique. Of the state’s roughly 223,000 DACA recipients, an estimated 5,000 are working teachers, according to the Migration Policy Institute, a Washington think tank. But with a March 5 deadline looming, California’s DACA teachers may soon find themselves locked out of jobs and careers.

Trump has lately rejected bipartisan immigration compromises that would have granted eventual citizenship to young immigrants like Aguilar, but which didn’t provide any funding for the president’s proposed border wall, or include White House demands for the termination of the current visa diversity lottery and deep cuts to the country’s traditional family reunification priorities.

“[Trump] wants to decrease legal immigration by about half, which is not something that’s ever been done in our country’s history,” pointed out California Sate University, Los Angeles anthropology professor Beth Baker, who specializes in immigration. “That’s very disconcerting, particularly because immigrants are really the motor of the economy.”

But for California’s DACA educators, losing their right to teach would be a crippling setback to a public school system in the throes of a chronic teacher shortage and in which one in eight school children have an undocumented parent. It would also mark a bitter reversal to what has been a quintessentially American odyssey of immigrant resolve and aspiration. Here are three of those 5,000 DACA teacher stories.

The Organizer

Aguilar was 10 when he crossed the border from Mexico with a brother in order to join his parents, who had been drawn here by the promise of a better life. Despite growing up without the legal rights and expectations taken for granted by birthright Americans, he quickly distinguished himself as a math prodigy after a bilingual teacher recognized his ability and tutored him, in Spanish, after school.

“It wasn’t until junior and senior year that I really found out what that meant, being undocumented,” he recalled. “Not being able to drive; not being able to apply for financial aid when it came to college applications. … I started noticing the discrepancies between my peers’ and my education.”

Despite having the grades and being accepted by California State University, Stanford University and the University of California, he settled for De Anza, a two-year community college in neighboring Cupertino. That’s when fate and Sacramento Democrats intervened with the introduction of 2011’s California Dream Act, which extended state financial aid to undocumented students at public universities and colleges. As battle lines formed over the contentious measure, Aguilar threw himself into the political fight, organizing students throughout Northern California as part of a campus immigrant-rights group that also lobbied the legislature.

Though the new law paved his way into UC Berkeley, it was the 2012 implementation of DACA by the Obama administration and Aguilar’s winning of temporary legal status that enabled him to set his sights on giving back to his community: “That’s when I knew I wanted to be there for students, especially other students of color, who have been marginalized and who have been under-represented for so long. Knowing [first-hand] the difficulty of being part of an educational system that really pushed us out — students who ‘don’t belong.’”

The Object Lesson

Ever since being brought from Mexico as a young child to Southern California by a mother determined to leave behind a nightmarish marriage and secure the best possible future for her daughter, Elysa Chavez (her real name has been withheld at her request), a third-year DACA high school math teacher in San Bernardino County, has been preparing for the best but girding for the worst.

“I can’t even believe that this is happening,” Chavez said of the immigration impasse. “The administration talks about getting rid of chain migration and bringing in people based on their merits and degrees, and the basic language — but I have a degree in math, which not a lot of people like. I teach math in a low-income community. I have a master’s degree. I speak the language. I pay my taxes. Everything that Trump is looking for, [DACA teachers] have. I don’t understand why they’re trying to kick us out and recruiting people with our same qualifications when we’re already here.”

She is not alone. In the months since Donald Trump announced the elimination of DACA and began threatening to abandon its recipients, Chavez has seen a pall of fear fall over her school’s 85 percent Hispanic students, particularly among the freshman and even some sophomores, who were too young to make DACA’s 15-year-old age threshold before it was canceled.

“What I have seen is students that are reluctant to share that they’re undocumented, when a couple of years back it wasn’t such a big deal,” she explained.

To offer them hope and encourage them to open up, Chavez tells them her own up-by-her-bootstraps story of attending Cal Poly Pomona at a time when there was no DACA or chance of a teaching career, or even financial aid for undocumented college hopefuls. (Chavez graduated just before DACA came online.)

“It’s tough, but it’s something that can be done,” she asserted. “So whenever they have questions, they come and they ask me. I have a feeling that I comfort them, but they do the opposite for me. They just make me worried, because I’m like, ‘Oh my goodness, what’s going to happen with them, and are they going to see education as something that is valuable?’ Because I have a feeling that they might think, ‘What’s the point of me getting good grades if at the end of the day I might get deported?’”

The Activist

Like many California DACA teachers, 25-year-old Angelica Reyes, who is a first-year Advanced Placement history teacher in South Los Angeles, traces her decision to become an educator to the inspiration provided by her own high school history teacher.

“I grew up in East L.A. and I saw a lot of disparities, both in the education that we were receiving, but also in huge wealth inequity,” she remembered. “This teacher used to engage me in a lot of really interesting conversations and challenged me to go beyond just inquiring, to try to change something in my community. So, I was involved in the project that brought in a grocery store to the community.”

Reyes said this campaign transformed the way that she saw herself and her relationship to the community. “I felt like the best way to make folks feel empowered and like they mattered was through education.”

So, that’s what she did. She was at Pasadena City College when she received DACA protections soon after the program came into being. That enabled her to do what had previously been unthinkable: complete both her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Los Angeles and enter a master’s program in UCLA’s school of education.

“There wasn’t ever a question in my mind of whether I was going to go to college,” she recalled. “I knew that I was going to be more … My mom would always remind me that folks who have an education have more power, more agency and they’re able to better advocate for themselves and for folks like them. Of course, I was worried about not being able to work in the field that I’ve chosen, but that’s still a fear today.”

It hit home in September with Trump’s decision to rescind DACA. Like the other teachers in this story, Reyes came to school that day to find her kids terrified both for her sake and by the specter of the uncertainty and instability it would bring if she were removed as their teacher.

“That day,” she remembered, “it was a lot of validating their existence, their feelings, and also making sure that they understood that DACA in the first place wasn’t something that was granted to us. It’s something that a lot of folks fought for, and that’s where our communities get their power from, from advocacy and from grassroots organizing. I let them know that our federal government is very strong, but our communities are strong, too, when we come together. We can stop deportation.”

California AG Threatens to Sue if Trump Administration Places Citizenship Question on Census

Xavier Beccera is clear—he is the Attorney General for the WORLD, not for Californians.  He is about to sue President Trump for the “outrage” of asking on the census if a person is a citizen of the United States.  He considers such a question worse than asking if they are law breakers, pedophiles or part of the drug cartels—I bet he would have no problem with those questions!

“Becerra is part of a coalition of 19 attorneys general who fighting against inclusion of a citizenship. They sent a letter to U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Monday, in which Becerra described counting everyone, citizen or not, as a “sacred responsibility.” He wrote:

What the Trump Administration is requesting is not just alarming, it is illegal. The Constitution requires that, every 10 years, we accurately count every person in our country, regardless of citizenship status. This is a sacred responsibility. It determines how many Congressional seats each state receives and how billions of dollars in federal funds are distributed. At the local level, it should also produce an accurate population count that our communities can rely on to identify the need for critical services such as disaster relief, infrastructure, public health, and police and fire protection.

The letter is clear—Becerra wants to abuse the taxpayer, forcing honest folks to finance the lives and lifestyles of illegal aliens.  Obviously he is more concerned about law breakers than American citizens.  Of course he is a Democrat—the party of lawbreakers and protectors of criminals.

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California AG Threatens to Sue if Trump Administration Places Citizenship Question on Census

 

by AWR Hawkins, Breitbart CA,  2/13/18

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is threatening to sue if the Trump administration includes a question regarding citizenship on the 2020 census.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Becerra worries citizenship questions will dissuade some California residents from taking the census, thereby under-representing themselves and running the risk of a loss of federal funding for certain parts of the state.

Becerra is part of a coalition of 19 attorneys general who fighting against inclusion of a citizenship. They sent a letter to U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Monday, in which Becerra described counting everyone, citizen or not, as a “sacred responsibility.” He wrote:

What the Trump Administration is requesting is not just alarming, it is illegal. The Constitution requires that, every 10 years, we accurately count every person in our country, regardless of citizenship status. This is a sacred responsibility. It determines how many Congressional seats each state receives and how billions of dollars in federal funds are distributed. At the local level, it should also produce an accurate population count that our communities can rely on to identify the need for critical services such as disaster relief, infrastructure, public health, and police and fire protection.

Becarra continued:

The California Department of Justice is putting President Trump on notice: if a citizenship question is added to the 2020 U.S. Census Bureau questionnaire, we are prepared to take any and all necessary legal action to protect a full and accurate Census. This is clearly an attempt to bully and discourage our immigrant communities from participating in the 2020 Census count. We also call on Congress to fully and immediately fund preparations for the 2020 Census. California simply has too much to lose for us to allow the Trump Administration to botch this important decennial obligation.

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla added, “We will not sit idly by while this administration undermines yet another pillar of our democracy.”

KPBS Boss Urges Congress to Shun Cuts and Public to Speak Up

KPBS is a radio station financed by the taxpayers of America.  The people of Miami are forced to pay taxes so the people of San Diego get to hear one side of an issue.  My guess is that there is a similar station in Miami that promotes the Fake News outlets like CNN and MSNBC—one sided and not on the side of freedom.  After all they are financed by taxpayers not he market place.

“Tom Karlo, a member of the Public Broadcasting Service board of directors, says KPBS and others at the San Diego State-based outlet “will continue talking with our members of Congress and remind them that investment in public media is an investment in children’s educational, cultural, public affairs and news programming, digital classroom resources, teacher training and distance learning.”

On Tuesday, he called such funding — $450 million a year threatened with near elimination by President Trump’s fiscal 2019 budget plan — “an investment in the people of the United States.”

Investment?  Is this the role of government to act like Radio Moscow and provide the news?  We have dozens of cable TV stations, lots of radio shows, the Internet, blogs and privately owned magazines and newspapers.  Why do we need to finance a government radio station?

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KPBS Boss Urges Congress to Shun Cuts and Public to Speak Up

Posted by Ken Stone, Times of San Diego, 2/13/18

The general manager of San Diego’s KPBS on Tuesday called on viewers and listeners to speak up for public broadcasting amid the latest threat to its federal funding.

Tom Karlo, a member of the Public Broadcasting Service board of directors, says KPBS and others at the San Diego State-based outlet “will continue talking with our members of Congress and remind them that investment in public media is an investment in children’s educational, cultural, public affairs and news programming, digital classroom resources, teacher training and distance learning.”

On Tuesday, he called such funding — $450 million a year threatened with near elimination by President Trump’s fiscal 2019 budget plan — “an investment in the people of the United States.”

Nearly a year ago, Karlo faced similar worries but said: “I don’t want to cry wolf at this point because I don’t know what’s going to happen. There’s going to be a lot of pressure and lobbying.”

The “zero-out” cuts didn’t happen. But lobbying renews in earnest this year, since KPBS can’t count on a $3 million annual federal infusion as it did in 2017 — in the second of a two-year allocation.

Brian Stelter of CNN noted that recurring efforts since the 1970s to defund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting — which distributes federal funds to PBS stations — have failed.

Karlo, in his 45th year at the station, said PBS is encouraging supporters of public media to sign up on Protect My Public Media (ProtectMyPublicMedia.org) and “become an advocate.”

“We also ask our viewers and our listeners to inform their members of Congress of the importance of public broadcasting,” he told Times of San Diego.

What advice is Karlo giving PBS?

He called for public media to stay united in its messaging.

“This includes PBS, NPR, all of our independent producers and more,” Karlo said via email. “We need to remain steadfast in telling the story of public broadcasting as America’s education classroom, as America’s stage for arts and culture programs, and for America’s classroom for history.”

Tom Karlo of KPBS Former San Diego Union-Tribune radio and TV writer Preston Turegano recalled public broadcasting’s history — starting in the 1960s when it was called “educational TV.”

“It was a forum for intellectuals,” he said. “It was the cultural TV oasis where devotees of opera, symphony, dance/ ballet, and theater could tune into. That became even more important after the TV cable networks A&E and Bravo abandoned performing arts presentations in favor of mindless reality shows.”

Turegano worried that Trump’s plan, if enacted by Congress, would force PBS stations to “air more annoying infomercials to generate revenue. On-air membership pledge periods, especially the ones that interrupt quality programs, will increase, as will traditional 30-second and minute-long commercials of products or services.”

KPBS gets about 13 percent of its money from PBS, so would not be hurt as much as other stations.

Turegano said the Republican Party is targeting public broadcasting because it appeals to Americans “who want true fair and balanced reporting of events and issues, especially political.”

Paula Kerger, president and CEO of PBS, noted in a statement Monday that public broadcasting has earned bipartisan congressional support over the years and from every region of the country.

She said the 350 member stations and supporters will remind Washington that “a modest investment of about $1.35 per citizen per year” yields school readiness for kids 2-8, support for teachers and homeschoolers, public safety communications and lifelong learning.

Trump’s $4.4 trillion budget proposes to eliminate federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting over a two-year period.

“CPB grants represent a small share of the total funding for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and National Public Radio (NPR), which primarily rely on private donations to fund their operations,” says a budget “justifications” document.

“To conduct an orderly transition away from federal funding, the budget requests $15.5 million in 2019 and $15 million in 2020, which would include funding for personnel costs of $16.2 million; rental costs of $8.9 million; and other costs totaling $5.4 million.”

The budget addendum said CPB funding comprises about 15 percent of the total amount spent on public broadcasting, with the remainder coming from nonfederal sources, “with many large stations raising an even greater share.”

“This private fundraising has proven durable,” said the budget, “negating the need for continued federal subsidies.”

It said PBS and NPR could make up the shortfall by increasing revenues from corporate sponsors, foundations and members.

KPBS lists about 275 “corporate sponsors,” including arts, educational and nonprofit groups.

“In addition,” the budget said, “alternatives to PBS and NPR programming have grown substantially since CPB was first established in 1967, greatly reducing the need for publicly funded programming options.”

For the year ended June 30, 2017, KPBS listed total operating revenues of $25.1 million, with CPB grants of nearly $3.3 million.

“Contributions increased $642,000 in FY17 resulting primarily from net increases in Membership & Producers Club $612,000, Outreach programs $307,000, Vehicle Donations $188,000, Special Events $180,000 and Major Gifts $154,000, offset by reductions in Planned Giving $346,000, Underwriting $248,000 and $205,000 in other revenue categories,” said Grant Thornton in a November 2017 audit.

Race and IQ: A High School Science Fair Project Ignites a Storm

Did you really think that a government school in California is based on education and want the students to learn all the facts, then make up their minds—allow them to learn how to think?  Not in California.  Students are meant to be indoctrinated, as if they were students in Havana or Moscow—accept what the government says and do not question.

“One group we should paint over with the label “Rejected” is equality dogmatists. The McClatchy student’s scientific methods might very well have been shoddy, but this wasn’t what got his project scuttled. Rather, The Sacramento Bee article quoted individuals who said the it was “shocking” and its creator “closed-minded”; it spoke of how people felt “upset” and “unsafe and uneasy.” What’s notable is that no one quoted said the project’s conclusion was wrong or untrue.

Oh, if asked, the critics would surely bellow, “Well, of course it’s untrue!” But it’s no accident that they didn’t think to say it; in fact, this failure is typical today when fashionable emoters react to unfashionable science. These critics don’t think to call it untrue because the truth of the matter isn’t their focus. Ideology is.

It’s feelings over facts, emotion over education. But science doesn’t exist to make us feel good or bad; its purpose is the discovery of Truth via the scientific method. People who reject this, who subordinate Truth to agenda-driven lies, are dangerous to civilization. They also are hardly progressive — except insofar as they’re progressing toward ignorance.”

If you have the “wrong” thoughts or ideas, question policy or values—and not in a way to support totalitarianism—as a student you will be shut down.  What to learn how to think?  Do not go to a government/union controlled school—otherwise you might grow up and riot at Cal.—in the name of “freedom”.

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Race and IQ: A High School Science Fair Project Ignites a Storm

By Selwyn Duke, American Thinker,  2/14/18

We don’t know the student’s name, but we do know that he hit a nerve — in fact, he hit a whole bunch of them. Identified only as a boy of Asian descent at C.K. McClatchy High School in California, the teen’s recent science-fair project, “Race and IQ,” propounded the thesis that differences in groups’ average intelligence influence their academic performance. He couldn’t win, though, because his project was removed after parents, staff and other students became “upset” and one girl said she felt “unsafe and uneasy.” The irony?

A project on evolution would no doubt have been well received — even though an assumption of racial differences is implicit in evolutionary theory.

In fact, The Sacramento Bee, which hasn’t yet evolved out of the progressive primordial soup, mentioned that the student’s thesis is associated with eugenics (which the Bee casts negatively), the science of improving the human race via selective breeding. The paper is likely unaware, however, that the term “eugenics” itself was coined by Sir Francis Galton — a cousin of famed evolutionist Charles Darwin — and that Galton made clear that in his eugenicist endeavors, he was merely building on his cousin’s work.

Philosopher G.K. Chesterton once noted that if people “were not created equal, they were certainly evolved unequal.” This is easy to understand: What are the chances that different groups could have “evolved” isolated from one another for eons — subject to different environments, stresses, procreation-influencing cultural imperatives and adaptive realities — and ended up identical in every worldly measure? Why, even if the peoples evolved isolated in identical environments, the separation alone would make the prospects of winding up completely “equal” a virtual statistical impossibility.

Whatever you believe about evolution, it’s clear that equality is not a thing of this world. Do we see it in nature? Some species can dominate others or are more adaptable, which is why the rat is a pest and the dodo is extinct (and, in fact, the rat helped drive the dodo to extinction). Even within species, some members are hardier, smarter, faster or stronger than others. There are alphas and betas, with a silverback gorilla running his troop and a dominant lion leading his pride. And different breeds of dogs have different characteristic traits, with some being more intelligent than others.

As for people, how is it that we can even characterize different groups as “groups”? Since we don’t do it based purely on location (e.g., dividing 10 boys into two groups of five, each on opposite sides of a room), we can only do so because there are differences among them. We can only speak of “men” and “women” because sex differences actually exist. Regarding the races, we know there are distinctions relating to skin color and hair, for example. It’s differences that make groups “groups.”

But are the differences only skin deep? Tay-Sachs disease is most common among Ashkenazi Jews, while sickle cell anemia is almost exclusive to people of Middle Eastern, Indian, Mediterranean and African heritage. Relative to American whites, American blacks generally have longer limbs, more sweat glands (and thus dissipate heat better), narrower pelvises and greater bone density; and black men have higher free testosterone levels than white men do. Not that it’s the focus of this article, but all these characteristics bring advantages and disadvantages.

Now, next question: Are the differences only neck high? If evolution is a reality, would its principles be operational with the body but, somehow, some way, be suspended with the brain? My, believing that would truly take faith.

Of course, whether nature, nurture or both — whether the tests are valid or not — the fact remains that we do see marked IQ differences among groups. Ashkenazi Jews score the highest of all, at 115 (the world average is currently about 88); this may explain why Jews are only 0.2 percent of the world’s population but were 22 percent of the 20th century’s Nobel Prize winners. Hong Kong and Singapore lead the country list with average IQs of 108, while many nations register far, far lower. Note that while good scientists may debate why these differences exist and how meaningful they are, that they exist is not in dispute.

Of course, some may quibble with the numbers I provided or the group differences I cited, but the details aren’t really the point. The point is, again, that evolution and Equality Dogma contradict one another. Embracing both is akin to believing it likely that on two different occasions, you could spin a giant bin with one million numbers in it, remove them randomly and put them in a row, and they would end up in the precise same order each time. Random processes yield variable results.

That is, unless you believe that God guided evolution. Even this belief, however, allows for the inequality that is the world’s apparent norm. How could this be? It’s simple: Equality is our hang-up — not God’s.

Is “equality” emphasized in any great, time-tested religious canon? It’s certainly only mentioned in the Bible in reference to weights and measures. In fact, Christian theology holds that in that perfect, sinless realm of happiness — Heaven — we will not all have equal glory, as St Thérèse of Liseaux once explained.

As for this fold, Hell on Earth is what Equality Dogma helps create. It has spawned perverted scientific priorities that deny Truth and demand ideological determinations. We’ve seen this before. The Soviet equality dogmatists did it with Lysenkoism, insisting that acquired traits could be inherited because Marxist ideology demanded a malleable human nature. The Nazi superiority dogmatists did it with their racial theories, believing in a “master race” that could become all the more masterful through selective breeding. And we’ve combined elements of both, demanding an unnatural and unattainable equality and measuring it by racial, ethnic and sexual representation in worldly endeavor.

In a saner time, Equality Dogma would be considered a vile heresy. The truth here isn’t hard to grasp: There are differences within groups, but there are also differences among groups. We know we mustn’t paint every individual with the same brush. Why would we paint every individual group with the same one?

One group we should paint over with the label “Rejected” is equality dogmatists. The McClatchy student’s scientific methods might very well have been shoddy, but this wasn’t what got his project scuttled. Rather, The Sacramento Bee article quoted individuals who said the it was “shocking” and its creator “closed-minded”; it spoke of how people felt “upset” and “unsafe and uneasy.” What’s notable is that no one quoted said the project’s conclusion was wrong or untrue.

Oh, if asked, the critics would surely bellow, “Well, of course it’s untrue!” But it’s no accident that they didn’t think to say it; in fact, this failure is typical today when fashionable emoters react to unfashionable science. These critics don’t think to call it untrue because the truth of the matter isn’t their focus. Ideology is.

It’s feelings over facts, emotion over education. But science doesn’t exist to make us feel good or bad; its purpose is the discovery of Truth via the scientific method. People who reject this, who subordinate Truth to agenda-driven lies, are dangerous to civilization. They also are hardly progressive — except insofar as they’re progressing toward ignorance.

San Ramon High school bans ‘outdated and racially offensive’ national anthem from rallies

A High School, a government/union run school, has declared the National Anthem to be racist, hence it has been banned.  To them everything is racist—even the military that protects their rights to be idiots.  You would think the adults running the school would be more mature than the students—obviously they are still in their rebellion mode, hating everything and everyone and believe they are the only ones holding the truth.

“According to multiple area news outlets, the Associated Student Body at California High School in San Ramon made that decision based on a phrase in the rarely-played third verse.

“It was brought to our attention that the national anthem’s third verse is outdated and racially offensive,” Ariyana Kermanizadeh wrote in an open letter. “We had nothing but good intentions by removing the song so that we could be fully inclusive to our student body.”

These same students have no problem supporting the murder of babies in the womb, promoting illegal aliens that kill and rape, over honest Americans.  No wonder they consider the national Anthem racist—they have yet to receive an education—indoctrination is the order of the day in San Ramon.

What is needed is a large group of Americans, to create a flash mob in front of the school when the school day is over and kids leaving and like a flash mob, start singing the national Anthem—several times.  Let the police come, tape the event and have the cops stop the singing—then put it on YouTube and Facebook.

Photo courtesy Fabi Fliervoet, flickr

High school bans ‘outdated and racially offensive’ national anthem from rallies

By Victor Morton – The Washington Time, 2/13/18

Student leaders at a high school in the San Francisco Bay Area have decided that the national anthem is racist and outdated and have banned it from school rallies.

According to multiple area news outlets, the Associated Student Body at California High School in San Ramon made that decision based on a phrase in the rarely-played third verse.

“It was brought to our attention that the national anthem’s third verse is outdated and racially offensive,” Ariyana Kermanizadeh wrote in an open letter. “We had nothing but good intentions by removing the song so that we could be fully inclusive to our student body.”

She said the decision was made when students learned about the third verse, which includes the line “No refuge could save the hireling and slave / From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,” during planning for the winter rally. It applies for the rest of the school year.

Ms. Kermanizadeh said the fact that the third verse is practically never played, and very few Americans even know the lyrics doesn’t matter — the entire song is tainted.

“We understand that this third verse is not included when the anthem is performed, but still, what does this tell us?” she said.