John Jay’s letter regarding the Constitution and immigrants [Letters, Sept. 12] contains many troubling statements. 

His assertion that the Constitution does not grant any rights to noncitizens is at odds with constitutional scholarship, as well as several Supreme Court rulings. He is correct that the term “immigrant” is not used in the Constitution. However, the terms “citizens” and “persons” are used and grant certain rights and privileges accordingly. Are we to believe that the Founders did not know the difference between a citizen and a person in the US? If not, we must accept that they intended to grant certain rights to noncitizens present in this country, just as many Supreme Court rulings have. Note that the Constitution does not say “persons here legally,” “persons who are citizens,” or “persons we like,” just “persons.”

Mr. Jay does not want anyone to “leap to the conclusion that I am against immigrants or a racist.” I do not know him and can’t comment on his inner thoughts and feelings. However, his assertion that he can’t be racist or anti-immigrant because he has black and Mexican family and friends and “only two white friends” is flawed. It demonstrates a fundamental lack of clarity regarding how racism/bigotry work on both a societal and individual level. One does not have to hold active, conscious racist attitudes to participate in and benefit from structural racism.

To deny that the Constitution grants rights to noncitizens may or may not come from a racist foundation. It certainly does not come from a factual one.  




Labor Day has passed and that is usually the launch date for candidates to announce their intention to run in the next election. Where are they? What are they waiting for?

Mayor Terry Tornek announced his re-election run in January and only Major Williams has announced his run against Tornek. That’s it?

With respect due to Mr. Williams, who I don’t know, Tornek needs a bona fide contender to compete against for the future of Pasadena. Steve Madison? Victor Gordo? Someone from the business community?

Pasadena deserves a mayor that will be pressed hard in the debates about crime, homelessness, pension funding and the survival of local small businesses. It’s time to step up.

Tyron Hampton is very well liked in District 1 but should have a competitor in the race to highlight the issues in his district with solutions.

Felecia Williams is a well-seasoned city commissioner running in the open District 2 seat. Is she running unopposed? Is this what is best for Bungalow Heaven? Where are the other contenders? It’s time to step up.

Gene Masuda is running against a well-financed small businessman in Joe Baghdadlian and account executive Charlotte Bland. The small business owners seemed to be very upset with the mayor and most of the council over last year’s minimum wage issue and Joe might make this his issue. There has to be others willing to run in District 4? Phlunte Riddle? It’s time to step up.

Everyone seems to be waiting on what Steve Madison will do. Will he run for mayor or for one last term on the council? Steve is a smart guy and Pasadena will be better served if he stays engaged in either office.

Only one candidate, Tamerlin Godley, has announced a run in the city’s largest district? If Steve doesn’t run then others need to step up. Vince Farhat, a past WPRA president?  He is smart, well-seasoned and multi-commissioned.  Ken Chawkins, a neighborhood activist, a well-connected insider?  Where is Robin Salzer who just retired from his rib restaurant after 37 years? We tried to visit his place on the last day but the three- hour wait was unbearable. This guy, by all media accounts, seems like one of the most well-liked and respected residents in Pasadena, and he’s an influencer? Where are Robin, Vince and Ken?

Godley who never has been involved on any city commissions, needs to have a strong candidate to run against if Mr. Madison doesn’t run for re-election.

Pasadena deserves better and it’s most qualified candidates and future leaders need to step up. We need to identify, draft and support those candidates that will steer Pasadena forward.


(Please see related story in Bulletin)


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