TO: Keith Mashburn, Mayor, Council Members: Mike Judge, Ruth Luevanos, Delores Cavanaugh, Elaine Lister, Deputy City Manager, Samantha Argabrite, City Manager, Brian Gabler, City Attorney, Lonnie Eldridge, and Chief of Police, David Livingstone.
The purpose of this e-mail is to address my disappointment and disconcertment of your Simi Valley News announcement of 11/03/20 titled: “Businesses That Need Assistance Enforcing Face Mask Policies May Contact the Simi Valley Police Department”. Apparently, the catalyst for this announcement was a video of me on You Tube speaking to a manager at Valley Marketplace.
How can you, in good conscience, make a communistic announcement intimidating a person who is defending their God-given inalienable rights of freedom to breathe —especially when done in a professional and peaceful manner? (My calm demeanor can clearly can be seen on the video posted on You Tube.)
For some reason, the act of educating and informing a manager of the Federal and State laws being broken (by not accepting a medical exemption) is suddenly justification enough to call the police to escort someone out of a store! Seriously? The announcement specifically stated that the police may be called to remove a person for not adhering to the store policy requiring face coverings. The following is what I think about this irresponsible use of taxpayer money:
- Your announcement clearly stated that requiring face coverings is part of the reopening guidelines. It should be perfectly clear that ‘Guidance’ is not a law, a statute, a regulation or an ordinance. You can’t legally make guidance required. Guidance is a suggestion, a request. One can choose not to take the suggestion, especially when the CDC’s own studies show that masks have no benefit against airborne viruses https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/5/19-0994_article. It is so obvious how you are playing with people’s minds by using the word “guidance” as if it means the same thing as a “law” or “statute”. A person cannot be charged or police called to escort someone out for something that is not law. The governor can’t Twitter something into law, and no health officer can make a law.
- Moreover, the California Dept. of Public Health mask Guidance (https://tinyurl.com/y7l7u6m3) also specifies that people with medical conditions are exempt from the mask ‘Guidance’—of which I am. And, as you know, your 11/03/20 announcement also included that exemption.
- Your notice brings up the issue of “store policies”. Many of these 20-something managers don’t know the Unruh Act or ADA law or the difference between a private business and a “Public Accommodation”. And apparently, Simi Valley officials don’t know there are Federal and State laws that prohibits privately owned facilities including retail establishment that offer food to the public from discriminating on the basis of many things including medical condition (Public Accommodation 42 U.S. Code Sec. 2000a and CA Civil Code 51) . They don’t understand that a store can’t have a policy that violates laws. For instance, they can’t have a store policy that Friday is boxing day and it’s ok to hit other customers.
- I might remind you that a face mask is defined by the FDA as a medical device. No store manager can prescribe a medical device; and even if a doctor did, it is the patient’s choice to follow. Also, you seem to have forgotten that on page 29 paragraph 3 in the California COVID-19 Playbook that “an employee is to avoid approaching a member of the public who is not wearing a mask – and cannot be harassed”. Also, concealing ones face is illegal in many states while committing a crime including California. It is a crime by trampling on our rights. Plus it should not be necessary to have an exemption because being human, we have a right to breathe!
- Under DEPRIVATION OF RIGHTS UNDER COLOR OF LAW TITLE 18, U.S.C., SECTION 242 ( https://www.justice.gov/crt/deprivation-rights-under-color-law) it is a crime for a person acting under color of any law to willfully deprive a person of a right or privilege protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States. No emergency, governor or mayor or anyone can impede or trample on our right to life. I want to stay alive and I want to keep breathing. No one has any authority over my body – no one –it is my personal property. And there will be no authority for any governor or legislative body that will make a law over our natural right to life. I do not have to comply because it is not lawful.
- You apparently did not watch the entire video as it ended in a positive manner: the manager allowed us to shop; and he asked my permission to give my two educational handouts to his boss!
In closing, let me share two of my favorite quotes: “If you don’t know your rights, you have no rights”; and “Liberty belongs to those who have the courage to keep it”. And lastly, a quote from Henry David Thoreau: “Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves”.
Based on the above, I believe a recant of your 11/03/20 announcement would be most appropriate as it was an obvious overreaction and completely uncalled for.
Simi Valley Resident 21 years
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal.