This City Council represents just good ol boys, not us “regular” citizens….or does it?

Humboldt good ol' boysMost of us who the live and work in Eureka were stunned by the 2010 elections, and keep telling ourselves it was some kind of fluke or distortion created by the flood of developer money injected to the race. We keep insisting the Brady Bunch doesn’t reflect the true viewpoint of our Victorian Seaport.

So when Mayor Jäger brought forward a real Apology letter to the Wiyot people we were all happy to see it. It reflected part our belief paradigm of the compassionate conservative; the kinder, gentler Virginia Bass theme.

When the Council failed to support the letter under the flimsy excuse of fear of litigation we shook our confused heads and bought the stated reason of potential lawsuits.

Well wake up dreamers! Last week’s Times Standard poll results on the “Apology” and “Support” letters are in. The poll gets right to the heart of the last line of the original “Apology” letter, “We can, however, with our present and future actions of support for the Wiyot, work to remove the prejudice and bigotry that still exists in our society today.” Of course this last line was removed along with the apology part.

The results of the Times Standard readers Poll forces your eyes open, and you can realize the hidden reason why the Council backed away from this letter.

57% said “No apology needed. It’s ancient history”

Only 37% supported the original apology letter.

So how much have we changed since 1850 when “the genocide of Native Americans was widely supported and the stated goal of many politicians and businessmen. Austin Wiley, editor of the Humboldt Times, called for the extermination of the Wiyot people”?

It seems to the Examiner that we have the type Council that Eureka wants and deserves.

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7 thoughts on “This City Council represents just good ol boys, not us “regular” citizens….or does it?

  1. Online “polls” like that are essentially meaningless, because people can vote more than once. So one or two people who feel strongly enough about their opinion to bother to take the time can vote a bunch of times and push up the total for their side.

    By contrast, in Eureka’s city council elections, people can only vote once. Apparently not enough voted for your preferred candidates, because you’re sounding a bit sour-grapesy.

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  2. I’d like to see news channel 3 show how many people even respond to their nightly poll/ question of the day.

    On a side note, I’ve noticed and photographed the shredded American flag flying high above the Arkley center for performing arts. What a disgrace for people driving thru our city to look at that building and see such disrespect.
    I’m sure Rob just can’t fit it into the budget unless he can get a federal government subsidy to cover the cost.
    (not Aprils fools, I don’t have time for that foolishness)

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  3. I have to disagree on this one.

    According to surveys I’ve read over the years only about 20% of households subscribe to their community newspapers, probably far worse today, evidenced by the TS shrinking while irrelevant content expands.

    “A popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it is but a prologue to farce or tragedy or perhaps both”. (James Madison).

    With the vast majority of citizens uninformed and refusing to vote, the TS poll results, the Eureka council and Humboldt supervisors reflect the will of a minority of wealthy extremists calling the shots….like the rest of this nation…

    Tragically, the contentious polarization that preceded every positive social change in history (aka, “sour grapes”), is effectively scrubbed from today’s media, desperate for advertisers, as well as, from candidate’s persona, all are trying to appeal to a minority of the participants that remain.

    It is this “positive appeal” that continues to dis-inform and shrink public interest and participation.

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  4. “aka, “sour grapes”

    I think you need to review what the phrase “sour grapes” means. Hint: It doesn’t mean polarization.

    Meanwhile, your belief is that voter turnout is low because there isn’t enough polarization and negativity in the media?

    Yet research shows that negative campaigning polarizes the electorate — but this drives voter participation down, not up

    “Going Negative: How Attack Ads Shrink and Polarize the Electorate”

    http://books.google.com/books/about/Going_Negative.html?id=sS6GAAAAMAAJ

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  5. It’s hard to know whether the newspaper poll really represents public opinion. Regardless, it seems clear that descendants of those who decimated the earlier long-term inhabitants of the US are not comfortable thinking about the relatively recent crimes. IMO, America could benefit from a South African style truth commission. I can imagine it must feel very unsettling to use street names that honor those who plundered, cheated, and perhaps even killed your great grandparents.

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  6. Anonymous 4:29,

    I think you need to reflect on how the phrase “sour grapes” is often used, regardless of what you think it means.

    Anytime a candidate dares to reveal an uncomfortable truth that challenges the status-quo, we often hear “sour grapes” as a general dismissive intended to demean, discredit and belittle anyone mentioning troublesome facts.

    For example, Blacks were often accused of “sour grapes” when they complained about their communities and when they demanded their rights. When mainstream media began showing the nation how blacks were being treated it broadened the nation’s contentious polarization until LBJ was unable to ignore it.

    Injustice hasn’t gone away, the media stopped reporting it, and universities stopped teaching about it. In a recent headline, 90% of HSU students do not vote.

    “Negative campaigning” is an entirely different issue.

    It fails when it appears gratuitous.

    It is extremely successful when used against blatantly foolish or corrupt candidates…like Virginia Bass.

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