Opposition A No-Show At Loudoun Supervisors' Meeting

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The Tuesday, September 4 meeting of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors was supposed to be a wild public affair, but the circus never made it to town.

The authorities were well-prepared. Several officers each from the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office and Leesburg Police Department were posted around the government building - seven or eight more than you'd see at a typical Tuesday morning meeting. The entire area fronting Loudoun Avenue was blocked off with yellow tape, apparently to ensure the crowds filed through a narrow corridor where several law enforcement personnel were on gatekeeper duty. Parking meters all the way down Harrison Street up to Tuscarora Mill were bagged to keep the street clear.

Everything hinted at the expectation of busloads of attendees pouring in.

And the expectation was not without reason.

After the Loudoun Board unanimously passed an immigration enforcement resolution on July 17, leaders of two local advocacy groups opposing the resolution essentially admitted they were caught flat-footed, and they promised a vigorous response at the September 4 meeting.

Both Mukit Hossain, president of the Virginian Muslim Political Action Committee, and Laura Valle, Executive Director of La Voz of Loudoun, told reporters they were going to bring large numbers of people to the hearing:


Two of the groups leading the charge against the board's efforts are La Voz of Loudoun, a Hispanic outreach and advocacy nonprofit organization, and the Cascades-based Virginian Muslim Political Action Committee...

Hossain's group and La Voz are rallying supporters to attend the Loudoun supervisors' Sept. 4 meeting. At that meeting, the board is expected to hear from county staff members about which services can be cut off to people without legal status and what the financial effect on the county might be.


More from the Connection:

VALLE’S LA VOZ and other groups opposed to the possibility of restricted county services said that they are focusing on educating residents and those with questions about the realities of illegal immigration.

"The goal is not to say they are right or wrong to want to do something," Valle said. "But we want the Loudoun citizens to be involved in this."

Mukit Hossain, president of the Virginia Muslim Political Action Committee, said he is also concerned with making Loudoun residents civically engaged. Hossain, along with other immigrant groups, recently formed the American Dream Alliance, which will work on voter registration and campaigns that support the immigrant community.

"These sort of issues should be dealt with in the ballot box," Hossain said. "I think if you can create activity leading up to the November election, I think we can alleviate the situation."


As it turned out, there were no crowds opposing the resolution, and the audience for the hearing consisted overwhelmingly of immigration enforcement supporters, including at least 10 people wearing "Ahlemann for Sheriff" T-shirts. (Speaking in support of immigration enforcement were Mr. Ahlemann himself and Senate candidate Patricia Phillips).

Although Ms. Valle attended the hearing she did not speak during the public comment portion, and only two of the 14 or 15 people who testified on the issue spoke in opposition to the proposed immigration enforcement measures - and neither of the two seemed to be part of any coordinated opposition.

So why the no show? Perhaps the abysmal failure of the "boycott" and related pro-illegal public events in Prince William County last week left a bad taste.

Whatever the reason, the reversal is a notable shift in tactics from a month ago.

UPDATE - Laura Valle of La Voz responds:


I told no reporter at no time that we (La Voz) was going to try and get a large show at the Board meeting. Our effort to get people involved was the August 16 Panel presentation and the August 26 community meeting. Over 300 people showed up to those meetings. Those are some good numbers.

I did not speak at the Board meeting in part because I was very confident that there would be no action with out further review.

Also, the media misreported when they stated that La Voz is leading the charge against the Board. I am sure you are aware that the media does not always get it right. We have repeatedly stated that we support the Board's effort to look into the issue.

Also I was contacted by Ricardo Juarez (Mexicans Without Borders) in late July at which time I told him that La Voz would not support protests, boycotts, etc. La Voz actually deserves some credit that Loudoun has not experienced what Prince William has over the past few weeks. We have been very outspoken against extremes. We held a meeting at the Sterliing Community Center to get input from the community about what La Voz could/should do in reaction and though we recieved a lot of suggestions to protest and coordinate with other regional groups, we did not pursue any of them as they contradict the stated purpose of our organization which is to integrate and to unite the community.

And no- La Voz has nothing to do with La Voz de Atzlan. (I still have no idea what that is). That's getting old. There are dozens of organizations that use the name La Voz, most of which are Spanish language newspapers, and we are not affiliated with any of them. Please refer to my op ed in the LTM for more on that.

As for the next Board meeting, I am encouraging people to come and speak, but I do not care what they say. 15 people was a pathetic turnout on an issue of such importance.

I cannot speak for Mukit Hossain as I have only met him once but after following all the links it appears he expects people to act at the polls and not during Board meetings.

So Joe, if you are going to continue to write about La Voz at least take the time to get it right, and don't belive everything you read in the media unless it is a direct quote,a nd even those can be taken out of context. I would think as a conservative you would be more sceptical of the media, in particular the Washington Post.

There is no coordinated opposition in Loudoun County that I am aware of. There need not be. The suggested actions brought forth have raised enough questions and concerns all by themselves, as the County Board acknowleged on Tuesday.

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39 Comments

Had Enough said:

Maybe they have finally realized that there is no compassion or sympathy for illegal behavior and all the consequences associated with illegal aliens, but they have not appeared to be that receptive in the past.

Little by little we are taking our cities, counties and country back.

Enough is enough, it should have stopped years ago. Illegal Aliens are not welcome, the message is clear.

Had Enough said:

In addition, "The Voice" (I wonder if they are affiliated with "La Voz De Aztlan?") and the likes of them who support illegal aliens and illegal activity should not be funded by the taxpayers.

The taxpayers should not be paying these groups to constantly fight everything the citizens desire and to support illegal aliens via third party.

The Loudoun Free Clinic supports illegal aliens.

I would like to see the citizen poor using that and the other free clinics that are currently used basically by illegals.

This is why the government supports all these groups (catholic charities included), so the illegals are assisted by faith based and such and not directly by the government.

We should not be supporting any faith based organizations either. Churches have become political. They should no longer be tax exempt. If I desire to contribute to a church, that is my decision, but the government should not be making that decision for me with my money.

Laura Valle said:

Joe -
I told no reporter at no time that we (La Voz) was going to try and get a large show at the Board meeting. Our effort to get people involved was the August 16 Panel presentation and the August 26 community meeting. Over 300 people showed up to those meetings. Those are some good numbers.

I did not speak at the Board meeting in part because I was very confident that there would be no action with out further review.

Also, the media misreported when they stated that La Voz is leading the charge against the Board. I am sure you are aware that the media does not always get it right. We have repeatedly stated that we support the Board's effort to look into the issue.

Also I was contacted by Ricardo Juarez (Mexicans Without Borders) in late July at which time I told him that La Voz would not support protests, boycotts, etc. La Voz actually deserves some credit that Loudoun has not experienced what Prince William has over the past few weeks. We have been very outspoken against extremes. We held a meeting at the Sterliing Community Center to get input from the community about what La Voz could/should do in reaction and though we recieved a lot of suggestions to protest and coordinate with other regional groups, we did not pursue any of them as they contradict the stated purpose of our organization which is to integrate and to unite the community.

And no- La Voz has nothing to do with La Voz de Atzlan. (I still have no idea what that is). That's getting old. There are dozens of organizations that use the name La Voz, most of which are Spanish language newspapers, and we are not affiliated with any of them. Please refer to my op ed in the LTM for more on that.

As for the next Board meeting, I am encouraging people to come and speak, but I do not care what they say. 15 people was a pathetic turnout on an issue of such importance.

I cannot speak for Mukit Hossain as I have only met him once but after following all the links it appears he expects people to act at the polls and not during Board meetings.

So Joe, if you are going to continue to write about La Voz at least take the time to get it right, and don't belive everything you read in the media unless it is a direct quote,a nd even those can be taken out of context. I would think as a conservative you would be more sceptical of the media, in particular the Washington Post.

There is no coordinated opposition in Loudoun County that I am aware of. There need not be. The suggested actions brought forth have raised enough questions and concerns all by themselves, as the County Board acknowleged on Tuesday.

Dan said:

In a recent LTE, Laura Valle admits that she may have garnered undesired attention owing to her activism on the part of Loudoun's illegal alien population on the taxpayer's dime.

Given this, is it possible that she may be rethinking her position on being an advocate for illegal aliens ?

Laura Valle said:

Dan - my positions have not changed on anything because my positions are based on my principals and my morals.

Thanks for writing, Laura. I moved your comment to the front page. I will say because of the way it was reported, and a comment I heard you make to the news people during your interview at the Govt Building after Scott York's press conference it did seem like there was an intention to bring lots of people.

Dan said:

Laura,

It is important for one to be guided by one's principals and morals. However, we must also acknowledge that principals and morals vary widely on an individual basis, and because of this, societies have found it necessary to enact laws with which our principles and morals must peaceably coexist.

At the Ida Lee event, it seemed to attendees that your view is that no distinction exists between lawful and unlawful immigrants. Is this an accurate characterization ?

Anonymous said:

Of course not. What did I say that would give you that impression?

Laura Valle said:

In addition, societies often find that their laws conflict with principals and morals and therefore should be changed. I think the Constitution itself is the best tool to ensure our principals and morals coexist.

Dan said:

Various statements, it seemed to me one of the goals of this meeting was to blur this distinction. You are now saying that you acknowledge a clear distinction between lawful and unlawful immigration ?

Do you agree that the illegal alien problem hurts the legal immigrants that we have welcomed into our society, as much if not more so than the native born ?


Jack said:

Laura, do you believe that unlawful aliens should be given preference over those who are trying to immigrate legally? Do you believe that law-abiding citizens and immigrants should pay for services to those who broke our laws?

Dan said:

The Constitution, the foundation from which all of our laws derive, establishes "We The People" as the absolute governing authority.

"We The People" have established a clear and concise distinction between lawful and unlawful immigration.

Laura, I am NOT trying to be argumentative, and I sincerely hope I am not coming across as such. I think these are reasonable questions. You yourself have written many times inviting those with questions to write you.

Here I am. I will endeavor to ask reasonable questions, and would ask for the same courtesy in the responses.


ACTivist said:

Laura, I think you have that backwards. Our morals and principles MAKE the laws and then society changes. Mind you, the majority usually dictates but we can't just change for the minority in society. Your concept that changing would be for the greater good is just that-your interpretation.
If your group "schools" the immigrant population (illegal and/or otherwise) on how to behave and things to lookout for, is this new, lighter side of you the beginning of becoming more "invisible"? The "in-your-face" attitude of the illegal aliens have caused such an uproar that the new tactic is hide-don't be conspicuous. Do you think this will make the illegal alien problem go away or would you stretch yourself so far as to say that your organization is FOR LEGAL IMMIGRANTS ONLY and that you will stand behind the existing laws on immigration?

Laura Valle said:

Hey guys/girls, love to answer but I am just running in and out. I will respond to what I can when I have time, though I admit that I prefer good old one on one, face to face conversation.

Anonymous said:

"Do you believe that law-abiding citizens and immigrants should pay for services to those who broke our laws?"
Isn't that a description of our (and every country)criminal justice system. We provide thousands of dollars in services to each person imprisoned in this country. Why should law abiding citizens and immigrants have to pay to run jails where you want to hold illegals since, I, a law abiding citizen, am stuck paying the cost for services for those who break our laws?
Why am I paying to provide a lifetime pension and healthcare for criminals in Congress that spew anti-gay hatred in public and spew something else in mens' rooms?

Jack said:

Actually, no. I have heard that some countries require the criminals' families to pay for their maintenance and to bring them food.

Actually, I do NOT want unlawful aliens held in our jails, I want them deported.

Dan said:

Laura,

I ask you to also consider, that contrary to your Hitler blog, there is much common ground between us. Many share a belief as does La Voz that we should welcome those lawful immigrants that have chosen to make Loudoun their new home, and that we should return the respect of those that respect us, our communities, and our laws.

Personally I think the best thing that La Voz could do for the lawful immigrant community is to reach out to a pro-lawful immigration group, and join them in their support of the board's current initiatives.

G Stone said:

Laura:
It was nice to talk with you in the cafe during lunch on Tuesday.

It is not in your best intrest to be associated with those groups operating on the radical fringe of this issue.

Groups such as Mexicans without borders and LaRaza
do not represent Loudouns mainstream attitude towards
illegal migration.

Their presence in Prince William County is doing their cause more harm than good. Radical leftist positions on this or any other issue will be rejected by the citizens of Loudoun.

It is my hope that LaVoz
will focus their efforts on the legal immigrant community.

Laura V said:

ACTivist, this is the one and only me, not a lighter version. Perhaps you just never really knew anything about me previously. I can't even begin to respond to your comment about La Voz because you are way off base and clearly do not know what we do.

La Voz is a non profit that serves people. We do not check immigration status, just as Churches do not require everyone that walks through the door to prove their status, parks don't have staff to verify status of the kids on the swings, and libraries don't verify status of the poeple who read their books. If you feel that they should, then we are in disagreement.

Also, there are dozens of examples of our laws that have changed because society has changed, among them when blacks were allowed equal rights, women were allowed to vote, the Chinese Exculusion Act was repealed, etc. I stand by the Constitution as the supreme law of the land and a better indicator of our nations morals and principals.

There is common ground between every human being, but on this issue I think we will just have to agree to disagree. No offense but there are some Help Save Loudoun folks that I just do not agree with. For example Jack, if he is a Help Save Loudoun person, is someone that I just can't see too much common ground that we share, especially after he made this posting on a previousthread:
"Considering how crappy Latin America is, I suspect some would come here just to eat the crumbs that fall from our tables. I imagine our garbage disposals eat better than half the people in Latin America."

We are not disagreeing about illegal immigration being wrong and being a problem, we are just disagreeing about the best solutions, and we are not the only intelligent people who disagree on this issue.

Whoever made that post about paying for criminals in our jails, at 3:01 pm. I thought that was a good point and I hope someone responds.

G Stone, It was nice talking to you too. Just one thing, I am not really sure if you are in touch with Loudoun's mainstream attitude regarding illegal immigration.

And my last comment is for Dan - God forbid La Voz support Delgaudio's and Help Save Loudoun's initiatives. That might be construed as a violation of our 501(c)(3) status, though why do I have the feeling that if we did so in agreement with your views you would make an exception.

I really prefer real live conversation to blog postings and something tells me this could go on and on, so I'll just duck out now. Bye.

ACTivist said:

Laura,
Never said society didn't change things; majority rules, remember. I don't know what we are disagreeing on when you haven't told me your position. Is your organization "schooling" immigrants (illegal or otherwise) on how to fit in and behave in America/Loudoun County? If you are then do you also "school" these immigrants on how to get county/state/government services (even if they aren't entitled; since you don't check status)? We may disagree on solutions to the problem but I am trying to understand what you are all about. This is your chance to explain it to me by answering my questions! Direct answers speak volumns so please answer as directly as possible.

Anonymous said:

OK- I will answer this one now that I understand the question. We do some I&R (information and Refferal). That may be what you are referring to when you say "schooling". What that actually means is that we let people know what resources are available, and if we are aware we also let them know what the requirements are to access the services. For example, if someone has an uninsured child we would refer them to Family Services to apply for Medicaid. We might let them know what the requirements are (I would because I am familiar with most services, but a volunteer may not know any details). So in the case of Medicaid we would let them know that they must be a citizen or have Permanent Residency status for at least 5 years (I think it's 5 years), that they need to provide proof of income, etc. Since we can only refer it is then up to the agency to which they have been referred to determine their eligibility for the service, we would no longer be involved. Some services (almost every government service) has legal status as a requiremnent and they would therefore verify it. Other services require that the individual only verify their residency in the County. They all have different requirements related to legal staus, residency, income, age, etc. Does that make sense? The services are what they are, we do not set the eligibilty requirement. If you are implying that La Voz encourages individuals to apply for programs for which we know that they are not eligible in some dishonest way than you are totally wrong. We are a highly ethical organization and would do no such thing.

Another example would be our one time classes that usually last about 2 hours and that we call Placticas. The last two that we held were on the following topics:
1. How to Start Your Own Construction Company -
we covered workmen's comp, taxes, Contractors Liscense, etc)
2. Zoning Regulations -
that one was actually taught by County Zoning officials and they covered issues relating to housing ordinances, safety, zoning violations, overcrowding, etc.
Again, those are two hour one time only classes that anyone can attend. You don't need to RSVP, just show up. We do not check the status, or even take the names of the people that show up for those.
The only other program that we currently run where we work directly with the community is the English and Family Integration Program. In that case we have volunteer teachers who teach Englsih to the parents of kids that are considered "high risk". The idea is to help the parents be able to help their children with school and to communicate with teachers.

I hope that helps.

ACTivist said:

Laura,
Volumns! Thanks for your candor and the "enlightenment".

Eric the 1/2 troll said:

22 posts and no discussion about the root cause of the illegal alien issue yet again - illegal employers. The closest anyone got to it is Laura's educational series on "How to Start Your Own Construction Company". Where are our BOS "leaders" on this problem? Still silent? I guess they stand square with Dan and ACTivist on ignoring the issue.

Laura do you discuss verifying the legal status of your employees in your seminar? Perhaps more of the US citizen-owned Loudoun County employers should attend the seminar series, eh?

Jack said:

Here's a thought, Troll: Can we deport the illegal EMPLOYERS, too!

Uh, yeah, Half-Pint, unless of course you happened to click on the very first link at the top of the post, which discusses the HSL proposal delivered to the Board on Sept. 4. You can read the entire proposal at www.helpsaveloudoun.com.

ACTivist said:

Troll, I guess you missed something. If you look at the last response from Laura/Anonymous (I get those 2 confused), you will see that she gave answers on what she deals with in her organization. Volumns. If you have been keeping up with the posts, do you not remember that ANYONE can get a business liscense? You have to understand the work-arounds before you can plug the gaps. They also talk about zoning. If you know what to expect then you know how to avoid or work-around. Illegal employers? How about just employers of illegals?

Your next step is to write the board and tell them what side you are on. Remember, if you aren't part of the solution, YOU must be part of the problem. Don't whine, do!

Eric the 1/2 troll said:

"Your next step is to write the board and tell them what side you are on."

Uh, that was my FIRST step...

Laura Valle said:

This is just too silly.

ACTivist writes, "Volumns. If you have been keeping up with the posts, do you not remember that ANYONE can get a business liscense? You have to understand the work-arounds before you can plug the gaps."

First of all, I am not preoccupied with spelling as I am terrible at it myself, but it is volumes, not volumns. I wouldn't have pointed it out but you put so much emphasis on the word.

Anyone may be able to get a business license but you have to be legal to get a contractor's license. When I got my license I had to provide two valid forms of ID, one of which was a gov. issued id with photo. In addition, to complete the process you must provide a valid social security number to the state.
We covered all of this in the class that was supposed to be in Spanish but was instead done in English because everyone that showed up was fluent. I do not know if illegal immigrants have valid business licenses in the County but the intent of this class was to explain how to lawfully set up and operate a construction company. You cannot get a business license as a contractor if you do not have a contractor's license. BTW, the test is in English so not only do you have to be legal you have to speak English. And we did cover the form I-9, which is something that candidates are also tested on in the exam.

Does anyone here have an issue with educating the community on zoning laws? Do you all perceive that as instructing people how to get around laws? Would you rather keep that info to yourselves and keep on reporting violations?

Now help me understand what you all are getting at here.

Why are you all intent on ascribing such dark motives on the work of La Voz?

Dan said:

Laura,

Churches do not operate with public money, when you go next Sunday, pay close attention to the plate that passes by.

Proving one's legal residence is actually pretty easy. Is is a simple matter of now getting a driver's license or photo id from the VA DMV. I carry one myself, you ?

There are those on the pro-illegal side of the debate who are not shy about saying that every gringo should be sent back to Europe. Do I believe this to be the majority opinion of La Voz ? Of course I don't.

I stand by my earlier comment that one of the best things that La Voz could do to benefit the lawful immigrant community is to get behind the board's recommendation that services go to lawful residents.

Many of us who desire that something be done about illegal immigration understand that this has nothing to do with race, ethnicity, or religion. Maybe soon you too may come to this realization. If and when you do, then we can expect to see some real and honest debate blossom toward solving this, without undue burden on all lawful LoCo residents. This is the common ground, we can continue to pepper it with hand grenades, or it can be plowed and maybe yield some nourishment..

Have a great day!

Eric the 1/2 troll said:

"...this has nothing to do with race, ethnicity, or religion..."

"There are those on the pro-illegal side of the debate who are not shy about saying that every gringo should be sent back to Europe..."

Nope - nothing racial there...

Laura V. said:

Dan, you just went out on a tangent here. I am not sure where that came from or to what you are responding.
I do have to wonder if Ron Maxwell feels that the debate has anything to do with race or ethnicity as that appears to be a significant point in his very long and convoluded writings on the subject.
I think you guys seem to have things all figured out here so I don't see much use in responding, which is what my husband has been telling me for the past few weeks. Feel free to write whatever you want about me, La Voz, and the world. Heck, you can even continue to make things up, no worries.

Dan said:

Troll, the slang expression "gringo" has it's origins during the Mexican American War when a popular tune sung by American troops had a chorus of "Green grows the grass of home". The troops were referred to as "Green grows" by the locals. Your observation is correct, there is nothing racist here.


ACTivist said:

Troll,
Uh, how would I have known unless you told me? I'm not an esper. Since you did, then let me congradulate you for doing the right thing. I hope you got it off your chest. You put it squarely where it belongs. I guess your job is now finished so why are you whining to us?

ACTivist said:

Laura,
You caught me. I are a perty bad spiller and cents I doesnt had spill cheker, I makes mestakes. Please forgift me but the ADHD puts me about 10 taughts ahead uf my fingertieping. Spilling jes isnt that importan't to me now.
Not to beat a dead horse but I just have doubts to what it is you are really accomplishing here. If your clientele (if they may be called such) can speak fluid English, then why can't the get help from those services, in person or on the phone, like everyone else does? Why "La Voz" instead of "The Voice" or even "We Help Hispanic Immigrants Org."? Things just don't add up.
Fake I.D.'s are the number one crime nowadays. You can get all kinds of information off the net, in the trash, picture phones at checkout counters; you name it. Driver's liscense is a valid government I.D. That doesn't mean that the information of the user is valid. SSAN's are the same way. Your business liscense wasn't checked out to verify that you and your SSAN are the same, were they? That is a government task and the last time I checked they never verified numbers.
It is probably hard for you to verify the people you serve just as it is difficult for employers and other entities to do the same; with number verification being as convoluted as it is. I could empathize with your dilemma if you only tried to verify others LEGAL status. I just don't believe you care to and that is what I have issue with. Part of the problem. We will just have to disagree as to what your true intents are.

Anonymous said:

Well, I can't think of a better way to end this, You and I disagree on what my true intents are. I gotta warn you, I'm an expert on my true intents, but if you know me better, well, what can I say?!

Jack said:

Who are you?

Eric the 1/2 troll said:

"I guess your job is now finished so why are you whining to us?"

Aaaaacccctttttt...my job of whining at you is far from over. You deserve to be irritated until you run whimpering to the corner. I have three kids sao I have been trained by the best. You don't have a chance.

Eric the 1/2 troll said:

Dan,

So referring to a supposed separatist movement in the illegal immigrant community that has its roots in a conflict between Mexicans and Europeans has no racial implications? OK, can't fight with THAT logic.

That's like saying that connecting inner city turmoil to slave uprisings in the pre-Civil War South has no racial implications - in short, its bunk!

ACTivist said:

Troll,
I have lived in houses full of estrogen all my life! YOU are a lightweight and have NO chance.

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