Support the Mayor Fight the Special Interests

Dear Mayor Filner:

I supported your campaign as a volunteer and was confident that you would continue to fight for our citizens rather than be bought out by corporate interests. Unlike so many elected officials you are keeping your campaign promise of working to create a better San Diego that benefits all the citizens rather than a just handful of powerful special interests.

Vera Moldt reads her message of support in front of the San Diego City Council

Thank you for one of your first courageous acts – standing firm against the hotel special interests. I’m not an attorney, but even as a layman, I question the legality of tax monies being collected and administered by and for the benefit of private corporations. Aside from the legality, such a provision seems clearly to be unethical as well as inequitable considering the critical infrastructure and other needs of our city. What is also telling is that this sweetheart deal extends for 40 years – a timeframe over which even more critical and now unforeseen needs may arise while these self serving corporations continue to help themselves to tax monies that should be serving our citizens. It seems that such a long term deal was intended to lock in and foreclose the review of more enlightened and ethical future city leaders that would have questioned such an arrangement if it came up for near-term renewal.

Perhaps I am idealistic or even naïve, in spite of my mature age, as I am particularly disappointed in the Democratic members of the Council who voted for this deal. It is fair to expect this from Republicans who, to their credit, are clear about standing with the corporations. However, I am very disappointed that Democratic members, who espouse values that would put them on the side of the citizenry, voted to benefit corporate hotel interests. I feel this is not only hypocritical but a basic betrayal of trust. I certainly hope these Council persons who espouse democratic principles will have the good judgment and ethical fortitude to rethink their disappointing actions and reverse their vote,

Keep fighting the good fight, Bob. We’ve got your back.

Best regards,
Vera Moldt

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Point Loma Democratic Club of which she is a member.

Please show up at the City Council today (Monday) at 2 pm to let them know how you feel, or send an email of support to Mayor Filner at [email protected] with copies to the council at the email addresses below.

You can also join CPI’s campaign to support Filner’s agenda here, they’ll send your letter to the local media outlets.

District 1
Council President Pro Tem Sherri Lightner
Email: [email protected]

District 2
Councilmember Kevin Faulconer
Email: [email protected]

District 3
Council President Todd Gloria
Email: [email protected]

District 5
Councilmember Mark Kersey
Email: [email protected]

District 6
Councilmember Lorie Zapf
Email: [email protected]

District 7
Councilmember Scott Sherman
Email: [email protected]

District 8
Councilmember David Alvarez
Email: [email protected]

District 9
Councilmember Marti Emerald
Email: [email protected]

License-plate Recognition Has Its Eyes On You

TPS Surveillance Van with Facial Recognition S...

TPS Surveillance Van with Facial Recognition Software (Photo credit: metaviews)

Jon Campbell writing for San Diego City Beat has a disturbing article about the growth in the use of License Plate Recognition (LPR) by local police. The article states that the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) currently has over 36 million scans in its database — an average of 14 for every registered vehicle in the county — and the information is shared with the FBI, DEA,  investigators with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and ten other agencies. Unlike other data retention schemes there is no regulation for how long this data is stored and used.

The central part of London, UK introduced a traffic charging scheme in 2003, It uses LPR to monitor vehicles within a few square miles of the center of London ostensibly to charge fees and encourage the use of public transport. The ‘incidental’ ability to monitor the movement of all vehicles was widely reported after the 7 July 2005 London bombings.

As Campbell reports, talking about red-light traffic cameras Congressman Filner wrote in 2001 “Will we be faced with the government acting as “Big Brother” continuously spying on law-abiding citizens?” Filner wrote. “I realize this might seem far-fetched to some, but we must remain vigilant against these types of abuse. … Technology changes faster than most of us can keep up with at this point. We must continue to try to use its benefits to better our society, but it must not be at the expense of fairness or freedom.”

As Occupy members of the Club can attest their car registration plates were photographed by police while they protested at events.

Do we want San Diego to become a continually monitored police state?

Read the full article here: License-plate recognition has its eyes on you.