Concerned by growing violence in the City of San Bernardino, the Mayor sent an ill-advised letter to Pres. Donald Trump in February asking the feds for help with the with the city’s “illicit drug activity.” In the letter, Mayor Carey Davis specifically rolled marijuana under the bus for greater enforcement.
After witnessing a grim spike in violent offenses during 2016, where theft, burglary, assault, robbery, rape, and murder left the city with a crime index of 2 (100 is the safest), Mayor Davis composed a letter aimed at motivating President Trump to intervene with federal boots.
“As San Bernardino emerges from bankruptcy we are striving to revitalize our community but continue to face many challenges including violent crime. Many of these crimes revolve around illicit drug trafficking, including marijuana.”
Also signing on the dotted line for all to see were San Bernardino’s Police Chief Jarrod Burguan and all seven members of the city council.
Like Pres. Trump, the city’s letter is being viewed as exceptionally contentious among San Bernardino’s diverse constituents. Historically Democratic, San Bernardino voters helped elect both Pres. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. And, in Nov. 2016, the majority of voters cast their ballot for Hillary Clinton over Donald J. Trump.
After first asking for help from Gov. Jerry Brown and then the Obama Admin., the mayor turned to Trump after noticing his tweet on Chicago.
If Chicago doesn't fix the horrible "carnage" going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016), I will send in the Feds!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 25, 2017
According to councilman Harry Nickel, “We just wanted to get the attention of the White House,” per online reports.
Possibly violating California’s open meeting law, the contentious request was not first publicly addressed by the San Bernardino City Council before it was sent to Pres. Trump. Particularly troublesome because San Bernardino’s voters passed both a local measure and a statewide measure to regulate adult-use consumption, the city’s voters now feel betrayed by the mayor and the city council over their recent communication.
Upset and ready to be heard, residents confronted the city council at their recent meeting on Monday, where the city attorney cautioned council members they might have run afoul of the state’s open meetings law by supporting and sending the letter without first holding any public hearings on the topic.
Photo courtesy of Allie Beckett