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Opinion: Feb. 26, 2020

Plus letters to the editor

Editor's Note

Steve Palopoli Profile Photo

How do we confront hate, without perpetuating it ourselves? It’s a question people have been asking themselves since the rise of social consciousness, but it’s taken on a whole new sense of urgency in our current political climate, where protestors and counter-protestors regularly clash, and an 11-year-old girl’s grandfather can give her a loaded AR-15 to carry to a public meeting as a “nonviolent” pro-gun demonstration. Meanwhile, the FBI reports that hate crime violence hit a 16-year-high in 2019.

In other words, things have only gotten worse since a gay, 21-year-old student named Matthew Shepard was beaten, tied to a fence and left to die in Wyoming in 1998. And yet the crime still shocks today, both because of the grisly details of the murder and the cruel homophobia that played such a big part in it.

Composer Craig Hella Johnson asked himself one question about Shepard’s murder: “In the face of such hatred, is love anywhere to be found?” And then he answered his own question by creating the musical theater piece Considering Matthew Shepard. The story of how that show got to its current incarnation at Cabrillo, and how Cabrillo Choral Director Cheryl Anderson has taken it to another level, is the subject of Christina Waters’ cover story this week. It’s powerful to read a story about so many people coming together to craft a response to hate that is so loving. We need it more than ever right now.

Letters to the Editor

Reject the Recall

Gary Patton has been an unflinching environmental attorney in Santa Cruz since the early seventies, serving as a Santa Cruz County Supervisor from 1975-1995. Many of us old-timers are grateful to him for his brilliant battle to save Lighthouse Field from a massive development project, gifting us the calm open space of what is now Lighthouse Field State Park. His experience fighting to protect our environment over these many years—having faced recalls and mudslinging in the process—lends credence when he strongly voices his clear opposition to the present real estate backed recall effort in our City. 

A Santa Cruz resident still active in the field of environmental law and advocacy, Gary recently wrote extensively on his blog about the current effort to recall two city council members: “In my opinion, voters should vote no, and reject the recalls. Despite the claims of recall proponents, I do not actually see this recall as a response to the personal failings of the two members of the Council now facing a recall election. Personal failings there may be, of course, but this recall is not about malfeasance in office. No claims of dishonesty or illegal behavior have ever been advanced as a reason for the recalls. The recalls are not about a city version of ‘high crimes and misdemeanors.’ The charges of misconduct made against the two Council Members now facing recall were found to be without significant substance, after an outside (and very costly) investigation.The way I see it, this recall is about political power, and nothing else.”

Join Gary Patton and reject this politically motivated recall!

Sheila Carrillo | Santa Cruz

 

Vote for Leopold

I’m a proud supporter of John Leopold. What separates Leopold from others is his sensible, well-informed approach along with his personal involvement. From the beach to the mountains, with full equity and partnership for all, Supervisor Leopold is a hard-working champion of our diverse district who uses his seat to make your voice heard. Leopold’s proven track record can’t be beat.

Supervisor Leopold genuinely cares about our input and championed Cradle to Careers to raise the voices of our community. Cradle to Careers puts parents in the driver’s seat with collaboration from Live Oak Schools and the East Cliff Health Center to support their family’s potential. Supervisor Leopold also advocated for LEO’s Haven, an all-inclusive park; more than 500 people attended the opening. 

Xaloc Cabanes | Educator and counselor, County Office of Education’s Alternative Education Programs

 

No Recall

From the very beginning when I saw petitions to recall our local election votes for Drew and Chris, I was appalled. And when I found out recently who was behind this action, I was and still am very upset. This has divided our community in a big way! On my Nextdoor neighborhood feed there have been endless and oftentimes heated arguments occurring. I say to all them you are a bunch of sore losers who should be ashamed of yourselves!

So what do these angry people do? They solicit the support of monied interests—realtors, property management companies and disgruntled homeowners to mount a smear campaign. Shame on all of you!

We should not allow our town’s governance to mimic the deception, greed and priorities of special interests over the people’s as is evidenced in the current national nightmare.

Anna Maletta | Santa Cruz

 

Don’t Excuse Bad Behavior

UCSC’s College Democrats voted to endorse the recall of Councilman Drew Glover (GT, Feb. 5). They had backed his candidacy in 2018, but were so turned off by his lack of respect toward members of their group (especially women), that they now favor his removal from office. Mr. Glover accuses his female colleagues of “playing the woman card” whenever he’s caught acting like a misogynist, and claims that the students are “misguided” whenever they ask a question he doesn’t want to answer. The UCSC Democrats deserve the respect of the entire Santa Cruz community for refusing to defend Glover’s documented hostile behavior toward several women at City Hall and female UCSC students.

Gigo deSilvas | Santa Cruz

 

Manu’s Vision

Please consider:

— The growing homeless situation is a product of excessive growing wage disparity

— The growing frequency of being able to jog faster than freeway traffic is a product of improper transportation

The world is a complex system of interacting factors that may not provide equity. Why is a sports figure making $40 million in a year when they cannot even play for their value? Compensating for those millions will put thousands on a path to homelessness. Even worse is when loopholes allowed our present “leader” multiple bankruptcies to directly shortchange many others to maintain just his excessive lifestyle. (No wonder so many don’t want him now representing our America with his proven incompetence and unethical behavior!)

We need better leadership to stop this growing negative impact on quality-of-life. We can start locally by electing Manu Koenig to first district supervisor. Manu has a better vision for all.

Bob Fifield | Aptos

 

Misuse of Process

Two facts about the recall election are incontrovertibly true: first, the recall effort began the night of the last election with seed money and ongoing contributions by landlords and developers, many of them not even local. It could not have been motivated by any of Glover or Krohn’s subsequent alleged rudeness or harassment, but rather by their policies on tenant’s rights, affordable housing, and suitable development; second, if this effort is successful, monied interests throughout the state and nation will be encouraged to further misuse the recall process to overturn election results inimitable to their financial interests. If Glover and Krohn’s behavior is out of line, then don’t reelect them. Certainly, none of the allegations rise to the level of the criminal or outrageous misbehavior that the recall process is intended to address. I urge Santa Cruz voters to not let outside money subvert our local democracy.

Mordecai Shapiro | Santa Cruz

 

A Personal View on the Recall of Drew Glover

By Leonie Sherman

City Councilmember Chris Krohn responded to Supervisor Ryan Coonerty’s guest editorial endorsing the recall in the Santa Cruz Sentinel by reaching out to his email list. Krohn asked us what we thought of the opinion piece and encouraged us “speak from your heart” and “speak your own truth.” 

That’s why I’m going public about the verbal abuse and physical intimidation I experienced from Councilmember Drew Glover. I’ve been silent out of political alliance with the local progressive community, and out of fear that people would minimize my experience or attack me for sharing it. I’m writing because I love Santa Cruz, and I want residents to make an informed decision about who we want representing us when we vote in the March 3 election.

After I ran for City Council in 2014, a lot of people wanted me to run again, which I was unwilling to do. As an olive branch to the progressive community, I let Drew Glover rent a room in the 700-square foot trailer I call home, during his first bid for a City Council seat in 2016. 

I keep a tidy home. Drew didn’t share my aesthetic, or pitch in much with chores. After he’d been living with me less than a month, I came home from a weekend away to find seven milk crates full of political flyers in the living room. He wasn’t home, so I called and asked when he would have it cleared out. When he got back to my place, he yelled at me for 45 minutes, telling me I was a controlling nag, my requests were ridiculous and his important political work should excuse him from cleaning up after himself. The next day, I told him I never wanted to experience anything like that again and gave him 30 days’ notice. Over the following two weeks, he started doing more chores. When I checked in, he apologized and asked if he could stay. I agreed.

After a few weeks, he stopped helping out as much, but I didn’t want to kick him out while he was campaigning. When the election was over, I asked him to go, and we agreed on a date.

He was supposed to move out on a Monday. By Friday, he hadn’t packed a single box, and I checked in to make sure he was still going to be able to move out on the date we agreed to. He said he was. Sunday night at 10pm, he still hadn’t mobilized. I asked him if he was going to be able to have all his stuff out the next day, and he told me he was planning to stay an extra 10 days. I told him I needed him to move out on the date we agreed to. He already had a new place to live, he hadn’t asked for an extension, and I didn’t want to live with him anymore.

Drew started yelling about my white privilege, how I was part of the landlord class, how selfish and inconsiderate I am, my low standing in the community, how he’d heard how awful I was from people I considered friends and now he understood what they meant. I’m trained in conflict resolution, so I stayed calm and non-reactive. I insisted he honor our agreement, as I didn’t want to live with him any longer than necessary. I offered the alternative of him taking a week to move his stuff out while he stayed at his new place. He continued to yell at me, but the next day he packed up all his stuff and moved out. 

A few days later, he came by to get some things he’d left in the yard. He asked for his security deposit. I told him I had 30 days from his move-out date to return the deposit, and I needed some time to figure out how much the minor damage he caused would cost me to repair. He started yelling again. This time he got up in my face, towering over me as he yelled at me to return his deposit immediately.

Even though Drew outweighs me by at least 50 pounds, I wasn’t scared. I have more than two decades of self-defense training and knew I could handle things if they got physical. I remember standing on my porch while he loomed over me, gesticulating wildly, demanding money and thinking, “Where did Drew learn that yelling and using his size to intimidate people is an appropriate way to get what you want?”

The truth is it’s from interactions like ours that Drew learned verbal abuse and physical intimidation are effective. Because when he was done yelling at me, I went into my house and wrote him a check. I calculated that no amount of money was worth the risk and unpleasantness of repeating a similar incident.

Drew behaves like this because it works; he gets his way. If we allow him to remain in office, we, as a town, are encouraging him to continue this behavior. Some insist this recall isn’t about conduct, but Drew has shown us a pattern of verbal abuse and harassment. He’s demonstrated that he has no intention of changing that behavior. 

I don’t agree with how the recall came about. I don’t want wealthy landlords pouring money into political campaigns. But on March 3, residents of Santa Cruz will have the opportunity to vote on whether we made a good decision when we elected Drew Glover. I’m glad to have this choice. If, like me, you have progressive values but want to see an end to divisive politics and abusive behavior, you’re lucky. You can vote to recall Drew Glover, and vote for Tim Fitzmaurice.

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Rich Apple

    March 1, 2020 at 1:56 pm

    This is a comment on the Letter To The Editor by Bob Fifield of Aptos, titled (by GT Staff I would think) “Manu’s Vision.” I’m at a loss as to why GT would print such a letter and then title it that way. The letter’s the equivalent of writing a nice observation that mom, apple pie, and flowers are nice things, and – by the way – vote for Manu Koenig.
    The letter is well written and expresses well that A) Homelessness is a problem and is bad, B) Traffic is bad and transportation issues are the problem, and C) Income inequality is a horrible and unfair thing that contributes only bad consequences for our society.
    But unless Bob Fifield actually is Manu Koenig, how is that view published as “Manu’s Vision?” And would there be anything expressed in that “vision” that would not be what John Leopold would completely agree with? Is the letter-writer “for” Koenig because he doesn’t think Leopold shares that vision and that his hard work as a Supervisor trying to further that sort of vision isn’t real or isn’t working?
    No offense against the letter-writer for expressing his views and getting away with somehow tying them to one candidate rather than the other, but Good Times should have not printed such a non-sequitur of a letter.

  2. Daryl Sneed

    February 27, 2020 at 7:41 pm

    Reggie,

    I have have to call into question your bias! I would like to believe that we are all aware of the implicit power imbalance between men and women. There is not a day that goes by that women are not made to feel inferior, weaker, and vulnerable based solely on their gender (or gender identity). Your personal hatred of women is sickening.

    Looking beyond your towering misogyny, the Rose report clearly states that Krohn has been found guilty of harassment, but I guess facts don’t matter in the mind of a right-leaning bigot.

    With all due respect, please return to this conversation once you have educated yourself with facts emotionally charged personal opinions.

    -Daryl

  3. Reggie Meisler

    February 27, 2020 at 3:00 pm

    “Much less Krohn”?

    This really gives away your bias.

    I have been to many council meetings and had the pleasure of knowing these councilmembers for several years. I see absolutely no evidence that Krohn has EVER been slightly rude to ANYONE. Krohn is incredibly personable, is incredibly open to hearing feedback, and is just an all-around nice guy. Glover can be short at times, so this open-ended libel campaign is easier to run against him, but when you try to casually throw Krohn into the mix, it becomes clear that this campaign is less honest and more political expediency for the real estate interests that are challenged by this progressive council majority.

    The kind of muddy waters messaging and straight up libel that’s gone into this recall is very concerning to me. You’re all very lucky that Drew is not a wealthy man with legal resources. He has a strong case to make in suing over defamation, libel, and slander.

    Reggie

  4. Sharon

    February 27, 2020 at 2:52 pm

    Leonie,

    Thank you for your courage. I know that must’ve been a very difficult decision. I am absolutely astounded at the lack of compassion from some of the people in the progressive community in Santa Cruz. Watching them boo, hiss, harass and shame the women that have come forward to share their stories about the abusive behavior that they have experienced has been awfully to witness. A woman speaking at oral communications at city council meeting referenced “this so called abuse” someone had experienced from Khron an Glover and went on to say she had never experienced such abuse. How incredibly self centered does someone have to be to deny someone else’s story because it didn’t happen to them? This is how abuse festers and grows. This is how bullies are empowered. How much of your egos are involved here? Two people you voted for and have supported are bullying women. Come on Feminists where are you? Are your egos so fragile that you think admitting this is happening is going to make you look bad? This isn’t about you! Do the right thing. Stop victim shaming

    Leonie, I have no doubt you are experiencing the back lash of speaking out. Thank you for your courage.

  5. Madden Ng

    February 27, 2020 at 2:35 pm

    The accusations against Drew Glover, as they continue to mount, begin to remind me of those against Bill Cosby. The first one is easily excused as delusional, the second a bit less so as a grudge, the third as a money grubber looking to score. But when they kept on coming?

    So here’s my tally for complaints against Glover so far, and his or his camps response:

    Kevin Grossman’s complaint? He’s a “hypercritical white man.”.

    Ryan Coonerty’s complaint ? He was “deliberately twisting the truth, or simply repeating lies that recall proponents have fed him.

    UCSC Democrats complaint”. That problem was due to their “confusion and misunderstanding.” “It turned out that they had been mistaken in their claim and had miscomprehended the wording on the flyer.”

    City Staff complaints? Those were instigated by unconscious inherent racism.

    Mayor Watkins complaint? She played the woman card.

    Leone Sherman’s complaint? A gossip piece. She’s holding a grudge.

    For me? The Cosby shark has been jumped.

  6. Eric Grodberg

    February 27, 2020 at 5:37 am

    Ms. Sherman,

    Thanks for speaking about your experience with Glover. The fact that so many continue to support him despite his repeated pattern of abusive behavior is disturbing and resembles the Republicans who’ve fallen in line with Trump.

    BTW, your statement, “I told him I had 30 days from his move-out date to return the deposit,” is incorrect. You have 21 days. There are additional requirements surrounding the return of Security Deposits.

  7. Sharon

    February 26, 2020 at 2:42 pm

    Leonie, thank you. This took a lot of courage to write. I absolutely understand your hesitation in speaking up prior to this as the Santa Cruz progressive community has their own share of bullies. Watching City Council meetings has been very difficult the last two years. Watching women come forward and calling out their abusers only to be attacked by members of the progressive community has been so disheartening. These so called feminists have now turned to victim shaming. I have heard several women say “well I have never seen him speak that way before, he has always treated me very respectfully” I guess those women forgot it isn’t all about them. How self centered does someone have to be to think that if it doesn’t happen to them then it can’t happen to anyone else? This is how abuse festers and grows. This is why victims stay quiet and abusers get empowered. With all the controversy over Harvey Weinstein, Jeffrey Epstein and other men that abuse their power there is always some sect of people defending them. Come on Santa Cruz. We can do better. Women are speaking up. Can we please hold them up, can we please embrace them, can we tell them they are courageous, send them love, honor their bravery, and do everything we can to stop the abuse?

    I am a survivor. I know what it’s like to speak truth and not be believed, I know what it’s like to have an abuser that is close, I know what it’s like to have people glorify the abuser because they either have no idea or don’t want to believe the truth. It’s 2020. #metoo is a real thing. STOP discrediting victims and breathe in the truth.

  8. Don Honda

    February 26, 2020 at 12:02 pm

    Wow! Leonie Sherman is deep within our local progressive political community. It takes great courage for her to write honestly about this. I fear she will become a pariah among them.

    I’ve always found it curious as to why ANY woman and feminist man would support Glover, much less Krohn, when it has become obvious their behavior is not a one-off. It is there typical behavior when dealing with women, and sometimes men. I had thought they both had training in non-violent communication are are stalwart feminists? True, the Rose Report didn’t substantiate gender-base harassment, but did substantiate harassment for both of them. The Rose Report did not find any of the thirteen complaints to be unfounded.

    The “no on recall” letters presented today just repeat the misleading and outright fabrications that this group need to use to present any arguments. It has been proven many times it is not based on facts, just shrill political emotion.

    Thank you Gigo deSilvas for your point of even UCSC College Democrats finally realizing the same maladaptive behavior of Glover & Krohn to be not acceptable. This, even though they still support their progressive ideals.

    What to do? Vote YES to RECALL Glover & Krohn. Please vote for Lane and Golder for healing, compromise, and moving forward to solve the many currents problems the city of Santa Cruz faces.

    Voting for Fitzmaurice and Beiers will only bring more of the same obstruction. They both do NOT support the Recall. What does that tell you about them?

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