“BUT THE PEOPLE OWN THE TOWN”
Thank you. I was at the June 9 Annual Meeting. Like everyone else who took the time and made the effort, I wanted to participate the proceedings. Robert’s Rules were to provide the structure but, unfortunately, the 2011-2012 WMNC Board refused to follow them.
I recruited neighbors to participate. I had spoken with my neighbors, discussing the issues facing our city, especially the over-development for the past 15 years, and they were glad to hear that neighborhood organizations like WMNC existed and that they were trying to regain control of the direction of Santa Monica. For the first time in the lives, they too made the effort as residents of Santa Monica to attend the WMNC meeting on June 9. There, they waited in line at the door, paid their membership fees in cash, and watched.
One of those neighbors had survived WWII. He is my landlord who, as a very young man during WWII in Italy, did whatever he could to survive – first the Germans, then the Allies. Bullets and bombs are bullets and bombs, regardless of whose they are. Later, with his wife, they made their way to America, arriving with no money or possessions or a functioning use of the English language. But they were in America, and that meant the world to them.
It was a sad day. I can’t tell you how dismayed he was to see the American democratic process derailed so egregiously at the WMNC Annual Meeting. I sat with him and his wife in their kitchen for a couple of hours afterward, listening and explaining as best I could what happened and why. They found it repulsive. He wanted to vote. And he wanted his vote to be counted. Why? Because in America, people matter.
Your article, in response to Ms. Griffin’s, was absolutely on-point and correct. Extremely well written. Thank you for having the courage to call it like it is.