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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: Santa Cruz Indymedia | Education & Student Activism | Immigrant Rights | Police State and Prisons
Direct Action against SC Mayor Ryan Coonerty for opposing immigrant rights resolution
On May 10, 2011 the Santa Cruz City Council defeated a resolution supporting AB 1081, The Trust Act. The resolution also would have supported opting out of the "Secure Communities" program in Santa Cruz County. This federal program forced on local jurisdictions has been responsible for the mass deportation of innocent people from this county while destroying families and violating their basic human rights.
When politicians want to hide their actual positions and beliefs to the public (for fear of public backlash), they usually do one of two things (or both).
The first, and most popular strategy is to use the "procedure" as an excuse. They will say that, "...this is not the way we do things." They will say that the proposal or request or resolution should have been written differently, or brought to the council differently. Even though in many cases, other resolutions and policies have been enacted in the same way. If a politician does not want to seem intolerant, prejudiced, or even racist, they can use the excuse that the procedure of the policy is simply wrong.
The second, and also popular strategy for politicians to hide their true beliefs or controversial and unpopular positions is to say that their Council or Board is not the proper elected body to deal with the issue. That it is the responsibility of the State or the Federal government. NOT the City Council or governing body they sit on.
Ryan Coonerty used BOTH of these sneaky (often effective) strategies when he spoke and voted against opting out of the Secure Communities program in Santa Cruz City.
In denying the resolution supporting AB 1081 (The Trust Act) and denying the support to Opt Out of the Secure Communities program, Ryan used the first procedural argument during the City Council meeting itself, which you will see in the video. While there has been a Santa Cruz based coalition organizing for months, meeting with the Sheriff, the Latino Affairs Commission and numerous other local organizations, Ryan acted like none of this even happened, when indeed it had.
When over 50 activists entered Ryan's UCSC lecture class the following week to make his support of Secure Communities more publicly known and point out the contradictions in his "progressive" ideals...he proceeded to use the second popular method of deflecting responsibility. He blamed it on the State District Attorney and President Obama. He told a roomful of immigrant rights activists that they should go speak to Kamala Harris and Barack Obama about this issue.
Meanwhile, in the greater San Francisco Bay area cities, counties, local labor councils (including the Monterey Bay Central Labor Council) and even the entire state of Illinois have passed resolutions supporting the right for a city, county or state to OPT OUT of Secure Communities.
WHY IS MAYOR RYAN COONERTY HIDING HIS APPARENT CONSERVATIVE AND REACTIONARY IDEALS BEHIND THE VEIL OF BUREAUCRACY AND PROCEDURE? NO TRUE PROGRESSIVE CAN SUPPORT SECURE COMMUNITIES! THE CONTRADICTION IS TO BIG!
We call on the progressive citizens of Santa Cruz to disallow this kind of insensitive and dishonest behavior in our Mayor. Please call and e-mail Mayor Ryan Coonerty and question him or share how you feel. We do not want these kinds of contradictions in our leadership. He cannot claim to support the immigrant community and then refuse to condemn a destructive policy such as the Secure Communities program.