More Mail -- Union Politics and Disenfranchised
October 11, 2003
I read with interest Marc J. Sanschagrin's comments about my
opinion piece ("LETTERS: Who is We and Get a Grip, Kip," Oct.
5, 2003) and his response to Mr. Keat's letter (LETTERS:
Kudos and Education not Indoctrination," Oct. 8, 2003).
No doubt Marc will have the last word about the issues discussed
since no one else can possibly be right and himself wrong. Apparently
not even the entire demographic of California voters.
In any event, none other than Santa Monica's ruling political
Party's icons -- Tom Hayden and Derek Shearer -- have always
admitted that the terms "economic democracy" and "progressive
voters" were thinly veiled substitutes for their preferred
form of economics -- to wit, socialism.
Communism is, as Mr. Sanschagrin states, a political form. However,
as spoils are collected within the power of statism, it has historically
not been a long reach to totalitarianism in one form or another
-- one need only a fleeting familiarity with Orwell or Hannah
Arrendt to comprehend that.
Part of the problem rests with the fact that under various forms
of "government" control, the intellectually and morally
superior (a group with whom Sanschagrin obviously identifies
himself) impose their standards and values on the rest of us
through the power of the state.
Mr. Sanchagrin also proudly displays the initials of the teachers'
organizations with which he is affiliated as if he speaks for
(or somehow represents them). This is a common tactic for "progressive" members
of these organizations.
They are, mind you, organizations that extract significant money
as unions dues from the 40 percent of their members that are
independents or Republicans and spend enormous sums on political
issues -- 98 percent of which go to Democrats or Democrat supported
causes -- all the while denying that ANY money is spent on political
purposes in required federal and state government filings.
Now that Elaine Chao at the Labor Department has required new
and expanded reporting of all expenditures of the Teachers' unions
in excess of $5,000, those unions -- with which Mr. Sanchagrin
is so proudly affiliated -- are having apolitic fits that the
true extent of the political activities (designed mainly to entrench
their political power, not teach our children) will be revealed
for all to see.
Hopefully, one can see why this writer and many others might
question denials of indoctrination -- particularly in light
of the well-known biases against airing or explaining conservative
views at Samohi or operating an elementary school in which
a teacher savages Burger King while building rain forests in
their classrooms while denying anyone the right of rebuttal.
It is this kind of academic garbage that resulted in this writer
withdrawing both significant financial support and a significant
volunteer time commitment to the Santa Monica schools.
West Los Angeles
October 9, 2003
The City of Santa Monica is discriminating against a group of
residents and treating them differently than they treat all other
Santa Monicans. Apparently due to our racial and economic diversity
(ie, we're not rich) we are being systematically and repeatedly
disenfranchised by the Transportation Management Department of
the City of Santa Monica.
I live on the ONLY street in the entire area which has not been
granted permit parking, despite petitioning and meeting every
single criteria necessary to have permit parking implemented.
Three years since petitioning, our requests continue to be stalled
and ignored. Our street is a textbook case of one in need of
the relief permit parking would give.
Since ALL other surrounding streets have permit restrictions,
we can draw only one conclusion: there is discrimination at City
Hall. The demographics on our street represent contrasting social
and financial backgrounds that have made us a target for unfair
practices that the City would not dare
impose on any other street or more affluent neighborhood. We
are being sacrificed so that those outside our neighborhood can
park for free on our block.
With the east side of 9th Street routinely 100 percent full
or more (cars double parked & waiting for spaces to open
up) we assumed we were subject to the same permit parking relief
as 10th Street. It seemed simple enough: Submit the petition,
demonstrate we met the criteria, and be granted permit
Instead, staff recommended granting permit parking to all other
adjacent streets, even extending to streets such as Bay & Grant
(which had NOT petitioned) but they left east side of 9th unregulated
-- "free parking for all EXCEPT the residents." Instead
of solving our problem, it was concentrated onto east side of
We now have to pay for permits, so those who want to park for
free can use our street. We must park a block or two away, because
non-residents are using our street as their free parking lot,
often blocking traffic & dropping trash as they do so.
By leaving the east side of 9th Street unregulated (non-permit
parking and not metered), yet surrounded by permit parking zones,
9th Street residents have been disenfranchised by the city of
Santa Monica. The residents of 9th Street are being forced to
subsidize nearby businesses and SAMOHI by acting as their parking
lot. Free parking for the entire neighborhood can be found
on only one street: 9th. All visitors, employees, customers,
high school students, and residents compete for these 62 free
spaces. It is a free-for-all stimulating much bad behavior and
If you can imagine living at the mall during Christmas, you
will have some notion of what it's like to live on 9th Street
every day. The resulting traffic hazards, air pollution and noise,
trash, inconvenience, and lack of nearby parking for residents,
is unfair, and has adversely impacted the quality of life for
residents of this block, and further degraded their environment.
The denial of the permits for east 9th has much to do with accommodating
students who choose to drive. This unfair arrangement was intended
to contain high-school-student spillover parking to the Coastal
Zone (Bay/Grant Streets west of Lincoln). This wealthier Ocean
Park area is not subject to
the deadly pollution generated by the Santa Monica Freeway, and
is west of Lincoln Boulevard.
The City of Santa Monica cites the proximity to the Coastal
Zone as being the reason why they refuse to grant permit parking
on 9th Street, yet even the Coastal Commission has been willing
to grant preferential parking programs under certain circumstances.
Additionally, there are other ways to protect these coastal zone
areas from student parkers without imposing an inequitable denial
of permit parking on the disadvantaged 9th and Michigan neighborhood.
For 3 years we have worked within the system to no avail. We
have been patient & co-operative. We've demonstrated the
necessity of permit parking through the required petitions, follow-up
letters, multiple surveys, emails, phone calls, meetings with
Transportation Mgmt staff, meetings w/SAMOHI, multiple neighborhood
meetings, even meetings with Judy Rambeau and Susan
My neighbors and I have sent hundred of emails to Ruth Harper,
Beth Rolandson & Lucy Dyke of Transportation Management.
We have contacted individual council members and asked to be
put on the agenda. We've taken dozens of car counts and over
2000 photographs documenting our need for permit parking. In
short, we have continually worked within the guidelines the city
has laid out. Yet even after proving we meet all the criteria,
we continue to be treated unfairly.
The city guidelines state: "If the proposed Preferential
Parking Zone meets the criteria... The City Council must adopt
a resolution to establish a Preferential Parking Zone." We're
not asking for special treatment, only the same treatment. The
disadvantaged residents of 9th Street deserve the
same remedies that are available to residents of adjacent streets.
Kathryn J. Morea