Susan Luzzaro 5:30 p.m., Dec. 7
What Power Do We The People Have? Maybe More Than Civic Leaders Want Us To Know?
I wrote the following as a part of the comment threat to Don Bauder's Scam Diego blog post "Would Spelling Lessons Affect the Library?":
There are ideas in this comment thread that deserve not to die. While Urban Corps may have problems in the consistency of service delivery due to spotty management and supervision, its usage to augment local city crews in relatively mundane tasks shows that there are alternatives to having city crews do the work alone at much higher cost.
There are many points to consider, but the most important to consider right now is that we are the people of California, and we have sovereign rights as the people of California. In the past decade the people of California have removed a sitting governor for perceived political negligence of the needs of the people, and we did do this while the state commander-in-chief of the militia had California National Guard units serving overseas in combat zones, something that triggers the possible use of all kinds of wartime authority under the Military and Veterans Code. We recently amended our state constitution several times, and while some of those amendments are being challenged all the way to the nation's highest court, they are the law as far as our state's highest court has let them stand here now. After all, it is our court.
In short, the theme here is that the people of California are a lawful source of sovereign authority over any part of the state where we choose to exercise sovereign power. It is impossibly inconsistent to insist that we do what is necessary to destroy California as a benefit to the people because there is no benefit in that at all; therefore, we must do what is necessary to save the state or any part of it when any and all of California seems determined to walk off a cliff. We have that power.
This is not a radical revolutionary theory but the natural conclusion of the United States Department of Homeland Security's National Response Framework as a comprehensive, all-hazard approach to emergency management, and comprehensive emergency management by objectives is the guiding principle in planning, preparing, mitigating, responding and recovering from disasters and risks of all possible emergency incidents under the National Incident Management System and Incident Command System usage of resources to get those objectives accomplished. Under DHS/FEMA's National Response Framework, NIMS/ICS is active at all times and does not require a national state of emergency to be used in any level of response. We have the power when we choose to use it under NRF NIMS/ICS authority.
Our city council regularly makes continuing declarations of this crisis and that crisis but does relatively little about them. We have the power by virtue of municipal neglect on the part of civic leaders.
If we wait around for a vote to volunteer and mitigate things that we both see and understand are totally FUBARed, then we end up wasting time when the law already says that we can mitigate public nuisances in the public interest without necessarily waiting around for permission to do it, regardless of anybody's union contract or other legal-sounding theory that would cost us the federal reimbursement of a legitimate all-hazard response to impending (or existing and declared) crises.
I am not arguing that the entire city council is a public nuisance; that would be going too far because it would cost much money and many lives to stage a coup. Instead, it is clear that the results of some to many acts of that city council ARE public nuisances and may therefore be at least subject to our own voluntary mitigation, especially when it is foreseeable that the acts and omissions by civic leaders lead to some level of hell for the people of San Diego.
If we aren't allowed that, then there may be a good argument in Superior Court that lawful process has been prevented from being carried out and thus lawlessness exists in the County of San Diego.
I decided to re-post my comments here because I will be referring to them often in the future.
I come from a generation where the Boy Scouts were still welcome and not shunned on school campuses, when just everybody stood for the Pledge of Alliegence, a time before Proposition 13 forced municipal governments to look for creative and even exotic financial products to keep the payrolls funded of newly-organizing city workers.
As scouts, we had no problem working on state park projects for free, being overseen by a park ranger as we cut and marked trails in the hot desert Imperial Valley sun. We weren't unionized.
Today, we now have a generation being employed on our dime who believe that if they don't have pension plans that are pretty much gold-plated compared to what ordinary reasonable people get offered in the private sector, then we've got to have a tax increase or get threatened on Halloween with cuts in police, fire, and other public services.
We have the power in our own neighborhoods to take care of things when City Hall would rather put our efforts into high schools in the sky and give away billions in tax revenues to redevelopment corporations that are only marginally interested in public input to the Redevelopment Agency as a buffer from controversy. Those corporations would rather stimulate our city council members wearing their Redevelopment Agency hats with new developer plans rather than coordinate with them and us to develop a cohesive vision of a better future San Diego.
A flotilla of Bigger Boats is needed to get us back out of this creek when no paddle has been nor will be provided from civic leaders.