Non-sanctuary resolution dies at county meeting Supervisors vote only to oppose state legislation

photo by Karen LasloDistrict 2 Supervisor Larry Wahl

photo by Karen Laslo

District 2 Supervisor Larry Wahl

by Leslie Layton

Supervisor Larry Wahl retreated Tuesday from an effort to officially declare that Butte County is not a so-called “sanctuary jurisdiction” – a designation adopted by some counties in response to federal immigration policies.

Wahl declined to move for passage of a draft resolution that he had requested, after the board heard a detailed 60-minute presentation by Sheriff Kory Honea and testimony from a dozen members of the public. Most speakers viewed the resolution as unnecessary and warned that it would be perceived as a hostile gesture.

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Know Your (Seven) Facts Undocumented immigrant population stable

photo by Leslie Layton

Participant in Jan. 21 Chico Women’s March

Regardless of how you feel about illegal immigration, facts will be useful when you discuss this polarizing national issue. Here is ChicoSol’s March 2017 facts roundup, focusing in particular on the Latino demographic. The most interesting fact may be the last on our list:

1. Latinos comprise 15 percent of Butte County’s total population, according to the U.S. Census 2011-2015;
2. Latinos comprise about 39 percent of California’s population;
3. Nationwide, Latinos make up more than half of the K-12 total student population;
4. Nationwide, 64 percent of all Latinos are U.S. born;
5. The number of undocumented immigrants in this country has been estimated at about 11 million, a figure that has remained stable since 2009. About 66 percent of the undocumented population had been here for at least a decade in a 2014 study.
6. In 2014, Mexicans made up about 52 percent of the undocumented population, but that figure has been declining.“The origin countries of unauthorized immigrants have shifted, with the number from Mexico declining since 2009 and the number from elsewhere rising,” says Pew Research.
7. Forbes magazine has just reported that an astonishing 83 percent of the finalists of the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search were the children of immigrants. –– Kate Sheehy and Leslie Layton

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Lessons from James Baldwin On International Women's Day, his influence on my mother

James Baldwin portrait by Gus Bouquet
James Baldwin portrait by Gus Bouquet

by Leslie Layton

My closest sense of connection to the writer James Baldwin comes not through the wonderful film showing through March 9 at the Pageant Theatre about him, and not even through iconic books like “Go Tell it on the Mountain,” which I read during my formative first year in college.

It comes through a painting of him, a less-than-literal interpretation of the mood and character that I might have glimpsed had I known James Baldwin as a boy. I keep that painting – which happens to be my most treasured keepsake from my late mother – hanging on a wall near whatever desk I use when I work – that is, when I really work — at writing.

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Police-community relations on the mend after low point Critics say more change needed at CPD; cell phone case looms

photo by Karen LasloMike O'Brien assumed the chief's post almost two years ago when Dunbaugh left.

photo by Karen Laslo

Mike O’Brien assumed the chief’s post almost two years ago when Dunbaugh left.

by Dave Waddell

Two years ago, Mike Dunbaugh came out of retirement to set the Chico Police Department on a path to reform. His five-month stint as interim police chief ended with a June 4, 2015, final report. In that confidential memorandum sent to the City Council and other officials, Dunbaugh described Chico PD as having abnormally poor relations with the community it served, as well as being unwelcoming to women. 

“The failure of the Police Department to maintain healthy community connections is extreme,” Dunbaugh wrote.  “In over 40 years of being associated with the law enforcement industry in California, I have not seen a department from a city this size dig a hole this deep for itself. City leadership played a role in this happening; and, it is going to take significant effort and time for the police department to reconnect and correct.”

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Rally speakers promote sanctuary city concept

KL photo2

Ali Knight, a member of the Mechoopda tribe indigenous to the Chico area, spoke in favor of sanctuary status at a Saturday rally at Downtown Plaza in Chico. “This is Mechoopda land,” Knight reminded about 100 people who gathered to support a sanctuary designation for Chico. “Most of the native population here was decimated. The idea that people don’t belong to a place started a long time ago.

“We are still here and want to promote this as a sanctuary city,” Knight said.

The rally and march Saturday were organized by Shelby Chase, a member of the board of the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, in response to the Feb. 21 City Council vote against considering sanctuary status for Chico. A sanctuary designation could be either symbolic or viewed as a policy statement related to local police cooperation with federal immigration authorities.

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Sanctuary proponents regroup after failed effort at City Council Community members regret lack of discussion

by Leslie Layton

In part, it was the 4-3 vote against merely considering their request that surprised and frustrated college students, and that moved some of them to booing before they left the Council Chamber.

In part, it was the way the vote was taken – swiftly and without explanation – that stunned or offended some community members. On Tuesday, an audience that filled the chamber asked the Chico City Council to consider at an upcoming meeting a sanctuary policy that would help protect the local immigrant community and its relationship with police.

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