Last year, City Manager Chris Zapata abrogated his responsibilities for running much of the city by giving carte blanche to the Police Chief to set public policy both for her department, and the City. Now, he has decided to become the Chief’s propaganda minister.
In today’s City Manager Bulletin, Zapata direct readers to an article praising the use of surveillance cameras that appeared in the Washington Times. As I’m sure he knows, the Washington Times is a Moonie (as in Rev. Moon’s church) owned newspaper, founded with the expressed goal of disseminating Moonie and far-right propaganda. In comparison to the Washington Times, Fox News can actually make a case for being “fair and balanced”.
That said, it perhaps should not surprise us that Spagnoli and Zapata would look at the arch-conservative Washington Times for support with their own arch-conservative public policy. The Times position on gay-rights (against them) seem consistent with the anti-gay policies that have gotten the SLPD sued; but they are not positions that reflect a majority of San Leandrans.
Meanwhile, in the last couple of weeks there has been a plethora of newspaper articles, by trustworthy publications, on how police surveillance of individuals violates basic civil liberties. Several of those articles, including one by the San Francisco Chronicle and one by the Oakland Tribune, referenced San Leandro. As you would expect, neither was mentioned in Zapata’s weekly bulletin.
I don’t expect much of our current City Council. Neither Mayor Cassidy nor City Council members Michael Gregory, Ursula Reed, Benny Lee, Diana Souza and Pauline Cutter have much of a backbone, but 2014 is around the corner.