My Statement Today at a Press Conference to Defeat Measure T in Pomona:

I am here, as part of the Pomona Coalition to Defeat Measure T. This measure seeks to turn back the will of the people in Pomona – who back in 1990 — after law suits were filed by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund and the Southwest Voter Registration Project, voted to scrap citywide elections in favor of single-member districts to bolster minority representation, to facilitate more direct communication between the voters and their representatives, and to reduce the costs of running for city council seats. The voters voted in this way, also to stop the reality that – although Pomona had changed demographically to over 50% in ethnic minorities in the city – only two members of racial or ethnic minorities, up until 1986, had ever been elected to the council in the city’s 99-year history. Now, we have seen the results of the voters’ decision in 1990 – as we have seen a diversity of city council candidates and elected city council members. Most of all, we continue to see candidates running, from all nationalities, who are able to afford running from a district that they live in – and who are closer to the issues and the people that they vow to represent – because they live in those districts. We are in full agreement with Marian R. Bibian’s October 16th editorial in the Daily Bulletin that the efforts to overturn the will of the voters has been led by a “a small group of former candidates, all unsuccessful in Pomona City Elections, — that “are spending large amounts of money” – that are “frustrated due to their inability to win their personal races for mayor or council member” – and who “want revenge on the council member who dared to speak about the abuses of the infamous checkpoints, towing companies, and excessive overtime.” From investigating Pomona city clerk records, we have found that a group, calling itself, the Pomona Police Officers Association Issue Committee, with its Treasurer Wayne Ordos (whose address is listed in Sacramento), spent $43,186.47 alone (in signature-gathering and signs). Another $2,536.62 has been spent by a group the “Pomona Citizens Right to Vote Committee.” Now, these reports do not include any up-to-date figures on other mailings and flyers that may have been duplicated and distributed recently.

We urge the voters in Pomona to study who is behind Measure T – to not allow the exclusion of candidates who may have limited resources – to not allow a handful of interest groups to control – and to not waste the taxpayer’s hard-earned funds in defending an outdated Measure that will undoubtedly end up in the courts if it is passed – funds that can be better spent on keeping the library open, ensuring the city’ public services, and bolstering the city’s economy. As the Daily Bulletin, in their opposition to Measure T, has reminded us: It seems likely that litigation would be brought against the city if this measure passes, and that’s the last thing cash-strapped Pomona need

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