Welcome to the Newest Sanctuary City

Ari L. NoonanBreaking News3 Comments

A glance at the near record crowd
A glance at the near record crowd

Not until the sleepy hour of 12:40 this morning did Culver City – on an unswerving path ever since campaigning began nearly five months ago – formally become one of  America’s 300 sanctuary cities.

Wet with drama, electrifying with sizzling emotions, an overflow crowd lined the walls of Council Chambers and would have stood on the ceiling, too, if gravity had not interrupted them.

Fifty of the 54 speakers were pro-sanctuary city. The miniscule anti-ordinance turnout’s occasionally impressive speechmaking was offset by negative conduct.

On a night when Goran Eriksson was absent, the City Council vote was 3-1, with Vice Mayor Jeff Cooper dissenting. This was not because he opposed the concept – he was strongly for it. But he didn’t believe the finely detailed language of the resolution in cement form was necessary.  He contended that the Police Dept. and any (peripherally?) involved hometown authority already are following the precise guidelines to avoid “inappropriate” apprehension of undocumented immigrants.

Otherwise, the only perceived discordant note in the resolution voting was a decision to pass on a $20,000 contributed to the Los Angeles Justice Fund.

Driven hard and with polished expertise by Councilmember Megan Sahli-Wells, the complex, sometimes arcane, language of the resolution was shaved, reshaped, rebuilt, parsed, closely inspected, tasted, tested more tenderly and lovingly than a newborn 20 minutes old.

The numbers of passion-driven sanctuary city advocates not only was overwhelming but stunningly articulate.

Most memorable was the electrically emotional testimony of teen student Dante Herrera, grandson of proud immigrants, son of William Herrera and Paula Amezola Day Herrera, both of whom testified, and brother of 12-year-old Maya Herrera, unable to address the throng.

Speaking with the mature conviction and insights of one much older, as young Dante was recounting the trials of two generations of immigrants in his family, he broke down. The sympathetic throng almost attempted to wrap its arms around him and help Dante resume his moving extemporaneous testimony.

At the end, the crowd stood, roared and deafeningly applauded.

Twelve-year-old Alex Thompson was an equal but different kind of star than Dante.

Alex, too, spoke sans script.

He opened his oration unforgettably:

“I was born a Democrat.”

He did not sound 12 when he said that “I don’t understand why we don’t want to create sanctuary cities and protect people.”

Never was there doubt about the final score despite the noisy, sometimes eloquent, but small, multiple sign-toting Trump-themed resistance. One person was evicted – others came close enough to make their angry breath unavoidable.

3 Comments on “Welcome to the Newest Sanctuary City”

  1. Margaret Coleman

    Thanks for the report. My family moved out of Culver City 5 months ago, but after 30 years there, it will always hold a place in our hearts. I’m proud of Culver residents and the City Council for doing the right thing.

  2. Bill Fitch

    This might be too long for many too read, but these are just a few thoughts I have on the ILLEGAL ALIEN situation. I’m not a racist, I’m an American Citizen who believes that everyone should play by the rules:

    1st: We should support our Vets, but do we really? The V.A. is a mess. These Men and Women put their lives in harms way for OUR Country! Regardless if you supported the war, or not. That has no bearing on the fact that they served OUR Country! This I believe should be addressed before ANY consideration for ILLEGAL aliens. Regardless of where they came from, or the circumstances.

    2nd: our LEGAL homeless. ESPECIALLY where children are involved! Again, this should be addressed before any consideration for Illegal Aliens. I don’t care where they came from, or under what circumstances. In my view, mine and others tax dollars should be first focused on the above two embarrassing problems that we are not fully addressing.

    3rd: Education for our LEGAL children, who are woefully undereducated, and education itself is pitifully underfunded. Yet another embarrassment that we don’t spend nearly enough time and money trying to fix. At the end of the day this Country is for tax paying LEGAL CITIZENS
    and it seems that we can’t even take care of our own citizens. It should be obvious to all that the needs of our LEGAL citizens should come before anyone else.

    4th: Health care. Those two words should be enough to make the point, but apparently there are many that don’t quite understand that our LEGAL citizens’ health care should take precedence over paying for ILLEGAL ALIENS. Our Elderly are suffering the most, and those with expensive medical conditions would have a better shot at improved health care if our Country wasn’t picking up the tab for those that aren’t here LEGALLY, nor even seem to care enough about obtaining Citizenship by going about it the right way, and registering their intentions about becoming LEGAL immigrants, and bothering to study for their Citizenship much less trying to learn the language.

    5th: The net cost to our Country in court costs, the time that law enforcement has to take away from arresting criminals, because of the inordinate amount of time they spend on ILLEGAL ALIENS driving without insurance, much less a drivers license. I’m not even going to go down that road that a VERY LARGE percentage of the ILLEGAL ALIENS in our Country are criminals, or in some other way other than being here ILLEGALLY are involved in criminal activity. I just want to point out that literally millions of dollars are being misdirected from the areas mentioned above because of the costs to OUR citizens when an ILLEGAL ALIEN causes an accident, who pays for that? WE do. If someone victimized in an accident isn’t adequately insured, they are stuck with the tab. I can speak from experience about how much money the auto insurance industry loses on ILLEGAL ALIENS, and guess who pays for that? We do because they raise everyone’s insurance premiums to try to offset the money they have to pay out on these drivers.
    Across the board ILLEGAL ALIENS cost us tax paying, law abiding CITIZENS millions of dollars each year. There is a right way, and a wrong way of doing anything. If they want to be here so badly, they need to do what everyone before them did–apply for Citizenship, study for the exam, learn the language, and get an above board job so they will be tax paying Citizens like the rest of us, and become productive members of society, rather than running, and hiding from law enforcement and cease to be such a burden to society by basically robbing the money that needs to go to the above mentioned societal needs, and the many, many other programs, and needs that suffer as a result of the entire ILLEGAL ALIEN dilemma.

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