Broadway project a ‘done deal’?
EDITOR: If you’ve been to the south end of Sonoma near Train Town recently you’ve probably seen PG&E doing construction at the corner of Clay and Broadway near the empty lot. When asked what they doing, PG&E (workers) said, “Adding capacity for the development that’s going in.” They were referring to the proposed development project at 20269 Broadway. Well, at least some of us thought it was proposed.
I’m wondering how PG&E knew to do the work and how it could be done before the project has been approved by the City. The County owns the land, so did they ask for the work be done before the project has been approved? Does that mean that the project is a “done deal” and the review by the Sonoma Planning Commission is just for show? If it is, that doesn’t seem right to me.
Roda Lee Myers
‘We have your backs!’
EDITOR: On Wednesday, Feb. 22, the City Council will discuss at a scheduled meeting the matter of protection for and safeguarding of our immigrant population, similar to the “Welcoming City” resolutions already passed by the County of Sonoma and the City of Santa Rosa. It is evident now that the Trump administration is embarking on a program of mass deportations of undocumented immigrants primarily from Mexico and South America as was flatly stated in Trump’s campaign. Hundreds of cities across our nation have spoken out in defiance of this disgraceful, inhumane policy and scapegoating, and passed resolutions pledging resistance to this federal government policy and protection for the human rights of those who have been targeted. It is now our time to stand in solidarity with those folks in our community who are an integral and vital part of our economic and social success.
Let me recount two stories.
As many know, Woody Guthrie wrote a poem, later turned into a song, “Deportee.” The story behind that poem, as Loretta Carr retells it in the Sun newspaper, recounts the deportation of 28 Mexican citizens from the United States in 1948. They were deported after the harvest as part of the federal Bracero Program as a reward for their hard labor in California’s ag fields. To most they were faceless, nameless people and when the transport plane they were in on their way out crashed, all aboard perished and the Mexican workers were buried in a mass grave. No one knew their names until many years later when a book about the incident was written. The line by Guthrie still rings its plaintive cry,” All they will call you will be … deportees.”
The other story came up as a recent reminder during Holocaust Remembrance Day, when in 1939, about 935 desperate Jews – men, women and children – were fleeing Nazi Germany and, like many thousands later, would be turned away, mostly children. Why? The main reasons put forward were that these foreigners posed a threat to the United States, and what was happening in Europe was not our business. Plain old anti-Semitism was rarely if ever mentioned. A glance at some of the anguished faces of the ship’s passengers tells the story in a few heart-rending visuals. Does this sound and look familiar?
There is an opportunity for us here and now in this time of religious bigotry and bans coming from the Trump administration to counter the past and make the present a safe harbor and secure environment for our local immigrant population regardless of religion or country of origin. Now is our chance to correct the disgraces of the past and give our support and protection to those who need it in this time of crisis. Now we can answer the call to stand with our immigrant brothers and sisters, neighbors and friends and fellow workers and let them know, “We have your backs!”