Message from the Editor: At a meeting of the San Bernardino City Council on Wednesday, October 2, 2019 the following letter written by Hardy Brown Sr. was read to the council on his behalf.
I have been a taxpaying citizen since 1961 trying to do my civic duty in contributing to this community. I seldom speak before governing bodies unless I feel outrage in the direction of their decisions.
I came before you after you decided to select five officers that did not reflect the diversity of the city to lead your community-policing program. Since that time, I have discovered other decisions which do not reflect the community’s values of justice and fairness to the citizens who pay taxes and live here.
You have promoted people in top management positions who choose not to live here which does not give others internally or externally an opportunity to even be considered, thus keeping Blacks and Latinos locked out of your stated Equal Employment Opportunity Policy. You are perpetuating a system of structural, racial discrimination that dates back decades in this country before the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
You have devalued your minority employees with these decisions that have forced some to leave for friendlier workplaces. The Riverside Community Colleges newest Chief of Police left your police department in the last two months; she was your first African American female Lieutenant. Other Blacks have left the city to become chiefs in other cities.
You reduced the salary of the highest ranking and first Latino City Attorney and the city’s first LGBQT City Clerk; and if that was not bad enough, you voted to appeal a court order to pay them their rightful salary.
You have hired an outside, non-minority firm to survey and try to convince the Hispanic and Black taxpayers who live in this city to extend Measure Z for you to give the money to police officers who do not live here and will not hire the citizens who pay the bills.
Now, we have the Police Officers Associations (who do not live in the city) asking the city manager (who does not live in the city) to appoint the acting chief (who does not live in the city as far as I know) who made the decision to place five [White] officers over your community-policing program.
I am demanding as a taxpaying-voting-citizen that you order all management positions be posted for internal and external people who wish to apply. You should also adopt a Sunshine Ordinance that allows better transparency in hiring and promotion opportunities in this city.
I am extending an invitation to the city manager to speak before these organizations: Westside Action Group, the NAACP, St. Paul African Methodist Church, Social Action Committee, and the Black Voice News/The IEVoice News Editorial Board to explain her policies and intentions on filling management positions in the city and especially the Police Chief and Public Works Director positions.”
Header Photo: Hardy Brown, Sr. Contributor. Photo by Benoit Maphettes