Sunday Commentary: There Are Issues in Davis Beyond the Narrow Core

The Vanguard has strongly pushed forward issues of public concern for the city: the budget, the upcoming labor contracts, roads, the parcel tax, the continued situation with the firefighters’ union and joint services agreement, and the proposed innovation parks. These are clearly core issues before the council.

The first order of business was finding a new city manager, and now the council clearly has to address the core issues. One commenter notes, “It is amazing how this City Council has managed to keep its eye off the ball ever since they came back from the summer break.”

They would add, “The eye is constantly off the ball–and we shouldn’t let them blather about MRAPs and plastic bags and woodsmoke and sanctuary status until they eat their vegetables!  (i.e. our unmet needs).”

Mayor Pro Tem Robb Davis, rightly so, took issue with the comment, noting that after “the crowd went home” they “talked about conducting an update to assessing the costs of building maintenance (replacement costs) for City-owned properties. This is significant because, if we are to assess the full needs of maintenance backlogs, we need this assessment.  This assessment, as was noted during the (unreported) discussion, will also allow us to determine the amount of excess City property we may have so we can determine if/how to dispose of it–opening up some sites for redevelopment and reducing our need to maintain un-needed properties.”

That said, I do agree that the council has not taken up the core issues since the break. Where I differ is on the idea that council should take up only core issues.

On the surface of it, the issue of the sanctuary city does not seem like a big issue. But the genesis of it comes from a discussion that occurred in June. At that time, the issue of the Royal Oak mobile home park came back onto my radar. The conditions of that park and the treatment of the residents is an ongoing concern about which the Vanguard is working on having a full report later this month.

One thing that became clear is that the mobile home park houses a number of very vulnerable residents, some of who are undocumented. Their immigration status has played a role in the reluctance of the residents to come forward and complain to authorities for fear of retribution.

At that time, members of the Human Relations Commission (of which I am one) asked about a possible sanctuary city status for Davis. Interestingly enough, we learned, to our surprise, that we already had one. It seems in the 1980s, activists like Will and Jane Lotter petitioned the city council to make Davis a sanctuary city mainly for the purpose of housing refugees from El Salvador and other Central American war torn countries.

The last update was, interestingly enough, from 2007 and although the Vanguard existed at the time and I vaguely remember it, it did not leave a large impression. The reasoning of the HRC and its membership was, if we did not know that Davis was a Sanctuary City, most people, especially those impacted by it the most, would also have no idea.

So we worked with the city, the City Attorney and the Davis Police Department to craft a resolution that had teeth but still complied with local laws. As it turns out, the Davis Police Department, just like the Yolo County Jail, do not report immigration violations to ICE. And so it turns out there will be no actual policy change.

Again, the purpose was to provide a vehicle for us to publicize it, so that vulnerable residents are not afraid to report complaints about Royal Oak, and it allows residents to file complaints – which is one reason the police support the policy – about crime without fear that they will have their immigration status exposed and face deportation.

On Tuesday night, I was in particular moved by the comments of Reverend Elizabeth Banks of the Unitarian Universalist Church, who very articulately described her experiences watching refugees from Honduras removed in chains, many of whom were likely deported to their deaths.

Vanessa Natalie Cerdá Rojas described what it was like to be in a safe place where she doesn’t have to think about legal status or worry about her parents being deported.

So yes, I get it, this issue is not about the core issues facing the city, but maybe we can help people who live in our community have a better quality of life.

This is an example of a city commission identifying a problem, finding a relatively simple mechanism to possibly resolve the problem, and then working with Mayor Pro Tem Davis, the Davis Police and city staff resolve it.

It would have been a consent item, except the HRC wanted to publicize the issue and Mayor Pro Tem Robb Davis wanted the opportunity to introduce Andrea Gaytan of the UC Davis AB540 and Undocumented Student Center, which offers undocumented students and their families immigration-related legal services on campus.

Feel free to disagree with initiative, but did that 16 minutes of public discussion really take us off track?

Mayor Dan Wolk is pushing his healthy children’s initiative and, while it is perhaps easy to take potshots at it, there are real problems in our community that this has the potential to at least put into discussion.

As we noted last week, Davis tends to be seen as a white, upper middle class community, but the reality is more complex. About one-quarter of the schools’ population is in Title One status.

From a city perspective, the recent raid on the Royal Oak mobile home park, and the subsequent discussion at the two-by-two of the conditions at that park, highlights the nature of the vulnerable population, much of which has children in school.

A good percentage of the children that live in places like Royal Oak attend schools in Davis like Montgomery. There are children there whose only meals during the course of the day are the breakfast and lunch that they receive at school.

While Montgomery as a Title I school provides meals to children for breakfast and lunch, non-Title I schools provide only lunch. So when we moved to South Davis and moved our kid from Patwin (a Title I school) to Pioneer, he lost the ability to receive a breakfast because it is not offered. While that is not a huge deal in our house, it may be for many other kids.

Along with food is also access to health services. We had a long discussion about dental clinics after the council rejected fluoridation of water, and it seems that those efforts have since been dropped.

We also should be concerned about the issue of vaccination. Last year, Davis was reported to have a low child vaccination rate and, in some schools, the immunization rate is well below the 95 percent threshold needed to keep key diseases in check.

Again, these may not be core city issues, but when one-quarter of the children in our schools have Title I status, it seems to be an important issue to them to make sure they get proper nutrition and access to social services.

I remain a strong proponent of dealing with the nuts and bolts city issues, as laid out at the outset of the article, but what is interesting is that those were mainly the issues that John Munn tackled in his campaign run in June, and our analysis suggests that it was his single-minded focus on those issues that perhaps prevented his election.

I want to see the city tackle the budget, MOUs, roads, parcel tax, innovation parks, but I also don’t want the city to ignore its duties to the lesser and vulnerable citizens in its midst.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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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    1. Bill

      Right on.  Social sustainability should be a core city/community issue.  I’m glad to see that some council members are taking social issues seriously.  Bravo to them!

  1. Davis Progressive

    another issue that has not been covered is the homeless issue.  i know from talking to a lot of folks, that the davis enterprise singled-handedly ruined the efforts of a coalition of people with a story they ran a few months ago –

    it was completely misreported by dave ryan and it did a huge amount of damage to the efforts which was to try to shift the focus away from handouts to individuals, instead giving larger sums of money to groups that could more systematically meet the needs of the public.

    1. Tia Will

      instead giving larger sums of money to groups that could more systematically meet the needs of the public.”

      And here is what I see as the core of the issue in addressing our various needs as a society. Many here define “core” needs as existing only in the economic realm. Until we are willing as a society to address the very basic human needs for food, clothing, shelter, as core issues and not choose to relegate these matters to what people are willing to donate to the fragmented groups each trying to meet the needs “more systemically” rather than actually providing a “system”, we will continue to deal with this issue in the same fragmented and ineffective manner. Providing a single meal to an individual on the street is not the most effective means to combat hunger. It also does not undermine the efforts of other forms of relief. Donating money to a private charity is also not the most effective means of providing for these individuals.

      Reframing the conversation so that care of the most vulnerable in our communities is a core issue worthy of the same consideration as our roads would seem to me to be the most productive way forward. After all, how successful has leaving the care of the homeless to private charities really been over the years despite their heroic efforts to meet the demonstrated need ? I am reading from posts here that the homeless problem is increasing, not decreasing on the local level. I do not know the numbers but would be interested in a comprehensive article on this topic.


    2. hpierce

      DP & Tia… what have each of you done in the realm of the homeless/chronically poor lately?  Or is your “contribution” wringing your hands and declaring what others “must do”?  For about the last 25 years we have sponsored a STEAC family (usually 4-5 members).  Suggest you start doing the same, and then I might listen more.

      1. Davis Progressive

        it’s kind of weird an anonymous person calling out an anonymous person.  i need to protect my identity on here for a lot of reasons, but i’ve done a substantial amount of work in my career on behalf of the homeless, probably more than most.  i can’t get into specifics without outing myself, but i was involved in major litigation a few years ago.

        1. Anon

          To DP: Thanks for your service.  It is greatly appreciated.  Many who volunteer to help others do so silently, behind the scenes, without any expectation of acknowledgement.

        2. hpierce

          My comment was meant to seek ‘indication of commitment’, not details that would “call out”or expose anyone.  If you had left it at “I’ve done substantial work…” you would have fully responded to my ‘challenge’.  To you & Anon, I only showed one card out of a greater deck.  Seems as if we are travelling similar paths on that matter.

          I apologize for any offense given.

          Perhaps I have known too many “Liberals” who call themselves that, but who don’t put their activity/resources towards making a difference… only their ‘words’.  I appear to have made a very wrong comparison in this case.  I will attempt to be more circumspect, moving forward.

  2. Tia Will

    So yes, I get it, this issue is not about the core issues facing the city, but maybe we can help people who live in our community have a better quality of life.”

    I could not disagree more. I believe that the health and safety of all members of our community is a core issue. Many do not see these issues as core because they take them for granted. If you have reached a certain socio economic status in our community it may seem to you that personal safety ( in your safe neighborhood with no fear of calling the police ), or preventive health care ( since your insurance covers your needs), or adequate nutrition ( since your budget allows you to eat nutritious foods daily) are not core issues. But I can assure you having lived on both sides of this economic divide, that they are.

    One irony that I see in all of this is that these issues do seem to be core, when many of these same individuals feel that it is themselves or the police that they perceive are threatened. The MRAP apparently did not seem like a time waster to those who posted repetitively here for keeping it in town for the admittedly very rare, if ever occasion when it might be needed for police protection. Some of them even advocated for the City Council to take more time learning and debating in the hopes that the decision would go their way. Some of these same folks now seem to be saying that we should not take time for the much more likely crime against people who are vulnerable due to fears that they or a family member may be subject to deportation if they report crime in their homes or neighborhood. Taking 16 minutes, or an hour for that matter to ensure that people become more aware that they can live lawfully and freely in Davis without fearing any contact with the police or authorities would seem to me to be time well spent.



    1. David Greenwald

      It seems you are taking issue with the notion that these are not core issues, that’s fine, for the sake of argument I was accepting the premise but attacking the conclusion.

  3. Gunrocik

    I’m glad to have helped to provoke more discussion on the issue.  I agree that governing is about more than just budget — but when you have a patient who needs open heart surgery — you don’t give them a pedicure first.

    I just think our infrastructure and budget sustainability are so important that at least for a short period of time — they need our singular focus — then we can have a discussion about what other issues are appropriate to address at the local government level.  And I do believe that many of the issues we address in Davis need to be done with more collaboration with our County and State who often abdicate their role as the provider for those most needy in the community.

    1. David Greenwald

      “when you have a patient who needs open heart surgery — you don’t give them a pedicure first.”

      My wife would probably beg to differ. Nevertheless, I don’t see the issue of the Sanctuary City as a pedicure, we were attempting to deal with a very bad situation in the only way we could at the time.

      1. hpierce

        See comment below.  Unless you want to see us annex Royal Oak MHP.

        I know, facts like Royal Oak not being in the city, gets in the way of a good story/posturing.

  4. Frankly

    Thinking about any individual or family that would migrate to the US illegally, with minor exception they are generally going to people plagued with the lowest economic prospects in their own home country.  So in essence illegal immigration filters out the most troubled people from other countries to become our social problems.

    And then when they get here, American liberals get to work resetting the fairness benchmarks comparing their situation to that of existing Americans having developed top-shelf economic and social sophistication and claiming we are having a crisis in equity and demanding more tax and redistribution to make things better.

    Cannot we not just be practical and honest and admit that illegal immigrants are generally not ever going to fit in to a city like Davis… and their children are going to be much more troubled and challenging because their parents don’t have a clue?

    And related to this and our immigration policy, there is one raging point that US liberals conveniently ignore in this massive Democrat voter and social justice charity case inflation project… the US is the dumping ground for the third world.  They gladly allow their biggest problems to come to the US… that relieves pressure for bottom-up revolt to eliminate the government corruption that keeps them at third world status… AND money flows back from the US to families in these countries thereby reducing their welfare bill and putting more money in the pockets of these corrupt politicians and dictators.

    Our lax border enforcement and lack of more consistent and aggressive deportation is literally causing more misery to the people of these countries because it delays or prevents the inevitable revolt that would surly occur otherwise.

    As with a lot of things, liberals kill with misplaced kindness.

    But while they do so, we need to stop comparing the economic plight of first and even second generation illegal immigrants with that of people living in an exclusive community like Davis.  That is irrational.

    1. Don Shor

      they are generally going to people plagued with the lowest economic prospects in their own home country.

      That depends on why they migrated here. Many are leaving their home countries due to poor security there. Also, someone who is motivated enough to travel those distances under those conditions is probably pretty motivated to work.

      Cannot we not just be practical and honest and admit that illegal immigrants are generally not ever going to fit in to a city like Davis

      Inasmuch as they are here (ask David), your statement doesn’t seem accurate.

      Our lax border enforcement and lack of more consistent and aggressive deportation

      You know enforcement and deportation has significantly increased under Obama, right?

      it delays or prevents the inevitable revolt that would surly occur otherwise.

      Some of those countries are in open internal warfare between the governments, the narcoterrorists, and their citizens. How do you propose that “inevitable revolt” play out, other than how it is presently happening? And don’t you think that revolt would have economic and security consequences for the United States?

    2. TrueBlueDevil

      Good post. There are numerous other issues happening that threaten the idea of success for these new illegal immigrants.

      There is the “sancho culture” here in many Latino areas where the young men have left a wife in Mexico or Central America, and then they might have one or two girlfriends here. I mentioned this to friends who have family in Central America. A few weeks later they mentioned that they spoke with relatives back home, and that the men leaving home has left a vacuum for gangs and “sanchos” back home. (Sancho technically being “the other man”.) Some of these gangs were exported back from our own prisons. So it has really caused havoc with the traditional Latino family, and I gather from the young Latino men I have spoken with that this is one of the few pleasures they have. They are often separated from their family or children, so having a girlfriend or fling is seen as a natural diversion.

      Of coarse, we have single women here who may become pregnant to ensure that they have an “anchor baby”. I had forgotten about this phenomena until I noticed several young girls in a local Latino neighborhood all getting pregnant, none with a boyfriend. They’re nice young ladies, not party animals. They worked at a shop I frequented, and they had expressed hopes of going to college, one said she wanted to become a doctor.

      In this same Latino area, the construction workers tell me that in the summer young women offer their services for $20-25. It is odd because it doesn’t sound like their normal ‘occupation’, more something they do on summer weekends to drum up extra spending money. So these whole crazy dynamics are happening simultaneously, it is very complicated.

      I don’t see how you pull a child out of this area, who’s parents don’t speak English or formal Spanish, and expect them to compete with kids from Davis or Granite Bay.

    1. David Greenwald

      WHen there was a raid on Royal Oak, the lead agency was Davis Police, not the Sheriff’s Department. As it turns out the agency that may have jurisdiction over this is not the city or the County, but the Justice Department.

  5. Tia Will

    So how does “sanctuary city” status affect the Royal Oak project, given it is not in the City?

    If I were reporting a crime, I would take the complaint to the City of Davis police. If I were enrolling my child in a school, I would find a way to do it within the city of Davis. If I were looking for employment, given a choice, I would choose to take one within the city.


    1. hpierce

      Je ne comprends…

      Do you mean ‘if you were undocumented’ you would report the crime, etc. in the City of Davis?  I’m not sure I understand your response, but then again, that’s not your problem/concern. [my understanding, that is]

  6. Anon

    I think there is legitimate criticism to be made about previous City Councils who have wasted time on plastic bag bans (the state banned plastic bags); wood burning smoke (it only effected a very, very few people and could have been addressed through mediation services); passing ordinances having to do with non city issues that are meaningless, etc.  I know some City Council members have told me personally they feel this way – major budgetary issues are being given short shrift at the expense of these smaller inconsequential issues that eat up staff and City Council time.

  7. DT Businessman

    “So in essence illegal immigration filters out the most troubled people from other countries to become our social problems.”

    Are you kidding me?  This comment is completely divorced from reality and history.  You are describing the vast majority of Americans.  This country was founded and populated by misfits, escapees, refugees, non-inheriting sons, the unwanted from other countries, indentured servants, slaves, etc.  All individuals that saw no future in their home countries or removed by force.  You are complaining about almost every American.  For sure you’re complaining about me, my parents, my grandparents and my children.

    -Michael Bisch

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      Your description sounds more like Australia. Moving legally when the economy sucks in your own country is one thing, going through a process, health check up, having a needed occupation and not getting social welfare benefits (most of these programs didn’t exist back then) is one scenario. Illegally shuffling across a border not due to starvation, but wanting a better life is another in waves of tens of millions, and not learning the local language or obeying local laws. Bringing in tens of thousands of gangs, an exploding drug pipeline, and lawless subculture. This makes the mafia look like child’s play.

      Since so many Mexicans want to move here, maybe we should offer admission to the US to Mexico, make our country 60 or 70 states.


      1. Jim Frame

        Bringing in tens of thousands of gangs, an exploding drug pipeline, and lawless subculture.

        The reason the gangs thrive is the huge number in the “lawless subculture” that buy the drugs the gangs sell.  That would be, collectively, us.  Legalize the drugs and defund the gangs, but that’s another discussion.

  8. DavisBurns

    And related to this and our immigration policy, there is one raging point that US liberals conveniently ignore in this massive Democrat voter and social justice charity case inflation project… the US is the dumping ground for the third world. 

    If we reduced our legal immigrants to around 200,000 a year instead of the current 1.1 million, it would help diffuse the anger at the illegal immigrants.  That level of immigration is supported by both parties. When congress debates immigration reform, they mean illegal immigration.  A million immigrants every year is difficult to assimilate and there is evidence that when there is an large ongoing influx of immigrants, they tend to cluster together and it takes longer for them to move out of poverty.  We basically create a new city of over a million people every year…increasing tensions in the places they settle, creating competition for housing and jobs as well as impacting social services budgets.

    I can speculate as to who profits from this constant influx of people but the politics of immigration are so mired in the red herring of illegal immigration and so many anti-immigration groups are fronts for nativist groups with a racist agenda  that this issue, like so many other important issues, does not get discussed.

    for all the people who say we couldn’t harvest our crops without immigrant labor, I say we have had programs in the past to allow seasonal workers legal entry, we can do it again.

    1. Don Shor

      If we just find a way to normalize the status of many of those who are already in this country harvesting the crops, without necessarily providing citizenship, we can avoid the massive disruption that would occur to agriculture, as well as many service industries, as immigration is reformed. There is not a sufficient labor force of those willing and skilled enough to do that farm work. We have the record of what happened in Georgia and Alabama to prove that.
      There are several parts that will be in any immigration reform bill that eventually passes: border security, stable labor supplies for farms, path to citizenship, legal status for minors (DREAM Act). What’s frustrating is there is broad agreement about all of this. The Senate bill that passed was a balanced approach. But if there is insistence on something like ‘border security first’ coupled with increased apprehension and deportation — then the disruption to many industries, and the disruption of millions of lives, will be profound.

    2. TrueBlueDevil

      Don, most aren’t here to pick lettuce! The major industries are construction, agriculture, service jobs, landscaping, and any low-skilled jobs. 20-240 million illegal immigrants aren’t here doing farm labor. Just this past week President Obama’s administration put out an RFQ soliciting companies to produce a minimum of 4 million green cards a year, for 2 years, with a maximum amount of 34 Million.

      If we don’t fix the border first we will just invite more illegal immigration. Reagan gave Amnesty to 1 million, which became 3.5 million, and the border was never fixed. Obama withdrew the funding for the border fence.

      This “anchor baby” / birthright citizenship legal interpretation is also a fiasco. Nowhere else can you ‘drop a child’ and gain access to that country, this was a provision in the Constitution protecting the slaves, not to protect illegal immigrants.

      This influx is killing our lower classes,  they know it, and even working-class African Americans are finally waking up, they see the writing on the wall.

      1. Don Shor

        I already showed you that your supposed “African American protests” against immigration are a sham group, barely a dozen people who are fronting for anti-immigration activist groups.
        It will not be possible, even if it were desirable, to apprehend and deport the millions of workers in this country.It would also create a labor crisis. We know that.
        Obama has increased border funding, Bush and Obama have significantly increased border patrol budgets and numbers, and the Obama administration has significantly increased deportations.
        We need to normalize the status of current working immigrants. I support the President doing that by executive order if that’s what it takes, establishing legal residency status (again: only citizens can vote), until Congress passes immigration reform. Any reform law can supercede executive action. But until then, we need to give cards to these folks, get them ID cards, have them paying taxes. Immigration reform is going to include all the things we’ve talked about before. There is overwhelming support for it — except among the Tea Party tail that is wagging the GOP dog.

        1. Don Shor

          I get the sense that a lot of people believe that labor is highly mobile and workers are interchangeable between industries. There are skill sets and aptitudes for agricultural work, construction and landscaping, and service industries. Whenever there have been attempts at bringing people into ag harvesting, for example, growers quickly discover that people who haven’t worked in those jobs don’t want to do them, aren’t efficient at them, and don’t stick with it. That’s also true of landscape and construction laborers and journeymen. I’m not as familiar with service industries like hotels and janitorial work. But there is not a large pool of workers ready to take on what the illegal immigrants are doing in our country now. The wages aren’t the issue. Farmers and others could pay more, certainly, and might attract some employees that way, but not in sufficient numbers to avoid serious economic dislocations. That would have ripple effects. We aren’t just talking about crops rotting in the field — although that certainly would be likely; it happened in Georgia and Alabama. There are whole communities that have large numbers of illegal workers, often family members of legal residents, and there is adverse impact on those families, on the businesses of those communities, and more.
          There is a tendency to treat immigration in very simplistic terms and propose solutions or policies that would simply not be workable.

        2. TrueBlueDevil

          Yes, there is a lot of mobility within low-skill jobs. A service person can work any number of service jobs that have low “barriers of entry”, and places like McDonalds specifically make software programs that are extremely easy to learn. Their industry requires it due to high turnover.

          Ag is it’s own niche, and we have always had various programs to fulfill those needs.

          Most construction workers can do a variety of low and mid level jobs. Men (rarely women) can do tear our, paint, basic carpentry, sheet rock, etc. As skills are gained, people move up the ladder… they may prefer carpentry, but if there is work building fences, that’s what they’ll do.

          If we were less generous with our welfare benefits, more people would take these entry level and second tier jobs. There was an ICE raid of six Swift meat packing plants in 2006, and the reults of the raid appear to be very beneficial for the working man.

          “* There is good evidence that after the raids the number of native-born workers increased significantly. But Swift would not provide information on how its workforce has changed. Swift also has recruited a large number of refugees who are legal immigrants.

          “* At the four facilities for which we were able to obtain information, wages and bonuses rose on average 8 percent with the departure of illegal immigrants.”


          You are correct that if we removed illegal immigrants there would be an impact; there would also be a positive impact if wages were raised for legal American workers.

      2. TrueBlueDevil

        What are your sources / links for “overwhelming support” – for Amnesty? Maybe you need to get out of Davis a bit more, the lower and middle classes  for a long time have known the costs of reckless and massive illegal immigration.

        This is one of the primary ways business holds down costs – by a massive increase in the labor supply, and using ER’s as the health plans for their workers.

        1. Don Shor

          Survey | What Americans Want From Immigration Reform in 2014
          Executive Summary

          At present, 62% of Americans favor providing a way for immigrants who are currently living in the United States illegally to become citizens provided they meet certain requirements, while 17% support allowing them to become permanent legal residents but not citizens, and roughly 1-in-5 (19%) favor a policy that would identify and deport all immigrants living in the United States illegally.

          1. Don Shor


            A new nationwide Fox News poll asks, “Which of the following comes closest to your view about what government policy should be toward illegal immigrants currently in the United States?” Should the government:

            Send all illegal immigrants back to their home country? Have a guest worker program that allows immigrants to remain in the United States to work, but only for a limited amount of time? Allow illegal immigrants to remain in the country and eventually qualify for U.S. citizenship, but only if they meet certain requirements like paying back taxes, learning English, and passing a background check?

            By a 68% to 15% margin, respondents in the Fox News poll back the path to citizenship option over the deportation alternative. The guest worker option receives only 13% support.
            Among Republican respondents, 60% back citizenship vs. 19% who select deportation and 18% who back the guest worker alternative.

        2. TrueBlueDevil

          Here is another interesting component.

          The two most powerful independent predictors of support for a path to citizenship are being young (under 30) and identifying as Hispanic. Holding a four-year college degree, being female, identifying with the Democratic Party, and most trusting MSNBC as an accurate news source are also significant predictors of support for immigration reform. Most Americans believe the immigration system in the United States is broken. Less than 1-in-10 (6%) Americans believe that the immigration system is generally working, 31% say it is working but with some major problems, 38% say it is broken but working in some areas, and 23% say it is completely broken.”

          The first group probably has no idea of the true cost and how it will impact them.

          If Americans were given the true long-term costs and better estimate for the true population numbers involved, I’m sure the numbers would change some.

          1. Don Shor

            So I prove you wrong about what Americans believe, and your assertion is just that people who believe as they do are uninformed. Got it.

  9. DavisBurns

    If we were less generous with our welfare benefits, 

    Please clairify what you mean by welfare.  Bill Clinton ended welfare.  We provide rent subsidies and food stamps but welfare doesn’t exist.

  10. TrueBlueDevil

    My understanding is that Clinton reformed welfare, one of many ways he showed he could moderate, and Obama gutted his reforms, proving he is far left.

    When we’ve had major waves of – legal – immigration in the past there was no extensive welfare system. I know a guy who works at a paint store on a heavily Latino street … when he shooed away the day laborers, they whipped out their EBT cards and waved them in the air like an “F – you”. (EBT = food stamps)

    Low income / unemployed inn San Francisco can get a 2 bedroom in the heart of the city for as little as $200 a month, which is often covered by other welfare allotments. And the SF HUD has worked out a deal with PG&E were their residents get free utilities.

    I asked a friend from the east bay what percentage of her Head Start students might be illegal immigrants. She replied, “What do you mean?” I repeated the question. her answer: 100 percent.

    I help out at a local school on occasion, I was surprised to find that they send certain “low income” children home with food on Friday afternoon for the weekend.

    I asked a Latino day laborer who watches his girlfriend’s three children while she works at Jack in the Box. He said “day care”. I asked him how she afforded that on her wages? “The government pays for it.”

      1. TrueBlueDevil is funded by the Annenburg Foundation, a liberal concern.

        Ending Work for Welfare: An Overview

        “On July 12, the Obama Administration released a policy directive from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) rewriting the successful welfare reform law of 1996. The 1996 reform restructured the largest federal cash welfare program, Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), by inserting work requirements and renamed the program Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). As a result of the reform, within five years welfare rolls decreased by approximately 50 percent and child poverty dropped precipitously.

        “The Obama Administration’s new directive allows states to waive the TANF work requirement, gutting the reform of its most critical element and bludgeoning the letter and intent of the law.”

        Obama Administration Violating the Law

        “In establishing welfare reform, Congress made the core work requirements of the TANF program mandatory and non-waiveable; it explicitly protected the work requirements from any future Administration that might wish to weaken them….”

        “…The welfare-to-work provisions of TANF should be restored. However, TANF is only one small program in a much larger welfare state. The federal government operates more than 80 means-tested welfare programs to provide cash, food, housing, medical care, and social services to poor and low-income people.[5] As of 2012, only three of these programs had active work requirements. Now, with HHS’s latest order, the list is down to two.”

        1. Davis Progressive

          “ is funded by the Annenburg Foundation, a liberal concern.”

          first of all that’s bullshit.

          but then you double down on the bullshit by citing the heritage foundation.  are you for real?

        2. Don Shor

          You should probably understand that many people now consider Heritage Foundation a useless propaganda site. And there’s a big difference between ‘funded by’ and what has happened at Heritage.
          The Obama administration allows states to waive the work requirement. It doesn’t mandate that they do so.

          Under the new policy, states can now seek a federal waiver from work-participation rules that, among other things, require welfare recipients to engage in one of 12 specific “work activities,” such as job training. But, in exchange, states must develop a plan that would provide a “more efficient or effective means to promote employment,” which may or may not include some or all of the same work activities. States also must submit an “evaluation plan” that includes “performance measures” that must be met — or the waiver could be revoked.

          One of the states that sought the change was Utah. They wanted more flexibility. Your statement that Obama gutted welfare reform is not true. States may choose to modify the work requirements, in exchange for developing alternative programs.

        3. Frankly

          Don and DP – you two are at least of full of left-wing talking point… I would say more so than TBD is of right-wing talking points.

          The truth is that Obama did not “gut” welfare reform, but he agree to change a key component that requires recipients to demonstrate certain types of work-related activities or they fall off the rolls.  From the perspective of people that value that key component, it certainly looks like a gutting.

          Welfare rolls before the Obama changes were lower than in 1996.   Today they are at record levels… 47 million… about 33% more than when he was initially sworn in to office.

          Obamacare is welfare too.


          1. Don Shor

            Republican governors sought greater flexibility in welfare work requirements.
            The Obama administration allowed them to waive the requirement if they met certain conditions.
            Thus, Obama gutted welfare reform.
            Got it.

        4. Frankly

          A couple of Republican governors, but more Democrat governors.  And I think some states will do a better job… states like Utah.  However, states like California will not.

        5. Matt Williams

          the Annenburg Foundation, a liberal concern

          Walter Annenburg was about as far from liberal as you can get. The following story from Slate gives one a pretty good idea what the opinion of the liberal press is about Annenberg.

          PERSONAL DISCLAIMER: An apartment on Walter Annenberg’s property in Ardmore Pennsylvania was my parents’ residence when I was born. So Walter Annenberg was my first landlord.

          Nothing resuscitates a foul reputation as reliably as cash distributed to the right folks. Preferably lots of cash.

          Evil press mogul Walter H. Annenberg observed this maxim decades before he died, grubstaking the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and another Annenberg outpost at the University of Southern California. To the Corporation for Public Broadcasting went a 1980 pledge of $150 million. In 1993, he promised $365 million to education and continued to make one publicity-seeking act of philanthropy after another—did I mention the $1 billion worth of art masterpieces pledged to the Metropolitan Museum of Art?—as he sought to rehabilitate his thuggish image before he died in 2002.

          Annenberg’s billion-dollar makeover campaign continues from the grave. If you’ve got a spare $750 and a clean tuxedo you don’t mind soiling, you can participate in it by purchasing a ticket to tonight’s (May 22) tribute to Annenberg and his widow, Leonore, at the “WETA Salute to Excellence.” The black-tie, corporate fund-raiser is sponsored by the capital-area’s public TV and radio broadcaster, a plump beneficiary of Annenberg’s largesse.

          The Annenbergs are third on the bill of honorees, beneath headliners Jim Lehrer and Robert MacNeil. Whatever Lehrer and MacNeil’s shortcomings, they are not the enemies of journalism that Annenberg was. Annenberg punished his foes and rewarded his friends with coverage—or noncoverage—from his Philadelphia-based media empire, which included the Philadelphia Inquirer (which he sold in 1969), TV Guide, Seventeen, the Daily Racing Form, and broadcast stations.

          The Annenberg blacklist was not written down and was subject to change, reports Christopher Ogden’s Legacy: A Biography of Moses and Walter Annenberg: “Certain folders in the morgue, the Inquirer’s clip library, were red-flagged with tags advising reporters or deskmen to check first with [the top editor] before writing a story on that subject.” Ogden continues, “There was never any question but that the blacklist was Walter’s.”

          A local builder, a school president, and the head of the Philadelphia-Baltimore Stock Exchange graced the Annenberg Inquirer blacklist. So did entertainers Zsa Zsa Gabor and Imogene Coca.Ogden notes that boxer Sonny Liston “was banned from front-page mentions because of his criminal past and unsavory companions. ‘He was a bum,’ said Walter, a lifelong boxing fan. ‘I didn’t want to give him publicity.’ ” Ralph Nader became an Inquirer nonperson for criticizing General Motors.

          When the NBA’s Philadelphia Warriors could not come to lease-renewal terms with the Annenberg arena they played in, the Inquirer stopped covering the team for the rest of the season. “There were no game stories, no features, no line scores, no mention in the NBA standings box and promotional ads were rejected. Game attendance plummeted,” writes Ogden.

          Johnson administration Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach “inquired why references to him in the Inquirer during the 1960s were invariably critical. ‘A guy at the paper said I was on Walter’s blacklist, but to this day I have absolutely no idea why.’ ”

          As a longtime Nixon supporter, Annenberg banned his Philadelphia and New Haven television affiliates from broadcasting an ABC network news program titled The Political Obituary of Richard Nixon, which was completed after Nixon lost the 1962 race for governor in California. Annenberg’s stated objection: The producers interviewed convicted perjurer and suspected Soviet spy Alger Hiss.

          Annenberg’s ugliest crime against journalism came in 1966, when he ordered the Inquirer’s editor to generate coverage that would knock liberal Democrat Milton Shapp out of the Pennsylvania governor’s contest. Annenberg, as we’ve observed, loved hating people, and Shapp rankled him on several scores: Shapp opposed the merger of the Pennsylvania and New York Central railroads; he spent a lot of his own money on his campaign; he considered Shapp an “oily windbag and a faker,” as well as a “sleazy son of a bitch with bad character.”

          The Inquirer’smost famous smear came when it presented Shapp with the false charge that he had been treated in a mental institution. When Shapp denied it, the Inquirer published the denial, raising the issue in everybody’s mind. In case the voters missed it, an Inquirer columnist repeated the candidate’s denial nine days before the election. Annenberg biographer and former Inquirer reporter John Cooney writes in The Annenbergs: The Salvaging of a Tainted Dynasty:

          Thus the Philadelphia Inquirer embarked on one of the most brutal attacks on a politician that journalism in a major metropolitan area had witnessed in years. The Inquirer’s role in the campaign more than any other act revealed the lengths to which Annenberg would go to harm someone. The coverage showed his autocratic nature; he indulged his emotions at the expense of his responsibilities as a publisher. It was the act of a vindictive man.

          WETA claims in its honoree propaganda that Annenberg “enjoyed a distinguished career as a publisher [and] broadcaster,” and I’m certain that tonight’s proceedings will compound the lies in hopes that widow Annenberg will fork over more loot before she dies.

          WETA isn’t the only craven organization on the take. As I noted before, the institutions at Penn and USC bear the disgraced Annenberg name.

          Listen to USC President Stephen B. Sample upon the occasion of Annenberg’s death: “I can say without reservation that his warmth, sincerity and devotion to the ideals of promoting greater human understanding through education and communication more than match the magnitude of his generous gifts. He was a pioneer, a visionary, an exemplary philanthropist and, above all, an extraordinary human being. He leaves an enduring legacy at USC.” For a bigger laugh, read the hagiographic note by Kathleen Hall Jamieson, the director of Penn’s Annenberg Public Policy Center.

          These people would praise Kim Jong-il if he funded their programs. Edward Barrett, former dean of Columbia University’s journalism school, captured the rotten piece of work that was Annenberg when he wrote in 1970 in the Columbia Journalism Review “perhaps Walter Annenberg never really understood the mission, the obligations or the ethical principles of ethical journalism.”

          I’ll salute that instead—and save myself the $750.

        6. TrueBlueDevil

          Don, you must have no sense of humor, I thought you would enjoy the tit-for-tat on sources.

          According to, is the Annenberg Foundation liberal or conservative?

          It’s not clear cut. But… “The fact is, the ANNENBERG Public Policy Center (APPC), the sponsoring agency behind, is itself supported by the same foundation, the ANNENBERG FOUNDATION, that Bill Ayers secured the 49.2 million dollars from to create the Chicago ANNENBERG Challenge “philanthropic” organization in which Barack Obama was the founding Chairman of the Board for and Ayers served as the grant writer of and co-Chair of for its two operating arms….”

        7. TrueBlueDevil

          Life is not so black and white, but here is a more nuanced answer to the Annenberg Foundation.

          “The Foundation itself gives a ton of money to liberal organizations.

          “Walter and Leonore Annenberg had a personal relationship with Reagan and places in his administration, and Leonore has endorsed McCain.  There is a case to be made that Walter was and Leonore is a conservative – although frankly permitting the Foundation to spend the money on the things it has refutes that argument quite a bit; if Leonore were a conservative, you’d think she’d put a stop to it.

          “But as for the Foundation itself – no, there’s no case at all to be made that it’s a conservative organization.  It’s run by people who overwhelmingly support Democrats, and it gives millions to liberal organizations.”

        8. TrueBlueDevil

          A Washington Post piece on the topic. As a commenter on the WashPo site noted, Bill Clinton vetoed welfare reform two times, so he didn’t really want it, most likely, and the strong provisions written into the bill were likely put there to prevent him from changing it. Monarch Obama blew through those concerns.


          1. Don Shor

            Bill Clinton vetoed welfare reform two times, so he didn’t really want it, most likely

            A significant bloc of his party didn’t want it, particularly led by Sen. Kennedy. Welfare reform was the classic example of Clinton’s political policy of ‘triangulation’: it was passed with a majority of GOP votes and a minority of Democratic votes, with the support of the Clinton administration.

        9. South of Davis

          Rich wrote:

          > Walter Annenburg was about as far from liberal as you can get. 

          Who said that Walter (who has been dead for over a decade) was liberal?

          Your response is like responding to someone who says “Obama is liberal”by writing:

          “Barack Obama’s Grandmother was about as far from liberal as you can get”…

      2. TrueBlueDevil

        Obama changing the highly successful welfare reform (many others have titled it being “gutted) is a perfect example of the arrogance of politicians and Barack Obama. A highly successful reform took hold, and he wants to open the door to screwing it up because of his big government ideology. Just as he ignored his illegal immigrant uncle and aunt, but worked behind the scenes to keep them here in the country, on the doll, and he is a multi millionaire who hasn’t helped them. How typical.

        We have dozens and hundreds of programs and departments and problems to address, fix, or maybe ignore – veterans not getting medical care, young men dropping out of school, drugs streaming across our southern border – and he wants to tinker with a highly successful reform?

        Or does he really want to, in reality, gut it?

        1. Don Shor

          So 27 Republican governors, including then-Gov. Romney, wanted to gut welfare reform? They had a big-government ideology? Because that is the logic of what you just wrote.
          They wanted flexibility. His administration provided that flexibility, with significant constraints. It wasn’t until candidate Romney decided to make an issue of it that suddenly it became partisan. Gov. Romney supported flexibility. Candidate Romney opposed waivers.

  11. Alan Miller

    I would like to be the first to come out strongly against social sustainability.  I will be running for City Council in 2018 on the platform “Say NO to social sustainability”.

    I strongly believe that society should NOT be sustainable. It takes all the fun out of it.

    1. Rich RifkinWDE 73

      May I suggest your campaign slogan, Alan?

      “There is too much stain in sustainable. Let Davis instead by suable.”

      Although that would not fit on a law sign, you should consider brown lawn signs with brown writing. It’s hard to read. And it would fit with the idea that brown is unsustainable. Let your opponents go with green and all that feel good stuff.

      1. Alan Miller

        Brown is a step in right direction, but my favorite color is black.  If black is a really a color.

        I think a solid black square for a lawn sign would get the point across.

        In black writing:  “Green:  It’s Been Done.”

  12. Rich RifkinWDE 73

    To the person who thinks the Annenberg Foundation is “a liberal concern”: you are mistaken. It’s rather apolitical. However, its founder and longtime chairman, Walter Annenberg, was no liberal at all. He was a very successful magazine publisher and a close friend and supporter of Ronald Reagan.

    Read about him here:

    1. South of Davis

      Rich wrote:

      > To the person who thinks the Annenberg Foundation is “a liberal concern”

      > you are mistaken. It’s rather apolitical. However, its founder and longtime

      > chairman, Walter Annenberg, was no liberal at all.

      As someone who is “rather apolitical” I would call the Annenberg Foundation “left leaning” or a “liberal concern”.

      After Walter Annenberg died in 2002 his foundation has continued to move to the left (Just like “conservative” Henry Ford’s “conservative” son Edsel Ford’s foundation has moved to the left since his death in 1943.

      It is rare that the kids of the super rich are not liberal or left leaning (so they fit in with all the other rich kids that almost always live in blue neighborhoods in blue states).

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