Republican Liberty Caucus Speaks Against Gang Injunction

Monday, October 28, 2013
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Honorable City Council Members:

Recently the honorable Mayor Helene Schneider shared with us a thoughtful critique of the approach used by opponents of the proposed Gang Injunction. First, I would like to thank the Mayor for her time clarifying several contentious details surrounding the implementation of the Injunction. It takes a lot of courage to stand firm in one’s ideals against her party base while up for reelection. In December 2012, the Santa Barbara Democratic Central Committee voiced strong opposition which has constantly gained bipartisan support. In September 2013 the Central Coast Republican Liberty Caucus unanimously voted to oppose the Injunction and has joined the fight to stop its implementation. Today we at the RLC would like to address a few specific points raised by the Mayor.

The first point was the Mayor’s belief that the “injunction creates a restraining order against 30 named adult individuals … no one other than these 30 individuals will be subject to the injunction … ” With respect, although there are 30 named individuals, there are also 300 unnamed John Does and 2 unincorporated entities which are currently named on the injunction. We respectfully request the City Attorney Steve Wiley and District Attorney Joyce Dudley revise the proposed legal document on Monday. These revisions should reflect the Mayor Helene Schneider and City Council member’s wishes that the injunction only apply to the 30 named individuals, never to be applied to any additional adult or juveniles. We should also look at the issue related to who is a potential Doe or accused gang member. I would ask for clarification of the Cities claim found on page 4 of the pleadings filed by the City to justify the inclusion of the alleged unincorporated entities.

“Defendant Eastside is … an unincorporated association within the meaning of Corporations Code sec. 18035, inasmuch as it consists of two or more individuals joined by mutual consent for some common lawful purpose, such as attending social gatherings, recreational events, and funerals.”

Take a second to ponder the implications behind that.

Next, I would like to address the concerns of enjoined individuals who happen to be going to school or other non-covered area and are approached by law enforcement. The burden of proof to where one is traveling is difficult, especially when an officer may be primed for a dangerous interaction with a “gang member.” While the idea of an opt-out process sounds good on its face, the way it is written is rife with problems. The process is arduous and time consuming with a minimum of three years having to pass with one full year of employment before being considered. Three years is a long time. We should immediately encourage anyone being targeted to choose to not commit violent acts.

The ambiguity of how the injunction will be applied is one of the biggest concerns we have as advocates of Liberty. The idea that the cost of the injunction is built into the budget and does not have an effect on other programs for at-risk youth is interesting. It seems fairly fundamental that if money is being spent from the budget for several years on one civil case, that money cannot be used for current violent crimes which are being committed. The allocation of money to the City Attorney’s office and Police Department could be used for more positive projects even if it is not directly being affected by the reallocation of funds. The most frustrating aspect of this as a fiscal conservative is that the Mayor acknowledges the fact the injunction may be dismissed on its face. This would legitimize the concerns of the opposition relating to how much money has been or will be spent in this action.

While we believe that the injunction is unconstitutional on its face we are encouraged by the dialogue. I have personally attended several public forums relating to the Gang Injunction and have been disappointed that the Mayor and the majority of the City Council did not attend. Many excellent alternative ideas were offered, and the community at large is determined to continue the dialogue until a solution is found that does not selectively target a single minority group in Santa Barbara.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Are there any Republicans running for City Council who also believe the gang injunction to be unconstitutional?

loonpt (anonymous profile)
October 28, 2013 at 12:29 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Technically, no. Frank Hotchkiss is the only registered Republican running and is on record as (strongly) supporting the gang injunction.

However, an appealing candidate for some conservatives is Jason Nelson who opposes the gang injunction (based on Constitutional grounds).

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
October 29, 2013 at 1:07 a.m. (Suggest removal)

and Jason Nelson is correct: the gang injunction really is unconstitutional.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
October 29, 2013 at 4:55 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I join DrDan, EastBeach, and Loonpt in my belief the injunction is unconstitutional. Moreover, it doesn't address the root of the problem, it's a band-aid.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
October 29, 2013 at 6:29 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I'm sure Jason will be getting your vote. ;)

Botany (anonymous profile)
October 29, 2013 at 6:30 a.m. (Suggest removal)

OK, time for a group hug!

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
October 29, 2013 at 6:42 a.m. (Suggest removal)

wow, I've never agreed with loon on anything, so maybe the group hug isn't a bad idea...getting over partisanship? Hey, dolphin, how do you marine denizens perform your group hug?

DrDan (anonymous profile)
October 29, 2013 at 8:33 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The root of the problem is gang corrupt by their sheer presence. That is the only factor that needs to be considered. Get rid of gangs and make their associations illegal.

Yes, gang injunctions indeed have passed legal muster. They are constitutional. Murder, mayhem and vandalism done in their names as a criminal enterprise is what is illegal.

Why all this hysteria about this simple, preventive transaction? How do we cure that?

But gang injunction first, because it is legal. Sheer nonsense at this point to raise these faux arguments against it. Those opposition folks need to be more candid about their own motives; besides their obvious intention to divide and polarize this community permanently.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
October 29, 2013 at 8:59 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Hopefully, those arguing that a gang injunction is illegal, unconstitutional, that is, will encourage people in those jurisdictions where it exists to challenge their laws so that we here don't have to pay the costs. (The model of the EIR for the plastic bag ban is a good one: joining with other jurisdictions shares the costs.)

There are many such injunctions in California and so far, despite arguments about the legality, they have not been found to be unconstitutional in all aspects. Those interested, hello, Jason Nelson!, might read this Daily Journal article: It's so that a USDC has ruled against an Orange County injunction on due process bases but the devil is always in the details. Where they have been ruled against, as recently, in Utah, it's been on procedural grounds, rather than constitutional. So far.

Whether an injunction is the right tool for Santa Barbara is another question which I hope will be discussed in depth after the election.

at_large (anonymous profile)
October 29, 2013 at 9:37 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Just as local "liberals" have their wedge issue (smart growth vs. preservation) so it seems "conservatives" have theirs in the gang injunction.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
October 29, 2013 at 9:50 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Oh but is all about their culture... remember?

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
October 29, 2013 at 10:13 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The gang injunction is not a wedge issue. This fringe group is a political minority of a political minority in this town, and holds no political clout outside their own Rand Paul brand of Libertarianism.

Independent is the one trying to manufacture a wedge issue, where none exist. Circulation must be down so they want some rabid adrenalin-baiting class warfare bashing to pass for their lack of news reporting.

Throw the straw dog a bone. Woof.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
October 29, 2013 at 11:18 a.m. (Suggest removal)

It is funny.. first it is the liberals against the gang injunction... next it is the republicans against the gang injunction. Does that mean everybody is against the gang injunction? Please by all means just put it on the ballot already! Anyone not trying to justify their own relevance with some constitutional rights BS will vote it thru and it will pass with flying colors. Lets see other excuses..Cost, Won't work, Impairing my culture..LOL! Profiling... blah blah blah blah blah....Between Sterne taking her sweet time, like she always does, and all these other excuses, this may never happen when it seem like anyone who cares about their kids and their neighborhood (more than their so called culture and "associates")wants it.

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
October 29, 2013 at 4:08 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Not Republicans. These are Libertarians who want no government in our lives, at any level.

Republicans remain strong on law and order, thank goodness. But young people who see themselves victims of way too much Big Government are pulling out totally which is why Rand Paul has such traction for them.

Since the Republican party became such a fringe group in town they are just trying to pul what they can into their tent. Today' local elections are decided by independents and the middle because all local races are non-partisan and party money and party politics and party litmus tests need to stay the heck away.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
October 29, 2013 at 11:46 p.m. (Suggest removal)

bimboteskie: Judge Sterne is not responsible for the delays in the gang injunction case. The plaintiffs spent over a year trying to get juvenile records information released from the Juvenile Court. That is a different judge. They got some of the records they requested released. The gang injunction case is set for trial on March 17 (happy St. Paddy's day). That date was selected by the parties. Sterne did not delay it.

ice9 (anonymous profile)
October 30, 2013 at 8:33 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"Independent is the one trying to manufacture a wedge issue ..."
-- foofighter

The letter was submitted by the Central Coast Republican Liberty Caucus, not the Independent.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
October 30, 2013 at 9:31 a.m. (Suggest removal)

foofighter, you are wrong that libertarians are not for law and order, they absolutely are for law and order.

But the problem is that people who believe in civil rights believe in voluntary association. I should be able to hang out with a gang member if I want to and not be branded as a member of their gang by law enforcement, especially if I have never committed any acts of aggression or violence. I happen to be white, so that fact would probably allow me to hang out with a gang member without being labelled as one, and this is why race plays such a huge role. If I had brown skin, I would not be able to hang out with a gang member without being potentially associated with the gang, even if I never committed any acts of aggression.

The problem is that if a group of kids with brown skin want to associate with each other in this town, if they live in a certain part of town they may have to at least feign being involved in their part of town's 'gang' because if they don't, they may be treated with violence. I am not convinced at all that anybody you could associate with a gang is involved in criminal activity. So making gangs illegal would put completely innocent children at war with law enforcement, and you are going to have casualties on both sides.

But really we could talk about this civil rights issue all day long and at the end of the day it is completely irrelevant - gangs mainly only exist because of the war on drugs. If we ended the war on drugs, you would see gangs virtually disappear off the map. Libertarians have a much better solution to gangs, and that is to end the war on drugs. By fighting gangs, you are fighting the war on drugs and there is an endless supply of gang members who come of age every single year and all you are going to do by fighting it is make drugs more expensive, which pulls more people in to selling drugs because there is more money in it and the cycle continues. Your strategy is a losing strategy. The harder you fight, the harder you lose. Embrace liberty, instead and everybody wins.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
October 30, 2013 at 11:09 a.m. (Suggest removal)

loonpt mentioned an issue that's essential in our perception of gangs; an issue that other comments have validated; gang members have brown (or black) skin. There's a common belief that Asian gangs are virtually non-existent because they're transparent as a result of this bias. Injunctions against Latino gang members are essentially racist.

Speaking out, but still silenced: Anonymous cop criticizes War on Drugs
Posted by LEAP

14noscams (anonymous profile)
October 30, 2013 at 11:44 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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