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  • jeanadelsman4

Newsletter No. 32

  • Chen missed an opportunity.

  • Worthwhile presentations.

  • A way to end the ban on banners.

  • A way for everyone to subscribe.

  • Airport proposals delayed.

  • Butcher Hill proposal stirs concern.

On the same day that Mayor George Chen muffed an opportunity to correct his Pride Month error, the State of California announced a 20 percent increase in hate crimes last year.

“An attack against one of us is an attack against all of us,” California Attorney General Rob Bonta said. “The alarming increases in crimes committed against Black, LGBTQ+ and Jewish people for the second year in a row illustrates the need for our communities to join together unified against hate.”

Chen missed the chance to walk back his anti-LGBTQ+ stance at his first Town Hall meeting. He started by saying his two most important issues are safety and schools.

Overall, the session was interesting, and we will delve into that later, but first let’s look at his priorities: If schools are that important to him, he should run for the School Board; the City has no role in the education system.

Safety is a concern for all residents but especially a key concern of the LGBTQ+ community. When the audience’s turn came, safety issues were a common theme. Speakers asked him to stop allowing his personal religious views to compromise his public service and to threaten the safety of the community. Chen, who has called homosexuality a personal choice and whose church has campaigned against gay rights, was unmoved.

The speakers were eloquent. If you missed the session, it would be well worth your time to watch James N. Hill’s film. He plans to post the video; when he does, I will share the link.

Jimmy Gow, an aide to Assembly member Al Muratsuchi, read a statement from the assemblyman saying he was disappointed that Torrance had failed to recognize Pride Month. Muratsuchi asked the mayor to reconsider – even though only a few days remained in June. After others made that point as well, Chen said he would stand by his decision.

But this matter is not going away. District 3’s Asam Sheikh still wants something on the record. After the meeting officially ended, he, District 2’s Bridgett Lewis and District 4’s Sharon Kalani met outside City Hall with about 20 attendees. Sheikh pointed to himself as a practicing Muslim and said, “We need to put aside our ideology.”

Lewis told them, “We want you to feel safe. We can’t say that safety is No. 1 and not have you be safe.”

Kalani said, “This is not the Torrance I know. The Torrance I want to know is one where everyone feels respected and heard.

“This is not finished,” she concluded.

Town Hall overall:

Chen borrowed the format his Council members have been using: City staff gave updates on their programs with questions allowed at the end.

Finance Director Sheila Poisson, for example, put the City’s budget in perspective. She made the point – and then underlined it – that we wouldn’t be doing as well as we are if the SST ½-cent tax hadn’t passed. She didn’t mention that Chen, District 1’s Jon Kaji and District 5’s Aurelio Mattucci had campaigned against it.

Each presentation provided a valuable snapshot of what is happening. And then the audience zeroed in on specific concerns, such as Community Development Director Michelle Ramirez’s report on sidewalk vending, which was followed later by Nanette Pastor-Hanna’s questioning whether the fee structure ensured that no one could afford to get a permit.

In the future, I will try to make sure that I share dates for upcoming Council members’ community meetings. I plan to make sessions whether or not they are in my district.

The big takeaway: We have an excellent City staff.

A way to end the ban on banners:

Downtown Torrance lost more than Pride Month banners when the City blamed Southern California Edison for their need to come down. The monthly street fair had used them for 20 years.

But there is a workaround.

Years ago, the Torrance Cultural Arts Foundation board put up banners highlighting that year’s season in the Armstrong Theatre. Each of the programs had its own banner on Torrance Blvd. leading up to Madrona.

And it was done with the City and SCE’s blessing. TOCA – like the Downtown Torrance Assn. – has always been a stand-alone program, but it, too, has ties to the City. SCE recognized the closeness, so it said yes when the City asked on TOCA’s behalf.

I would think that SCE would see the business-oriented DTA as a valuable community member and would consider its programs worthy. Yes, the Council passed a resolution to mimic SCE’s rules, but SCE apparently has shown some wiggle room.

Let’s ask them to put up the Street Fair banners. Then next year we can ask for Pride Month.

A first birthday:

Take Back Torrance’s first issue came out June 25, 2022. The original plan was for two a month, but this is No. 32.

When I signed up with Constant Contact, I estimated that the newsletter might grow. I picked a generously large number. Thanks to you all, that goal was exceeded a while back and I have been forced to forward it to some of you 50 at a time.

I am now in the process of moving the newsletter to another site, one that may allow me to let anyone interested subscribe. Until now, a numbers constraint forced me to limit it only to Torrance residents.

For this to happen, I need you to go to and click on either the red Join the Conversation button on the home page or on Subscribe on the menu at the top of the page. Both will take you to a form to fill out.

Thanks for your help with this and for supporting Take Back Torrance.

Before I go:

v The long-awaited Airport report has been postponed to the July 25 meeting because officials wanted a full Council and on July 11 one member will be on vacation.

v No date has been set for the newest Solana proposal for Butcher Hill, but residents have started meeting because they want to be prepared to deal with the controversial issue.

They are assuming it would first have to go to the Planning Commission. However, some are fearful the developers will try an end-run around Planning and head straight to the Council.

Derek Emprey of ReyLenn Properties sent the City a letter requesting a fast-track approval that would bypass current City requirements.

v Have a happy and safe Fourth.

v Want to tell the City Council your opinion on an agenda item or address any concerns? Send it to; in the subject line put the agenda item or the topic.

If you also want your comments to appear in an agenda item’s Staff Report, send it as well to Make sure that you have sent it by 2 p.m. on the day of the meeting – earlier if you want it included in the agenda’s first posting, which can be a week ahead.

Jean Adelsman

Feel free to share this email -- or tell friends about And if you email a response to, please indicate whether you are expressing a thought for my eyes only or whether I may share your comments with the whole audience.

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