04.26.11

Human Trafficking in Mexico

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:17 pm by Administrator


 

Migrants forced to be sex slaves in Mexico

By Agence France-Presse
Tuesday, April 26th, 2011 — 8:50 am
TAPACHULA, Mexico — Locals call them “merchandise” and that is how criminal gangs treat the Central American youths they force into prostitution near Mexico’s southern
TAPACHULA, Mexico — Locals call them “merchandise” and that is how criminal gangs treat the Central American youths they force into prostitution near Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala.
Victims recount being tricked into making the dangerous journey across Central America in the hope of a better life before being stopped en route in southern Mexico and forced to work for nothing.
The Honduran consul in Mexico’s southern Chiapas state, Patricia Villamil, alerted local authorities to several cases when she took on her job last November. When they failed to respond, she spoke out.
“They bring women from Honduras, preferably under 18,” said Villamil, who has already recorded a dozen cases of minors between 14 and 17 years old being forced into prostitution.
“They steal their innocence. They hit them, mistreat them, humiliate and rape them,” she said.
Witness accounts map out a route starting in the poor communities of Honduras, passing through Guatemala before crossing the border into Mexico.
The girls are then distributed among several dozen bars and brothels in Chiapas, which are each thought to employ between eight and 14 foreigners.
A 17-year-old Honduran who gave her name as Valeria ended up in Mexico after following that well-worn route, on the promise of a free journey and a job in a restaurant in Mexico from a woman in her village.
The single mother travelled with a friend and four other minors — those who are most in demand by pimps at the border.
Valeria eventually arrived at a sordid bar in Mexico where she forced herself to drink 17 beers to give her courage to face clients on her first night as a prostitute.
“I had to ‘deal with it’ every time a client wanted it. It was six or seven times almost every day. Once it was 12 times,” she told AFP.
The owner of the bar demanded 5,000 pesos (430 dollars) for the journey. Another bar owner eventually paid the debt, but forced her to work for him in return.
After four months’ of work, with up to 16-hour days, she has not yet received any money.
“Generally they don’t pay minors. They give them food and clothes and build up new debts for them,” said Enrique Mendez, the prosecutor in charge of crimes against immigrants in Chiapas state. Mendez denied that organized criminal groups were operating in the area, and said most girls arrived independently in Chiapas, on a route taken by hundreds of thousands of migrants hoping to reach the United States each year. But the consul and victims said bar owners sought new supplies of young girls, who arrived in groups of five or six.
“Yes, there’s people trafficking but not in an alarming manner,” Mendez admitted in his office in the border town of Tapachula.”There is a lot of prostitution, particularly of minors,” he added.
The consul and activists for immigrants’ rights blame authorities for minimizing the problem, which occurs alongside a spike in attacks on migrants in Mexico and an explosion of gang violence in recent years. “Here in Chiapas, everyone knows what’s happening,” the Honduran consul said. “I don’t care if the government is bothered that I say it. I’m not going to shut up until they do their job.”

04.15.11

Political Priorities

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:39 am by Administrator


 

Jan Tucker - Rudy Acuna - Estela Ayala

Rough Draft
Priorities
There is a Difference between One and Ten
By
Rodolfo F. Acuña

In the mid-sixties, I attended a lecture by Dr. Ernesto Galarza. Someone in the audience asked him why politicos and those in social movements didn’t care about Mexican Americans. Galarza responded that most elected officials that were Democrats cared about Mexican Americans but that we were never their number one priority or even close to it on their do list.

Galarza went to the blackboard and drew a vertical line and showed the difference between one and ten.  According to Galarza, the legislators would negotiate with the other party that also had its priorities, and if they got the majority of their first five items, they would consider the legislative session successful. For years, farm workers or “Mexican” issues never seemed to break out of the number ten spot.  Democrats cared about Mexicans, but just not enough to invite them to the wedding.

The Galarza factor still plays out in academe and in left journals such as The Nation in considering hires and how much space is to be given a particular issue. Everyone loves Mexicans, but they remain Number Ten.

The genius of César Chávez was that he short circuited the process and made the farm worker movement a social movement rather than strictly a labor cause. Because of pressure from the progressive left, farm workers for a time made it to the top five.

As a consequence, the immigrant worker struggle benefitted and was given a push. It did not hurt that as in the case of the Catholic Church Latino workers by the 1980s made up a significant portion of union membership. I cannot help thinking that if it had not been for these numbers we would still be number ten.

Even so, as a people we are still a long way from making it to the top five. The negotiations over the Dream Act are proof of the Galarza factor. Despite our dramatic growth in population, immigration reform still lingers around the ten spot.

The growth of the Latino community has added other nuances which have allowed so-called progressives to bifurcate number ten. They can claim I am for Mexicans, I support the banning of dangerous pesticides and so on.

Bifurcation has evolved into an art form. Witness Arizona where progressives mobilized against SB 1070, Arizona’s draconian immigration law that in effect legalized racial profiling. For a time, it made it to the top five. However, the left is promiscuous and when Wisconsin came along like a suitor in heat the left pushed everything else aside.

This is not to say that Wisconsin should not be high on everyone’s list—it should. I am just saying that a political person should be able to multi-task.

That brief period in the top five brought results and the Department of Justice filed a suit against Arizona. Consequent to that action enforcement of SB 1070 has been blocked.

Other anti-Latino measures have not fared as well in Arizona. HB 2281 legalized a racist attack on the Tucson Unified School District’s La Raza Studies program that has successfully stemmed the Latina/o student drop out problem. It is a pedagogically sound program that could serve as a model for other school districts.

But thus far the Obama administration and progressives have not shown much interest. In April 2010 when 2281 was passed I contacted numerous people and organizations who at the time said 1070 was their Number 1 priority. Others said that getting Jerry Brown elected governor was Number 1.

I could not understand this reasoning since these were also my priorities and it was not an either or proposition.

However, love is blind. Most liberals cannot draw the correlation between labor rights and civil rights. They lack the genius of César Chávez.

HB 2281 attacks freedom of speech. It allows the Arizona superintendent of public instruction and the attorney general to capriciously enforce a racist law. It denies students and teachers in the program their right to equal treatment by sanctioning the disparate treatment of Mexican American studies. Finally, it denies students the right to learn almost guaranteeing that over sixty percent will dropout of school. The outcome is a right wing indoctrination filtered through the “minds” and whims of two elected official with no background in teaching minority students and who have a political agenda.

As a historian I find this terrifying.

How can this happen and why don’t people see and feel the same issues with the same intensity that I do? Why isn’t this issue in the top 5?

Perhaps they have never seen the hopelessness that the lack of identity and literacy produces. Gang kids are made they are not born gang kids.

It is the Galarza factor at work. I remember that I once complained to Congressman Howard Berman because he voted to take funds away from mostly Mexican immigrants to give to Eastern European refugees. He responded that he had to take care of his own first which was an important priority, but why either or?

It was not that Berman did not care about Mexicans; we were just not Number 1 or even 5.  The challenges for Latinos as a community is to multi-task and at the same time use our numbers to prioritize actions that address the Latina/o community. We have to avoid the promiscuous habits of the left and remember that issues are inter-related.

CONTRIBUTE $5.00 A MONTH TO DEFEND LA RAZA STUDIES AND EDUCATION IN ARIZONA

Click on tohttp://www.saveethnicstudies.org/our_story.shtml

Click on to the “Donate” button and Fight Back and help push La Raza Studies to Number 1

04.14.11

Discrimination in Mayor Villaraigoza’s Los Angeles

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:45 pm by Administrator


 

Tuesday, April 14, 2011

The Honorable Kamala D. Harris ~ Attorney General

Office of the Attorney General  CA Dept. of Justice 1300 “I” Street Sacramento, CA 95814-2919

RE: RACIAL DISCRIMINATION, BIAS AND PREJUDICE IN THE HIRING, JOB ASSIGNMENT, TRAINING AND PROMOTION OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN ENGINEERS WITHIN THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (LADOT) AND AFRICAN-AMERICAN PLANNERS WITHIN THE CITY PLANNING DEPARTMENT OF THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES:

Dear Honorable Kamala D. Harris,

It has come to the attention of the NAACP Los Angeles branch and a number of civic leaders that racial discrimination, bias and prejudice in the hiring, job assignment, training, appointments and promotion of African-American Engineers in the City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) and African-American Planners in the City Planning Department of The City of Los Angeles (LACP) do exist, that they are tolerated by the City of Los Angeles, and that the City of Los Angeles has taken no measure, to date, to investigate, acknowledge and redress these violations. Specifically, the personnel record in the City of Los Angeles show that notwithstanding African-American engineers’ and planners’ average years of experience of twenty (20+) years or more in these Departments, they are not being promoted beyond the entry-level positions. Whereas non-African-American engineers and planners average years of experience at the time they are promoted is four (4) years.

In both Department of Transportation and Planning Department African-American engineers and planners are systematically denied job assignments essential to promotion, and job experience necessary for advancement. African-American engineers are also segregated into one or two divisions within the LADOT and Planning Departments. Both

African-American engineers and planners are concentrated in entry level positions despite 20 to 30 years of experience within the Departments.

In the case of the Department of Transportation there are court depositions showing that test scores had been changed to insure that African-American engineers’ scores were lower than their White and Asians counterparts. African-American engineers, even when they scored at or near the top of the eligibility list, are still not promoted. Recent court depositions show that LADOT officials collude and determine in advance whom they want to promote, and fix the interview outcomes through a practice called “score normalization.” As a result, outside interviewers’ scores are modified to reflect the insider interviewers’ scores – after the outsider interviewers leave. Also in the Planning Department, supervisors who draft the written exams simply coach white planners, insuring that they score high on written exams. When African-Americans even managed to score high enough to be eligible for a certification interview, they are simply not chosen by a mostly white interview panel.

LADOT employs 236 engineers, only ten (10) are black and all occupy the bottom “Associate” level engineering positions, notwithstanding 20-30 years of experience. Two of these engineers were hired a few years ago by an African American General Manger, Gloria Jeff. Before Ms. Jeff hired these engineers, there had been no African American engineers hired by LADOT in 13 years.

No African-American has ever been promoted above the top entry-level of Transportation Engineering Associate III (TEA III). There are no black engineers in the supervisory (Transportation Engineer), management (Senior Engineer, Principal Engineer) or executive (Assist General Manager, General Manager) positions within LADOT. Regarding training and job assignments for instance, The Automated Traffic Surveillance and Control (ATSAC) System has only one African-American engineer working in the Division. ATSAC is the city’s very expensive, computer-based traffic signal control system that monitors traffic conditions and system performance, selects appropriate signal timing (control) strategies, and performs equipment diagnostics and alert functions, successfully implemented in the 1984 Olympic Games.

LADOT’s “Parking Enforcement” is the only division that has a significant number of African-Americans within the Department; however, few, if any, African-American employees are assigned to areas that require an engineering background, such as designs, acquisitions, research, traffic operations and field assignments.

Though LADOT has hired hundreds of engineers over the past 15 years, only two (2) were African-Americans. African-American engineers, even when they scored at or near the top of the supervisory engineering eligibility lists, are, historically, denied promotions beyond their entry levels.

In the City Planning Department African-Americans planners are also systematically denied promotional opportunities. Recently, the City Planning Department conducted massive promotions in unprecedented blocks and filled positions with preferred, younger whites and Asians employees to dwarf any future opportunities for older African-American planners to ever be promoted. In said situation, the City Planner series, which is the first level of supervisory, Planning Department Managers quite openly changed the criteria to allow favored, inexperienced, entry-level and mostly white, City Planning Assistances to take the promotional exam to become supervisors. They normally would not have qualified to become supervisors without attaining three or more years experience in the Department as Assistant Planners. Lo and behold, the Senior Planner who wrote (and scored) the exam questions invited, and was allowed, to exclusively coach the young white planners to prepare for the exam he wrote. The result of this outrage was approximately 7 out of the 18 planners promoted to the City Planner position, with an average of less than 5 years in the Planning Department; leaving 5 or 6 African-American planners, with an average of 20 years of planning experience on the bottom of the exam list. Not one African-American was promoted from the list. Within the last two years, the City Planning Department was given community grants and other funds to hire 40 new entry-level positions; however, none of the new hires were African-Americans. It has been only recently, after repeated complaints to the Mayor’s office by this group, that one African-American planner was hired.

As a consequence of no African-Americans being in a position of authority or supervision, as is the case in the Department of Transportation, or management ability to promote hand-picked compliance Blacks in the Planning Department, predominantly African-American areas of the City do not get their fair share of the standard transportation improvements and developments, such as bike lanes, bike paths, signal lights upgrades, left-turn phasing programs to lighten traffic flow, the highly touted and expensive ATSAC system that synchronizes traffic lights, transit enhancements like light rails and bus corridors, and pedestrian traffic safety enhancements, etc; or planning measures that would impact the quality of community life, such as Specific Plans, Overlay Zones, designated districts etc. The African-American communities, because there is no-one looking out for their interests, get an abundance of red light cameras enforcement which generate revenues, older pull boxes, power poles and old and outdated traffic infrastructures and communication devices as well as hardly to very little planning.

In summary, hiring/promotions are made in these Departments based on preferences given to racial and ethnic background, relatives and non-professional alliances/friendship developed outside work instead of merit. These Departments have rewarded African Americans with less opportunity for advancement as retaliation for speaking out against these discriminatory practices. Some have been told they’re overqualified for some choice positions or positions with overtime pay, and often when an African American engineer or planner is most qualified for a vacant position the department will bypass the normal selection procedure with an emergency appointment – which always led to permanent promotion of their hand-picked protégé or relative. Or simply not promote them and offer no reason. African-Americans are excluded from meaningful rotation assignments to booster their experience, expertise, knowledge and skills. African-Americans are excluded from assignments on special projects such as Advanced Transportation Management Systems, Advanced Transportation Systems and Research, and Inter-Agency Coordination, Department Reorganization or Development Reform, which has a racially disparate impact on African-Americans within the Los Angeles Department of Transportation and the Los Angeles City Planning Department.

In an effort to address these ongoing issues of discrimination, the Los Angeles NAACP, the League of United Latin American Citizens, and Urban Roundtable request a personal meeting with you to address the aforementioned problems at your earliest convenience. My contact information 310-397-1171 or naacpla@sbcglobal.net.

Thanking you in advance. I remain.

Respectfully,   Leon Jenkins  President, Los Angeles NAACP

Co-signed by:

Earl Ofari Hutchinson, Public Policy Round Table

Benetta Johnson, Alameda Corridor Jobs Coalition

Leon Jenkins, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

KW Tulloss, National Action Network

Adrian Dove, Congress of Racial Equality

Jan B. Tucker, National Commissioner for Civil Rights/ League of United Latin American Citizens

04.11.11

Stoney Awards 4-10-11

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:22 pm by Administrator


 

From last night’s Stoney Awards:

Transgender Activist Calpernia Addams
SFV/NELA NOW’s Cynthia Conover Receiving a Stoney Award for her service as Vice President for Community Outreach of the Stonewall Democratic Club
Jane Fonda receiving Stoney Award

Last night, the National Organization for Women was well represented  at the Stonewall Democratic Club’s “Stoney Awards” Banquet.  Jan Tucker,  Cynthia Conover, and Estela Ayala represented the San Fernando Valley/Northeast Los Angeles Chapter of NOW (National Organization for Women, The Valley’s Voice for Choice).  Shirelle Alexander represented the Los Angeles South Chapter of NOW (NOW Playing in the Hood). Our longtime friend, Transgender attorney (MTF) Mia Frances Yamamoto was at our table and it was a real privilege to get to see Transgender activists Calpernia Addams and Bamby Salcido talk about their experiences and their work for human rights.

Also attending were West Hollywood  City Councilman Jeff Prang and Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz (who are members of SFV/NELA NOW), former West Hollywood Council member Lindsay Horvath (the head of Hollywood NOW), and  Jeri Stapleton of the Jewish Labor Committee and head of Miracle Mile NOW.

 

04.10.11

Chicana-Latina Femenista Conference

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:29 pm by Administrator


 

The 2nd Annual Chicana/Latina Feminism Conference: Joteando Por Vida! Para Que Nunca Mas Nos Vuelvan A Borrar at CSU Long Beach

Below is the Tentative schedule for the conference.

*Please Register at:  http://www.facebook.com/l/1c84eDdryBtmsuaQnkQ6LrqK3dA/www.surveymonkey.com/s/H35THGN *

April 23, 2011

Speakers:
Antonia Castaneda
Luz Calvo
Juana Maria Rodriguez
Maylei Blackwell
Anna Nieto-Gomez
Daphne Garcia Taylor
Jessica Hoffman

Performances by
La Chica Boom
Claudia Rodriguez
and more

/ / / tentative schedule / / /

Thursday April 21, 2010
Charla: Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Las Hijas de Cuauhtemoc
5-7pm at CSULB room TBA

Saturday April 23, 2011
Registration 8:30-9:30

History Panel 9:30- 11:00
Moderator Marisol Moreno (CSULB),
Antonia Castaneda, Maylei Blackwell (UCLA),
Dione Espinoza (CSULA), Anna Nieto-Gomez

Workshops 11:15-12:45

Lunch 12:45-1:45

Transnational Feminism/Post and Decolonial Feminism Panel 2:00-3:30
Moderated by Clarissa Rojas (CSULB),
Sandra Alvarez (UCSC), Daphne Taylor(UCSD),
Juana Maria Rodriguez (UCB), Luz Calvo (CSUEB)

Workshops 3:45-5:15

Performance 5:30-7pm
Claudia Rodriguez, La Chica Boom,
Hosted by Griselda (CSULB) and Pablo Alvarez

Maybe:
Aurora Guererro, Cynthia (Poet), Tatina (pussy power poems),
Queer Latin@ square dancing, Opera Singer,
queer folkloriko, the sirens (house band)

Panel/Q&A 7:00-7:45
La Chica Boom, Cluadia Rodriguez,
[Aurora Guerero], and Moderated by Deb Vargas

Workshops by: Cucci, Makeshift Chula Dula,
Queer Writing Workshop, Chicana Feminisms 101,
Men as allies, more tba
——————–

04.08.11

Soraya Mire & the Fight Against FGM

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:31 am by Administrator


 

Soraya Mire

Soraya Mire, a victim of and leader in the fight against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), has a new book coming out soon about her personal story and the battle against this horrific crime against women.

For more information about the book, “The Girl With Three Legs,” go to:

http://janbtucker.com/blog/2011/04/08/soraya-mire-crusades-against-fgm/

04.01.11

Discrimination in Los Angeles

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:50 pm by Administrator


 

FOR BACKGROUND, FIRST READ:

http://janbtucker.com/blog/2010/12/22/mayor-villaraigoza-is-on-notice/

http://janbtucker.com/blog/2010/11/13/city-of-los-angeles-faces-more-allegations-of-discrimination/

http://janbtucker.com/blog/2010/12/23/holding-my-breath/

http://janbtucker.com/blog/2010/12/23/anthonys-contribution-to-antonio/

J.B. Tucker & Associates

April 1, 2011

Deputy Mayor Larry Frank

Los Angeles City Hall

200 North Spring St.

Los Angeles, CA 90012-4801

 

Dear Larry:

 

The following request is made pursuant to the California Public Records Act and the decisions in KNSD Channels 7/39 v. Superior Court (Vasquez) (1998) 63 Cal.App.4th 1200, 74 Cal.Rptr.2d 595 [No. D029949. Fourth Dist., Div. One. May 13, 1998.], Copley Press, Inc. v. Superior Court (M.P.R.) (1998) 63 Cal.App.4th 367, 74 Cal.Rptr.2d 69 [No. D029986. Fourth Dist., Div. One. Apr 20, 1998.], and Copley Press, Inc. v. Superior Court (Adams) (1992) 6 Cal.App.4th 106, 7 Cal.Rptr.2d 841 [No. D016546. Fourth Dist., Div. One. May 7, 1992.] which govern the common law and constitutional right to public access to government and judicial records. As to any judicial records I am seeking, the legislature enacted Section 77206(f) of the Government Code to require judicial rules must “ensur[e] [120 Cal.App.4th 293] that, upon written request, the trial courts provide, in a timely manner, information relating to the administration of the courts, including financial information and other information that affects the wages, hours, and working conditions of trial court employees.” (§ 77206, subd. (f).) as held in Orange County Employees Assn., Inc. v. Superior Court (2004) 120 Cal.App.4th 287, 15 CR 3rd 201.

 

These laws and decisions preceded the enactment of SCA 1 (Proposition 59) which was passed overwhelmingly by the voters in November 2004. SCA 1 amended Article I, Section 3 of the California Constitution by providing that “The people have the right of access to information concerning the conduct of the people’s business, and, therefore, the meetings of public bodies and the writings of public officials and agencies shall be open to public scrutiny” and that

”A statute, court rule, or other authority, including those in effect on the effective date of this subdivision, shall be broadly construed if it furthers the people’s right of access, and narrowly construed if it limits the right of access.”

 

In the case of Sutter’s Place Inc. v. Superior Court (City of San Jose) (2008) 161 Cal.App.4th 1370, 75 CR 3rd 9, the court held that “”Implicit in the democratic process is the notion that government should be accountable for its actions. In order to verify accountability, individuals must have access to government files. Such access permits checks against the arbitrary exercise of official power and secrecy in the political process” (CBS, Inc. v. Block (1986) 42 Cal.3d 646, 651.) and that:

 

The California Public Records Act (CPRA) (Gov. Code, § 6250 et seq.), enacted by the Legislature in 1968, provides for this access via a scheme to inspect public records maintained by state and local agencies. (Gilbert v. City of San Jose (2003) 114 Cal.App.4th 606, 610.) The CPRA replaced a hodgepodge of statutes and court decisions relating to disclosure of public records and was conceived broadly to require full agency disclosure unless information is statutorily exempted. (Los Angeles Unified School Dist. v. Superior Court (2007) 151 Cal.App.4th 759, 765 (Los Angeles Unified).)

 

“With the passage of Proposition 59 effective November 3, 2004, the people’s right of access to information in public settings now has state constitutional stature, grounding the presumption of openness in civil court proceedings with state constitutional roots.” (Savaglio v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (2007) 149 Cal.App.4th 588, 597 (Savaglio); see also Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training v. Superior Court (2007) 2007 DJDAR 13089, 13090 [ “As a result of an initiative measure adopted by the voters in 2004, this principle now is enshrined in the state Constitution”] (Commission); International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers v. Superior Court (2007) 2007 DJDAR 13105, 13106 [same] (International Federation); BRV, Inc. v. Superior Court (2006) 143 Cal.App.4th 742, 750 [Proposition 59 “enshrined in our state Constitution the public’s right to access records of public agencies”] (BRV); Los Angeles Unified, supra, 151 Cal.App.4th at p. 765 [same].)

 

Previously Confidential Records May Become Public

 

Vallejos v. California Highway Patrol (1979) 89 Cal.App.3d 781, 152 Cal.Rptr. 846 held after initial periods of confidentiality, some records ultimately become public records: “The filing of a document imports that it is thereby placed in the custody of a public official to be preserved by him for public use. Because for a season its value is best conserved by maintaining its confidential character by excluding public gaze, it becomes no less a public record. (People v. Tomalty, 14 Cal.App. 224, 232 [111 P. 513]; Cox v. Tyrone Power Enterprises, Inc., 49 Cal.App.2d 383, 395 [121 P.2d 829].) (People v. Pearson (1952) 111 Cal.App.2d 9, 30 [244 P.2d 35].)

 

Therefore, if you contend that any record I am seeking is temporarily but not permanently unavailable, please identify the precise or approximate date when you believe that this record will or may become publicly available and/or the circumstances which must exist for it to become publicly available.

 

Litigation or Potential Litigation Irrelevant

 

In the event that you intend to object to release of these records because you believe that the request is somehow related to litigation, unless the records requested were expressly prepared for counsel, attorney-client privilege does not apply. Additionally, the fact that litigation exists or might come into play is fundamentally irrelevant to the California Public Records Act. See City of Hemet v. Superior Court (Press-Enterprise Co.) (1995) 37 Cal.App.4th 1411, 44 Cal.Rptr.2d 532.

 

Request for Tort Claims made under the California Tort Claims Act

 

If any of the writings I am requesting constitute demands for compensation made under the California Tort Claims Act or deposition transcripts, be advised that you cannot withhold them from me under provisions of Section 6254 of the Government Code (see Board of Trustees of California State University v. Superior Court (The Copley Press, Inc.) (2005)132 Cal.App.4th 889 , — Cal.Rptr.3d –) and Poway Unified School Dist. v. Superior Court (Copley Press Inc.) (1998) 62 Cal.App.4th 1496, 73 Cal.Rptr.2d 777). Additionally, note that medical records, when attached to documents voluntarily submitted to a government agency with a letter concerning claim settlement were deemed public records in REGISTER DIV. OF FREEDOM NEWSPAPERS, INC. v. COUNTY OF ORANGE, (1984) 158 Cal.App.3d 893, 205 CR 92. Additionally under this case, investigative reports made for risk management as opposed to law enforcement purposes, the policies and procedures for settling tort claims and the minutes of settlement committee meetings are not protected from disclosure.

 

I am therefore requesting copies of all writings as defined in California Government Code Section 6252(f) and California Evidence Code Section 250, constituting:

 

1. Any and all tort claims filed within the preceding five (5) year period alleging discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation by Los Angeles City employees alleging violations of any civil rights laws.

 

Public Employee Name and Salary Information

 

The names of all public employees, including peace officers and their salaries, have been held by the California Supreme Court to be public records in Com. on Peace Officer etc. v. Superior Court of Sacramento County Case No. S134072 [8/27/2007] (2007) 42 Cal.4th 278, 64 CR 3rd 661, 165 P 3rd 462, and International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, Local 21, AFL-CIO et al v. Superior Court of Alameda County, Case No. S134253 [8/27/07]. These opinions are reinforced by Attorney General Opinion 07-208 (5/19/08) WL 2122596 which held that the names of officers involved in critical incidents or lethal force incidents must be disclosed. Furthermore, under Section 6253.31 of the Government Code, any contract entered into by a state or local agency subject to the laws governing the California Public Records Act that requires a private entity to review, audit, or report on any aspect of that agency is a matter of public record.

 

I am therefore requesting copies of all writings as defined in California Government Code Section 6252(f) and California Evidence Code Section 250, constituting:

 

2. The names and salaries of all Los Angeles City Employees who are or have been responsible for investigating allegations of discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation within the preceding five (5) year period and including but not limited to all policies, procedures, rules, regulations, guidelines and job descriptions specifying the requisite background, training, education (including any continuing education requirements) and experience required by the City of Los Angeles to investigate the aforementioned allegations.

 

Recordings of Government Proceedings

 

Also preceding the enactment of the CPRA is the requirement that tape recordings of the proceedings of government bodies are public record under Attorney General Opinion 64-317 (4/17/81).

 

I am therefore requesting copies of all writings as defined in California Government Code Section 6252(f) and California Evidence Code Section 250, constituting:

 

3. Any proceedings concerning and/or discussing any of the issues raised in my letter dated September 14, 2010 to Deputy Mayor Larry Frank addressing issues of municipal corruption, discrimination, retaliation, harassment and other issues;

 

4/ Any and all memoranda, reports, notes, emails, and/or other communications and/or recordations made concerning my letter dated September 14, 2010 to Deputy Mayor Larry Frank, and/or concerning communications by Dwayne Wyatt, Benetta Johnson, and/or any other participant in the meeting referred to in my letter of September 14, 2010 and/or any other similar meetings with community representatives concerning the aforementioned issues.

 

Time for Compliance & Requirement of Written Justification for Refusal

 

Under Section 6253 of the Government Code you have ten (10) days to comply with this request.

 

If you believe that I am not entitled to the records I am requesting, you must justify your refusal within (ten) 10 days in writing under Section 6255 of the Government Code. You may only refuse to give me these records if there is an express law prohibiting you from giving them to me. In the case of California State University, Fresno Assn., Inc. v. Superior Court (McClatchy Co.) (2001) 90 Cal.App.4th 810, 108 Cal.Rptr.2d 870 [No. F037383. Fifth Dist. Jul. 16, 2001.] the court held that “The burden of proof is on the proponent of nondisclosure, who must demonstrate a ‘clear overbalance’ on the side of confidentiality. [Citations.] The purpose of the requesting party in seeking disclosure cannot be considered…. It is also irrelevant that the requesting party is a newspaper or other form of media, because it is well established that the media has no greater right of access to public records than the general public….”

 

Demand to Maintain Evidence

 

This letter constitutes a formal demand to maintain evidence as it currently exists. If you destroy, lose, misplace, damage or otherwise make these items unavailable prior to the time that a court order or subpoena duces tecum can be obtained, you may be subject to a variety of sanctions (see Willard vs. Caterpillar, Inc. [1995] 40 Cal.App.4th 892. Williams v. Russ (2008) 167 Cal.App.4th 1215 held that:

 

Spoliation of evidence means the destruction or significant alteration of evidence or the failure to preserve evidence for another’s use in pending or future litigation. (Willard v. Caterpillar, Inc. (1995) 40 Cal.App.4th 892, 907, overruled on other grounds in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center v. Superior Court (1998) 18 Cal.4th 1, 18, fn. 4 (Cedars-Sinai.).) Such conduct is condemned because it “can destroy fairness and justice, for it increases the risk of an erroneous decision on the merits of the underlying cause of action. Destroying evidence can also increase the costs of litigation as parties attempt to reconstruct the destroyed evidence or to develop other evidence, which may be less accessible, less persuasive, or both.” (Cedars-Sinai, supra, at p. 8.) While there is no tort cause of action for the intentional destruction of evidence after litigation has commenced, it is a misuse of the discovery process that is subject to a broad range of punishment, including monetary, issue, evidentiary, and terminating sanctions. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 2023.010, subd. (d), 2023.030, subds. (a)-(d); Cedars-Sinai , at p. 12.) A terminating sanction is appropriate in the first instance without a violation of prior court orders in egregious cases of intentional spoliation of evidence. (R.S. Creative, Inc. v. Creative Cotton, Ltd. (1999) 75 Cal.App.4th 486, 497.)

 

Such behavior may also be criminal, under California Penal Code Section 135, which states:

 

Every person who, knowing that any book, paper, record, instrument in writing, or other matter or thing, is about to be produced in evidence upon any trial, inquiry, or investigation whatever, authorized by law, willfully destroys or conceals the same, with intent thereby to prevent it from being produced, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

 

If any data is maintained in digital format, I strongly advise you to hire a forensic computer examiner who is qualified to clone any hard drive on which the data I am requesting currently exists if you do not intend to produce it without a court order, so that the data will be preserved intact and in an admissible format.

 

Legal Right to Bring Suit to Enforce Right to Access

 

If you fail to comply with this request, I have a legal right to bring suit to force you to comply under Section 6259 of the Government Code and if I prevail, it is mandatory that the court award me reasonable attorney fees and costs.

 

Thanking you for your prompt attention, and with kindest personal regards, I remain,

 

Respectfully Yours,

 

Jan B. Tucker

National Commissioner for Civil Rights

League of United Latin American Citizens