Sunday, August 20, 2017     Volume: 18, Issue: 24

Santa Maria Sun / Community

Citizen's Alert

Benefits, Meetings, Protests, Forums and Public Meetings

Political Watch 8/17/17

• Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill authored by California State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) on Aug. 7. Senate Bill 725 was written to clarify California law so that military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health disorders associated with their service in the military are eligible for pretrial diversion programs for misdemeanor DUIs, according to a release from Jackson's office. "This bill will not only clarify once and for all that these veterans are eligible for pretrial diversion programs, it will also ensure that veterans and service members who have served our country will get the help they need to address substance abuse and mental health issues," Jackson said in the statement. "This will ultimately help protect public safety and help prevent repeat DUIs, while giving these veterans a more hopeful future."

• Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) made a post to her official Facebook page following President Donald Trump's initial statements following the protests and counter-protests that ended in violence in Charlottesville, Virg. on Aug. 12. Trump spoke on the matter that day, and said, "We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides, on many sides. It's been going on a long time in our country." Harris made the post that day, which read: "As we all know, this weekend in Charlottesville, hundreds of white supremacists gathered with torches, shouting racial, ethnic, and religious epithets about Black and Jewish people, chanting Nazi slurs, waving the Confederate flag and banners emblazoned with giant swastikas. A peaceful protestor was murdered. Two brave police officers lost their lives. To some Americans, this was shocking and scary. They asked themselves how could this happen—in the United States of America—in 2017? To other Americans, what they know is, Charlottesville exemplifies an undeniable reality that lurks just beneath the surface in this nation we love. And as the country grappled with this tragedy, we were told that 'many sides' should be condemned. Many sides. I often advocate that we look at many sides of an issue, walk in someone else's shoes, and identify and reject false choices. But there are not 'many sides' to this." Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) had issued a statement earlier that day, in which she said, "Violent acts of hate and bigotry have no place in America. The attacks we are witnessing in Charlottesville are completely unacceptable and must not be allowed to continue. Violence like this will solve nothing and will only beget more violence and sow more division. The president must use his voice and actions to denounce such unacceptable behavior."

• Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) wrote to Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke on Aug. 14, urging the Trump Administration to end the review of the Carrizo Plain National Monument. Carbajal wrote the letter after Zinke announced that 27 national monuments previously under review are now exempt from review, keeping their designations. The Carrizo Plain National Monument was not among that number, but rather the 22 monuments still under review. "The tremendous outpouring of support to preserve our Carrizo Plain Monument should tell this administration that Central Coast residents overwhelmingly want these public lands protected for future generations," Carbajal said in a statement. "The executive order poses a direct threat to the preservation of this unique habitat and economic engine for tourism on the Central Coast. The Carrizo Plain's boundaries were extensively studied previous to its designation and Secretary Zinke should exempt it from review."

Weekly Poll
Who should pay for rides home for detainees released late at night from the Santa Barbara County Jail?

The Sheriff's Office
The county Board of Supervisors should earmark funding
Nonprofits should take it on.
The detainees themselves.

Vote! | Poll Results