Ted Hayes Hammers at WVRC on March 8thWe had a Visiting Rotarian, Alonzo Hill, from Santa Monicahe is in Law Enforcement (and belongs to the FBI). Birthdays in March came next: PP MICHAEL NEWMAN liked the 3rd of March, choosing Santa Monica as the place. TERRY M. WHITE came along the next day, in Oceanside. MARIE ROLF elected the 9th, in New Orleans. PP CHRIS GAYNOR went for the 11th, in New Orleans. Both URI HERSCHER and PP JOHN SINGLETON chose the 14th, URI in Tel Aviv, and JOHN in Salt Lake City. PDG ANDY ANDERSON liked the 21st, all the way across the country in Buffalo. CURT SMITH and MYRON TAYLOR both decided on the 26th, CURT in Bakersfield and MYRON in Goodwill, W.VA. ADELL QUILICO closed the month of March on the 29th, in nearby Glendale (Did you know ADELL was a Meglin Kiddie?)
FLORENCE SAMPSON started us off with the Pledge. LENNY stepped forward to lead another A Capella renditionthis time, God Bless America. The Invocation was by ELLIOTT TURNER. We remained standing, and ELIOTT began by asking us “To open our eyes and give our life another glance. Are your basic needs met, do you have a home? Is there a regular paycheck coming indo you have dreams? Do you have your health? See the beauty that surrounds you, listen to the music that stirs your soul. Do you have family and friends who love you let your heart awaken to the transforming power of Grace land”. Well done, ELLIOTT.
Prexy MIKE announced that FLOYD DEWHIRST was in Cedars with a stomach aliment. You can reach Cedars at (310) 423-3277. We were reminded that the next District Breakfast will be on April 10thsave the date, please. ED GAULD reminded us about the Tijuana House building project. It will be on Saturday, March 24th, and ED has the detailsbut call him soon, since the date is just two weeks away. And SHERRY DEWANE picked up some more items for the troops in IraqPP ERIC LOBERG and YOE added to the totalhave you brought yours yet?
Prexy MIKE had two stories, somehow. There was a little boy who wanted $100 very badly. So he sent a letter to God, asking for the $100. The postal authorities didn’t know what to do with the letter addressed to God, so they forwarded it to President Bush. The President had his secretary send along a $5 bill, feeling this would be a lot of money for a little boy. The boy was delighted with the money, and wrote a Thank You note to God, explaining that the reply had come through Washington D.C., “and as usual, those crooks deducted $95!”
There was an old man, who always planted a garden. However, this year the ground was very hard, and since his son was in prison, there was no help available. He wrote his son, ”If you were here, I know you could help me plant my tomato garden.” His son replied, “Dear Papa, don’t dig up the garden that’s where I buried the bodies.”
Early the next morning the police arrived, dug up the garden and found no bodies. The same day he received another letter from his son “Dear Papa, That’s the best I could do with your problem!” The vote was close between the two, but the latter prevailed.
SHANE WAARBROEK introduced our Speaker, Ted Hayes. We were reminded that Ted spoke to us about six months ago, when it had been settled that the Dome Village was going to be dismantled. He will report on how that went, plus updating us on what else he has been involved with. Accompanying Ted was Ronda Flanzbaum, his Program Director. You can reach Ted at (213) 892-9065, or Ted @domevillage.org.
He began by explaining why he was almost late to our meeting. He was in court, testifying against a man on whom he had performed a Citizen’s Arrest. The defendant had harassed Ted’s group at a meeting at the Federal Building downtown, for which Ted had a permit. They brought their bullhorns, called everyone who was trying to speak many unfortunate names, and essentially made it impossible for the meeting to continue. The defendant felt he had every right to be disruptive, exercising his right to freedom of speech. Ted appealed to the police who were on hand, but they declined to act pointing out that Ted could stop the disruption by performing the above-mentioned Citizen Arrest.
The defendant, Miguel Guzman, was then arrested by the police. When he came up for a hearing, he was offered a choice between 30 days in jail, or 60 days of community service, but he turned them both down, since he insisted this was his right to freedom of speech. The case went to trial this morning, and will reconvene on March 28th. It now turns out that Guzman is not a U.S. Citizen. The Police Commission, headed by John Mack, favored Ted’s side of the dispute. However, Rocky Delgadillo, the City Attorney who has also spoken to our group feels that Guzman is exercising his right of free speech. Ted referred back to the early days of Nazism in Germany, where whoever had the loudest voice was allowed to carry the day. He feels that if one person has a permit and the other person does not, the person with the permit should have the floor, unmolested. Stay tuned.
Switching topics to the Dome Village, Ted first disagreed with the reasoning of the landowner, but then did agree that the landowner had the right to set any price he chose on the use of the land. He then launched into some comments about the mindset of the Democrats, who closed down the Dome Village. He is a Republican which still surprises some people and he reminded us that the Republicans were the party that ended slavery. The Democrats created the Ku Klux Klan, and the Jim Crow laws in the south. In the mid-1950’s, they created the present Welfare Systemand look where we are today! He points out that it isn’t his fault he’s a Republican it’s the fault of the Democrats.
The landowner of Dome Village was asking for $1,800 per month to lease the property. This was unacceptable, so with the help of the government, they relocated the former residents to Section Eight Housing and similar accommodations. Ted has since had a chance to talk in person with Alphonso Jackson, Secretary of HUD. He pointed out to Jackson that while the population of Los Angeles is 11% black, 85% of the homeless in LA are black. Nationally, with 13% of the population being black, 60% of all homeless people are black. As a result Ted was put in touch with the top planners at HUD, to present his long-term solution to the homeless problem. Later, Jackson wrote his local HUD office, telling them they were to work directly with Ted Hayes on this matter.
The essence of his solution is that it cannot be solved when people are living on the streets. He wants to utilize vacant Federal land, such as abandoned military bases, where the necessary infrastructure roads, water, electricity and some housing is already in place. He proposes to begin moving those in a given city to these new communities, on a voluntary basis. Once there, retraining and basic amenities will be available. In addition, it will provide a real chance to make a new start. Service businesses will start up, and economic laws will begin to perform. This is, of course, not a few-months program. It will take years for it to be fully operational. But it meets the basic need for a new start, with existing infrastructure as the foundation for its success. For more detail, go to Domevillage.org.
Basically, he is saying that our cities are too crowded NOW! Thus, even if you built affordable housing in the center of LA, for example, the really poor couldn’t afford the rent. These people have been pushed to the outer limits of the city and they should be the first to be given an opportunity to relocate. He suggests this program should be called Operation Exodus “Let my people Go!” The McKinney Act of 1987, Article Five, says that such surplus Federal property can be so used and it is still in effect. He proposes a transitional plan, lasting between nine and eighteen months. And if we can do it in Los Angeles, it can be used many other places. Ted doesn’t see any other path for these people. We are not going to Mainstream them and if you doubt that, look at the rate of returns for the Shelters now in downtown LA.
Q&A LEE DUNAYER, Does your use of military bases appear to be realistic? Yes, but I have a staff of three. If we had more staff, we could move it along a lot faster. Sheriff Baca and James Hahn, for example, are on his Board of Directors. He gave an example of President Kennedy’s pledge to land on the moon in ten years we did it in seven. RAY ZICKELD, what is John Mack doing now? He is not as active as he once was. RALPH BEASOM, what do you propose for the mentally ill? I believe every adult can become a useful citizen. ED GAULD, what percentage of the homeless have a drug problem or are mentally ill? I would say between 85 and 90%. ELLIOTT TURNER, will this program be mandatory or voluntary? It is based on both rewards and KICK which stands for Kick In The Ass (apparently). NOTE I said at the beginning that Hayes was a Hammer and he IS forceful, right?