By Gina Harden
SIMI VALLEY – Simi Valley resident Joe Piechowski served Councilwoman Ruth Luevanos legal notice of intent to recall during public comment at Monday night’s City Council meeting.
Information on the recall effort can be found at recallruth.com. The notice of recall is the first in an eight step process. If 10,999 valid signatures are gathered, the recall election would be approximately a year from now. Luevanos has been embroiled in controversy after posting an inflammatory video where she claimed, “the United States is in the business of running concentration camps” and “they’re asking them to drink out of toilets.” The outpouring of public comments from the previous council meeting continued last night with statements both in support of Luevanos as well as calls for censure and an apology.
Luevanos informed the public that she now has security at her home after multiple death threats to her and her family. The threats were uniformly condemned by her colleagues.
Luevanos was celebrated in the Latin community when she was elected less than a year ago.
Oxnard resident Frank Barajas, CSU Channel Islands Chicano studies professor offered his support, “We live in conquered territory. This was once Mexico. The United States of America invaded Mexico and conquered this territory. People of Mexican ancestry are indigenous of this land. We are not immigrants.”
Barajas encouraged the audience to study history so here’s a refresher course. In 1773 De Anza blazed a trail to CA from Mexico. DeAnza brought 240 people in 1775. The 1781 Yuma massacre cut off the trail so Spain couldn’t continue to colonize California. There were approximately 3000 Spaniards in CA.
John Sutter was given large land grants and when the Russians withdrew from Northern California in 1841, he bought their holdings for $30,000. Sutter helped many emigrants who entered CA.
Southern California was colonized by Spain from 1767-1821 and then under Mexican rule from 1821-1846. Under Mexican rule, CA was undevelo
ped, had no manufacturing, and lacked education. During the 24 year Mexican reign in CA, they issued 500 land grants of 50,000 acres.
February 1845, Mexican Governor Micheltorena was ousted from the California capital at Monterey. California became an independent Republic. Pio Pico was the new Governor and Los Angeles became the capital.
France, England, and the USA were interested in California. During the 1846 Mexican Junta, Californio officials discussed the future of California and independence from Mexico. The last Mexican Governor of CA, Pio Pico, wanted to live under a monarchy. He called for a “merry and thoughtless life, untroubled by politics.” Joseph Revere recorded how Pico lamented the “deplorable condition” of his country and oppression from Mexico. “Our people are poor, as well as few, and cannot well govern themselves…we live in the midst of plenty, we lay up nothing.” The Yankees were known for cultivating farms, vineyards, mills, lumber, and workshops; work Californians “neglect or despise,” according to Pico. General Vallejo, a native Californian, loyal to America said, “we are republicans…we shall not become subjects, but fellow-citizens, possessing all the rights of the people of the United States…”
In 1836 Texans drove out Mexican troops and won their independence. They joined the USA in 1845, but Mexico disputed the western boundary of Texas and sent troops across the Rio Grande killing American soldiers and prompting Congress to declare war May 12, 1846.
According to “An American History” by Dr. David Muzzey, Mexico owed $50 million to British capitalists in 1846. John Fremont’s memoirs reveal that the Mexican President gave Father McNamara permission to send 10,000 Irish colonists to Northern California with a 13.5 million acre land grant, but McNamara was too late. America was anxious to acquire California before Great Britain and July 7, 1846 the United States flag was raised in Monterey. A few days earlier, John Fremont was elected Governor of CA by the American settlers.
Mexico ceded California January 13, 1847. In September 1847, the US flag was raised in Mexico City. The war officially ended with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. “The United States agreed to pay the Mexican Republic $15 million and Alta California became a part of the territory of the United States.” (“The Making of American California” Dimmick) California became the 31st State in 1850.