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Hardy L. Brown

Reasons to Vote on Tuesday Nov 6th

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If you have been reading, listening, or watching anything for the past year, I’m sure you have heard that there are still people not wanting us to vote for the candidate of our choice. They are putting up roadblocks that appear reasonable to some while presenting insurmountable obstacles to others. Things like requiring state photo identification, purging voter rolls, literacy tests, providing misinformation on polling places, felon disenfranchisement and not providing the voters with all the proper information. It is all designed to give political advantage to one side or the other, so I am going to give you several reasons why I think you should VOTE.

• Voting is one way to have your voice heard.

• One vote does matter when added with others on Election Day. Plus you will be surprised to find out how many others voted the way you did and agree with you.

• Our children are depending on those of us with the right to vote to provide a better world for them.

• Voting for the people we think will represent us and our interest will help change our communities and bring prosperity to all of us and not just a few.

• Voting helps preserve our democracy allowing us to pursue those things that will bring joy to our families and neighbors through: greater business ventures, better educational opportunities, access to health care, good paying jobs, reliable retirement plans and a government that puts people first.

• Voting also gives us credibility. It says I am a part of this country and this is my way of leveling the playing field. I have just as much power as a billionaire when it comes to making my mark on the ballot because they can only mark one ballot just like me.

So exercise your right and vote before or on Tuesday November 6th. If you want to know how the Black Voice News is looking at the candidates and propositions read on: BVN 2012 Election Recommendations

Rialto School Board Member Joe Ayala Says Tribes Corrupt for Not Supporting Joe Baca Jr.

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Hardy L. BrownIt was brought to my attention by former Rialto School Board Member Walter Hawkins, that a letter circulating in the community from current Rialto School Board Member Joe Ayala questioning my wife Cheryl Brown’s campaign bid for the 47th Assembly District had made its way to the membership of WAG (Westside Action Group). This letter appears to be an attempt by Ayala to gain support from WAG, the proactive organization for African Americans that recently celebrated its 40th anniversary in San Bernardino County.

In an email directed to WAG, of which I am a member, Hawkins wrote:

From: Walter Hawkins
Date: Thursday, October 18, 2012 9:22 AM
To: westsideactiongroup@gmail.com
Subject: Ayala's poor decision – UPDATE

Looks like Joe Ayala does not want to continue serving as a member of the Rialto USD Board of Education. He is spending a lot of time trying to do the bidding of the Baca family. He jumped into the fire by letting the Baca’s talk him into writing an editorial attacking a Native American business association because they support Cheryl Brown for the AD 47 seat over Joe Baca, Jr. Ayala’s decision to blindly support Baca could be an indication that he lacks good judgment and let's emotion prevail over facts.

With a little bit of due diligence, Mr. Ayala would have found out that the mailer's content is valid. A careful analysis of the filings required by state and federal agencies indicates that the contributions to the Baca’s and to their foundation benefit the Baca family. Let's look at a couple of examples that might lead a reviewer to that conclusion:

1) Baca senior's PAC has given about $52,000 a year to Jeremy Baca to raise funds;

2) Baca senior gives Baca junior about $8,000 for junior's PACs;

3) Baca junior gets money from the Baca Foundation for working 50 hrs/wk while being a teacher & a councilman;

4) Baca senior gets a supporter to create a PAC then funds the PAC to attack his opponents. In addition to looking at the filings, Mr. Ayala could have read the articles written by journalist cited the mailers. So Joe, the ball is in the Baca’s court. If there is to be "Peace in the Valley", the Baca’s need to make the overtures instead of whining on robo calls and sacrificing their "friends."

Ayala’s issue is that The California Tribal Business Alliance PAC has decided to support Cheryl after doing their “homework” on the two candidates running for the 47th Assembly District. This PAC is an independent group and not connected to the campaign nor have they given any money to the Cheryl Brown for Assembly Committee campaign. However, they decided to share their findings from their homework assignment with the voters of the district by sending political mailers in the mail.

Ayala said in his letter he is certain of one thing and that is ”gambling and politics is a recipe for corruption” but failed to mention that the Baca family received thousands of dollars from the tribal community for years for their political campaigns and no one has ever called the tribes corrupt; nor do I believe any of them are corrupt for doing their homework on Joe Jr. and sharing it with the voters.

It’s clear from Walter Hawkins’ email to WAG that he has done his homework. It’s also clear that the tribal alliance has done their homework. Perhaps Ayala should do his homework before seeking support from WAG or any other group in the community.

San Bernardino City Move to Table the Motion of Contracting out Refuse Department

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The San Bernardino City Council decided to table a proposal to send out a request regarding refuse services for the city. This discussion has been going on for over two months led by four council members, Chas Kelley, Robert Jenkins, John Valdivia, Wendy McCammack and until recently city attorney, Jim Penman. At the last council meeting, the city attorney changed to a neutral position with two council members leaving the last meeting so they would not have to vote on the matter.


Also View: BVN's 2012 Election Recommendations


However at last Mondays meeting, Council member Rikke Van Johnson made a motion to table the issue after a two-hour discussion and received a second from Wendy McCammack and votes of support from Jenkins, Valdivia and Virginia Marques.

I think the wave of support against outsourcing led by Charles Greenwood and other city employees, the ‘Orange Shirt People’ highlighted that refuse is a big asset to the city and if the department was properly managed could bring in more revenue to the city.

I agree with the action of the council. Now they should: evaluate the department from rates paid by citizens and raise them to keep up with the cost of doing business; evaluate the profit margins; look at the percentage of employees that live in the city from that department; look at modern technology to recycle waste as a money making venture; and other ways the employees can contribute to the viability of the city. Once that is done, report the findings to the public.

This is a “quality of life issue” with the citizens of the city because if trash is not picked up, we could have a dirty city, and an environment that attracts and breeds crime.

I commend the council for their action and implore them to look for other ways to save money while evaluating other revenue streams within the authority of the city council.

BVN 2012 Election Recommendations

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November 6th is Election day. And this election will give us an opportunity to elect candidates that, while belonging to different political parties, are willing to reach across political aisles to get things done for the people of our community and help “build better communities” instead of personal political legacies. We also have a number of key propositions for consideration. We have cities in or near bankruptcy, high gas prices, high poverty rates in some cities, double digit unemployment rates, and more people with criminal backgrounds being released in our communities due to realignment, these are just a few of the complex issues we must solve regardless of party affiliation.

Even in this crisis we have many people who are doing really well while others are struggling to get food to eat or keep a roof over their heads. That is where I am in a dilemma with some of the statewide propositions and local revenue generation measures. I am in favor of supporting a statewide sales tax for education, Proposition 30, while rejecting a bond measure for San Bernardino City Schools of which I am a former board member with grandchildren attending school. With 40% of its citizens at or below the poverty rate, 14% unemployment rate and the city in bankruptcy, property owners will not be able to afford any additional money leaving their pockets until the city is financially stable.

Leading up to last June’s primary races and over the past several weeks I have highlighted key races in the Inland Empire and given my reasons for supporting various candidates currently running for elected office. I recommend the following as individuals and initiatives that will help us build, grow and move forward.

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY VOTERS
RECOMMENDED SLATE

Barack Obama, President
Diane Feinstein, US Senate
Gloria Negrete McLeod, Congress 35th District
Bob Dutton, Congress 31st District
Bill Emmerson, Senate 23rd District
Cheryl Brown, Assembly 47th District
Russ Warner, Assembly 40th District
James Ramos, Board of Supervisors
Gloria Macias Harrison, Community College
John Longville, Community College
John Futch, Community College
George Aguilar for San Bernardino Water Board division 2

COLTON
Vincent Yzaguirre, Colton Council
Alex Perez, Colton Council

RIALTO
Deborah Robertson, Mayor Rialto
Barbara McGee, City Clerk Rialto
Joe Britt, Rialto City Council
Joe Martinez, Rialto School Board
Michael Ridgway, Rialto School Board
John Kazalunas, Rialto School Board

FONTANA
Matthew Slowik, Council Fontana
Lydia Wibert, Council Fontana
Rick McClure Fontana School Board
Luis Vaquera, Fontana School Board

RIVERSIDE COUNTY VOTERS
RECOMMENDED SLATE
Barack Obama, President
Diane Feinstein, US Senate
John Tavaglione, 41st Congress
Richard Roth, 31st Senate
Bill Batey, 61st Assembly
Mary Figueroa, Community college
Louis Davis Community College
Bob Buster, Board Supervisor
Ed Adkins, Mayor Riverside
Rick Sayre, MV School Board
Tracey Vackar, MV School Board
Rita Rodgers, Perris City Council
Chuck Washington, Temecula City Council

Yes on Measure Q: Charter Amendment to enact a permanent cap on compensation and mandatory transparency for members of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors.

No on Measure R to limit restriction on Governing Board of Supervisors Authority to govern.

No on Measure N: Bond measure to promote student safety and school repairs in San Bernardino City Unified District Schools Yes on V: City of Rialto, proposed business tax on items related had done nothing improper.

STATEWIDE PROPOSITIONS

Yes on Prop 30: Temporary raises sale taxes on every one and higher taxes on higher Income earners.

No on Prop 31: State & local Budget Change requirements

No on Prop 32: Limits Political contributions and restrict union employees Payroll Deductions use.

Yes on Prop 33: Auto Insurance Rates law changes

Yes on Prop 34: Repeal Death Penalty to life with out the possibility of parole with work requirement while in prison with payment going to victims family

Yes on Prop 35: Change state Human Trafficking Laws to line up with federal.

Yes on Prop 36: Revise 3 Strike Law to make the 3rd strike conviction for 25 years be for a serious and violent crime

No on Prop 37: Genetically Food labeling requirements will hurt small businesses

No on Prop 38: Taxes to fund educational issues as prop 30

Yes on Prop 39: Close a tax loop hold and requires multi-state business taxes liability on sales in state

Yes on Prop 40: Leaves Senate redistricting lines drawn by Commission as is.

San Bernardino City Council Must Move Off of Stupid

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The San Bernardino City Council finally moved the needle a little off of stupid when it came to some cuts in the fire department but some remain stuck on stupid when it comes to the refuse department.

In our modern culture the urban dictionary defines the phrase “stuck on stupid” as: (1) in a prolonged state of being completely clueless or too high to think straight; (2) when someone just doesn’t get it, repeatedly; (3) a person who cannot learn, a fool who repeats their mistakes time and again, a person who constantly screws up.

Now the city council of San Bernardino does not think of themselves as being stuck on stupid or doing stupid things. Everyone in the world knows that the city filed for bankruptcy protection because they do not have enough money coming into the city to meet payroll and pay creditors. Instead of the council listening to their managers offering cuts to get the financial books ready for the courts, Council members Robert Jenkins and John Valdivia decided to play political games by leaving the meeting so they would not have to vote on a reduction in the fire department. Jenkins hid out in the bathroom for 42 minutes and emailed the city attorney, who is not a part of the council, that he was indisposed.

Valdivia left the meeting altogether and would not give the council or press a reason for his departure. Their actions were a pure screw up and they thought no one would notice or call them on it. To these two I say, if you do not have the guts to make gutsy decisions, then resign.

Chas Kelley, who in the past would not accept the acting fire chief’s recommended cuts, said, “I will only agree to these proposed cuts if you promise to cut more managers in the fire department with no cuts in my ward.” As if citizens and taxpayers living in other wards are not important to the city. This is unfortunately a ‘I am better than you’ way of thinking for someone who is mayor pro-tem representing the city. It has taken fifty years to remove one-way freeway access which has separated the city like the Berlin wall, only to have council members like Kelley building other kinds of divisions.

For the past two months the council has kicked important issues down the road including the fire department, refuse department and general employee reductions. They want to contract out refuse services in one breath while admitting in another that it is one of the few departments that is a financial asset and makes money for the city. Not only does it make enough money to pay for its services, but it also helps cover services of the city in other departments. This is also one of the few departments where over 90% of the employees live in the city and pay taxes, vote, buy homes, groceries, clothes, furniture, cars, insurance, attend church and send their children to San Bernardino City Schools. However, these employees do not contribute to these city council members political campaigns.

Now what the council needs to do is evaluate contracting out other services with established governments where we already pay taxes. I, for one, cannot support contracting out refuse services since it is a city asset and the employees are citizens of the city while keeping non-citizen city employees on the payroll. The council says they cannot require residency for employment of any employees yet the city charter requires the city manager to live here or no employment.

The reason I say Kelley and three other council members are stuck on stupid is because they are the members admonishing the staff at every meeting who are looking for revenue generating ideas that will keep money in the city, yet they ignore those departments and employees taking the money out of the city by the carload every payday.

I would love to recommend and support that the council increase utility rates, sales tax and other fees to increase revenue, but not as long as they remain stuck on stupid with their policymaking.

So to the members of the council please re-evaluate why and who you are serving as council members before the next meeting and decide to move your needle off of stupid before you take your seat.

Look for The Black Voice News endorsement and support slate next week.

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