HomePrevious EditorialsPray for a Great Christmas Present: Equality of Opportunity

Pray for a Great Christmas Present: Equality of Opportunity

One of the first prayers that I learned as a child ended with the statement, "If I should die  before I wake, God bless mother, father, my brother, my sisters", and whoever else I loved. Today we need to pray for equality, as a unique Christmas present.

Last week I wrote about the Pasadena Unified School District hiring a lady named Kristan Mashka was hired to be the coordinator of the District's multiple pathways program. She was hired for $108,000 and got a raise to $125,000 to work at home, within a short time, as she took the time to write and promote her book.

Maybe the PROFITS FROM THE BOOK BELONG TO THE SCHOOL DISTRICT, if there are any. And yes, I'm saying, "If she were Black, this wouldn't have happened in the first place, especially since the budget is saying we are in trouble."

At the same time the city is abuzz about why interim chief of police, Chris Vicino, is a competitor for Police Chief and being given an unfair advantage over any competitors. Why can't the city take the same tactic as the Senate race Massachusetts took when Teddy Kennedy died and his seat was up for grabs? Anyone seeking the seat permanently could not serve in the interim.

Did outgoing Chief Melekian anoint Vicino to get the job when he left? Did he put in the good word for Vicino with Beck as he left; making sure that Vicino was the frontrunner, even before we know who the competition is? After all, we all know that Melekian was part of the training team for Beck as he trained for the City Manager's jobs... the first city manager's job Beck has ever held.

Also, let us not forget that Beck, as his first significant act, announced the appointment of Steve Mermel as Assistant City Manager, for what amounts to the Black community, days before the job competition ended. So what will he do about choosing a Police Chief?

And let us not forget Measure TT and how the School District is outsourcing the jobs and the contracts to contractors who don't think that Blacks should work. My friends and sources in the construction and development departments, including developers Andrew Oliver and Fred Caple, say that we have a long way to go to get things equal. 

In the meantime, we should be making sure that we are keeping our City Council Representative Jackie Robinson abreast of our concerns as we keep helping her help the community. We need to start raising money for her next run so we don't lose her experience. I am proud to hear people talking about the great job Robinson is doing, in trying to help improve the quality of life for the community. 

I will keep saying that old prayer to ask God to Bless those with the spirit of fairness. Bless those who are making decisions about job opportunities and our future in city government and in the education field with a spirit of fairness, and equality. There is plenty of evidence that others don't have a problem moving ahead as police Chief's and education program coordinators without giving us fair, equal competition.  If we had equality of opportunity, that would be a nice permanent Christmas present.

Lord knows we need to tell God that "If I should die before I wake"; I hope I have done my part to improve the quality of life "For my People."


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