Commentary: Leadership for Cabaldon Lacking on Gang Injunction

It has been a long and circuitous process since early in the year when the gang injunction in West Sacramento was first thrown out. At first, it appeared that Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig was simply going to dump the entire mess on West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon, by allowing Mr. Cabaldon to have the decision as to whether the DA should attempt to refile for a gang injunction.

This seemed patently unfair as it appeared that the DA had actually been the culpable party in all of this, making the error of noticing exactly one alleged gang member, an individual who didn’t even live in West Sacramento.

The gang injunction has long been a polarizing policy. Many people who have been victimized by the criminal Broderick Boys street gang have insisted that the policy has worked. Statistically speaking crime is down, but it remains difficult to tie crime statistics directly to policies.

However, the Latino community has long claimed that the police have used the injunction as a means to harass and racially profile their community. Many served with the lifetime injunction–who have no legal means or standing by which to challenge the civil penalty–have claimed that they are not and never have been gang members. Perhaps these are untrue statements, but do they not deserve the opportunity to challenge this in court and shouldn’t the DA and not the citizens, have the burden of proof?

Complaints are even more widespread than even this. As the Sacramento Bee reported on Tuesday:

“One by one, 20 residents of West Sacramento shared stories about what they described as hostile encounters with police since an anti-gang injunction was put in place to make the city’s northeast section safer.

They told a town hall meeting Monday night that the injunction — touted as a crackdown on the criminal Broderick Boys street gang — has instead led to harassment and racial profiling of a mostly Latino community.

They talked about children as young as 10 being stopped on the street, sometimes just for wearing the gang’s color of red. Residents also complained of being pulled over for no reason.”

100 people gathered for meeting, this included the Depty Police Chief Henry Serrano, Yolo County Supervisor Mariko Yamada, and representatives from Senator Mike Machado and Assemblymember Lois Wolk’s offices.

However, there was one key person missing and that was Mayor Christopher Cabaldon. I did not believe it was right for Mr. Reisig to dump this mess on Mayor Cabaldon and the city of West Sacramento earlier this year. But now, it is clear that the Mayor is failing to take a leadership position on one of the most crucial and high profile issues facing his city. He has citizens complaining that this policy is being used to harass them. Maybe they are wrong, maybe this policy is a great tool, but the Mayor needs to step up and take the lead on this.

This man wants to be in the Assembly? Then he needs to show leadership on hot-button issues. If not, then maybe he is not the person to represent the 8th Assembly District. It is that important. Supervisor Mariko Yamada was there. He needed to be and he let a portion of his community down by failing to hear their grievances–whether he agrees with them or not.

When you run for higher office, these sorts of events are test cases for the constituents who do not know them. When the going gets tough, what do the candidates who are seeking higher office do. We have already expressed concern for Supervisor Yamada’s leadership on the County General Plan and her failure to listen to the concerns of her constituents. Now we see that Mayor Cabaldon is AWOL as his community or a portion thereof needs him the most to lead them through these tough times. This is very disappointing and perhaps reflective of his overall lack of ability to lead the 8th Assembly District through key crises.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

Author

  • David Greenwald

    Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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Elections

268 comments

  1. So let’s get this right, Yamada who represents Davis, goes to West Sac to participate in a town hall about the injunction while Cabaldon, who represents West Sac is missing in action.

    I guess this sums up the assembly race perfectly, Cabaldon will represent his mentors and funders in the State Democratic Party while Yamada will represent the people of her district.

    Ron Glick

  2. So let’s get this right, Yamada who represents Davis, goes to West Sac to participate in a town hall about the injunction while Cabaldon, who represents West Sac is missing in action.

    I guess this sums up the assembly race perfectly, Cabaldon will represent his mentors and funders in the State Democratic Party while Yamada will represent the people of her district.

    Ron Glick

  3. So let’s get this right, Yamada who represents Davis, goes to West Sac to participate in a town hall about the injunction while Cabaldon, who represents West Sac is missing in action.

    I guess this sums up the assembly race perfectly, Cabaldon will represent his mentors and funders in the State Democratic Party while Yamada will represent the people of her district.

    Ron Glick

  4. So let’s get this right, Yamada who represents Davis, goes to West Sac to participate in a town hall about the injunction while Cabaldon, who represents West Sac is missing in action.

    I guess this sums up the assembly race perfectly, Cabaldon will represent his mentors and funders in the State Democratic Party while Yamada will represent the people of her district.

    Ron Glick

  5. Yamada was there, but that’s it. If she wants to take “actual” leadership compared to “symbolic” leadership, she should pass a Board of Supervisors resolution denouncing the gang injunction, and meet with the DA, who’s office is a 30 second walk from her own. Since the District Attorney is a COUNTY official, it is only fair that the Chair of the COUNTY Board of Supes take the lead on it.
    The funny thing about this whole Cabaldon/Yamada and their stances on this issue is interesting. Yamada is coming out against the gang injunction, which wins her points in West Sacramento…but loses huge points in Vacaville and the city of Fairfield where gangs are the # 1 issue with voters there for this November (I went to Armijo High School). On this issue alone, Cabaldon wins voters in Solano and Yamada wins voters in West Sacramento. I think that these stances are CALCULATED moves that both of their Sacramento Insider Consultants that they both combined have spent over $50,000 on (take a look at the Sec. of State’s website, its there under consulting). So here in Yolo, Yamada looks good on this issue, and in Solano, Cabaldon looks good on this issue.

    But folks, don’t let me get carried away from the fact that the Yolo County DA is the person who caused all of this, and we wouldn’t be in this mess, nor would either of the Assembly candidates use this issue for political gain in their race.

  6. Yamada was there, but that’s it. If she wants to take “actual” leadership compared to “symbolic” leadership, she should pass a Board of Supervisors resolution denouncing the gang injunction, and meet with the DA, who’s office is a 30 second walk from her own. Since the District Attorney is a COUNTY official, it is only fair that the Chair of the COUNTY Board of Supes take the lead on it.
    The funny thing about this whole Cabaldon/Yamada and their stances on this issue is interesting. Yamada is coming out against the gang injunction, which wins her points in West Sacramento…but loses huge points in Vacaville and the city of Fairfield where gangs are the # 1 issue with voters there for this November (I went to Armijo High School). On this issue alone, Cabaldon wins voters in Solano and Yamada wins voters in West Sacramento. I think that these stances are CALCULATED moves that both of their Sacramento Insider Consultants that they both combined have spent over $50,000 on (take a look at the Sec. of State’s website, its there under consulting). So here in Yolo, Yamada looks good on this issue, and in Solano, Cabaldon looks good on this issue.

    But folks, don’t let me get carried away from the fact that the Yolo County DA is the person who caused all of this, and we wouldn’t be in this mess, nor would either of the Assembly candidates use this issue for political gain in their race.

  7. Yamada was there, but that’s it. If she wants to take “actual” leadership compared to “symbolic” leadership, she should pass a Board of Supervisors resolution denouncing the gang injunction, and meet with the DA, who’s office is a 30 second walk from her own. Since the District Attorney is a COUNTY official, it is only fair that the Chair of the COUNTY Board of Supes take the lead on it.
    The funny thing about this whole Cabaldon/Yamada and their stances on this issue is interesting. Yamada is coming out against the gang injunction, which wins her points in West Sacramento…but loses huge points in Vacaville and the city of Fairfield where gangs are the # 1 issue with voters there for this November (I went to Armijo High School). On this issue alone, Cabaldon wins voters in Solano and Yamada wins voters in West Sacramento. I think that these stances are CALCULATED moves that both of their Sacramento Insider Consultants that they both combined have spent over $50,000 on (take a look at the Sec. of State’s website, its there under consulting). So here in Yolo, Yamada looks good on this issue, and in Solano, Cabaldon looks good on this issue.

    But folks, don’t let me get carried away from the fact that the Yolo County DA is the person who caused all of this, and we wouldn’t be in this mess, nor would either of the Assembly candidates use this issue for political gain in their race.

  8. Yamada was there, but that’s it. If she wants to take “actual” leadership compared to “symbolic” leadership, she should pass a Board of Supervisors resolution denouncing the gang injunction, and meet with the DA, who’s office is a 30 second walk from her own. Since the District Attorney is a COUNTY official, it is only fair that the Chair of the COUNTY Board of Supes take the lead on it.
    The funny thing about this whole Cabaldon/Yamada and their stances on this issue is interesting. Yamada is coming out against the gang injunction, which wins her points in West Sacramento…but loses huge points in Vacaville and the city of Fairfield where gangs are the # 1 issue with voters there for this November (I went to Armijo High School). On this issue alone, Cabaldon wins voters in Solano and Yamada wins voters in West Sacramento. I think that these stances are CALCULATED moves that both of their Sacramento Insider Consultants that they both combined have spent over $50,000 on (take a look at the Sec. of State’s website, its there under consulting). So here in Yolo, Yamada looks good on this issue, and in Solano, Cabaldon looks good on this issue.

    But folks, don’t let me get carried away from the fact that the Yolo County DA is the person who caused all of this, and we wouldn’t be in this mess, nor would either of the Assembly candidates use this issue for political gain in their race.

  9. actually, as bizarre as it sounds, Cabaldon’s failure to appear is actually the principled position, if those that attended the meeting, like Yamada, Wolk and others do nothing other listen and encourage “better communication” between all those involved

    if that’s the case, then, at least, Cabaldon isn’t raising unrealistic expectations that something is going to be done

    so the bottom line is, as indicated, was anything constructive achieved at the meeting (nothing is mentioned in the article, other than the fact that they attended), or was it merely public relations?

    if the former, Cabaldon can be legitimately criticized, if not, then, as I said, I would consider his non-attendance to be a more honest approach

    so, waiting to see if the meeting was anything more than an “I feel your pain” event

    keep your eye on the ball is, of course, correct, Reisig is the problem (as he will probably soon be in cases related to DHS truancy), but it raises an interesting question: where was the Democratic Party support that could have defeated Reisig when they had opportunity to do so?

    –Richard Estes

    –Richard Estes

  10. actually, as bizarre as it sounds, Cabaldon’s failure to appear is actually the principled position, if those that attended the meeting, like Yamada, Wolk and others do nothing other listen and encourage “better communication” between all those involved

    if that’s the case, then, at least, Cabaldon isn’t raising unrealistic expectations that something is going to be done

    so the bottom line is, as indicated, was anything constructive achieved at the meeting (nothing is mentioned in the article, other than the fact that they attended), or was it merely public relations?

    if the former, Cabaldon can be legitimately criticized, if not, then, as I said, I would consider his non-attendance to be a more honest approach

    so, waiting to see if the meeting was anything more than an “I feel your pain” event

    keep your eye on the ball is, of course, correct, Reisig is the problem (as he will probably soon be in cases related to DHS truancy), but it raises an interesting question: where was the Democratic Party support that could have defeated Reisig when they had opportunity to do so?

    –Richard Estes

    –Richard Estes