Diverse Viewpoints from Sacramento

Big Bucks, No Results

Few of us know what goes on behind the scenes as our elected officials try to “resolve” the homeless crisis. But this much is clear: Government has managed to exacerbate the problem.

Why? Our officials have tapped into an ever-growing, seemingly endless taxpayer money supply with zero requirements to account for any meaningful, measurable results. What a deal!

Imagine being hired for a job, producing terrible results and receiving massive bonuses year after year. Is it any wonder people are frustrated and believe politicians have failed?

Homelessness has become a mechanism to control huge sums of federal and state dollars. Why would politicians shut off the faucet? They provide lip service to constituents and the media while making backroom deals and raking in campaign donations from labor unions.

Citizen Watchdogs

Who watches over our local government? Our tax dollars are spent on education, law enforcement, utility districts, parks, libraries, health services and fire districts, just to name a few. If a citizen has information that calls into question the integrity or work of a public agency, who is empowered to investigate as a community watchdog?

In Sacramento County, it’s the grand jury.

I’ve been privileged to be part of California’s legal system for almost 40 years. This past year, I was honored take the role of judicial adviser to the Sacramento County grand jury. Let me explain its importance.

Question Of Progress

As I retire after 34 years in law enforcement, I step away with many questions. Does the criminal justice system serve our community better than when I was growing up in Oak Park in the 1970s and 1980s? Is there more legitimacy today in the system? Have years of unrest, voter initiatives, legislation, police reform, lost lives, pain and anger created a better police department?

Yes, in some ways. But in other ways, the answers are sadly negative.

As many police agencies face unprecedented resignations, I have seen men and women in SPD uniforms remain determined to serve their city under the toughest circumstances. I have seen community leaders step forward, defuse situations and save lives.

Senseless, Predictable Tragedy

Mary Kate Tibbitts lived a good life, one enriched by the love of family and friends.

She was the second oldest of five grown children of Douglas “Skip” and Mary Tibbitts. Kate lived in a beautifully manicured home on 11th Avenue in Land Park. A proud Sacramento State graduate and faithful member of Holy Spirit Church, Kate brought goodwill to those with whom she had contact.

She had a love for people and a magnetic personality.

Kate spent time as a volunteer with the Sacramento SPCA. Giving her time to lost or abandoned animals satisfied her desire to provide loving support to creatures in distress. She was the exact person you would want for a next-door neighbor.
All of this would change on Sept. 3. Life for the entire Tibbitts family was shattered in one violent, unforgivable and regretfully preventable episode. A man would forcibly enter her home, kill her dogs, sexually assault her, murder her and set fire to her home in an apparent attempt to destroy evidence of his criminality.

Harassment Lives

Harassment Lives We have reasons for fearing cops By Fahizah Alim September 2021 Like any citizen, I’m concerned about violence and want to be protected by the police from criminals. But as a Black mother of three sons, I have an additional concern...

Treatment First

The Gavin Newsom recall began as a referendum on the governor’s handling of the pandemic. But homelessness has become a critical issue for Republican candidates eager to replace Newsom in this month’s special election.

Businessman John Cox has been hauling an 8-foot ball of garbage around California to symbolize “the trash that’s left behind” by homeless people.

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