Archives for category: Ahmad Zahra

Matthew Leslie

What, if anything, do members of the Fullerton City Council plan to do to respond to the demands of Black Lives Matter? Not much to nothing, I would venture to guess. After all, the police union openly backed a majority of their campaigns, and they got the return of Jan Flory last year as a bonus gift. The FPD are in no serious jeopardy of being defunded, reorganized, or overseen by a Civilian Police Oversight Commission as long as their endorsed candidates keep winning elections. But that doesn’t stop some of them from appearing before BLM demonstrations and talking about inequality, voting, racism—everything except police reform.

On June 6, Councilmembers  Ahmad Zahra and Jesus Silva both appeared at a Black Lives Matter protest on the lawn of Fullerton’s City Hall, along with Rep. Gil Cisneros and Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva. Following comments by Cisneros and Quirk-Silva, Ahmad Zahra spoke to the hundreds of gathered to demand police reform in the wake of the appalling killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis.”We are all angry!,” he said, reading from a prepared text on his smart phone.  “Protest against injustice and racism is not only our right, it is our duty!,” he continued. “I am no stranger to hate, discrimination, and racism,” he proclaimed, recalling his background as a gay, Muslim Syrian immigrant. He stridently proclaimed the need to respect diversity and celebrated the flying of the Pride Flag above City Hall behind him, drawing wild cheers from the sign-waving young protesters.

Things got suddenly quiet, however, when he tried to assure the energized crowd that the Fullerton Police Department just across Highland Ave. to the east was committed to “accountability, transparency, and the highest safety standards.” Confusion followed, and then a bit of derisive laughter. “There’s always room for improvement….” “We are going to continue to re-examine our policies…” and then, like clockwork, the old chestnut “community policing,” whatever that is supposed to mean, which is the whole point of that term, because it can mean anything a noncommittal politician wants it to mean, which is usually nothing at all.

I was going to edit the video (used without permission from the Fullerton College Hornet)

down to just the part about police accountability, but I’m sure Mr. Zahra would want you to hear the whole of his inspiring speech…

 

Diane Vena

On 9/17/19, Fullerton City Council Will Vote Whether Put On 2020 Ballot The Issue Of Banning Safe and Sane Fireworks In Fullerton

These are the reasons I gave them for wanting to ban safe and sane fireworks and thereby urging them to vote to put it in the ballot:

I strongly feel that safe and sane fireworks should not be allowed in Fullerton for the following reasons:
• They are not allowed in most Orange County cities.
• Rather than being done on private property as required, they are used on sidewalks and in the street. Travel on streets requires driving over them.
• They disturb people and frighten pets/wildlife.
• Many people do not clean up after the use of these legal fireworks. Those that do, still leave a residue of chemicals, poisons, powder, etc. which end up being washed down the gutters into the ocean.
• They are unhealthful for the environment and people/animals/wildlife because of the smoke, chemicals, and poisons.
• There is no good way to dispose of them that is not harmful to the environment.
• Even used correctly, injuries and fires can occur.
• There are alternatives for group fundraising that are humanely and environmentally responsible.
• Banning them would make it easier for the police to monitor the use of illegal fireworks as NO fireworks would be allowed in the city.
At this very important time of climate change crisis, all of our decisions and actions must be examined in order to choose and act responsibly, humanely, and safely.

Please let the Council know your wishes prior to and at this meeting.

City of Fullerton
cityoffullerton.com

Mayor & City Council
303 W. Commonwealth Avenue |
Fullerton, CA 92832
council@cityoffullerton.com
(714) 738-6311

Mayor Jesus Silva
jesuss@cityoffullerton.com
714-738-6311

Mayor Pro Tem Jennifer Fitzgerald
jenniferf@cityoffullerton.com

Council Member Jan Flory
council@cityoffullerton.com

Council Member Bruce Whitaker
council@cityoffullerton.com
714-981-8474

Council Member Ahmad Zahra
ahmadz@cityoffullerton.com

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Should we even try to fill in the blank?

Matthew Leslie

“The City of Fullerton is pleased to announce the Neighbors United For Fullerton will be hosting a public forum with Applicants for the City Council Vacancy at the Fullerton Public Library Conference Center at 6:45 p.m. on Monday, January 28, 2019.”

So reads a city press release advertising a hastily scheduled forum for the twenty five candidates who have submitted applications to fill a vacancy on the Fullerton City Council resulting from now-Mayor Jesus Silva switching from an at-large seat to one in District 3 in the November election. The forum will also serve as one of NUFF’s familiar meet-and-greet opportunities for candidates to speak directly to the public.

Awkward, a little? Perhaps, given that so more than two dozen people are asking the four members of the current council (or three of them, at least) to appoint them to fill out the rest of the at-large term that extends through 2020. It’s difficult to imagine how anyone will have time to properly evaluate so many candidates in such a short time frame. The forum itself is only happening because NUFF moved aside the program originally scheduled for this date and time to accommodate the City Council’s need for a meagre appearance of public process literally the night before possibly appointing one of these lucky Fullerton residents to the seat on Tuesday night, January 29 in during a Special Meeting called for that purpose.

To its credit, the city is live-streaming the forum on its Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/CityofFullerton

but no single forum can adequately serve even the four members of the council themselves in making an appointment that comes just days after the close of the application deadline. Most council members will no doubt simply ignore at least three quarters of the applicants, or more, in a tug of war to form a developer friendly majority for the next two years, with newly elected Ahmad Zahra holding the swing vote power to make it so. Let’s hope Mr. Zahra understands that joining forces with the likes of Jennifer Fitzgerald and Jesus Silva in supporting a candidate like Jan Flory or Larry Bennett will instantly relegate him to an insignificant minority voice on the council for the next two years.

Our best hope is a deadlock to force an election in November, but, meanwhile, enjoy the pretense of democracy tonight before the circus tomorrow night.

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