Montebello on the Road to Independence
inside and outside of Montebello will remember our November, 2007, election
as the one which decided the fate of our city's fire department. But
not I. I will remember the election for what one of the candidates
said in two of his news releases. What he said made me think that Montebello
had embarked on the road to independence, albeit modestly and tentatively.
Below is what
the candidate said in two October, 2007, news releases.
GIUSEPPE VENEZIANO INVITES
MONTEBELLOANS TO HELP RUN THE CITY
California—“When I am a city councilman, I will ask the council to
recognize eleven committees. If
they do not, I will recognize these committees myself and make it possible
for people, including teenagers, who learn, labor or live in Montebello to
help run our city,” said Giuseppe Veneziano, candidate for Montebello city
to Veneziano, government should follow the example of business with regard
to delegation and feedback. “In
the business world, employers are giving employees more responsibility and
encouraging employees to speak their minds about keeping their companies in
maintains that, if our city made it possible for people in Montebello to
help run city hall, our city services would improve and the city treasury
would be in the black. It makes
no sense that five city councilors ran the city when there were 3,000
residents in 1920, while only five councilors are doing so today when there
are 65,000 residents, according to the candidate.
There is far too much for five people to do.
do not have to wait until after the November election to do this,”
Veneziano emphasized. Anyone
who has a stake in Montebello as a student, businessperson or resident may
tell him of her or his interest in being on a committee.
Through random drawings, everyone who is interested will be chosen to
be on one of the committees which interest him or her.
eleven committees are
Billings by contractors to our
Improving city services, like
parks and recreation and business licensing.
Improving contractor services,
like rubbish hauling and the city attorney.
Making public documents public.
Graffiti and litter reduction.
Evaluating applicants, like
companies, wanting contracts with our city.
Keeping youth busy after school
and during evenings and weekends.
Green activities, like planting
fruit trees and promoting hybrid cars.
Surveying and visiting
residents, to learn what is on their minds.
Bringing businesses to our
city, helping create jobs in our city.
More committees will
be added if Montebelloans wish. Those
who are interested in being on a committee may call 323.633.2840 to leave
name and call-back number.
CANDIDATE VENEZIANO DISPUTES
California—In October, Val Zavala, who hosts “Life and Times” on KCET,
the public-broadcast television station, did a report about the former
treasurer of South Gate, who is now serving a jail term for his
mismanagement. Zavala attributed the problem in South Gate to an
overwhelming influx of immigrants whose political culture was different than
the American political culture.
to Giuseppe Veneziano, long-time Montebello resident, businessman, and
candidate for Montebello City Council, the influx of a large number of
immigrants into a community is not the cause of trouble for a community.
question which is not being asked, but which must be asked, is ‘What
opportunities are given the immigrants to learn about American
some communities in America, non-citizens do vote in local elections.
We are told that, during the first hundred fifty years of American
history, immigrant voting was “widely practiced.”
But even if, today, a community chose not to let non-citizens vote,
there would be other ways for the immigrants to learn American political
this month, I invited those who labored, learned or lived in Montebello to
apply for one or more of eleven committees to improve life in Montebello.
Each of those committees would do important work, and each of those
committees would be open to citizens and non-citizens, youth and adults,”
way for non-citizens to learn about American democracy would be to
participate in a community chest: discuss,
decide, disburse, and monitor the use of funds.
Veneziano observed, “Imagine if our city council set aside $100,000
for the community as a whole to vote for improvements. We should note that the City of Los Angeles has
eighty-nine neighborhood councils, and each of these gets an
annual budget of $50,000.”
should not be seen as something unusual or radical. We are doing this in Montebello already, noted Veneziano,
whenever a non-citizen immigrant joins the Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis, Optimist,
Soroptimist or chamber of commerce. “None
of these organizations looks to citizenship as a criterion of membership.
Each looks to the individual’s ability and willingness to work for
the common good. We certainly
would benefit Montebello if our city council applied this philosophy,”
since the school curriculum does not include participation in local
democracy, I want high-school students from Montebello, Schurr, Vail,
Cantwell, and Don Bosco to take advantage of my invitation.
That there are high-school students who are not yet citizens is not
at issue,” concluded Veneziano.
People who live, learn
or labor in Montebello may apply for one or more committees.
Each person will be chosen for one of his / her selected committees.
Those who are interested in committees may call 323.633.2840 to leave
name and call-back number.