January 24, 2003

The Public Forum . . . El Foro Publico


Boulder City Council Approves Resolution Opposing Invasion of Iraq

By a seven-to-two vote, Boulder, Colorado, City Council passed a resolution opposing a U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and supporting a multilateral diplomatic approach to resolving the crisis.

Boulder joins at least 44 other U.S. cities that have passed anti-invasion resolutions in the past three months that warn of the enormous moral, economic and political costs to the United States. Most of those resolutions, including Boulder’s, oppose unilateral or bilateral military action, presumably with Britain, against Iraq, and speak in favor of working through the United Nations.

Bush is faltering

When it comes to the economy, President Bush is faltering. The economic growth package he recently proposed takes us back to a time when the unwashed masses had no say in the village where they toiled.  His proposal of accelerating the ridiculous tax cuts of 2001, removing the class-based dividends tax, and providing no means to help the current economy show just how off the mark he is.

Contrary to the Republicans class warfare idea attacking the majority of Americans, the proposal mostly benefits the upper class. For a family of four, the average return would be in the neighborhood of $300. Pocket change for a family struggling through uncertain economic times. Combined with the President’s new initiatives to extend this plan for 10 years, this plan will keep people out of work and hurt every sector of our economy.

Don’t even get me started on his fumbling on the international front.

John R. McCory
San Francisco

Farmworkers Plight In Carlsbad Draws Public Support

Open Letter to Mayor Lewis and Members of Carlsbad City Council

I encourage you to show me the consideration for Carlsbad’s migrant farm workers as you have shown for the homeless in Vista. According to Carlsbad’s 1999-2004 Housing Element, at last count, this population numbers over 7090 men. They need shelter now! Forcing them out of their squalid shacks in the middle of winter, for the third consecutive year, is inhuman and indefensible.

This human pollution of Agua Hedionda Lagoon is of major concern to all of us. But the men aren’t just there in the winter. There are many more in the summer. If you are going to stand on principle, then you need to start addressing this problem with a solution that works year-round. This solution needs to incorporate the growers, who pay the city taxes, and badly need these farm workers, those groups and community residents who have advocated for better treatment of these men, and the farm workers who pay government taxes out of their paychecks and buy food in Carlsbad grocery stores. And, it is important to note—help us all keep down our food costs.

All they need is shelter and sanitary facilities now as we have destroyed theirs.  A survey has shown that these men would gladly contribute ot their shelter costs if they were appropriately located near their work. Certainly there are enough creative people in this city to find a viable solution to this ongoing problem, which is becoming more visible every day, as new homes continue to shrink our beautiful farmlands.

The next housing element of 2006-9 requires jurisdictions to specifically identify adequate sites for farm worker housing. Let us take a leadership role in Carlsbad.

We must protect the welfare of these laborers who have worked very hard these last 20 years, have no vote to protect themselves and can rely only on the kindness and good judgment of this community. This is the right thing to do.’

Liz Kruidneier

Mayor Bud Lewis of Carlsbad City of Carlsbad

We are Franciscan friars from the St. Barbara Province (ministering in six western U.S. states in northern Mexico, and Peru). We are attending a province gathering at our retreat center, Mission San Luis Rey, in Ocean-side. We are aware of the continued efforts of your city to displace farmworkers. We are also aware that you do not provide temprary shelter for these workers.

On the evening of Wed-nesday, Jan. 15, a group of us visit the farm workers staying n the camp to the south of Cannon road. We brought water and food to these men and boys. We have seen first hand that farm workers are forced to sleep outside in the bushes of Carlsbad.

We are amazed that you support the economic needs of Leslie Farms (Giumarra Carlsbad), yet you do not use your influence to have that business nor your city ensure that these workers have a place to live while tending the fields.

Mark Schroeder, O.F.M.
St. Barbara Province, Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Office
Natonal City
(the lettter is signed by an additional 14 Franciscan friars)


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