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Human Relations Commission meeting sparks ire, reignites conflicts

Original post made on Jul 24, 2007

Perhaps it began with the Taser Task Force, where members Daryl Savage, Donald Mendoza and Linda Lenoir -- who also serve on the Palo Alto Human Relations Commission -- faced heated, often personal, attacks from anti-Taser activists.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, July 18, 2007, 12:00 AM

Comments (8)

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Posted by free speech
a resident of another community
on Jul 24, 2007 at 11:16 pm

While I think this article mostly describes this meeting, Ms. Trout seriously underestimated the number of people who attended. The room was full, extra rows of chairs were added, and people were standing in the hall. By my guess over 60 people came to the meeting. I assure you more than 20 people in Palo Alto cared enough about the IM issue, PPJC and free speach to show up for this meeting, particularly after the column in the Weekly. You stated 13 people spoke at the meeting, which means only 7 people sat and watched. The vast majority of the people in the room did not speak. I'm not sure if Ms. Trout intended by her low count to imply that people aren't willing to take a public stand for issues they care about, or that the Human Relation Commission is marginal, whatever her intent, she would better serve all of us if she were accurate.

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Posted by yet another parent
a resident of Escondido School
on Jul 25, 2007 at 12:39 am

By the time the meeting began Thursday, a thread on the Weekly's online forum, Town Square, was packed with expressions of speculation, frustration, confusion and anger.
Going into the meeting, Mora said her role "was about repair work."

I was surprised that no one from the HRC engaged in the Town Square discussion. Not Mora, and not even Jeff Blum. Surely he followed a conversation attached to his very own column. At a minimum they could have posted a link to the agenda. The discussion went on for pages before someone stepped in and explained that Blum misrepresented the agenda. This was at 4:50 pm the day of the meeting.
Are they forbidden from entering a public discussion because of HRC rules? I can’t imagine that they weren’t aware of the discussion. Their silence made a bum situation worse.

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Posted by Frank
a resident of The Greenhouse
on Jul 25, 2007 at 1:42 am

I sure hope we're not paying for these clowns.

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Posted by natasha
a resident of Meadow Park
on Jul 25, 2007 at 6:30 am

Frank, of course we are. If nothing else, the city is supporting their volunteer activities. They are a City -affiliated group. I haven't been paying attention to the Peace and Justice Center issues, but if that organization is a non-profit, separate from the city (which I imagine it is), what in the world is a City-sponsored group doing poking its nose in tehre without invitation? It would be sort of like the BoE deciding to spend an evening inviting comment on the teaching effectiveness and tone of the International School. What possible business was it of the HRC?

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Posted by Becky Trout
Palo Alto Weekly staff writer
on Jul 25, 2007 at 10:17 am

Becky Trout is a registered user.

I just wanted to chime in that I did not include in my count staff members of the city. They often sit with the public.

Otherwise, 20 is accurate.

Thanks, Becky

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Posted by Friedrich
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 25, 2007 at 3:38 pm

It's always interesting to watch certain groups make atttempts at sterilizing public discourse.

There IS a line, btw. However, it's a FUZZY line.

There is some good to come out of people gathering, to discuss differences - but there is more harm done when outsiders assume - based on their own projections - that they know what those differences are. This is the case with the HRC's efforts in this matter.

I, for one, would like to see the HRC disbanded. It serves no purpose, other than as simply another variable in the back-and-forth we know as "difference".

There is no "problem" to solve, as the HRC sees it. But now that the HRC has "identified" a problem, one exists. Official power has a way of creeping into everything, and mucking it up.

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Posted by advocate
a resident of Meadow Park
on Jul 26, 2007 at 12:44 am

Sorry Becky you messed up on the count on this one. Yes, I'm sure staff attended for the police presentation, but that doesn't account for all the bodies in the room for the IM issue. I'd be really surprised if City staff stayed around for our issue. Care to mention names of the room full of City staff that stayed for the whole meeting Becky.

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Posted by John. M
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 26, 2007 at 9:40 am

I was there; Ms. Trout's numbers are accurate.

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

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