The City Council held a closed-door session on the recent ruling prohibiting the adoption of a local gang injunction, and public comment was heard on August 5. While part, perhaps even most, of the court’s opinion found an insufficient gang problem to warrant the injunction, it’s apparent, based on the millions of dollars spent by this community on both prevention and enforcement efforts, that a significant problem does, in fact, exist.
Contrary to the public comments, I would, as I’m sure many others would, encourage the City Council to carefully consider the court ruling and determine either that it is reasonable and move on, or determine otherwise and appeal it. This is the responsible course of action. Despite comments to the contrary, there are many people in the community, many too fearful to stand up in public, who feel tools such as an injunction are an appropriate method to deal with entrenched gang members.
Comments such as “the judge ruled against you, so you should live with it” reflect the shallow and myopic viewpoint of the group associated with these comments, apparently reasoning that the only good decision is one with which they agree. If one were to live by those less-than-empowering words, both Mayor Schneider and Councilmember Murillo would be neither voters nor sitting where they are today. The women in our lives would not have the personal health choices they do. Our sons and daughters would not have the freedom to live with and love those whom they choose. In fact, those who commented would not have the luxury to stand up in public and repeatedly voice opinions on this matter.
Interpretations and legal findings are a constantly shifting dynamic, often subject to the nuances of the hearing process and evidence presented. I encourage the City Council to carefully review the court’s ruling and determine if a reasonable opportunity exists to appeal for an outcome that offers another tool that provides for greater public safety.