Online petitions debate Mayor Long’s handling of immigration transfers
Friday, July 18th, 2014
Issue 29, Volume 18.
Petition opposing Long
One petition started by Murrieta resident Nancy Brenner wants the city council to censure Long for violating its Code of Conduct policy. The petition claims that Long’s statements during the press conference violated the policy by inciting a hostile anti-immigration mob to protest near the station the next day. The resulting protest prevented immigrant transfers to the station and national media coverage of the protest damaged the city’s reputation.
Brenner launched her petition on July 9 at petitions.moveon.org and over 1,600 people have signed it. She declined an interview stating that her petition speaks for itself.
Some Murrieta residents signing Brenner›s petition posted comments explaining their stance.
Aurora Perez doesn›t agree with the mayor or the protesters› actions. "This should be viewed as a humanitarian issue not a political issue," she wrote.
Wayne Blizzard believes that Long showed bad judgment and impulsiveness during the situation. "His attempts to back pedal after he saw the havoc show that he realized that he badly miscalculated. I’m very disappointed," he wrote.
Nancy Ashley thanked Brenner for pushing to have Long censured. «As residents we now can›t say where we›re from and feel a sense of pride. I am embarrassed by the actions of those protesting,» she wrote.
Petition supporting Long
Murrieta resident Patricia Padilla started the second petition that supports Long and disagrees that the council should censure him. The petition praises Long for stepping up and confronting the nation’s broken immigration policy. It states that he showed great leadership during a difficult time and should be commended not censured.
Padilla launched her petition on July 13 at change.org and over 450 people have signed it. She couldn’t be reached for comment.
Padilla’s petition signers from Murrieta also posted comments stating why they support Long.
Donna Fuller thinks that Long is a man of integrity who’s doing his best to serve the community. "As ourmayor, he kept the community informed and advised all concerned citizens to voice their opinions with federal representatives," she wrote.
Sheila Dee also admires Long and how he’s handled the immigration situation. "Long has been thrust in the spotlight in one of the most controversial topics around: Illegal Immigration. He has done an outstanding job representing us and standing firm on this matter. I›m honored to be a resident of Murrieta and proud to have the city council that we do," she wrote.
Diane Figgs objects to censuring Long. "I support our mayor and reject censure by many who don›t even live here," she wrote.
Long’s reaction to petitions
"Everyone has a right to their opinion," Long said. He urges citizens to view a video of the June 30 press conference on the City of Murrieta’s website so they can judge for themselves how he disseminated information about immigrant transfers.
Long said that Brenner’s petition is based on "assumptions and false information." He rejects the claim that his press conference statements incited residents to protest.
"Over 70 percent of the protesters were from out of the area," he said. He added that it’s unfortunate that national media showed a seven-second clip of the protest at its height, which wasn’t good for Murrieta’s reputation.
"People are at a boiling point," Long commented. "We have a broken (immigration) system. What I’ve learned is that both sides want the same thing. They want a fair, efficient and legal system."
Long said he tried to reach Brenner through email on her petition page, but she didn’t respond to him. "I offered to talk to her and give her accurate information," he said.
Council Member Randon Lane opposes Brenner’s petition and said he won’t agree to censure Long after Brenner gives the petition to the council. He believes that protesters would have been in front of the station even if Long hadn’t made any statements to the media.
"I don’t think Mayor Long handled this (situation) inappropriately," Lane said.
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