News

Guest opinion: Mayor's message of peace on Earth and good will

As 2016 comes to a close and we surround ourselves with friends and family, I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone in Mountain View a happy holiday season. Serving as your mayor this past year has been one of the greatest honors of my life -- and I'm especially proud that the City Council voted to become a "Human Rights City." I hope this will help reduce fears that have arisen since the election about how immigrants will be treated locally.

No matter what your religious views, this is the season of peace on Earth and good will towards others, which is a message of particular relevance this year. Many Mountain View residents have expressed concern over the divisiveness in this past election cycle. I know I certainly am concerned. Our city has always been a welcoming haven for its diverse population, and if you are a recent immigrant, you may be worried about the months to come. So, let me explain some of Mountain View's longstanding policies about immigration to ease some of those fears.

First, at City Hall we are committed to serving each of our residents with high-quality government services. That means police, fire, public works, community services, library and all other departments treat each person equally, ethically and with respect. We understand that English may not be everyone's first language, so we publish materials in the four most common languages spoken in our city and provide translation services as needed. As a municipal government, we do not have an interest in anyone's immigration status unless they are involved in a crime that threatens the safety of others. Remember, all of our families were immigrants to America at one time. Right now, approximately 61 percent of our city's population was born outside of the U.S.

Second, our police have a standing policy to not participate directly in any U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement activity. For more than 20 years, our police department has not participated in federal government immigration "sweeps." This policy has stood the test of time, and is essential to our safety because it allows everyone to feel comfortable reporting crimes and cooperating with police in their investigations. Most of the Mountain View police involvement with federal agencies relates to combating organized crime, such as the illegal distribution of drugs and human trafficking.

Finally, on Dec. 13, your City Council followed the recommendation of the Human Relations Commission to approve a resolution adopting the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights that was passed 65 years ago. This resolution is an important symbol of how seriously our community values human rights. By adopting this resolution, we commit that the principles set forth in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights should guide the spirit of Mountain View's policies and practices. In the next few months, we will be considering exactly how to implement this resolution. As always, input from interested residents will be welcome.

What's local journalism worth to you?

Support Mountain View Online for as little as $5/month.

Learn more

Again, I want to thank you all so much for letting me represent our amazing city this past year, and I am looking forward to what being a Human Rights City will mean for all of us going forward. Happy holidays!

Pat Showalter was elected to the City Council in 2014, and served as the city's mayor this year.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

Sign up

Follow Mountain View Voice Online on Twitter @mvvoice, Facebook and on Instagram @mvvoice for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Guest opinion: Mayor's message of peace on Earth and good will

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Tue, Dec 27, 2016, 5:02 pm

As 2016 comes to a close and we surround ourselves with friends and family, I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone in Mountain View a happy holiday season. Serving as your mayor this past year has been one of the greatest honors of my life -- and I'm especially proud that the City Council voted to become a "Human Rights City." I hope this will help reduce fears that have arisen since the election about how immigrants will be treated locally.

No matter what your religious views, this is the season of peace on Earth and good will towards others, which is a message of particular relevance this year. Many Mountain View residents have expressed concern over the divisiveness in this past election cycle. I know I certainly am concerned. Our city has always been a welcoming haven for its diverse population, and if you are a recent immigrant, you may be worried about the months to come. So, let me explain some of Mountain View's longstanding policies about immigration to ease some of those fears.

First, at City Hall we are committed to serving each of our residents with high-quality government services. That means police, fire, public works, community services, library and all other departments treat each person equally, ethically and with respect. We understand that English may not be everyone's first language, so we publish materials in the four most common languages spoken in our city and provide translation services as needed. As a municipal government, we do not have an interest in anyone's immigration status unless they are involved in a crime that threatens the safety of others. Remember, all of our families were immigrants to America at one time. Right now, approximately 61 percent of our city's population was born outside of the U.S.

Second, our police have a standing policy to not participate directly in any U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement activity. For more than 20 years, our police department has not participated in federal government immigration "sweeps." This policy has stood the test of time, and is essential to our safety because it allows everyone to feel comfortable reporting crimes and cooperating with police in their investigations. Most of the Mountain View police involvement with federal agencies relates to combating organized crime, such as the illegal distribution of drugs and human trafficking.

Finally, on Dec. 13, your City Council followed the recommendation of the Human Relations Commission to approve a resolution adopting the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights that was passed 65 years ago. This resolution is an important symbol of how seriously our community values human rights. By adopting this resolution, we commit that the principles set forth in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights should guide the spirit of Mountain View's policies and practices. In the next few months, we will be considering exactly how to implement this resolution. As always, input from interested residents will be welcome.

Again, I want to thank you all so much for letting me represent our amazing city this past year, and I am looking forward to what being a Human Rights City will mean for all of us going forward. Happy holidays!

Pat Showalter was elected to the City Council in 2014, and served as the city's mayor this year.

Comments

Horse Radish
North Whisman
on Dec 27, 2016 at 7:05 pm
Horse Radish, North Whisman
on Dec 27, 2016 at 7:05 pm
6 people like this

"Human rights city." Is that where landlord lobbyists in city government "stipulate" that the rent control law approved by voters will not take effect?

The message: we won't turn you in for illegal immigration but get out of MV if you can't afford to pay far more in rent. Rich illegal immigrants can stay; not-rich ones must leave.

All of the not-rich will soon be gone. Guess that's Showalter's idea of a "Happy New Year."


Randy Guelph
Registered user
Cuernavaca
on Dec 27, 2016 at 10:59 pm
Randy Guelph, Cuernavaca
Registered user
on Dec 27, 2016 at 10:59 pm
3 people like this

Horse Radish,

Please don't turn against your fellow renters that are simply here trying to make a better life for their families. Keep your focus on the wealthy property owners that have captured the city council while they continue to be subsidized by the California taxpayer. We need a unified front against this assault on good government, not divisiveness amongst the renters.


Mt. View Neighbor
North Whisman
on Dec 28, 2016 at 5:11 pm
Mt. View Neighbor, North Whisman
on Dec 28, 2016 at 5:11 pm
5 people like this

Hi Horseradish, no, it's a city where voters force private citizens to give up their property equity to strangers and call it rent control, and the city allows such nonsense.

If you think the rent control of buildings built before 1996 is a way to force wealthy landowners to "be fair", you're looking in the wrong place. These older properties are owned by your neighbor's of average income, they cost more to maintain, have lower rents and have much lower profit margins than newer buildings.

I really don't see how people have gone to deamonizing their neighbors who happen to hold property as small business owners. You folks are looking in the wrong place with your witch hunt.


Randy Guelph
Registered user
Cuernavaca
on Dec 28, 2016 at 5:18 pm
Randy Guelph, Cuernavaca
Registered user
on Dec 28, 2016 at 5:18 pm
5 people like this

Mt. View Neighbor,

Agreed, let's fix Costa-Hawkins to make all rentals subject to rent stabilization.

On the other hand, here's a fair trade: renters will give up Measure V once property owners give up Proposition 13 and the Mortgage Interest Deduction.


George
another community
on Dec 28, 2016 at 5:26 pm
George, another community
on Dec 28, 2016 at 5:26 pm
13 people like this

I recently moved from MtnView (after 50 yrs)....Nevada now has my home, no taxes (State....10 % in Calif...ZER0 in Nevada.

I could not live in Atherton, BelAire or any other super rich place...That's A-OK,,,, We all should live where we can AFFORD....It is bull stuff that somehow any city should have to make it available to those who can't afford it.

If you can't afford it, MOVE to where you can.
If that means one has to go back to the place they came from, SO WHAT.

I doubt that the coal miners in West Virginia could afford to live in MtnView, .... Should we give them money to come here? If not, then WHY do we owe such $$$ to come here.??


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.