Update to “The Time Has Come”

Last week we posted that Tuesday morning, June 6th, at the meeting of the OC Board of Supervisors there would be an important decision made that would greatly affect our non-profit.  We’d like to update you on the results of that meeting.

First the good news – an amazing group of over 50 speakers come to the podium to say why they thought our public/private partnership is crucial to continue, asking for our Non-Profit’s winning bid be funded to staff the OC Human Relations Commission.

Over 200 people showed up to support our Non-Profit and our Commission.  They all stood up to show their support and it was very moving.

Among the incredible friends spending all morning waiting to say nice things about OC Human Relations were:
1.       Sheriff Hutchens spoke first and was a forceful ally to our work in hate crime and interfaith.
2.       Bill Wood spoke with heart and asked all to stand who came to support us, the whole room stood up.
3.       Ken Inouye read the OC Police Chief’s letter and spoke of the public safety aspect of OCHR.
4.       Joe Shaw spoke of the mediation program and how it changed lives.
5.       Susan Fosegill, Huntington Beach Bahais and Race Unity Day
6.       Jim Lehmann invoked Lincoln, and lamented that their inaction would cost 3 Commission staff to be gone in 3 weeks.
7.       Christian Lopez who shared his story of growing with our BRIDGES program, and now serving on our Board, and as a public speaker.
8.       Frank Marmolejo who drove home the point of the Public /Private Partnership.
9.       Paul Simonds, SC Gas, who shared how important OC Human Relations was to his company and other big employers in Orange County.
10.   Tad Heitman who called OC Human Relations a unique tool.
11.   Cher from the ADL who trumpeted our stewardship of the BofS Mission of the HRC.
12.   Susan Reese who shared the words of the OC Business Council CEO, Lucy Dunn.
13.   Dr. Jerry Hunter who compared the civil rights struggle of the 60’s with today.
14.   Tim Shaw described an awesome project from the 90’s with United Way, OC Business Council and OC Human Relations.
15.   Pastor Mark Whitlock and Rev. Dr. Charles Dorsey who shared a prayer for the work of OC Human Relations with the African American, interfaith and other diverse communities.
16.   Lin Fujitsubo who reminded the Board of the critical role of OCHR during Civil Unrest.
17.   Karen Stoyanoff shared that the mediation program was more important now during these times of conflict.
18.   Adriana Cortes-Luna read a letter from a teacher who supported BRIDGES.
19.   Sunny Martinez who spoke for Roman Catholic Bishop Kevin Vann in support of the good work of OCHR.
20.   Mark who spoke of the mediation training that he received that led to him starting a successful mediation company.
21.   Fran Rahimi who spoke of the importance of OC Human Relations programs.
22.   Alan Woo talked of how OCHR brought police and community together like after the Korean man was killed by police.
23.   Farrah Khan as an interfaith leader spoke of the stewardship of OCHR in staffing the Commission.
24.   Felicity Figueroa from Women For who lauded the Civil Rights history project of OCHR.
25.   Brian Levin, director of the Center on Hate and Extremism spoke of the OCHR critical role in responding to hate crime.
26.   Glen Greenberg who spoke about the family mediation program.
27.   Jose Paolo Magcalas, Anaheim School Board member telling the story of a suicidal student he sent to OCHR BRIDGES program and had her life turned around.
28.   Laura Kanter of the LGBT Center about OCHR helping bring her community together with police.
29.   Minzah Malik on behalf of Hoag Hospital and as a Muslim woman living in Huntington Beach about the importance of the public /private partnership.
30.   Curtis a formerly homeless man shared his thanks for OCHR for our role in homeless shelter promotion.
31.   Jim McQueen on the support of Janet Nguyen who appointed him to the Commission.
32.   Sylvia Kim from Asian Americans Advancing Justice lending the support of the largest Asian Legal Services non-profit in the US.
33.    David Levy suggested the importance of OCHR hate crime work was a fair housing issue.
34.   Rebecca Newman delivered the support of the League of Women Voters of Orange Coast.
35.   Wyatt McClean lent his support as a volunteer mediator.
36.   Kay Carpenter spoke as a retired food services corporation executive about the paramount importance of this public/private partnership.
37.   Rosalia an organizer with OCCORD spoke of the collaboration with OCHR in the aftermath of shootings and violence in Anaheim.
38.   Bob Cerince shared he had been with OCHR presenting #HateFreeOC presentations to 180 Huntington Beach High School the day before.
39.   Dr. Muzzamil Siddiqi, Imam of OC Islamic Society, President of the Shura Council and 37 year resident of OC spoke of the important work of OCHR bringing interfaith together.
40.   CAIR representative testified to the OCHR collaboration on hate crime, and police/community dialogues.
41.   Josh Grushkin, ADL Regional President endorsed OCHR as a organization that shared their mission.
42.   Adrian, a Human Relations Ambassador participant lent his support as a student to the work creating safe, inclusive schools.
43.   Natalie Moshur of the Huntington Beach Human Relations Task Force spoke of OCHR critical intervention in HB in 1996 and current work of Don Han with their annual youth dialogue.
44.   League of Women Voters of Orange County testified as to their support for the Non-Profit Commission contract due to important work in Hate Crime, Police Community Relations, and fund development for proactive human relations programs.
45.   Peggy Calvert pointed to the critical work in anti-bullying, safety, and community building.
46.   Suzanne Darweesh talked about her participation in OCHR Living Room Dialogues and the importance of hate crime work.
47.   Chief Todd Elgin of Garden Grove offered his opinion that community policing was critical, and OCHR was a valuable tool in dialogue and building concensus.
48.   Robin Lewis a child and family therapist said OCHR work in Restorative Justice was vital.
49.   Nancy West thanked OC Human Relations.
50.   Eli Reyna talked about OCHR leadership in the state in pulling together the Hate Crime Network.
51.   A mother got up and said she that she didn’t know OC Human Relations, but knew of their good works.  And it was important and needed.
52.   Nicole testified that OCHR had helped her and she was grateful.

We at OC Human Relations are extremely grateful for the support of everyone who attended and were there in spirit!

The not-so-good news: Board of Supervisors Discussion Following Testimony

Supervisors Steel and Do remained convinced that the relationship between the Commission and the non-profit was problematic and maintained the contract should not be signed.

Supervisor Spitzer pointed out the to the fact that this Ad Hoc Committee’s inaction was going to cause the loss of Commission staff and eviction of the entire organization in 3 weeks. Supervisor Bartlett laid out the facts supporting the public/private partnership with the Non-Profit and Commission. (For more details of the Supervisors’ discussions see the OC Register article on our website)

The measure was defeated on a 2 / 2 deadlock and Supervisor Spitzer announced he was bringing it back to the full Board next Tuesday, since Supervisor Nelson was absent today. 

So, the NEXT chapter will take place 9:00am, Tuesday, June 13, 2017.  Please, come early to join us and show your support. 

As the date gets closer, we will know more about the timing and will keep you informed.