Violent Crime Unchanged for Santa Ana – Other Claims & Way Forward!


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[Originally published Oct. 31, 2010, and then deleted the next day by Art who strenuously disagreed with it, over Vern's objections.  Without taking a side, I think Art's disagreements are expressed well enough in his comments below the story.  At the time Francisco had just decided to support Al Amezcua against Mayor Pulido, but this post still stands as a good challenge to the current council, so we are re-posting this and hope Francisco returns to the blog.

By the way, as we've seen in the last 24 hours with Steve Perez, the Liberal OC is the blog that claims not to censor its authors, but does just that when their posts piss them off or make them uncomfortable.  I won't claim to NEVER censor an author - what else is an editor for?  I've refused to publish a few pieces by the otherwise worthy Eddie Rose and "Over But Not Out" which were simple misinformed malicious anti-immigrant or anti-Muslim propaganda innocently passed along.  But THIS piece , and Steve's, didn't deserve to be scuttled.]

Stretching the Truth – “The Pinocchio Factor” – a Crime in Itself!

We must hold all career politicians or those seeking office, accountable and must understand their ideas, especially if there is a sense that the truth is being stretched at best, or manipulated at worst; or if we somehow encounter “mental pause” on the facts and issues.

I know that we must have a clear picture of the issue to be able to properly solve the issue.

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FIRST Example:

CLAIM:  VIOLENT CRIME in Santa Ana -I just received a brochure in support of Mayor Miguel Pulido.  It states, that “Under the leadership of Pulido and Tinajero, crime is down 64% over the past few years, making Santa Ana [is] the safest of America’s largest cities”.  And Mayor Pulido’s website states the same under his biography page. (paid for by Santa Ana Police Officers Association Independent Expenditure)

FACT:

a)  Violent Crime has remained UNCHANGED for Santa Ana from 2008 to 2009 at 1,726 violent crimes according to the FBI. Although, it did drop from 1,947 crimes in 2007. However, across the nation, the FBI reported a decrease in overall Violent Crime of 5.3% for 2009 (Crime in the United States report).

CLICK HERE FOR FBI Stats for City of Santa Ana 2009 and 2008

b) Additionally, Art Pedroza has an article from a year ago entitled “FBI says Santa Ana is still #1 in Violent Crimes in the OC”.  And Art P. ends the article with the very prescient comment as to election year claims:

“Don’t forget that Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido told us last year while campaigning that Santa Ana was the ‘safest city in Orange County.’ I don’t think so Miguel!” (per Art Pedroza)

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SECOND Example:

CLAIM:  Balanced Budget in Santa Ana.  Another brochure states that “fortunately for us, Mayor Pulido . . . has cut millions of dollars of the City budget to help keep it [BALANCED] and allow Santa Ana to maintain its long-time financial stability ” (paid for by Santa Ana Firemen’s Benevolent Association).

FACT

a) There is a deficit in the City’s budget of millions of dollars.

b) Also, “the General Fund is the chief operating fund of the City of Santa Ana.   At the end of the current fiscal year, the fund balance of the general fund was $16,336 [08-09] as compared to $36,128 in fiscal year 07-08.  So the General Fund decreased by about $20 million.  (page 25 of the CAFR – Comprehensive Annual Financial Report)

Additionally, “as a measure of the general fund’s liquidity, it may be useful to compare both unreserved fund balance and total fund balance to total fund expenditures.  Unreserved fund balance in the General Fund was $11,093 represents 7.43 percent of total general fund expenditures, while total fund balance represents
5.05 percent of that same amount.
(page 25 of the CAFR).  (note 2009-2010 CAFR is due out in Dec 2010).

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THIRD Example:

CLAIM:  SCHOOLS & REPAIRS:  The same brochure that makes the crime reduction claim above, also states, “The Leadership of Pulido and Tinajero has helped Santa Ana schools receive hundreds of millions of dollars in Federal and state grants for classrooms and repairs”.

FACT:

a) Schools teachers in SAUSD have faced hundreds of layoffs, while the education of our students suffer tremendously.

b)  Some high schools in Santa Ana have graduation rates of about 50% and with Santa Ana High School having the highest teen-pregnancy in the nation.  See OC Register article from March 2009, entitled “Santa Ana Unified to send out 530 pink slips“.

c)  Mayors can play a significant leadership role in motivating and inspiring the youth if they are properly and continuously engaged with the educators, parents, students and community professionals who volunteer.  I have volunteered with several programs to help students (Jr. Achievement of Orange County; Youth Motivation Task Force; and High School Inc. )  I hope to be able to see the Mayor closely engaged with this and other programs, as our youth represent our future.

d)  Federal dollars came to OC and Santa Ana because of the federal government stepping in; additionally, money for classrooms and street repairs came to our area because of the ONE-TIME  STIMULUS spending by the Federal government through ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act).  We must understand that more must be done for our students.

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FOURTH Example:

CLAIM:  Claims have been made and are being made in this site while attacking Alfredo Amezcua, Mayor for Santa Ana candidate, that he has no ideas because he has chosen to not post in this site.

FACT:

a) Amezcua has posted his basic ideas at his website and has elaborated on them at various forums throughout our City as he engages our citizens, shares his ideas with them, and also listens to the citizens concerns.

b) Mayor Pulido as of today has ZERO ideas posted at his website, and his website is empty, except for his biography.  I want to hear from Mayor Pulido as to his ideas for the future, as I am sure many of our readers and citizens of our City – we deserve this much!

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We have many issues in our City of Santa Ana:

  • Unemployment of at least 15% in Santa Ana which increases poverty vs about 9.6% for the nation;
  • Violent Crime still too high, and unchanged for the last two years;
  • Failing high schools and high drop-out rates;
  • Highest rates of teen-age pregnancies;
  • High fees to start a business in Santa Ana;
  • Homelessness which includes thousands of military veterans and their families
  • Many parts of the City that have more potholes than many streets in Tijuana (I lived a few years in Tijuana and I visit often) – For many years, we have had the same UNPAVED street and need for sidewalks on HAZARD between Harbor and Newhope – which creates a hazardous situation for our children because of the elementary schools there and especially during rainy season.

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I post this with the hope that major improvements take place in our city, and that we have a clear understanding of the facts, because complacency and inaction, empty promises or stretching of the truth do not solve anything!

I am also sure that many of our citizens, business leaders; educators; and other professionals are prepared to work closely with our elected City Officials and Trustees, if this is facilitated, for the good of our youth, our citizens and our City of  Santa Ana – I know I am!

posted by Francisco J. Barragan, Oct. 31, 2010.

Business Leader / Community Volunteer



About Francisco Barragan