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City Council candidates interviewed on FRSC!

Monday Morning at 11AM tune in to Free Radio Santa Cruz for an interview with three of the candidates running for City Council on Tuesday.
On Monday morning at 11AM tune in to Corporate Swine Radio on Free Radio Santa Cruz for a forum with city council candidates. Those joining us are current Mayor Scott Kennedy, incumbent council member Mark Primack, and union organizer Tony Madrigal.

Please feel free to call in with questions for the candidates, or post any questions you would like asked here.
101.1 FM

and don't forget to vote on tuesday!

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Re: City Council candidates interviewed on FRSC!

Emily Reilly has agreed to join the debate as well.

Some Questions for the Candidates

Note: Mayor Kennedy five times either canceled or ducked out of interviews with Robert Norse on Bathrobespierre's Broadsides. Some suggest he is afraid of a fair forum where he cannot intimidate and/or arrest his critics and that he prefers forums where the hosts don't have much specific knowledge of his anti-homeless record at City Council. Norse has renewed the invitation for Kennedy to discuss issues on his show even after the election.

Reilly and Primack have likewise declined to come on the show. (Primack has refused to return calls for four years)

Madrigal was gracious enough to meet with HUFF members for several hours, but was apparently unable to come on the air for a public discussion.

The following are some questions for the candidates which Emily might ask them.

HUFF urges the defeat of all the incumbents (everyone but Madrigal). Unfortunately we're likely to be saddled with them for four more years.
Questions for Kennedy, Primack, Madrigal, and Reilly

from HUFF
October 31, 2004

Questions for Kennedy:

1. Last year you eliminated "rent control in perpetuity" for the De Anza Tenants in order to avoid a lawsuit with the rapacious MHC--even though other cities had gone into court and won against MHC. You then similarly removed "rent control" from the Clear View Court tenants, making it likely that these previously affordable housing units will be gone in several decades and the property used by developers for other purposes. You have never proposed any form of rent control in your three terms on City Council in spite of a crying need for it. Why should renters even consider voting for you?

2. You and Vice-Mayor Mike Rotkin were instumental in the destruction of the Homeless Garden Project on Pelton St. in 1998. Over huge community objection you sold the land out from under the garden only to have it replaced by 7 luxury homes. Why did you go against such a large tide of public support for keeping the land as a community garden, and instead chose to auction it off to yet another bunch of rich people?

3. You take credit for building the Nueva Vista housing in Beach Flats using redevelopment money. This involved destroying 63 units of what was then, modest, but affordable housing. You then rebuilt 48 units, a community center, and a childcare facility with $17 million of public money--most of the affordable housing money for the next two decades. Do you say this was a good investment of city money given that no increase in affordable housing was created by the project?

Questions for Primack:

1. In the past four years you have declined to answer phone calls from activists like Robert Norse, whose positions you disagreed with. Do you intend to continue insulating yourself from those whose opinions may not agree with yours when they come to you with questions or problems?

2. You voted for permit parking citywide which will sell residents back the parking spaces in front of their homes which they previously enjoyed for free. Furthermore, City Manager Dick Wilson says that the program will require so much staff time to manage it, that we shouldn't expect any revenue into the general fund from this program. In addition this program includes a ban on overnight parking which is explicitly directed at homeless people. What will you do to alleviate the housing/survival crisis in a city where affordable housing for many poor people is a car? Should they just get out of town?

3. You claim on your website that you are a longtime supporter of the Homeless Garden Project. Yet you continue to support the laws which make it illegal for a homeless person to sleep at night (MC 6.36.010a) or to stay warm with a blanket (MC 6.36.010b) at night. At one time you publicly expressed support for Camp Paradise and the Santa Cruz Service Corps, but then presented no other options for the homeless at that self-run encampment when it was flooded out. 1500-2000 homeless currently seek shelter at night within the city of Santa Cruz; only 160 will be served by the ISSP and another hundred by the family shelter when it opens. Will you continue to support criminalizing the remaining 80% of the homeless population each night for survival sleeping?

Questions for Tony Madrigal:

1. On your website you cite that as an appointed official for the SEIU local 415, IHSS chapter you negotiated on behalf of the In Home Support Service workers. Yet SEIU members who you represented claim that you never asked for an increase in pay or even a cost of living increase in pay. Furthermore, the $9.50/ hr. you negotiated is well under the $12.71/hr that the Santa Cruz Living Wage Task force determined to be a living wage in Santa Cruz. Did you faithfully negotiate for the IHSS workers?

2. You have stated your past support for Mercy Charities Housing, INc. the non-profit affordable housing developer the City has used in the past as a sole-source housing developer. Do you also support many, seemingly petty, rules which are imposed on the tenants such as no tricycles on the sidewalk, no curtains which are not white or beige, no overnight guests without first getting them cleared with the administration, and no changing tires in the parking lots of the facility which can result in the tentant being evicted?

Questions for Emily Reilly:

1. How many vehicularly housed people did you displace when you ordered "NO Parking 5 AM to 7AM" signs in the Harvey West industrial zone?

2. You held several meetings with parties in the downtown area to address their concerns about drug dealing, sexual harassment, shoplifting, graffiti, and not enough bathrooms downtown. From these meetings you led the council to ban hacky-sacking, frisbees, bubble-blowing, sitting on a sidewalk less than 14 feet from a building, and to make political tables move after only one hour at any location. How did any of these ordinances affect any of the five problems originally identified?
How many tickets have been issued under your Downtown Ordinances in the last two years?

3. In the last two years many street performers have moved out of Santa Cruz, given the increased amount of police harassment downtown. Some suggest that this repression which drives away the creative mobile cream of alternative life-leaves behind a much more visible hard-core of folks with alcohol, drug, and behavior problems and so exacerates the "visible poverty" "bad for business" situation that prompted your expansion of the Downtown Ordinances in the first place in the summer of 2002. What kind of evidence does the community need to bring to you to persuade you that your support of the laws that have forced out street performers need to be replaced with mediation, dialogues, and voluntary codes?

Questions for all four.

1. In the summer of 2002 you passed the repressive Downtown Ordinances through using an unprecedented 4 meetings in 2 weeks (when normally such meetings would take 4 months), effectively denying the students any input into the laws. How can we be assured you will not use such a tactic again to rush through laws when a key part of the electorate is gone?

2. SAFE (the Society for Artistic Freedom and Expression), the street performers union, has condemned the "Move Along Every Hour" law, which has negatively impacted Democratic Party registrars, HUFF tablers, and street musicians. In an increasingly repressive era, will you continue to allow this repressive law to remain on the books with its blank check to police to selectively "move along" folks with "display devices" they (or local businesses) don't like?

3. In 2002/3, when Councilmember Reilly and Councilmember Porter presided over the dismantling of the successful Voluntary Street Performers Guidelines, neither presented any evidence of specific complaints against musicians in terms of police reports, arrests, etc. that required a new law. Did any Councilmembers ever see such evidence and will they make it available to the public? If not, will they act to restore the Guidelines as well as activate former Councilmember Celia Scott's Downtown Santa Cruz Public Policy Mediation Project proposals--which substitute mediation for police surveillance and force?

7. In 2004, Robert Norse won a settlement from the City for false arrest and false imprisonment when he and his table were removed from the sidewalk in front of New Leaf Market, in retaliation for his calling for a boycott of businesses like the Pacific Trading Company that have been making public space inhospitable to "non-shoppers". Musician Mike True won $15,000 from the City when the same police officer (Sgt. Butchie Baker) false arrested him for "displaying musical CDs" on the sidewalk. Do you plan any legislation to protect musicians and artists against such police operations when they are displaying their own artwork? When are you going to take some action to rein in abusive police officers, other than eliminate the Board (the CPRB) that was struggling by fits and starts to come to grips with this problem?

8. Benches have been removed from in front of the Vet's Hall in the last month and from Borders a month before without a public hearing--in violation of the Parks and Recreation Commission's recommendations of last year. Will you act to restore public seating, as well as take significant action to cut through the red tape and get a Downtown Plaza back on the Council agenda?

Re: City Council candidates interviewed on FRSC!

Why were candidates Robert Norse and Coral Brune not invited to be part of this discussion? They should have been.


Liberation News backs Coral Brune and Robert Norse for Santa Cruz City Council

Re: City Council candidates interviewed on FRSC!

Honestly, the history of Robert Norse and his relationship with the city council kept me from inviting him on my show for the interview . There are many things i disagree with that the city council has done over the years, but i did not want this show to be the "why Robert Norse thinks the santa cruz city council sucks". I was not interested in hearing a combative debate between Robert and Scott Kennedy, rather i was interested in the views of the candidates on current issues who do not have their own shows on FRSC.

i do not think Robert was interested in discussing the issues so much as criticising, and he has four hours a week on FRSC to do this as he pleases. as Robert stated in his first question for Mark Primack, the conversation would have no doubt gone in the direction of being a personal fight:

"1. In the past four years you have declined to answer phone calls from activists like Robert Norse, whose positions you disagreed with. Do you intend to continue insulating yourself from those whose opinions may not agree with yours when they come to you with questions or problems?"

I'm all for a diverse group of candidates, and I have nothing against Robert running. I'd be interested in reading Coral's platform but i have not seen that yet.

Re: City Council candidates interviewed on FRSC!

Nice, so Cobb, Nader, and Parker can't get into national debates to protect the status quo, and you do the same on Free Radio to Norse and Brune locally.

I'm sure Bush and Kerry do not want to be forced to discuss the real issues by having the other parties participate, it is sad to see you do the same thing for Kennedy on Free Radio.

Exclusion of the people’s candidates, this is the same kind of coverage you will find in the Sentinel, Metro, and Good Times. So the anti-homeless, pro-police abuse, anti-worker, and anti-medical marijuana candidates get the monopoly on coverage on your show. Not that you represent all of Free Radio, but I must say my understanding of Free Radio is that it is supposed to be an alternative to corporate news, not a junior version.

Liberation News gives critical support to the write-in campaigns of Robert Norse and Coral Brune. For more on their campaigns read:

Re: City Council candidates interviewed on FRSC!

Well, maybe if Robert weren't such an antagonistic person, more people would be willing to have a dialogue with him. Being civil doesn't mean "selling out".

Re: City Council candidates interviewed on FRSC!

Being civil doesn't mean selling out, but running the city the way Kennedy, Primack, Porter, and Reilly have does. By the way, these people are not civil in their treatment of the homeless and political activists. Is it civil to wake up the homeless at night and give them tickets for sleeping? Is it civil to arrest people for distributing literature? Is it civil to shut down the distribution of medical marijuana through zoning? No! The lack of civility comes from those pointing their fingers.

Spanking the Talk Show Host

Write-in candidates are as legitimate as the official ones. Often more so.

I agree with Steve that the show a "Junior Corporate News" feel to it. The exclusion was partisian and unfair--both to us and to the voters. The reasons given showed prejudice.

Also there were no call-in's. None of the questions presented in advance above were asked.

The show was mostly candidates doing commercials for themselves with little mention of critical issues and less dialogue on them.

Not surprising. Emily (Corpy?) probably hasn't followed City Council that carefully (not that I blame her).

None of the Council's critics were there--other Madrigal, whose criticisms are soaked in milk. I'm sorry, but if you haven't got the ammunition to ask the hard questions, you need to get it, or acknowledge it's "fluff and fold" time.

That's why Kennedy has repeatedly declined to come on my show. It seems he doesn't want someone who has the factual record at hand to hold him accountable.

I admit that the more info we can get on our rulers for the next four years, the better. I'm glad Emily did the show.

I also believe in giving credit to the candidates for giving credibility to FRSC by coming on the air, even under the prospective threat of another FCC raid.

Still I am (was) a write-in candidate. I took that status late in the race because--once it became clear how few candidates were running (the fewest ever). It became likely that the Kennedy Council incumbents would have a slamdunk (except for Porter and possibly Primack).

Those who are alreadly informed about how bad the line-up is needed to have a chance to cast a protest vote.

A major issue in any election is the record of the politicians in office. Why wouldn't Emily want that matter challenged or discussed--even if--god forbid--things got more heated than exchanging platitutes and smiles?

The point of a race is to educate the electorate--especially where incumbents have the race sewn up because of name-recognition, prestige, organization, and money.

Emily characterizes me thusly: "The history of Robert Norse and his relationship with the city council kept me from inviting him...i did not want this show to be the 'why Robert Norse thinks the santa cruz city council sucks'... I was not interested in hearing a combative debate between Robert and Scott Kennedy...I do not think Robert was interested in discussing the issues so much as criticising..."

I think it is absurd to suggest I'm not interested in issues--that's what I talk about, what I write about, what I risk jail for. I hold politicians accountable--and what else is an election for? Anyone who reads my posts on this website knows my concern is that these politicians who brightened the line-up of Emily's show DON'T address issues.

There's also an element of catering to power here that has a bad smell. Often, election time is the only time when raising real issues can get anything close to a revealing response from a politician. And it is truly the only time (other than during a recall) when you can hold her accountable.

If Emily's desire is to get "on good terms" with the Kennedy Council reruns, then excluding me made sense. If you offend the other candidates-particularly Kennedy and Reilly, who are sure likely to be re-elected--then they might not respond well to the next invitation.

But if she wanted to air issues, to treat all candidates fairly, and give the public access to a dialogue they would not otherwise hear, she blew it.

In Emily's reply above I hear a defensive tone about a bad decision.

She worried I'd get into a "personal fight" with Primack, or a "combative debate" with Kennedy.

I doubt it. Actually, when I'm in someone else's forum, I tend to over-compensate by being super-civil. Cause I'm trying fruitlessly to outrun the myth that I'm "disruptive" or "hostile" or "uncivil". That's one way of discrediting me without addressing the issues I raise.

After you've had the calm reasonable discussions and they're still arresting innocent people, then raising your voice in anger is a healthy reaction. Remaining silently "civil" under such circumstances is the kind of illness we're going to have to fight as the corposes come home from Iraq in greater numbers.

People who know me know that I can get cranky, but that when I speak angrily in public, it is to hold public figures accountable. And I believe it is largely appropriate.

But even if the worst happened and folks got heated on the air, wouldn't that be as interesting and revealing as a tepid tea party?

We don't want to emulate Kennedy who uses his power at City Council to do agenda-shifting, meeting cancellations, oral communication and public comment cutoff to shut down critics he doesn't like. He turns off the microphone and the tv camera before he arrests critics.

Emily selected one question above where I refered to myself (actually regarding a policy that impacts everyone). On the air, she ignored the other 14 questions and all the issues they raised.

Emily lost a real chance to ask about rent afordable housing for De Anza Seniors and Clear View Latinos, the undead Downtown Ordinances, the crackdown on the vehicular homeless, etc. Even the issues raised (what to do about UCSC's theft of housing downtown?) got the softball from the candidates with no response.

I guess any kind of exposure is better than no exposure. But selective treatment that fluffs favored candidates gets my thumbs down.

By the way, you're welcome to come on my show (or to call in) and discuss your thoughts.

You won't be censored there. But then Scott Kennedy probably won't agree to join you either.


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