Here’s the official press release from the City of Santa Ana announcing the Community Forum on Cultural Diversity that the community isn’t allowed to come to. I’m having falshbacks to the 1970s TV show “Welcome Back Kotter,” with the Juan Epstein character who was half Latino (Puerto Rican) and half Jewish for the multiple excuses he offered up for his class absenses that were signed “Epstein’s mother.” And before you get the wrong idea here, its an emphasis on Epstein’s excuses not his character’s ethnic background.
It’s clear from a conversation with Councilman Sarmiento this afternoon that the decision to close this event to the general public wasn’t his idea. We’ll kick it back to the City Manager’s office as they were charged with putting the program together. But did someone at the city manager’s office close the meeting at the request of someone else on the City Council? Hmmmm. We just don’t know.
We’ve heard from a number of readers who tell us they are thinking about attending the Town Hall anyway, but we’d be hard pressed to call them part of the Occupy Santa Ana crowd. The official press release telling you that you can’t come to the Community Forum is below.
City of Santa Ana Hosts “Agent of Change” Community Forum on Cultural Diversity
SANTA ANA, Calif. (October 25, 2011) – Mayor Pro Tem Claudia Alvarez, in conjunction with the City of Santa Ana, is hosting a Community Forum on Cultural Diversity and Conflict Resolution, on Thursday, October 27, 2011. The Community Forum will be held at the Santa Ana Police Community Room at 60 Civic Center Drive, Santa Ana, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
A cross-section of community leaders has committed to participate in the Community Forum. This forum will focus on the Jewish–Latino experience as it relates to their shared history and common desire to promote social justice and economic prosperity. The Community Forum will consist of four components and will be moderated by Michele Ruiz of the Latino-Jewish Coalition.
The four components are: (1) History of the Latino-Jewish collaboration led by the Latino-Jewish Coalition including the American Jewish Committee. Rabbi Marc Dworkin and Norma Garcia-Guillen will provide a historical perspective of Jewish-Latino communities working together to overcome discrimination and to promote social justice and economic prosperity. (2) Kevin O’Grady from the Anti-Defamation League will lead the second component which will address the causes of harmful speech, its impact on our communities and the need for improved dialog. (3) The third component led by Rusty Kennedy of the Orange County Human Relations Commission will be an exercise to develop trust among the forum participants through sharing of commonalities based upon their respective families’ immigrant experience. (4) The final component will consist of practical solutions for conflict resolution presented by Marc Meyer of the National Conflict Resolution Center.
The Community Forum is an invitation only event to facilitate candid dialog among the participants. In an effort to promote this noteworthy event, the Forum will be broadcast live on the internet. Members of the public not attending and the media who wish to see the Forum may view it at: http://www.santa-ana.org/communityforum/