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Monday Morning Bullpen: Back in Action

Published on Monday, January 10, 2022 | 5:00 am
 

City government kicks into full gear after three weeks off due to the Christmas holiday and the parade.

The consent calendar is full. The two items that immediately caught my eye were the climate-friendly vehicles and of course, the homeless vouchers.

Good to see the COVID-19 updates return to City Council. With hospitalizations and cases spiking across the county, clearly we are not done with the pandemic, or maybe I should say the pandemic is not done with us.

As of Saturday, there were 15 coronavirus-positive patients in Huntington’s ICU and 88 in the hospital overall. The admissions numbers have been steadily climbing over the past week or so.

One of the other items I am most interested in this week is the 710 stub.

More than 50 years ago, Caltrans seized hundreds of homes in southwestern Pasadena, the city of South Pasadena and the Los Angeles neighborhood of El Sereno through eminent domain in what ultimately became a failed effort to connect the Long Beach 710 and Foothill 210 freeways.

Simply put, freeways and even some stadiums, like the one in Chavez Ravine where the Dodgers play, displaced a lot of Black and brown people.

Somewhere around 2004 I wrote “A Tale of Two Cities” in the old PW about the displacement caused by the 210 freeway. That headline is still bandied about whenever someone writes about racism locally.

It’s a damn shame those homes and neighborhoods were destroyed, pushing more people out of the so-called dream, which home ownership is a route to.

Santa Monica recently mentioned reparations for those displaced by urban policies in that city.

I don’t expect that topic to come up during the discussion on Monday.

Still Pasadena is in an interesting position. Not many cities get the land back.

Of course the affordable housing folks will want it. At some point we;ll see what it becomes.

Sad part is people lost their homes, businesses and dreams and I doubt if any of those families will make a dime on anything built there.

The city and some developers will make out. Maybe those families should own a percentage of whatever is built in the stub.

Weed comes back to the Planning Commission.

Yes, another dispensary wants to sell in District 3.

I’m not a weed guy, but my question is where is the social equity plan? No, not a shiny object to distract the City Council and get them to change the amendments and the will of the people.

I’m talking about something with teeth.

Weed is another case of Black and Brown people bearing the brunt of something deemed socially unacceptable and then being aced out after the state legalizes it to collect tax revenue.

Social equity programs create business licensing and ownership opportunities to the very people arrested and sent to jail for weed crimes from decades.

Of course, respect to City Attorney/Prosecutor Michele Beal Bagneris and former LA County District Attorney Jackie Lacey and for their efforts that led to the dismissal of 66,000 LA marijuana cases and 250 Pasadena cases.

Bagneris said in 2020 the dismissal of the old cannabis-related convictions brings relief to individuals and communities that have disproportionately suffered from the consequences of the War on Drugs.

Last month the state’s Attorney General Rob Bonta called on prosecutors throughout the state to expedite their overdue process of past marijuana convictions to allow eligible individuals to have their sentences reduced or removed and past records sealed according to published reports.

Not ironically, the legal places are finding they can’t keep up with those who cannot afford the costly permits or won’t be chosen by any city to open shop.

Set up a social equity program.

Monday Morning Bullpen is printed every Monday when the City Council is scheduled to meet.

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