Advocates for People With Disabilies Condemn “Latte” Mailer

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On Saturday Morning at the Davis Art Center, advocates for people with disabilities gathered to express their anger and outrage at a mailer sent from Ed Voice.

As we reported yesterday, the ad question spending $91,000 for what it calls “coffee service.” However, it ignores the fact that the coffee cart is just part of a new Yolo County training program that will help people dealing with mental illness learn valuable job skills and empower them towards independence.

The program was passed by the Yolo County Board of Supervisors by a 3-2 vote along party lines.

The Sacramento Bee’s ad watch roundly criticized the ad:

“$91,000 for coffee service?” reads one flier attacking Yamada, a Yolo County supervisor, for voting to subsidize a coffee cart in a county building. “What was Yamada thinking?”

Turns out it’s no ordinary coffee cart – it’s designed to provide jobs to people with mental disabilities.

Yolo supervisors voted 3-2 to commit $91,000 to the Turning Point agency for equipment and training. The money stems from a 2005 tax on millionaires that can be spent only for mental-health services.

At the top of the ad, they quote an unnamed Yolo County Supervisor: “When I first read it, I thought it was a mistake. When I heard the explanation, it was worse.” Of course what they do not tell you is that that county supervisor was Republican Matt Rexroad.

Supervisor Rexroad reports on his blog yesterday:

“I am now getting hate mail from people for voting against that coffee cart. I am telling you right now — I will never vote for anything like that coffee cart — ever. I am proud that I voted no.”

This simply illustrates the partisan dimension to the vote. The problem of course is that Cabaldon is a Democrat trying to court Democratic votes.

Marilyn Moyle was one of the participants in the press conference yesterday. She is the Chair of Yolo County’s Mental Health Board and a member of NAMI. She described in detail how her son benefited from similar vocational programs in landscaping.

“I’m very concerned about the misleading information that has been mailed out…. I know how important vocational opportunities are for mental health clients – for their recoveries and their self-esteem.”

Christine Totah is a local advocate for people with disabilities. Her son is 12 and has autism. She is also the Treasurer for Mariko Yamada’s campaign due to Supervisor Yamada’s longtime advocacy for people with disabilities.

Ms. Totah expressed anger, outrage, and disgust at the mailer.

“The mailer really turned my stomach as a taxpayer and a voter.

Even though my son is only twelve, I feel I need to stand up and defend this program and make sure this service stays in place for him because he will need job coaching as he grows up so he can be a productive member of society.

Our coffee cart is an educational service and when compared to the cost of institutionalizing someone suffering from mental illness, the $91,000 is a bargain. It’s one of those issues where a taxpayer in Yolo County can be really proud of where their tax dollars are going.”

She also wondered about an educational advocacy group such as EdVoice attacking a program that at its base is an educational program.

While the Cabaldon campaign has not provided an official response to this, there is a general sense around the community that EdVoice went way too far with both this ad and the Yolo County Housing Authority ad. There has also been considerable backlash against the slew of IEs against Cabaldon by various union interests.

On the other hand, internal polling now shows this is now a neck and neck race. A month ago, Cabaldon was going to walk away with this nomination, now that is very much in doubt. Without the IEs on behalf of the Yamada campaign, they were sunk. This caused groups like the Teacher’s Union to go hard and negative the last few weeks. The EdVoice folks had access to polling as wll and quickly went negative against Yamada.

Campaigns go negative because it works unfortunately. These IEs are accountable to no one and they have almost no regulation. At the end of the day, Yamada would not be in this race without them.

So where does that leave the public and the political process? It is hard to say. This race is not alone in that effect either.

From the perspective of public discourse this is a tragedy. The ads launched by EdVoice were untrue for the most part, misleading, mean, and vicious. At the press conference yesterday, families who had children with disabilities felt victimized by the Latte ad. The Housing Authority Ad was a disgrace. The CTA sending out a picture with Cabaldon’s car booted was petty and disgraceful for an organization that should be advocating for children, teachers, and education.

Someone has to say no to this stuff.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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28 thoughts on “Advocates for People With Disabilies Condemn “Latte” Mailer”

  1. Anonymous

    For those undecided voters, this issue should help you make up your minds. The folks bankrolling Cabaldon’s campaign are alligned with Rexroad on this issue and are opposed to this program. These are folks that will have a lot of influence over Cabaldon as they are funding his campaign and are his former employer. If you oppose these types of program as a waste of taxpayer dollars, vote for Cabaldon. If you want to see these types of programs continue, vote for Yamada.

  2. Anonymous

    For those undecided voters, this issue should help you make up your minds. The folks bankrolling Cabaldon’s campaign are alligned with Rexroad on this issue and are opposed to this program. These are folks that will have a lot of influence over Cabaldon as they are funding his campaign and are his former employer. If you oppose these types of program as a waste of taxpayer dollars, vote for Cabaldon. If you want to see these types of programs continue, vote for Yamada.

  3. Anonymous

    For those undecided voters, this issue should help you make up your minds. The folks bankrolling Cabaldon’s campaign are alligned with Rexroad on this issue and are opposed to this program. These are folks that will have a lot of influence over Cabaldon as they are funding his campaign and are his former employer. If you oppose these types of program as a waste of taxpayer dollars, vote for Cabaldon. If you want to see these types of programs continue, vote for Yamada.

  4. Anonymous

    For those undecided voters, this issue should help you make up your minds. The folks bankrolling Cabaldon’s campaign are alligned with Rexroad on this issue and are opposed to this program. These are folks that will have a lot of influence over Cabaldon as they are funding his campaign and are his former employer. If you oppose these types of program as a waste of taxpayer dollars, vote for Cabaldon. If you want to see these types of programs continue, vote for Yamada.

  5. Want To Know

    I would like to know:
    1. What actually is this “coffee cart” program?
    2. Why did Matt Rexroad vote against it?

    Prop 63 funding must be spent on NEW mental health programs that address either underserved mentally ill populations and/or unmet mental illness needs. How does this program address unmet needs and underserved populations of the mentally ill? Why were some of the County Supervisors so dead set against the “coffee cart” program, and where would they have preferred the money to be spent instead?

  6. Want To Know

    I would like to know:
    1. What actually is this “coffee cart” program?
    2. Why did Matt Rexroad vote against it?

    Prop 63 funding must be spent on NEW mental health programs that address either underserved mentally ill populations and/or unmet mental illness needs. How does this program address unmet needs and underserved populations of the mentally ill? Why were some of the County Supervisors so dead set against the “coffee cart” program, and where would they have preferred the money to be spent instead?

  7. Want To Know

    I would like to know:
    1. What actually is this “coffee cart” program?
    2. Why did Matt Rexroad vote against it?

    Prop 63 funding must be spent on NEW mental health programs that address either underserved mentally ill populations and/or unmet mental illness needs. How does this program address unmet needs and underserved populations of the mentally ill? Why were some of the County Supervisors so dead set against the “coffee cart” program, and where would they have preferred the money to be spent instead?

  8. Want To Know

    I would like to know:
    1. What actually is this “coffee cart” program?
    2. Why did Matt Rexroad vote against it?

    Prop 63 funding must be spent on NEW mental health programs that address either underserved mentally ill populations and/or unmet mental illness needs. How does this program address unmet needs and underserved populations of the mentally ill? Why were some of the County Supervisors so dead set against the “coffee cart” program, and where would they have preferred the money to be spent instead?

  9. Josh Fryday

    I got the $91,000 for a Latte piece, and I don’t get why the county would vote for this subsidy. Even after reading the county report, it doesn’t make sense that the county has to cover the startup costs of the program.

    Why not just allow a company to move into the county building, and get them to do it without the funds at a sweetener? There’s a coffee cart in the Sacramento building I park in every day, and I don’t think they are getting a subsidy from anyone.

    Cabaldon got an entire baseball park in West Sacramento, and it cost the city $0!

  10. Josh Fryday

    I got the $91,000 for a Latte piece, and I don’t get why the county would vote for this subsidy. Even after reading the county report, it doesn’t make sense that the county has to cover the startup costs of the program.

    Why not just allow a company to move into the county building, and get them to do it without the funds at a sweetener? There’s a coffee cart in the Sacramento building I park in every day, and I don’t think they are getting a subsidy from anyone.

    Cabaldon got an entire baseball park in West Sacramento, and it cost the city $0!

  11. Josh Fryday

    I got the $91,000 for a Latte piece, and I don’t get why the county would vote for this subsidy. Even after reading the county report, it doesn’t make sense that the county has to cover the startup costs of the program.

    Why not just allow a company to move into the county building, and get them to do it without the funds at a sweetener? There’s a coffee cart in the Sacramento building I park in every day, and I don’t think they are getting a subsidy from anyone.

    Cabaldon got an entire baseball park in West Sacramento, and it cost the city $0!

  12. Josh Fryday

    I got the $91,000 for a Latte piece, and I don’t get why the county would vote for this subsidy. Even after reading the county report, it doesn’t make sense that the county has to cover the startup costs of the program.

    Why not just allow a company to move into the county building, and get them to do it without the funds at a sweetener? There’s a coffee cart in the Sacramento building I park in every day, and I don’t think they are getting a subsidy from anyone.

    Cabaldon got an entire baseball park in West Sacramento, and it cost the city $0!

  13. Knowledgeable About Prop 63

    “I got the $91,000 for a Latte piece, and I don’t get why the county would vote for this subsidy. Even after reading the county report, it doesn’t make sense that the county has to cover the startup costs of the program.”

    This program must provide training to those who are mentally ill, and want to work at the coffee stand. Prop 63 funding can only be used for mental health services for either new programs or that serve those who have been previously underserved. This “coffee cart program” would seem to come under the “new programs” rubric.

    This coffee cart program essentially costs nothing extra, in that it spends money already earmarked for the mentally ill. So again, I would ask Matt Rexroad, where would he prefer this $91,000 have been spent, and on what sort of alternative mental health services? Did he have something else specific in mind, or did he not really understand where the money came from and how it must be spent?

    By the way, this is not an inditement of Mr. Rexroad, but more a general comment on how difficult sometimes it can be to sort out what is really going on. This program (coffee cart project)was clearly not a waste of taxpayers dollars, if it employs the mentally ill – something Prop 63 funds are to be used for.

    The reason I am knowledgeable about these funds is because I participated in the planning committee that decided how to spend Prop 63 funding. Our particular committee devised a mobile assessment team for at-risk senior citizens which has been extremely successful.

  14. Knowledgeable About Prop 63

    “I got the $91,000 for a Latte piece, and I don’t get why the county would vote for this subsidy. Even after reading the county report, it doesn’t make sense that the county has to cover the startup costs of the program.”

    This program must provide training to those who are mentally ill, and want to work at the coffee stand. Prop 63 funding can only be used for mental health services for either new programs or that serve those who have been previously underserved. This “coffee cart program” would seem to come under the “new programs” rubric.

    This coffee cart program essentially costs nothing extra, in that it spends money already earmarked for the mentally ill. So again, I would ask Matt Rexroad, where would he prefer this $91,000 have been spent, and on what sort of alternative mental health services? Did he have something else specific in mind, or did he not really understand where the money came from and how it must be spent?

    By the way, this is not an inditement of Mr. Rexroad, but more a general comment on how difficult sometimes it can be to sort out what is really going on. This program (coffee cart project)was clearly not a waste of taxpayers dollars, if it employs the mentally ill – something Prop 63 funds are to be used for.

    The reason I am knowledgeable about these funds is because I participated in the planning committee that decided how to spend Prop 63 funding. Our particular committee devised a mobile assessment team for at-risk senior citizens which has been extremely successful.

  15. Knowledgeable About Prop 63

    “I got the $91,000 for a Latte piece, and I don’t get why the county would vote for this subsidy. Even after reading the county report, it doesn’t make sense that the county has to cover the startup costs of the program.”

    This program must provide training to those who are mentally ill, and want to work at the coffee stand. Prop 63 funding can only be used for mental health services for either new programs or that serve those who have been previously underserved. This “coffee cart program” would seem to come under the “new programs” rubric.

    This coffee cart program essentially costs nothing extra, in that it spends money already earmarked for the mentally ill. So again, I would ask Matt Rexroad, where would he prefer this $91,000 have been spent, and on what sort of alternative mental health services? Did he have something else specific in mind, or did he not really understand where the money came from and how it must be spent?

    By the way, this is not an inditement of Mr. Rexroad, but more a general comment on how difficult sometimes it can be to sort out what is really going on. This program (coffee cart project)was clearly not a waste of taxpayers dollars, if it employs the mentally ill – something Prop 63 funds are to be used for.

    The reason I am knowledgeable about these funds is because I participated in the planning committee that decided how to spend Prop 63 funding. Our particular committee devised a mobile assessment team for at-risk senior citizens which has been extremely successful.

  16. Knowledgeable About Prop 63

    “I got the $91,000 for a Latte piece, and I don’t get why the county would vote for this subsidy. Even after reading the county report, it doesn’t make sense that the county has to cover the startup costs of the program.”

    This program must provide training to those who are mentally ill, and want to work at the coffee stand. Prop 63 funding can only be used for mental health services for either new programs or that serve those who have been previously underserved. This “coffee cart program” would seem to come under the “new programs” rubric.

    This coffee cart program essentially costs nothing extra, in that it spends money already earmarked for the mentally ill. So again, I would ask Matt Rexroad, where would he prefer this $91,000 have been spent, and on what sort of alternative mental health services? Did he have something else specific in mind, or did he not really understand where the money came from and how it must be spent?

    By the way, this is not an inditement of Mr. Rexroad, but more a general comment on how difficult sometimes it can be to sort out what is really going on. This program (coffee cart project)was clearly not a waste of taxpayers dollars, if it employs the mentally ill – something Prop 63 funds are to be used for.

    The reason I am knowledgeable about these funds is because I participated in the planning committee that decided how to spend Prop 63 funding. Our particular committee devised a mobile assessment team for at-risk senior citizens which has been extremely successful.

  17. Anonymous

    another hit piece on the coffee program hit the mail today–this is disgusting–trying to win an election on the backs of the disabled–i hope the voters figure this out

  18. Anonymous

    another hit piece on the coffee program hit the mail today–this is disgusting–trying to win an election on the backs of the disabled–i hope the voters figure this out

  19. Anonymous

    another hit piece on the coffee program hit the mail today–this is disgusting–trying to win an election on the backs of the disabled–i hope the voters figure this out

  20. Anonymous

    another hit piece on the coffee program hit the mail today–this is disgusting–trying to win an election on the backs of the disabled–i hope the voters figure this out

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