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  • Take Back Torrance

Newsletter No. 1, June 25, 2022

Updated: Dec 28, 2022

· Who will fill George Chen’s District 2 seat?

This is the first newsletter that I hope becomes a regular forum to keep

interested people informed about what is happening in Torrance. You are

receiving it because you live in Torrance and have expressed your support

of my recent run for a seat on the City Council and/or have commented on

issues that we agree on.

What a world.

In Texas, the Republicans at their convention declared Trump the 2022 winner.

In Washington, the Supreme Court overturned Roe and OK’d the concealed carry of guns in public.

And at home, in Torrance, an ultra-conservative coalition is on the verge of controlling the City Council.

Although we lost the election, that does not mean we are voiceless. We have the right as residents and constituents to make our opinions known and offer direction to the City Council.

To influence it, we will need many people willing to write emails and letters, make phone calls and show up at Council meetings. We will need to find Council allies who don’t want to be associated with a right-wing agenda. We will need to build coalitions with residents and bring in new people to the political debate in Torrance.

That sounds like a lot, but each person can play a small part. The first step: Start the dialogue, understand what is at stake, set priorities. This newsletter is my first step in accepting where we are right now, identifying priorities and not giving up on the city I love. I hope you will join me in considering the path forward. Please share your thoughts with me and pass this newsletter along to like-minded people.

The first — and today’s focus — is the most urgent question: Who will fill George Chen’s District 2 Council seat? Four votes are needed to appoint someone, and Chen, Aurelio Mattucci and Jon Kaji are joined at the hip.

Mike Griffiths and Chen are not voting buddies. Griffiths had wanted to be mayor, as many of you are aware. (How Chen pushed him aside is perhaps the subject of another newsletter.) Griffiths knows how government works and is our best hope for slowing down problem proposals.

Asam Sheikh is a lone voice and a new council member, meaning he will depend on Griffiths to find ways to legislatively short-circuit bad intentions.

That leaves Sharon Kalani as the pivotal vote. She has generally voted with Chen and Mattucci . . . but not always.

She could give Chen his fourth vote in picking his replacement. Or she could hold strong. A deadlock would mean a special election. That’s very expensive, and I don’t recall that ever happening since I moved here in 1984. But we must ask ourselves, what is best for Torrance?

Who are the possible candidates?

The person must live in the District.

Arthur Schaper applied for the seat that Jack Walser was appointed to. Chen and Mattucci each nominated and voted for Schaper for the recent City Commission appointments.

Are you are wondering: Who is Schaper? If so, email me, and I will share some noteworthy background.

We need to identify good people who are interested in running. And we need people who live in Kalani’s District 4 to help her understand why she should resist being their fourth vote.

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