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PART II: Councilmember Jara's Cross Examination in Voting Rights Lawsuit

Bob Kronovetrealty
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By Lookout Staff

February 4, 2019 -- In her testimony in the voting rights lawsuit against the City newly appointed Councilmember Ana Jara provided insight into her views and positions (Read Part I here).

This is the second and last installment of excerpts from her testimony on September 10, 2018. It includes the cross examination by plaintiffs' attorney Andrea L. Alarcon and the redirect by defendants' attorney Tiaunia N. Henry.



Q: Good morning, Ms. Jara.

A: Good morning.

Q: Now, you testified earlier that you work for Santa Monica College, correct?

A: Yes, I do.

Q: And your daughter, Ana Jara, works for the Defendant also, correct?

A: Yes.

Q: And your daughter, Lisa Lizama, also works for the Defendant, correct?

A: Yes.

Q: And your daughter, Kristina Lizama, used to work for the Defendant; is that correct?

A: That is correct.

Q: And I didn't hear you mention this earlier, but is it true that your son-in-law also works for the Defendant; is that correct?

A: That is correct.

Q: And your son-in-law, in fact, works for the city yards?

A: That is correct.

Q: And earlier when you were testifying about the importance of the city yards, isn't it true that one of the jobs that you were concerned about preserving would be the job of your son-in-law?

A: At the time, he was not my son-in-law.

Q: To answer the question now, if the city yards were proposed to be moved, one of the concerns that you mentioned earlier was that the jobs would be relocated. Would that be a concern for you now that
your son-in-law would potentially lose his job?

A: Yes.

Q: And now you're here testifying for the Defendant; is that correct?

A: That is correct.


Q: So we've had the opportunity to review all of the member rosters for the 14 city boards and commissioners for City of Santa Monica; is that correct?

A: That is correct.

Q: And would you be willing to accept that adding all the positions on those 14 boards and commissions, in total there are 106 commissioners

A: If you say so.

Q: So based on the review of the city's 14 boards and commissions that we just did, would you agree, as of the date of this printout, early 2018, only a few months ago, that of 106 total commissioners, that
you were the only guaranteed Latino, but there were three other commissioners who could potentially be identified as Latino?

(The defense's attorney's objection is overruled)

A: That's possible.

Q: Would you agree that serving as a city commissioner can be a helpful stepping stone to being elected to the Santa Monica city council?

A: Absolutely.

Q: Do you think that having even four of 106 total commissioners reflects -- even four Latino, of a total of 106 total commissioners, reflects the diversity of the City of Santa Monica?

(The defense's attorney's objection is overruled)

A: Potentially not.


Q: And in your testimony earlier you listed a litany of endorsements by city council members, by organizations in Santa Monica, including the Democratic Club. You specifically noted that SMRR called you. The
president or the head of SMRR called you to ask you to run for the S.M.U. state board. Do you recall that?

A: Yes.

Q: And in 2004, did Oscar de la Torre also endorse you?

A: Yes.

Q: Would you say that you received significant support from your neighborhood in the Pico community?

A Yes.

(The cross examination coninues after the defense attorney's objection is sustained.)

Q: Ms. Jara, despite having been endorsed by several significant Latino leaders, including Oscar de la Torre, Maria Leon Vazquez, Tony Vazquez, significant power structures, including Santa Monicans for Renters Rights, the Santa Monica Democratic Club, did you or did you not -- did you win or lose that election?

A: I did not win that election.



Q: Ms. Jara, does the fact that you and your daughters and your son-in-law work for Santa Monica motivate you to make any false statements here today?

A: Absolutely not.

Q: Was your son-in-law's job the only one -- was your son-in-law's job the only one you were concerned about losing if the city yards were relocated?

A: Absolutely not.


Q: Do you know why there aren't more Latinos on various commissions?

(Plaintiffs' attorney's objection overruled.)

A: There's a lot of disconnect and people don't have the time to be able to serve. And also there is a -- there is something that is preventing people from applying for boards and commissions, which
hopefully will be made better this November.

Q: And what is that something that's preventing people from applying to boards and commissions that may be improved in November?

A: They have to be U.S. citizens in order for them to apply for boards and commissions. And council member Ted Winterer is introducing that we change that policy and that they be legal residents, not U.S. citizens, in order to apply for boards and commissions.

Q: And you have to apply to a commission, right?

A: Correct.

Q: Can you always tell if someone is Latino based on their surname?

A: Absolutely not.

Q: A person can be Latino and not have a Latino surname, right?

A: Absolutely.

Q: Do you know -- do you know all of the individuals listed in Exhibit 143? (list of Board and Commission members)

A: I do not.

Q: So you couldn't tell us whether each individual is or is not Latino based on a relationship with them, correct?

A: I could not.

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