City of Santa Ana goes after immigrants holding signs on sidewalks

It looks like the City of Santa Ana’s NICE Committee has actually accomplished one of its goals, regarding what the committee refers to as “human signs.”

According to today’s O.C. Register, “The city has been looking for ways to regulate the oversized, hand-held signs for several months. But courts have frowned on outright sign bans, ruling that they violate the constitutional guarantee of free speech.”

If you have not heard of this City Committee, here is some background: The City of Santa Ana brought back the Neighborhood Improvement Code Enforcement (NICE) Committee this year. They meet quarterly to talk about problems that were identified by Santa Ana neighborhood activist Julie Stroud, in a post she put up on a local Yahoogroup, as “Human Signs; Shopping Cart Program Update; Graffiti Program Update and Door Hangers.”

So how did the City of Santa Ana figure out a way to go after the “human signs?” According to the Register, “the city decided to go after sign holders using existing laws and codes. One says you can’t obstruct streets or sidewalks; another says you need a city permit to put up an off-premise sign.”

No one can find legal loopholes like the Santa Ana City Attorneys! Here is what one of them had to say about the Santa Ana jihad against human signs, “This is a serious problem,” said Benjamin Kaufman, the chief assistant city attorney. “We’re going to treat this criminally.”

Who is Kaufman kidding? A “serious problem?” To who? Our city is awash in gang violence and so far this year the city has gone after: barking dogs; massage parlors; and now innocent people who make a living holding up signs. Unbelievable.

However, when you take a look at who the sign holders are, this all starts to make some sense. Again, according to the Register, “a 48-year-old immigrant from Mexico named Antonio who declined to give his last name

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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.