Another successful Hispanic Advisory Committee meeting

– Press release from the Mammoth Lakes Police Department

On Thursday, November 20, the eighth semi-annual Town Hall meeting sponsored by the Mammoth Lakes Hispanic Advisory Committee was held at the Grand Sierra Lodge.


Approximately 50 community members attended and heard presentations from representatives of Community Services Solutions who provided information on obtaining medical coverage, the Mono County Department of Behavioral Health on services they provide, Wild Iris on domestic violence counseling services and foster, Mammoth Lakes Housing about services, and the DMV.  Jose Melara, the Office Manager of the Lancaster DMV Office provided information on AB 60 which takes effect on January 1.  AB 60 will allow undocumented persons the ability to obtain driving privileges so long as they meet specific criteria.

The series of Town Hall meetings have been well received by the community.  The goal of the Hispanic Advisory Committee is to educate the public and improve understanding and communication between law enforcement and the community.

Special thanks go to the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area for making the Emerald Room at the Grand Sierra Lodge available and the following restaurants who provided food for the participants:  Subway, Von’s, Dominos, Lakanuki, Twomeys, Gomez’s, Smokeyard, Salsas, and Goodlife.



31 Responses to Another successful Hispanic Advisory Committee meeting

  1. Tony Cumia December 1, 2014 at 9:11 am #

    Post 911, employers have to ask the prospective employee of proof of citizen ship or work papers…..Its not up to the employer to determine if the papers are fake or real…usually in a year or 2 the employer will receive a letter stating the illegal status and then we have to let them go. Its happened to my business 3-5 times post 911.

  2. Rick O'Brien November 30, 2014 at 4:01 am #

    Pickles…compared to the living conditions of their home countries, most illegal immigrants DO consider this the land of riches and MOST of them I would imagine, are not disappointed.

  3. Mitch Green November 29, 2014 at 10:33 pm #

    Gerardo- You sound like an American hating, self righteous union leader just wanting to rant about “holy” undocumented workers. I know a very qualified teacher with 15 years experience that could not get a teaching job in Mammoth because she didn’t speak Spanish. I think the “undocumented workers(kids)” took a job away from her. Two positions were open, but only to bi-lingual candidates. This is just one example of the unequal opportunities beginning for US citizens.

    • Wayne Deja December 1, 2014 at 3:57 pm #

      Mitch Green….I read a good quote the other day for those that are against immigration,cause let’s face it…in most cases THAT is what most of the angry people see it as,not so much if it’s legal or illegal immigration…..The quote said “This is the way it is now,like it or not…..either get on board.. or get run over,the choice is yours “.

  4. Mr. Pickles November 29, 2014 at 2:10 pm #

    Once our country is done exploiting central americans, we will just move on to another group. It’s been happening for hundreds of years. The chinese built our railroads. The black slaves worked the plantations.The one percenters thrive on cheap labor while our immigrants are lured in with the promise of riches. Some of these immigrants do real well but most just fade away.

    • Trouble November 30, 2014 at 1:22 am #

      Mr. Pickle, the Indians were actually the first ones that were in slaved be our founding fathers. Don’t tell any one.

    • Mark November 30, 2014 at 8:28 am #

      I feel this is true. And exactly what businesses within TOML are doing. These employers hire illegals because they can pay them less then someone here legally. These employers are in fact exploiting these people.

      Had employers been cited and fined for their illegal employment practices illegal immigrants would not be lured here. And those here legally might be making a few dollars more.

      It is absolutely the lack of law enforcement that has created this situation.

  5. Mark November 28, 2014 at 5:34 am #

    This would be a better Country if all law enforcement would quit catering to illegals, do their job, and arrested those here illegally.

    • Trouble November 28, 2014 at 9:13 pm #

      Mark, I don’t think local police are really allowed to enforce immigration laws.

      • Mark December 1, 2014 at 11:06 am #

        At the most basic level, county sheriffs are the ones tasked with the implementation of whatever federal or state laws are passed,

    • Charles O. Jones November 29, 2014 at 8:07 am #

      Would that include arresting all the local contractors, business owners and home owners who willingly hire undocumented workers? After all, the ones providing the work are just as “illegal” as those doing the work.

      • Mark November 29, 2014 at 3:15 pm #

        Absolutely. That is exactly where it should start.

  6. Trouble November 26, 2014 at 10:22 pm #

    i think the top one percent in this country is laughing all the way to the bank at us all, `once again! But what do I know?

    P.s. I’m getting tired of having to check this I’m” not a spammer” thingy!

  7. Eastside Bum November 26, 2014 at 8:08 pm #

    Chief Watson; wasn’t the Hispanic Advisory Committee created years ago in response to “certain issues” which came up from particular individuals? Also, did it come about because Mammoth’s demographics changed so radically during the 2000s? If a committee had to be formed in order to educate a certain populace about our laws, don’t you find this out of context with the way most regular folks already respect our law enforcement?

    • Dan Watson November 28, 2014 at 3:27 pm #

      Bum – The Hispanic Advisory Committee was created in late 2010 after I arrived as Police Chief. A couple of my officers told me that there was a disconnect between the Police Department and the Hispanic community, especially with undocumented persons. As in a lot of immigrant communities, there was distrust in law enforcement, rumors ran rampant, and people were reluctant to report crime or be a witness. I identified a number of key stakeholders in the community and we organized the Hispanic Advisory Committee and quickly determined that we could improve trust and communication by hosting Town Hall meetings where speakers would provide information of interest and value to the community. In addition to speakers, the Sheriff and I would answer any and all questions in an effort to better explain law enforcement’s role.

      Our first Town Hall was in the Spring of 2011 and we’ve conducted eight to date. A variety of speakers have presented information including services provided by government and private organizations, and information about laws that specifically impact the immigrant community. The courts, District Attorney, DMV, and ICE have all made presentations.

      It is the opinion of the members of the community that we are achieving success in building a bridge of trust and communication with this portion of our residents.

      I don’t know what “certain issues” you are speaking of and I wasn’t here before 2010. I don’t know how quickly the demographics of the Town changed. I’m not sure what you are asking in your last question. One of our objectives is for everyone to respect law enforcement.

      • Trouble November 28, 2014 at 9:11 pm #

        Chief Watson, I wish all law enforcement had the same mentality and ability to communicate as you. if it’s true your moving on, I wish ya the best!

  8. Charles O. Jones November 26, 2014 at 7:50 pm #

    Spanish was the language California. Then the English speaking people immigrated here.

    • Trouble November 28, 2014 at 8:26 am #

      Tell a indian that Christopher Columbus discovered America and watch their reaction.

  9. Wayne Deja November 25, 2014 at 6:42 pm #

    Blaze….And how do you know that ?…Do you take it upon yourself to ask them,or just assume ?….Do they volunteer their immigration status to you when you ask or demand? And is that before or after you go off on some righteous speech telling them to learn English or better English…

  10. Blaze November 25, 2014 at 12:21 am #

    Too many “undocumented persons ” in Mammoth Lakes. Learn English and we can all attend the event together.

    • Gerardo November 25, 2014 at 5:25 pm #

      Listen up, Blaze -The three meals you put away each day were cultivated, harvested, packed and loaded by a workforce that is vastly – if not mostly – made up of undocumented workers. American agriculture and food packers can’t find enough U.S. born, fair-skinned folks like you to do the work as well, as fast, for as long hours and as little pay as they do it. Fact is, Blaze, you and many others would starve if by some miracle all undocumented workers in this country were deported. Next time you stuff your face, keep in mind that the food was more than likely picked or packed by undocumented workers.

      • KJ November 26, 2014 at 2:07 am #

        Gerardo- I don’t think he said anything about hating a specific race. I think he merely stated that he doesn’t like that fact that immigrants want to come here but don’t learn or care much to learn the native language. What do you think the French would say if i tried to assimilate their culture and tried to not speak french….i think they would say something along the lines of learn it or leave. I believe most countries would say that. Mexico, Germany, France, Spain, Brazil, China, Japan….they all don’t accommodate others as much as america does in regards to their national language. I personally love the labor force that goes into providing the food i eat. What i don’t like is having someone from another country tell me that they have no desire to learn the common language used when they want to live here and obtain the same rights and luxuries as someone i would call my neighbor.

        • Gerardo November 26, 2014 at 3:57 pm #

          Hello, KJ –
          I did not accuse anyone of hating a specific race – please review what I said – but I did suggest that the comments made by “Blaze” showed a depreciation of people’s labor and its importance to our economy. And what I said applies to our local economy, as well. If all undocumented workers in Mammoth Lakes were to leave, the town’s – not to mention the larger area’s – economy would go belly-up overnight. That’s not rhetoric, that’s just fact. Cruise around town and make comparative observations of the work crews you see doing outdoor labor. Look at the difference in performance, speed, diligence between those crews that are likely undocumented (i.e.: from south of the border), and those that clearly are not. My comments may offend some, and I am sorry about this, but fact is, many of us born here have forgotten what it is to really labor physically. Go around and observe those in the hotel and restaurant work-sites, as well – do you for a moment believe that all the Mejicanos cooking in the kitchens and cleaning up after guests in the lodges actually “stole” those jobs from U.S. born, English-speakers??!!… No, they are there because it is harder and harder for employersto find people in the latter group who will get down and knock out the work when the rush is on, without worrying about getting their next break, etc.
          And regarding the notion that they don’t want to speak English… At the ML library (one of my regular jobs), I often field questions from immigrants who are looking for ESL classes, when they can spare the time from working two jobs and keeping a home for their kids. Many of those who don’t have time for ESL classes, come in to the library with their kids, to check out books for them. -Peace.

          • KJ November 27, 2014 at 12:19 am #

            I don’t understand how that rant you just made relates to the topic and argument that other guy said. It sounds like you want to voice your opinion about what appears to be your passionate feelings rather than keep to the topic of him immigrants speaking english in order to communicate with one another. I really don’t know where you’re coming from with the rant on us born people not being hard working with physical labor. I respect you rants and wants to support what you believe in, but this conversation has turned into a racial issue that i do not want to be apart of.

          • Ken Warner November 27, 2014 at 11:20 am #

            Gerardo: Our society has become dependent on immigrant labor. It’s like a drug. A cheap fix. The average white guy used to do those jobs. I was one of them for a while. But it’s gotten impossible for most to justify working those jobs simply because more and more work is expected for less and less money. A good article about the agricultural worker:


            Documenting the plight of American agricultural workers has been something of a Thanksgiving tradition ever since 1960, when CBS first aired “Harvest of Shame,” a special report featuring the legendary newscaster Edward R. Murrow.

            “One farmer looked at this and said, ‘We used to own our slaves. Now we just rent them,’” Murrow said at the beginning of the report, over scenes of migrant laborers headed to work.

        • Gerardo November 30, 2014 at 8:44 pm #

          Hello again, KJ –
          You are the one who keeps mentioning race. I haven’t once mentioned race or accused anyone of racism. My comments are not a rant – you should look up the word rant and learn its meaning before you use it. What I have said are principled responses that directly address topics you and another individual have raised. I have responded to your statements claiming certain people don’t try to learn English, because I have observed evidence to the contrary; and I have responded to someone else’s prior comment that there are “too many undocumented persons” in Mammoth. Both those opinions, I believe, display a gross lack of appreciation for the immigrants without whose labor the Mammoth Lakes economy would be in very serious trouble. This is called discussion, KJ, not a rant. A rant is a wild, threatening, bombastic stream of words. I wish you happy holidays.

      • Ken Warner November 26, 2014 at 10:11 am #

        Gerardo: What you say is true. And it’s not right to exploit the desperation of the people who are exploited.

        It didn’t use to be so. Up until the factory farm concept became standard, many white Americans were the backbone of the agriculture industry. They were displaced by immigrant labor — both legal and illegal who work as economic slaves.

        And it won’t be too very long before they will be displaced by robots who will work continuously for nothing except an initial capital investment.

        There’s no going back….

    • Pedro November 26, 2014 at 2:05 am #

      Yeah Blaze, I have trouble understanding those ski intstructors from New Zealand and Australia too. You’d think they could speak English like us by now.

  11. Dan Watson November 24, 2014 at 11:45 pm #

    Good question KJ. No tax dollars are involved. The meeting room is donated by Mammoth Mountain Ski Area and the food provided is donated by local restaurants. The members of the committee that put these meetings together are also all community volunteers. The Town of Mammoth Lakes is full of “special interest groups.” They include the Chamber of Commerce, Mammoth Neighborhoods Group, service clubs, churches, and others that are organized for a specific causes. The Town Hall meetings are open to the public. The meetings are advertised in advanced. I recommend you attend the next one that will be held in the Spring and see what it’s all about.

  12. KJ November 24, 2014 at 8:16 pm #

    I really hope mine and other’s tax dollars aren’t going to a special interest group with a race helping goal oriented agenda. If there are tax dollars paying for this committee then i ask when is ok to favor a person’s skin color to receive help from tax dollars. Shouldn’t we have a Mammoth residents advisory committee, or a Bishop Advisory Committee? Don’t these types of committees promote a segregation of skin color in it self? Why is it that if i wanted to start a Caucasian Advisory Committee it would be considered racist. When can we start treating people like they should be treated as they should be; as people not a race.


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