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Insulting My Candidacy and Slimed by Police

November 4, 2002

Dear Editor:

I read with interest Mr. Gruber's picks for the upcoming Santa Monica City Council election ("WHAT I SAY: Pick 'em," October 31,"). He ends the campaign as he began it -- insulting my candidacy and questioning my motivation for running.

First let me thank Santa Monica voters who've talked to me as I walked their neighborhoods over these past two months, accepted my "political propaganda" and put up my lawn signs. It has been a pleasure to meet everybody and discuss issues facing this community we all love.

And, you know what Frank …. not one person asked me my party affiliation -- isn't it amazing?

I think that is because people accept who we are at face value… I'm a first time candidate not supported by any machine and yet have managed to assemble a bona fide professionally managed campaign that is representative of our diverse constituencies. I've got a great group of volunteers who have walked with me for two months. We talk about crime, open space, educational access, traffic, and how together we can improve our city's quality of life.

You mentioned that I talked about being a champion of projects that already exist… and it's true some of the programs I support have been in existence for a time, but they need a tune up.

Sometimes the byproduct of a longstanding dominant political machine is that many issues are not discussed fully -- folks in the in-crowd just assume everything is A-Ok. But a tough issue in our community that is not openly discussed is crime and violence. I will build bridges between the groups who have spent the last few years at each other's throats. I will make certain that we use community policing and ensure that proven, new techniques for getting in the face of violence are used in our city.

I'm aware that if I'm elected on Tuesday I will make history as the first person elected from the Pico Neighborhood. I'm looking forward to representing the entire city, but I know that I can bring some attention to a neighborhood that has historically been neglected…. and I'm going to be proud to do it.

Finally, Frank, you use an old, tired and sexist argument that alludes to some notion that I am not a full participant in my decision to run for City Council… I don't know how to answer it.

As a strong, self-directed woman, I made the decision to run and have run hard.

I was privileged to get the endorsements of the Sierra Club, the National Westside Women's Political Caucus, Democrat Majority Leader of the Assembly Marco Firebaugh, Santa Monica College Trustee Dr. Margaret Quinones and yes…the Westside Green's endorsement. I am proud of every single one.

Don't forget to vote on November 5!

Viva Santa Monica!
Josefina Santiago Aranda

November 4, 2002

Dear Editor,

Saturday the people of Santa Monica received a mailer from the Santa Monica Police Officers' Association (Union) complaining about a City Council candidate's not telling "the whole truth." The mailer itself is telling about 1 percent of the truth. The irony would be hilarious if the people deceiving us weren't the ones we trust to protect us.

In this campaign the police union has now foisted three HUGE LIES on the people of Santa Monica: (1) That the passage of Prop. HH, the VERITAS measure, could jeopardize police service in certain areas of the city (this is just a cheap scare tactic), (2) That a vote against Prop. HH would "Say No to Historic Districts" (the two measures have nothing to do with each other--another cheap attempt to deceive the voters), and now (3) That Councilmember Bob Holbrook opposed placing extra police officers on the street.

In the early nineties, Holbrook, for other reasons, did vote against an entire city budget. That budget contained a provision to hire extra police officers. In subsequent years, Holbrook has supported hiring many additional officers and all kinds of public safety improvements.

In the following years, the Police Officers' Association/Union understood this distinction, and twice endorsed Holbrook when he ran for reelection. Now -- when it suits their self-serving purposes -- they spend $10,000 or so to send out one of their traditionally hideous mailers blabbering about one misleading detail.

The people of Santa Monica have been slimed three times over by their own police.

Jean Sedillos
Santa Monica

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