By Robert Haugh
Tonight, Councilman Anthony Becker has put an item on the agenda. It’s just one line:
“Discussion and Action on Councilmember Becker’s request to Prepare a Public Apology to the Residents of Santa Clara for the CVRA Lawsuit”
After we printed yesterday’s City Council preview, we got a lot of questions about it. Mostly people want to know “what for?”
That’s a good question. Becker hasn’t provided any information. The City staff makes “no recommendation.”
According to multiple sources, Becker is frequently inaccessible. He doesn’t respond to requests from the staff or the public.
Becker does work full-time. But still, he should at least do his homework. It’s the day of the meeting and no one knows what he’s talking about.
In 2019, when Judge Thomas Kuhnle determined that there was “racially polarized” voting in Santa Clara, most people in town were surprised by that.
Santa Clara voters are not racist. We live in a diverse community without segregated neighborhoods.
Does Becker want the City to apologize for being racist when it isn’t? We doubt Becker has talked to Santa Clara residents about this.
Kuhnle had to lower the standard threshold to come up with the conclusion that race plays a role in Santa Clara elections. That’s one of the reasons the City appealed the decision.
We’re glad the City did. The City Council majority stood up for Santa Clara voters.
But the Appeals Court sided with Kuhnle. He happens to be a Palo Alto resident who probably hasn’t spent much time in the Mission City.
Another problem with Kuhnle’s decision is that he had to create six districts to get districts small enough for Asian candidates to win.
Each Councilmember only represents about 20,000 people. If San Jose had the same size districts, they would have 50 council districts. Wow.
Small districts may help some people get elected. It probably helped Becker. But not as much as the 49ers’ Jed York’s $3 million check helped him.
Last year, an affordable housing leader told us there will be little affordable housing built in Santa Clara because of the smaller districts.
That person called back after the El Camino Real plan was downsized and said I told you so. Guess who was the swing vote. Yup. Becker.
Maybe Becker will want the City to apologize for that, too.
[…] Yesterday, we pointed out the fact that Becker had not done his homework on an important issue. […]
Is this district 6 speaking or is this just Becker? Is this political or does it have anything to do with district 6 constituents? The unaccomplished Becker certainly can’t speak for the entire city.
Ridiculous Becker trying to cash in on his only cache.
The statement says apologize “for the CVRA lawsuit,” which can be simpler than apologizing for things harder to pinpoint or categorize. Of course this assumes that the real goal isn’t to have a debacle of a Council meeting with everyone going ballistic. But a simple apology for the lawsuit might be something like – “The City Council of Santa Clara apologizes to citizens of Santa Clara for not acting faster to accept the State Court rulings. Going forward the Council will work diligently to ensure all citizens in the City are properly and well represented.” Anything else will reek of politics, make citizens resentful and backfire more loudly and promptly than a sideshow roadster. If I was a Council member (not Becker of course) I would prod Becker to be specific and I wouldn’t stop asking questions until he explained himself thoroughly. If he’s vague, then his goal is embarrassment.
Perhaps Becker is going to call out and apologize for the racist actions of Patricia Mahan and Pat Kolstad when they voted no on all of the applicants to be appointed to the council seat that was vacated by their friend Dominic Caserta. Those applicants included Suds Jain, Mohammed Nadeem, Kevin Park, Hosam Haggag and several others all persons of color. If I remember correctly, Gillmor, O’Neill, Watanabe and Davis all voted in favor of appointing the applicants to the council but obviously Mahan and Kolstad didn’t want to give up the “white seat”.
Actually Becker doesn’t even know what he is going to say until he gets his speech that was most likely prepared for him by the law firm that sued the city in the CVRA law suit. I only hope they don’t use to big of words, Becker has a little problem with those.
Most likely the unimpressive Becker has a hard time figuring out how to apologize to ourselves. More ridiculous pandering from the councilmember with a lease to offer.
Becker should apologize for insisting that the residents of Santa Clara are racist because of the lame lawsuit. I’m hoping one of the adults would explain this to him. That’s not the outcome.