Submitted by Time for Change Foundation staff
SAN BERNARDINO, CA- Time for Change Foundation held a press conference on the steps of City Hall Monday, October 13, to expose the dirty politics, once again plaguing the bankrupt City of San Bernardino. Concerned citizens, community activists, spiritual leaders and the homeless joined with Time for Change Foundation (TFCF) to demand that the City Council do at least what the community does for them, VOTE. The community united in one voice for Honesty, Integrity and Transparency (HIT) within the city leadership holding signs declaring “Stop the Dirty Politics” and “Cheating is Bad for Business.”
TFCF, a local non-profit organization, and low income housing developer, dedicated to serving the disenfranchised, has been denied Federal Home Investment Partnership Funds designed to be administered through the City after winning a recent bid competition for their new low income housing development project. “We won that competition fair and square. This is about the jobs that are going to be created in our community, it’s about the safe and decent housing that we are going to have in our community,” said Kim Carter, Executive Director and Founder of TFCF, “we’re not going to allow dirty politicians to rob us one more time. We’re here today about the residents of San Bernardino who can’t afford to be cheated out of one more taxpayer dollar in our city. We need investments in our community and that’s not going to happen if we keep allowing leadership to come in here and play dirty politics. Is this city open for business or what?“ San Bernardino is a city trying to rebuild itself. No entity will be willing to come to San Bernardino to invest if the City does not hold to the competition process.
The community, along with the hardworking staff at TFCF want answers. If the City Council went through the pretense of soliciting proposals, having the proposals analyzed by a Proposal Review Committee, publicly declaring a winner, and writing a Resolution to award the funds, the least the City Council can do is VOTE! Today, the community called for the City Council to place the project item back on their agenda and to VOTE, publicly, yes or no. The community is calling for the matter to be moved forward according to the democratic process which has been set in place for the orderly conducting of business.
Sergio Luna of Inland Congregations United For Change (ICUC) asserted “this is a fight that every single person in San Bernardino should take…we at ICUC we are standing with Time for Change in every way possible…we will continue to collaborate until we find justice in our community.” Reverend Bronica Taylor was passionate, declaring “we are the people. It is our vote that can truly make the change. “
HERE ARE THE FACTS:
- an open bid competition RFP was released by the City for the purpose of low income housing development
- a Proposal Review Committee declared TFCF the agency scoring the highest in the competition
- the Mayor and City Council issued a Resolution stating the funds had been identified and were available
- the Resolution authorized the City Manager and City Attorney to negotiate terms of the development project
- the Resolution was placed on the City Council agenda 9/15/14 and then removed
- the Resolution was placed on the City Council agenda 10/6/14 and then removed
No one within the City government will publicly state why this development project is not moving forward in the normal course of business. The community, attempting to pull out of bankruptcy, has been disappointed once again because of the lack of Honesty, Integrity and Transparency within the new leaders they voted into office. How can you ask people to vote for you during reelection time when you are sitting in the seat and not living up to the promises of openness, transparency and accountability? If the City was truly moving forward, the transparency and accountability would be obvious. Kim Carter reiterated: “This is not about me, this is about the process which is honest, integrity filled and transparent … a healthy competition. Is any business safe to come here and enter a competition only to be awarded but not rewarded? No one likes a “cheater!”
The next City Council meeting will take place October 20, 2014 and the public was encouraged to attend and demand answers from public officials, from the dais, in that public forum. TFCF put the matter publicly to the City Council to place the development project item back on the agenda and for every member to publicly vote to approve or disapprove.