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Livermore commissioner apologizes, faces expulsion after referring to downtown affordable housing as 'ghetto'

Original post made on Apr 28, 2021

Livermore Planning Commissioner John Stein issued a public apology during the City Council meeting Monday night for referring to a proposed downtown affordable housing project as a 'ghetto' during a city discussion last week.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, April 27, 2021, 5:48 PM

Comments (32)

Posted by Rich Buckley
a resident of Livermore
on Apr 28, 2021 at 9:48 am

Rich Buckley is a registered user.

We are lucky to have John Stein On the Livermore Planning Commission. The over-reactive, emotional, politically correct class serving on the planning commission needs to take a deep breath or two, and reset their independence meters.

I'm slowly learning, we need more people like John on the City Council or running the city as Mayor.

John's point is very relevant.... what's a better term than the offensive "G" word?

How about these 3-words: "bait and switch"

Even Eden Housing architect apologized for not being able to deliver as promised. Although these is evidence they all new from the get-go. Inadequate parking of the magnitude associated with the existing Eden Housing plan, is a terrible design experiment to burden our downtown.

There are two alternative projects not being helpfully analysed in public by the city as promised by the Mayor during his election campaign.

One project located on the West 150-feet, the other project on the North 150-feet.

TO THE WEST: Just condemn the bedrooms and units and space needed out of the new rental project being developed on the old Groth Bros. site. It has sufficient parking, set backs, designs, fixed cost (not subject to runaway inflation) and satisfied other environmental concerns. Rough order of magnitude of costs savings over the current Eden Housing project should be at least equal to the additional costs of the acquisition and provide open space of a wanted larger city park on the old Lucky Store super block that can be used by everyone.

ON THE NORTH: Save Downtown Livermore contingency Web Link behind it that has worked up a development scenario perhaps even more attractive, than my preferred idea on the West Side.

During his election our current mayor promised us a serious look at alternatives yet fails to do so. He's leaving a few thousand of use feeling like no one is listening. Web Link


Posted by Barbara Costello
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Apr 28, 2021 at 9:49 am

Barbara Costello is a registered user.

I am concerned that the reaction to Planning Commissioner John Stein's remarks regarding low-income housing are another indication that we cannot have a dialogue about anything. His choice of the word "ghetto" was unfortunate, but his point is valid. Why can't we have a discussion without forcing someone out of their job because you disagree with their point of view. We used to call this having a discussion. Now we just force people to quit because they said something that "has impact". Soon we won't be able to dialogue at all about anything. How will anything ever get done if only one point of view can be represented.


Posted by FronnF
a resident of Livermore
on Apr 28, 2021 at 12:18 pm

FronnF is a registered user.

Intolerance will not be tolerated. Anything we dont like will not be tolerated. This is the attitude today. The language is sheeps clothing for selfish aspirations and is very poor behavior. John Stein, a man of experience, made a valuable point for livermore business and property owners. Those who stand to profit on the front side dont like what he said. An old story used to trick the feeble minded. It’s a travesty upending a persons life for profit and outrageous we allow it to happen.


Posted by Rodger
a resident of another community
on Apr 28, 2021 at 12:58 pm

Rodger is a registered user.

There goes the neighborhood


Posted by Monday
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Apr 28, 2021 at 8:08 pm

Monday is a registered user.

Poor choice of a word, but I think his thoughts about affordable housing being distributed throughout the city and 20% affordable in the downtown area makes sense. Why should high-density housing in desirable downtown be 100% affordable? Years ago, in the Fisherman's Wharf area in S.F., there was a large housing project there. You had to watch your laundry at the laundromat, because your laundry would get stolen, and our car got stolen while we went out to dinner.


Posted by Fifty Years Here
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Apr 29, 2021 at 8:52 am

Fifty Years Here is a registered user.

Who is he apologizing to? For using the word "ghetto?" All the do-gooders could learn a lot by following the example of John Stein rather than condemning him for expressing his opinion. He's put his butt out there, been elected to office... been voted out of office... stayed involved and active... attends city meetings and raises very good questions, holding our electeds accountable... We need more like him!


Posted by Jake Waters
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 29, 2021 at 9:38 am

Jake Waters is a registered user.

He diffidently isn’t a Liberal apparently, because they never apologize about any of their sins. Is the FBI Division of ‘Illegal Word Use’ going to take up the investigation? I can see it now: search warrants, no-fly list, IRS audits, and an in-depth search for anything written or said back to when he was 5. Ok, I’m over exaggerating of course, or is that possible?


Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Apr 29, 2021 at 3:07 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

"Being completely uninformed is precisely how most liberals stay liberal"....Ann Coulter.


Posted by Joseph
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Apr 30, 2021 at 3:32 am

Joseph is a registered user.

I'm so glad the comments here have more backbone that the Livermore city higher ups. The city is going to become lost and lose its identity on what made it great thanks to stuff like affordable housing because, let's be honestly, they usually attract certain demographics. Livermore has seen (removed pending commenter verification of data). There is no need to hide this fact. Diversity/multiculturalism is our biggest weakness.


Posted by Mark Dunn
a resident of Livermore
on Apr 30, 2021 at 4:01 pm

Mark Dunn is a registered user.

Maybe people should learn a little more about the project before jumping to conclusions? Residents will be paying rent. They are not giving away apartments. Income level qualifications will vary. Here is a chart that gives a good example Web Link


Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 30, 2021 at 10:47 pm

BobB is a registered user.

@Joseph,

Your remarks are just plain racist.


Posted by John
a resident of Birdland
on May 1, 2021 at 7:55 am

John is a registered user.

BobB, Facts are facts. Deal with it. Wear a mask, wash your hands, and socially distance.


Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 1, 2021 at 8:57 am

BobB is a registered user.

@Joseph,

Your remarks are just plain racist.

John is a troll.


Posted by Jake Waters
a resident of Birdland
on May 1, 2021 at 10:01 am

Jake Waters is a registered user.

Here we go again. The far left calling anyone that doesn’t speak in terms of their ideology a racist. To them, facts are hate speech. They don’t want a conversation, they just want to lecture the rest of us. You disagree, you’re a racist, a troll, an antivaxer. It gets old, lazy, and ignorant.


Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 1, 2021 at 11:20 am

BobB is a registered user.

@Jake Waters,

You are an anti-vaxer. That is a fact. Blaming crime on "increased Hispanic population" is racist. John is a troll.


Posted by John
a resident of Birdland
on May 1, 2021 at 1:10 pm

John is a registered user.

How come BobB gets to call everyone names that disagree with him. Racist is very serious name calling. BobB need to calm down and realize that he is just one opinion of 330 million citizens and he is not all knowing. Use civilized communication skills BobB and not name calling.


Posted by Jennifer
a resident of another community
on May 1, 2021 at 3:00 pm

Jennifer is a registered user.

Certain cultures do commit a higher percentage of crime. That's not racism, that's realism. Asian's commit the least per capita. That's realism too. For the record, I'm not Asian -- but I am a realist.


Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 1, 2021 at 6:08 pm

BobB is a registered user.

@Jennifer,

Asian is not a culture.


Posted by Jennifer
a resident of another community
on May 1, 2021 at 6:39 pm

Jennifer is a registered user.

Bob -- I intentionally didn't use the word "race." It's too inflammatory these days. I was born in the 60s, so I remember the 60s as the most innocent time of my life. But I keep hearing from people older than me -- "the political climate we're in is worse than the 60s." It's probably true. What we're dealing with isn't healthy for any of us. I hope things get better -- for everyone's sanity.


Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 1, 2021 at 7:18 pm

BobB is a registered user.

Jennifer,

I remember the sixties well. A lot of the bad that was going on was hidden from view in comparison to today. There weren't ubiquitous cell phones with cameras, social media, and 100s of cable channels. Look at who was mainly dying in Vietnam. A lot of poor people and minorities. Black people were jailed just for dating white people. Racism was not only widespread, it was institutionalized in laws from voting restrictions to prohibitions on interracial marriage. In October 1962, the world was on the brink of global thermonuclear war. Politics were chaotic. The Democratic national convention in 1968 was frightening. There were multiple assassinations.

In my opinion things are much better today, especially for non-whites. Most of us are living better than we did in the sixties.


Posted by John
a resident of Birdland
on May 1, 2021 at 7:52 pm

John is a registered user.

As usual you are spouting facts according to BobB. I Spent 13 months in Viet Nam and hear are the facts. Please go away BobB. You are ill informed.


Enlisted USA USMC USN USAF
White 28044 (83.5) 11888 (85.5) 1823 (94.7) 735 (81.1)
Black 5095 (15.1) 1860 (13.3) 78 (4.0) 82 (9.0)
Amer.Ind. 138 (.4) 73 (.5) 7 (.3) 1 (0.5)
Asian 241 (.7) 76 (.5) 17 (.8) 9 (1.0)
Unknown 26 (.07) 1 (.007) -- 79 (8.7)
Of all enlisted men who died in V'nam, blacks made up 14.1% of the total. This came at a time when they made up 11.0% of the young male population nationwide. If we add officer casualties to enlisted then the black percentage is reduced to 12.5% of all casualties.


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Valley Trails

on May 1, 2021 at 8:56 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


Posted by Rich
a resident of Birdland
on May 1, 2021 at 9:05 pm

Rich is a registered user.

"Racism was not only widespread, it was institutionalized in laws from voting restrictions to prohibitions on interracial marriage."

@BobB...then apparently you do have an idea of what actual racism is, so shame on you for tossing around that label because you don't like another's opinion. Those of you who do so have completely devalued the words racist and racism. Try using actual debate with facts instead of trying to marginalize others.


Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 2, 2021 at 11:35 am

BobB is a registered user.

John,

Thank you for your service.


Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 2, 2021 at 11:41 am

BobB is a registered user.

@Rich,

Laws restricting voting by racial minorities in the South in the fifties and sixties and prohibitions on interracial marriage aren't racist policies? Are you kidding? And I haven't even mentioned legally enforced racial segregation in public transportation, schools, and housing. Of course the US had racist laws on the books in the fifties and sixties. You can't be denying that?


Posted by FronnF
a resident of Livermore
on May 2, 2021 at 12:07 pm

FronnF is a registered user.

Typical. The propagandists win again and we hand over a little more freedom.


Posted by John
a resident of Birdland
on May 2, 2021 at 2:29 pm

John is a registered user.

There were places that had racist policies in the past, in the past. If anything the elimination of those racist policies have been over compensated for. Primarily in the form of informative action. Are there racists out there. Yes. Black racists, mexican racists asian racisst white racists, all kinds of racists. Do we have systemic racism in this country, no. Quite the contrary, most people go overboard to not be a racist. It is very easy to throw the term around.


Posted by buklau
a resident of Avila
on May 3, 2021 at 1:07 pm

buklau is a registered user.

The strong American men & women before us fought through ww2, the spanish flu, and the great depression...now soyboys are crying and want anything that offends them cancelled.

There's a direct correlation between public housing and crime increase (same reason Bart resulted in Stoneridge mall crime increase).

Pleasanton residents are worried when robberies (ie: near the sports park) are on the rise...yet the PC city councils refuse to acknowledge any of their tolerant policies that allow these crime increases.


Posted by Rich
a resident of Birdland
on May 3, 2021 at 6:26 pm

Rich is a registered user.

@BobB

You have completely missed my point. I'm well aware of the ugly racism of past decades; Jim Crow Laws, segregation, opposition to the Civil Rights Act...and you are too. You also stated above; "In my opinion things are much better today, especially for non-whites. Most of us are living better than we did in the sixties." That's true.

My issue with you is that you flippantly toss around the word "racist" (and apparently "anti-vaxer" and "troll") to attack others. It's an attempt to marginalize and silence those who have a different opinion. It also shows that you are incapable of having a meaningful debate about issues.

I agree with the poster above; I'm not sure why the moderator allows you to violate the terms of use.


Posted by Rich Buckley
a resident of Livermore
on May 6, 2021 at 9:36 am

Rich Buckley is a registered user.

SHOULD CENSUR EVEN HAVE OCCURRED? - On Tempering The Nazification of Power

Transparency blocks natzification of power

Web Link

Rather than restrict the council members from commenting, change the operating format of our city website to ensure Brown Act compliance with the following viewable public participation site as a dedicated portion of our city website.

LET THE PUBLIC PARTICIPATE

Let the public participate, at will, in real time, on a dedicated portion of the official city website 24/7/365 live. Then give each city council member an identified logo they choose to apply to give the discussion a thumbs up or thumbs down. They don't have to participate.

COUNCIL PERSONS ONLY USE LOGOS.

COUNCIL PERSONS do not enter the discussion, they can only give a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down using their electronically identified specific logo.

When any two City Council Members post their logo, no other City Council Member can post on that topic for 180 days or if the city has taken a position on it, in the interim - whichever first occurs. When there is unanimity in two city council thumbs-up logos posted on a discussion, any council person may then ask it to be agendized for formal discussion by the City Council. It's then voted on by the City Council to be either adgendized or droped.

Yes, this will likely create waves of relevant and irrelevant local issues mixed with national issues. But so what? Some really big things are going to creep into our daily concerns that are national in scope and local in impact, and awesomely complicated. It can be done without staff management.

There will be attempts to proselytize and troll-away participants on the visible public domain portion of the website to other websites like Nextdoor, Facebook, YouTube, and many others. Fine. Alternative media posts will be all over the place and dozens of topics. Fine.

WHAT ABOUT STAFF TIME?

(continued in 2nd comment below)


Posted by Rich Buckley
a resident of Livermore
on May 6, 2021 at 9:37 am

Rich Buckley is a registered user.

WHAT ABOUT STAFF TIME.

It need not take up city staff time monitoring the website. If somebody uses swear words or offensive words software can automatically change it to @%%%#! and get the point across. Software will automatically track councilperson logos and their use on city websites.

WHO BENEFITS, WHO DOES NOT BENEFIT

Truth benefits, deception and naivety becomes informed and throttled. But wait, I’m handing you a very sharp double edge sword strategy. Your probably thinking this is some of that new age stuff the millennials are espousing and I don’t want their naive stuff pushed in my face. Then unlike most activists sites, where you are ignored or most religious sites where you are not given room to comment, or the big social media sites that shut you down totally, even if you are a legally elected POTUS, your sword is sharp. You register and engage. Now the politicians are given pause to reflect, an naive, reckless activism sobers up. It’s not the usual one way street that you get with most city councils and activist sites. An authentic community narrative and balance begins to form that has higher integrity.


Posted by Rich Buckley
a resident of Livermore
on May 6, 2021 at 9:43 am

Rich Buckley is a registered user.

HOW WOULD ONE REGISTER ON THE CITY WEBSITE?

(1) You have to meet two criteria, (a) Be a legal resident of the city (b) Use your real name. Other tracking is automatic like cookies and verifying answers to questions to make sure it's really you.


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