‘That’s what justice requires’
EDITOR: Appreciation and applause goes to Sonoma Index-Tribune Editor Jason Walsh for his editorial on sanctuary status for Sonoma (“A Harbor in the Tempest,” Feb. 3). Appreciation because it saves me from having to write a letter to the paper in support of it, as Walsh has covered all the salient points in the arguments pro sanctuary cities/counties, etc., and he’s stated the case better than I could. I was even going to use a quote from Woody Guthrie’s “Deportee,” but Jason beat me to it. Applause because it takes guts to support a controversial issue based primarily on its morality and the all-important message it sends. While the editorial did not take a fast position on the question of the issue itself, prior to its coming up for discussion at the Council meeting on Feb. 6, it did present a view of it in the affirmative. At least that’s my view.
An interesting angle Walsh brings up in regard to tough political decisions by elected reps (and the places they represent) is penalties levied on states, cities or counties that choose to not comply with particular federal regulations or demands. This is the father saying, “No allowance for you if you don’t obey my orders.” But compliance because one’s threatened or bribed is never a valid excuse for not doing or standing up for what’s right. Anyway there’s always a price to pay for sticking one’s neck out. This is all by way of saying that even if the federal government could extract a financial penalty on those elected entities in punishment of non-compliance, then so what?
I hope we will stand with all in our immigrant community in this nation of immigrants and show that we will support and protect our fellow residents because that’s what justice requires.
City Council silence is ‘deafening’
EDITOR: If the last two weeks have proved anything to citizens all over the U.S., it is that towns and cities will play an incredibly important role in standing up to the anti-immigration, anti-environment, anti-women, anti-LGBTQ, anti-truth agenda of the Trump administration. We had the Women’s March in Sonoma, to which many times more people marched than were expected, showing what kind of community we really are. We have seen representatives from cities and towns all over the country publicly denounce one heinous executive order after another, re-affirm solidarity with each other, and re-dedicate themselves to democracy. And yet, in this regard, Mayor Rachel Hundley, despite the photo ops, has been strangely silent. Hundley’s ascendency to Mayor was at best discouraging, as she maneuvered, flanked by (Councilmembers) Edwards and Harrington around the well-qualified Mayor Pro Tem Madolyn Agrimonti. But now, having reached her goal, she finds herself in a unique position – there has never been a more important time in recent history for local leadership and there has never been a worse time to do and say nothing.
If Hundley really wants to prove herself as a worthy leader and voice for the City of Sonoma, now is the time for her to speak. If the City Council wants to stand in solidarity with our vibrant immigrant community, now is the time for them to stand. If the City Council truly believes that Sonomans, like all Americans, deserve clean drinking water, clean air, free speech and peaceful protest, public parks and lands, affordable health care, now is the time to be heard. If our local housing crisis, living wage, and a sustainable energy future truly concern the new powers that be on the City Council, now is the time to stop the lip service and get to work. At the moment, the silence is deafening.