Silent Protest at 70th San Diego City Council Inauguration

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Dec. 10, 2014 (San Diego) The 70th City Council was seated during a ceremony that lasted almost two hours. Part of the ceremony included swearing in Council Members elected this cycle. The newest member of the city council, Chris Cate, also took the oath of office he represents district 6.

San Diego City Mayor Kevin Falconer said that “council members epitomize the philosophy of working together.”

Faulconer recognized Council Member David Alvarez with whom he worked to reduce emergency response times, and the border crossing, which has already had results. This is helping the South Bay economy.

The mayor also thanked Council Member Laurie Zapf for helping to implement the fiscal report, which is helping to keep the city’s finances on the straight and narrow. The mayor also thanked the city staff for the work they do. This was to remain a theme throughout the speeches given by Zapf, Alvarez and Myrtle Cole, as well as Gloria.

Former Council Member Ed Harris also thanked his colleagues for the honor of serving the citizens of District 2, which will now be represented by Zapf. Harris said that this was one of the greatest honors of his life, and that he was thankful to be able to serve the people of the City of San Diego. He remarked in some of the initiatives passed by the City Council, from minimum wage to the plastic bag initiative, which is dear to him as a lifeguard. He also thanked the Marines who were part of the honor guard, and he emphasized his work for and with veterans.

The speeches after each individuals member spoke might point to the future. All thanked their supporters, but both Cate and Zapf emphasized removing red tape and making the city friendly for small businesses. While both Alvarez and Cole put an emphasis on infrastructure, police and fire services.

Zapf remarked on how she came from family who on both sides immigrated to the United Sates in search of the American dream. She also said that she had to overcome great adversity, as she and her siblings were in foster care for a while. Her grandma had a restaurant and she enjoyed eating there as a child, That was her favorite food. Why it is critical for her to make life easier and remove red tape for businesses.

Cate also emphasized his work with the business community, and the emphasis that the city should place on making San Diego friendly for business. It was partly an echo of Zapf’s speech. He came from the business community and also as part of a group that watched how our city taxes are spent. So this was not surprising.

Alvarez went into how he intends to keep fighting for the communities he represents. He also pointed to his accomplishments fixing some of the issues with the budget. He also emphasized though that great cities require investment in all areas of cities. It was time, for the city to be honest with citizens and to overcome that allergy to higher revenue streams. He intends to use some of what he has learned on the budget to streamline and improve infrastructure.

Cole echoed Alvarez, and said that she was proud that some areas that had substandard sidewalks in her district now have new sidewalks. To her a priority are fires stations and other services that those she represents need.

Silent Protest

About 25 students from multiple colleges in the community were part of the ceremony. They marched from San Diego Community College to Golden Hall repeating the now familiar chants, “hands up, don’t shoot.”

Once inside they stood by the east. They rose their hands from time to time. At times they turned their backs. They staged a die in. This was effective since they did not go back to their chants until after the ceremony was over and still council president Todd Gloria adjourned the council.

At that moment the chants started, and Jones gave a copy of their demands, among them a police oversight commission that works, to Alvarez, Mark Kersey, Cate and Cole. They wanted to give a copy to each. As citizens they remained firm but polite in petitioning their government.

Because of events in Ferguson, Missouri and Staten Island, New York, many of the young have lost confidence in the system. This was acknowledged from the Dais by Gloria over his Twitter feed.

Todd Gloria @ToddGloria

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7h

7 hours ago

Thank you to the protestors who attended today’s inauguration. I could see you & I respect the way you conducted yourselves. #AllLivesMatter

He later told Reporting San Diego that they “made their position well-known. They did it in a respectful matter.without interfering in the flow of a public meeting. “ He also added that as a man of color he understands their views. He also said that the city council approved the body cameras that all police officers. “our hope is to have every officer in the field to have those in a year’s time.” He hopes that this will increase confidence but would like to listen to citizens on how to improve police services.

We also had the chance to talk with Cole who told us that “this is the great thing about being an Americans that you can protest anywhere you want to.” Like Gloria she recognized they were appropriate and got their message across. “I am proud of them that is what they should do.”

She was also “shocked at the grand jury for doing that.” and pointed out that this did not happen in San Diego. “it seems that our civil rights, we are still fighting for that.”

Twitter: @nadinbrzezinski

Facebook: Reporting San Diego

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Categories: City Hall Politics, civil rights, Eric Garner, Ferguson, Inaguration

2 replies

  1. Thank you Nadine for all your outstanding reporting. It’s hard to find out what is really going on when so much of the media is so slanted toward business interests, the wealthy etc. Your work is a breath of fresh air and please know how important your coverage of the Ferguson protests, city council, OSD, etc is and how much we appreciae it.

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