Menlo Park: Locals seek to protect vulnerable groups before Trump takes office

Councilman Ray Mueller to raise ordinance option at Tuesday council meeting

Before President-elect Donald Trump takes office Jan. 20, some people in Menlo Park are trying to cement protections for populations that may face increased threat under Trump's proposed policies.

City Councilman Ray Mueller has asked that the City Council consider scheduling a discussion about a citywide ordinance that would prohibit any employee of the city of Menlo Park (which includes the police department) from allocating city resources or funds to intern or relocate U.S. citizens based on their religious beliefs, race, or nation of descent; or to create a registry or database of groups based on such factors.

He has drafted an ordinance but plans to work with the city attorney to iron out wording if the council supports the idea when he brings it up at the end of the Tuesday, Nov. 29, meeting.

Away from the City Council Chambers, a group of about 15 to 20 Willows residents met several weeks ago to talk about what they can do to ensure the protection of people in the region who may be threatened by Trump's proposed policies – specifically, Muslims and Latino people, according to Patrick Daly, a participant in the meeting. One resolution they agreed on was to ask the City Council to look into making Menlo Park a "Sanctuary City."

An online survey by Menlo Park resident Jen Mazzon is also being circulated to gather ideas about what measures should be included in a potential ordinance. Sanctuary cities typically offer certain protections to residents who have immigrated illegally. In many cases, they do not provide city resources or personnel toward helping federal agencies investigate residents for deportation.

Gwyn Murray, who organized the Willows neighborhood meeting, said that she got motivated to do something after working as a mentor to students in undocumented families at Menlo-Atherton High School. Those students are now in college, she said, because of policies like the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, an executive order by President Barack Obama that Donald Trump could overturn.

The neighborhood group is also looking into other measures that could support "those in our community who aren't as socioeconomically advantaged" in Redwood City, East Palo Alto and eastern Menlo Park, such as a rent control policy, or organized involvement with local nonprofit organizations, Murray said. The goals, she said of their actions, are to broaden communication, show mutual support and "help people feel like maybe they're not so alone."

"I don't think this would have come up if Trump had not been elected," Daly said.

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6 people like this
Posted by almunday
a resident of another community
on Nov 29, 2016 at 10:47 am

There is hope when I read news stories like this. A city pulling together
to provide some type of stability for Trumps targeted peoples.

I will pray that Trumps comments are just that, and pray that Trump is really
a human being that just wants a unified USA!!! No matter of race, gender, status!!

15 people like this
Posted by juan olive
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 29, 2016 at 11:58 am

I voted for Trump and I know living in this area drives people mad with anger and that's really too sad.
His idea is to deport people with criminal records.
The Trump haters want everyone to believe it is going to be everyone who is here illegally. Movie has been done countless times. If you want the entire truth, look up how many President Obama deported and you will be amazed.

When I was young my aunt would tell my cousins "The flies outside will suck your blood, so don't let them in and close the door" It of course worked and was a way to get what you want by lying. (Little white lie, no one gets hurt, but still a lie)

Continuing with untruths here, will get you the votes, no doubt, but remember you are predicting the future of what you perceive to be the truth.

My opinion only

11 people like this
Posted by vmshadle
a resident of Meadow Park
on Nov 29, 2016 at 12:02 pm

vmshadle is a registered user.

I wish I were as optimistic as you, almunday. To me, Trump's behavior indicates a strong narcissistic sociopathic pattern. Furthermore, his mendacity knows no bounds. He has already made it clear that he wants the attention, adulation, and money he can make by exploiting this nation's highest office. The job itself, not to mention people other than him and his closest family members, clearly interests him not at all.

It is amply clear that we cannot look toward the White House to set a proper moral tone anymore. We are on our own; and protecting the most vulnerable members of our community is entirely up to us.

15 people like this
Posted by Common Sense
a resident of Ventura
on Nov 29, 2016 at 12:57 pm

For all these political complainers! From my personal experiences, I would like to suggest the following. If you follow through, I guarentee you will return to the USA a more insightful, constructive person. Suggestion: I encourage everyone complaining to live for a year in a socialist country, a communist country, or any country noted for human rights violations. You'll need to be living solely on the unskilled laborer wages you receive after the exceptional taxes are taken out of your exceptionally low wages. If you have a medical need, I really encourage you to move there for a year. Why? I will think of you, waiting months, not days, for tests to determine if you have cancer or some other life threatening disease. If you're still around, I'll think of you waiting months, not days, for treatment or that operation. Need a new body part? Really good luck. Remember, you have no money, after paying for basics, if that, for a private doctor or to travel to another country for proper help. No lattes, sushi, or the like. No car-you can barely afford your rent in your tenement block walk up. I wish you the best living with only one change of clothes and possibly an extra pair of shoes. Let me know how it all works out as you will be living as most of the world- in s system you prefer here, in the USA. If you are living in Palo Alto it any town around and complain, shame on you. Buck up and learn about the true world around you !

6 people like this
Posted by vmshadle
a resident of Meadow Park
on Nov 29, 2016 at 1:03 pm

vmshadle is a registered user.

juan olive, are you aware that the Obama Administration has deported over 2.5 million people since 2009, more than the sum total of people deported by all 20th-century presidents combined? The figures aren't even compiled yet for calendar year 2016. In FY2015, however, 91% of those deported had a previous criminal conviction.

Web Link

Is this to what you were referring above when you said looking up how many Obama deported would cause the beholder amazement?

10 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 29, 2016 at 1:36 pm

"His idea is to deport people with criminal records."

So you think. It is very easy to delude oneself. You are predicting the future of what you perceive to be the truth.

Historical perspective. Did you know the German Jewish National Union endorsed Adolf Hitler in 1933, believing the Nazis would only harass those "peddler Jews" migrating into Germany from the east? It's a fact. Read Tolman.

To the present. You know Trump complained repeatedly about having a "Mexican" judge presiding over the Trump University lawsuits against him, right? That Judge Curiel is a native-born American means nothing to our president-elect to-be.

So, where do you think you stand?

You might want to plan ahead. Hook up with these people, just in case.

8 people like this
Posted by 38 year resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 29, 2016 at 2:14 pm

38 year resident is a registered user.

Another case of "Crying Wolf." No one knows what Trump will actually do with immigration or deportations yet. All of this "protecting vulnerables" from the wrath of Trump is based on conjecture, fear mongering and media hype, the same media that was utterly disappointed, outwardly saddened, and thoroughly flabbergasted that Trump won the election.

As juan olive stated and vmshadle confirmed with a Web Link, President Obama and his administration have deported over 2.5 million illegals during his two terms in office. Who protected them? Granted, a large percentage of those deportees were criminals, but isn't that one of the issues that Trump campaigned on? He clearly stated that he wanted to keep out drug dealers, rapists, murderers and criminals from coming across the southern border. Seems like the only difference is that he wants to stop them before they enter and President Obama deported them after they got here.

With regard to Muslims and refugees entering without thorough vetting (Trump's words), most people think that it's a pretty good idea. Nearly every other country on the planet does it, but we're supposed to randomly let everyone in without knowing who they are and more importantly what their intentions are? As an example, just look to our neighbors in Canada. Google what the requirements for citizenship there are. You'll be surprised. And to all those who said they would be leaving for Canada if Trump won the election, good luck. You might be rejected.

Trump said a lot of things that got people's attention and for that reason, he won the election. He is our president elect and people across most of the country clearly wanted a change in direction. I know it's a bitter pill to swallow for bay area liberals and those in large urban areas who would like to think that the country should all follow their progressive lead, but it's time for some truthful introspection. The majority of the country (look at the electoral map county by county) doesn't agree with you and playing to people's fears won't do anyone any good.

"What have you got to lose," is another of Trump's campaign mantras. Given the choice of four to eight more years of the same policies and politics in Washington a Clinton presidency would have meant, I'm willing to give him a chance, and I'm no Trump fan.

9 people like this
Posted by juan olivel
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 29, 2016 at 2:19 pm

I am Mexican American and have lived here in the USA all my life. I have never traveled out of the US, so I can't comment on how it is to live anywhere else. I have no record of any kind with law enforcement and I just live my life as most of us do and enjoy the company of family members and friends.
All I can say is that we still will have our country called USA at least for the next 4 years. The alternative on election night would have been the beginning of no more USA as we know it. Having open borders and this country would eventually lead to what Common Sense is referring to.
Don't get me wrong. I love people but even in High School you had bullies mingling with us.

I won't reply anymore because this is not the proper place to have disagreements.

9 people like this
Posted by Pragmatist
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 29, 2016 at 3:24 pm

Technical correction. Neither candidate garnered a majority. Trump garnered in total an even smaller minority than Clinton did, she got over 2 million more votes than Trump and counting.

Trump won the electoral college, not the majority of the vote and not the most votes. In the states that cinched his victory, his margin as razor thin.

But you do underscore the need for Democrats to pay attention to the very anti-democracy push by the Right for a permanent Republican Majority - it never died, despite how bad absolute power is for democracy and markets. The sad result is a candidate who cannot tell the truth with a propensity for bullying the less powerful, bringing in an administration with rightwing policies tht objectively are worse for general economic prosperity. (Did no one remember George Bush telling us that we needed a businessman in the White House and how that worked out? How about closer to home with Schwarzenegger? .) The right tends to cling to ideology over outcome, and blame loudly when the ideology inevitably doesn't pan out. Instead of learning, they insist everything would work if we just clung tighter to the ideology, and so instead of refining their ideas, they engage in less and less ethical tricks to remain in power, such as the aggressive gerrymandering.

The loose connection with the truth was found to have been one of the big things that went wrong in Iraq under Bush - Republican leadership not being able to tell the difference between what they said was true and reality, or perhaps thinking what they said became true if they said it enough. This makes it impossible to learn from mistakes and improve, but rather, subjects rightwing ideology to the same pernicious effects of absolutism and blind ideology as in Communism.

Democracy benefits from give and take, just as markets do. When one side decides the only way it can get power is through lying so completely that even supporters say they don't really know what that person will do, that does not bode well for democracy. (What he will do is no mystery, look at the old-bitter-ideologically-controlled-white-guy box all of the appointments are coming from. Add in the lying and going after critics instead of improving from transparency and criticism. It's not exactly a mystery, unlike whether he will decide to start his Presidency honoring the Constitution, or if this is just a ploy by the ultrarightwingers who are gleefully pushing the righty right appointments and will get the administration they could never get otherwise by dumping Trump when it's convenient.

4 people like this
Posted by 38 year resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 29, 2016 at 4:28 pm

38 year resident is a registered user.

@ Pragmatist....Democrats and Republicans both push for permanent majorities in their respective parties.....always. Do you not remember the in your face parade around the capital when Democrats took the House and Senate in 2008...the smug Nancy Pelosi with gavel in hand and Harry Reid at her side? How about the quote from President Obama that "Elections have consequences. We won and you didn't."

For you to single out the Republican Party in this endeavor is a bit hypocritical. And let's be honest...Hillary Clinton was a candidate who couldn't tell the truth either and her supporters were caught in a quagmire. They knew it. The list of her lies is too long to chronicle and her own staff had difficulty covering for her on a day to day basis. Do you think she wouldn't have brought in a left wing administration and policies that are arguably worse for the country in many voter's opinion?

It's why she lost the election. People want a change from the policies of the Obama administration and Washington, D.C. in general. And just like when President Obama was elected on the promise of change, he won. This time, it's Trump's turn.

14 people like this
Posted by Pragmatist
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 29, 2016 at 5:19 pm

Seeking to win is the nature of politics. The back and forth of earnest ideas is important. Seeking a permanent majority is different and is anti-democracy. You have described a win in the normal course of politics, a win that reversed within two years, not a quest to get power and keep it even at the cost of democracy. Seeking a majority in an election, especially after the damage the other side's much longer total majority did (remember Bush's economic freefall?) is part of democracy, and is entirely different than seeking a permanent majority (the Republican leadership's own terminology) through tricks and lying, and stacking the deck by promoting oligarchy. Seeking a permanent majority has been, by their own admission, the domain of the Right since Reagan. Nothing like that has been happening on the Left in this country.

Seeking a permanent majority has caused people on the right to care only about the power and the ideology, and not at all about the outcome of the policies. It causes people to dig in on beliefs not at all supported by facts. One example is your charge about Clinton and lying. You're not even being close to objective. Objectively, Trump is a persistent liar, a huckster, Clinton is no worse than any other human. Even Trump's supporters are now saying that maybe we don't really know what he will do (ya mean, he lied and stirred up hate to get in office?) I'd say Clinton is probably pretty clean given the aggressive scandalmongering from the Right.

Your claim about economics is also opinion not backed up by facts. Almost all of the last nine or ten recessions have come from Republican administrations. When he wasn't running for President, even Trump saw that Democrats are better for the economy:
"Trump Is Right About One Thing: 'The Economy Does Better Under The Democrats',
Web Link

Here's a review of one report in Forbes (a pretty center right publication).
Web Link

Fact check used a different report, found Clinton was correct to say the economy does better under Democrats.
Web Link

If people wanted fiscal prosperity, they should have voted for Democrats. So, people clinging to the ideology despite evidence that the outcome is different is de facto evidence of caring more about power than about honing the ideas in the crucible of democracy. I'm not a party person, I'm pretty attached to Democracy, and for some time, Republican values have mostly been to tear down democracy and democratic institutions. The basic tenets of the party are great, they just don't seem to ever adhere to them because of the constant self- and public-delusion that comes from putting the quest for keeping power above all else.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and no ideological perspective is immune. But in this country, the quest to get power and keep it -destroying the benefits of democracy- has been the domain of the right.

In case you hadn't noticed, Russia isn't Communist anymore. But it's not exactly getting the benefits of democracy because of the oligarchy. What Russia has, that's what the right is basically handing us. Objectively, most people are and would be happier with Swedish/Finnish/Danish social democratic outcomes than Russian oligarchical outcomes.

6 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 29, 2016 at 6:41 pm

"No one knows what Trump will actually do with immigration or deportations yet."

Nobody knows what, if anything, Trump will do with his campaign promises. He may deport a group or two of dark-skinned immigrants live on reality TV to appease and entertain the David Duke crowd. But he repudiated that bunch last week (they'd already voted for him and he had no further use for them), so we'll have to see how far even that goes.

He's already announced he's keeping some of Obamacare. I'm betting all of it, unless he goes for single-payer.

He's completely blown off his loyal "lock her up" followers (did you know the Trumps and Clintons socialize regularly?) You claim that "The list of her lies is too long to chronicle...", which means you can't chronicle any, but just take the hint: you are are of no further use to The Donald and he is done with you.

Um, one more thing, do you realize that the Electoral College made your Trump vote meaningless? California allocates its electors by winner-take-all, and Clinton won California. So relax.

11 people like this
Posted by Dogberry
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Nov 29, 2016 at 7:09 pm

@ Curmudgeon
Friend, you are simply too cunning to be understood.

1 person likes this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 30, 2016 at 8:18 pm

Just thinking like The Donald. It worked with millions of voters.

Man, just think how richer that guy could be if he sold used cars instead of dirt.

7 people like this
Posted by Pragmatist
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 1, 2016 at 10:10 am

I keep looking for a straight answer from @38, indeed anyone on the right when confronted with facts. In every hotbutton issue, the misinformation from the right is the result of a quest for power crowding out the refining of ideas.

For example the mounting evidence that the economy does better with Democratic administrations and less well under Republicans. Yet the facts never get into the debate - e.g. The debt. That was a huge rightwing pre-election slam on the Obama administration, the debt, even though objectively, Republican administrations are always far worse about getting us into debt (at the CA state level, too), and Obama had slowed the debt since the Bush years. Bush managed to rack up huge debt after Clinton had done what seemed was impossible at the time and balanced the budget and cut the debt. Republicans think they can fix everything if they just have total control, no matter how things tank when they get total control. It's because the quest for total pernanent control causes them to become dishonest about their intentions, and to choose the quest for power above all else, above the quest for helping our nation through the basic tenets of the party. The goal of sound fiscal management gave way to a religious adherence to cutting taxes on the wealthy no matter what - even though Reagan's own budget director said the whole Trickle Down plan was a Trojan Horse for cutting top tax rates and eventually he quit in disgust. Trickle Down and Reagan became like religion to the right, with no compensating mechanisms based on negative outcomes, because saying and doing whatever it takes to get into power has taken the place of honing ideas through honest engagement with facts.

It's really sad for our nation, because without the healthy and honest back and forth, democracy becomes destabilized. In the history of the world, the result of imposing permanent power structures is then unhealthy power systems that tend to snap between extremes, usually violently. I can already see the leftwing equivalent of the teaparty forming, and the right pushes on oblivious to it until it's too late. The right has gotten to where it only knows how to respond to challenge through dishonesty and repression, again at a loss to our democracy. The benefits our democracy would otherwise be reaping from the positive rightwing values of solid fiscal management, protecting individual rights against undue intrusion, healthy competition and markets, etc, then become utterly lost. It's ironic that the party that seems most concerned about free markets has utterly lost any willingness to compete honestly in the marketplace of ideas but instead wants the shortcut of getting and keeping permanent power by whatever means necessary, including through supporting chrronic lying and bullying. Democracy us the real casualty here.

Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Dec 1, 2016 at 10:21 am

In the city of SF a supervisor (Campos) who is termed out is attempting to reallocate already budgeted funds to support the Sanctuary City rules in that city. In this case the word Sanctuary City needs to isolate what it pertains to. In the SF City case it pertains to illegals who have committed crimes and are not turned over to the feds for deportation. He is now trying to displace taxpayer money which was allocated to college students for tuition. Also help with homeless activities. So for any city the question on the table is taxpayer funds used for people who do not pay taxes and cost the taxpayer money in prisons and the courts. And be aware that the Retirement fund for the State of California is sorely underfunded and we have a large group of people reaching retirement age. If a taxpayer votes to allocate funds for an activity then that is what the tax will be used for. Suggest that any re-allocation of tax funded activities be put up to the vote of the taxpayers. People who are termed out and looking for a tax payer funded landing spot do not have priority over the people paying the taxes.
If any previously budgeted funds are going to be reallocated then let the tax payer vote of the re-allocation.

Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Dec 1, 2016 at 10:27 am

For all of the people frothing at the mouth over what they think will happen in the future should look at where we are at this point in time under the current administration both at the city, state, and federal level. It is not a good place we are in right now. Please don't try and distract from the pitfalls that have and are occurring. We are not in a good place NOW so correction is required to the current administrations policies which are counter productive.

8 people like this
Posted by Pragmatist
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 1, 2016 at 11:26 am

That's just it, @resident. We just were saved a great depression. The last administration under Bush which had complete control of all branches of government for six of the eight years, put us in economic freefall. We are better off now in so many ways, including the ways the right is using to slam now. Going back to having wealthy businessmen with even less concern for truth or working with opposing ideas is only going to set us up for Freefall2.

Is the proposal you are bringing up really truly taking the education away from college students who need it and giving the money for criminals? Or are you misinforming because you have a kneejerk attitude against anything involving amnesty for illegal aliens? The trouble from the Big Picture standpoint is that the right has become more ideological and dishonest, so there's really no honest back and forth to achieve the fundamental goals of both sides in a dispute. The rightwing way has become to lie to achieve certain goals related to power acquisition. Case in point: social hotbutton issues. The right had total control over all branches of govt during the Bush years, yet they did not overturn RoevWade, because that would take away one of the biggest ways the leadership manipulates the religious party faithful. Plus, making it illegal would mean pregnancy crisis counseling couldn't happen anymore, which would only make it more difficult to pragmatically achieve the real goal of people who care about the issue, which is reducing abortion (as opposed to making it illegal which demonstrably doesn't reduce it).

The lying and utter disconnect from facts has become such a fixture of the right, I can't take your post seriously. Where otherwise it would be worth delving into the issue to ensure students didn't suffer for policies that only protect a few known criminals, per your post, I can only interpret your claims against the backdrop of persistent lies almost utterly disconnected from outcomes and reality that is the usual right-think in discussions.

The future is a concern. Policies have consequences. Those who do not learn from the past (through dishonest and religious adherence to ideology over consequences) are condemned to making the rest of us suffer for your folly. The consequences workboth ways. Jerry Brown, has been the best thing for this state, even under total democratic supermajority, because he is an honest amalgam of pragmatism from the left and the right -- that's unique to him. When we get to someone else, it's not going to go so well that we have one party dominating and prone to being manipulated by powerful interests too (as is happening already with developers), and the other party, the right, almost lost to delisional disconnected ideology and unable to engage with anything resembling honesty.

I wouldn't be so concerned if I thought there was even a modest concern for learning from reality and truth in this administration, and concern for doing right by the less powerful. Rich selfish powerful people with no concern for truth or ability to take responsibility when things go wrong, always make corrupt leaders. As someone said recently, we have jist given the keys to the guys who drove the car off the cliff the last time. The trouble is that our nation suffers, not just the people who don't prioritize democracy in how they voted.

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Posted by resident
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Dec 1, 2016 at 1:11 pm

Pragmatist - you need to read the SF Chronicle today which is discussing this issue. The Supervisors are arguing over what propositions were passed for what purposes and what the existing supervisors are attempting to do given the overall budget for SF. Supervisor Kim is supporting the free tuition for the SFCC which is what was voted on and funded and Campos is trying to redirect the funds to sanctuary city increased budget. Read what your local papers are saying. I have no vested interest in the outcome - only that propositions are voted on for specific intentions and the funds then get re-appropriated to something else. Time for that dishonesty to stop. However - that point still applies to Menlo Park to define what services they intend to support and what the taxpayers have already voiced an opinion on. They can do what ever they want just so that everyone is in agreement and the rules and guidelines are clear.

4 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 1, 2016 at 8:46 pm

Look, everyone. All of this is for nothing. Trump's objective is to make money for himself. Lots of money. That's why he's installing all those Beltway and Wall Street insider elites in his administration. There is no money in deporting immigrants, illegal or not. So he ain't gonna do it.

Well, not a lot of it. Maybe he'll send off a couple hundred on reality TV to let his hardcore supporters enjoy watching sad nonwhite faces file onto an airplane, but that's it. The election is over. He's done with those once-useful idiots.

4 people like this
Posted by Build the Wall!
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Dec 2, 2016 at 1:21 am

How is it fair that people who break the law to cross our border are welcomed? They need to come over legally!

2 people like this
Posted by Pragmatist
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 2, 2016 at 3:16 pm

Yes, agreed about the selfish reason for seeking office. I hope someone is counting the national silver. But you neglect the propensity of rightwingers who think they know everything because of business backgrounds to panic when they start driving the economy into the dirt, and start deficit spending on shortsighted things like wars, bigger government, interest on their massive debts, star wars (remember the laughable excuse that we destroyed communism by spending more?) Since they have no sense of the bigger picture, they will easily think that deficit spending on building a wall (despite the outflux of people TO Mexico in recent years) makes sense to boost employment artificially, rather than investing in small business or broadly in education. Since they lost all rational contact with truth when the party became all about the anti-democracy permanent majority, they will never own up to the idiocy and waste of building a wall. Trump has already made clear that he puts his own oxygen mask on first and will bail with a golden parachute - we know because he's done it so many times. What he has never yet done us create broad prosperity for others. It seems a wall is a likely eventuality.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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