I attended the Merced City Council meeting on June 6, and learned much about Esperanza – a homeless housing project. I was skeptical before the meeting because I knew little about the owner and the intentions. After hearing testimony and seeing the statistics from both sides, I became a believer in this project and the good it can bring.
However, even though an overwhelming majority of people spoke in favor – people of color, people who are homeless or have homeless relatives – councilmembers Josh Pedrozo, Mike Murphy, Tony Dosetti, Kevin Blake and Mayor Stan Thurston all betrayed these people by denying this project. Instead, they were concerned that changing the zoning in the area could hurt Merced – even though the current building hasn’t been occupied in years and is an atrocity.
Councilmember Pedrozo foolishly suggested that if we built this for the homeless, they might not even show up – this after multiple people close to the homeless populations testified in favor of the project. Rest assured, the great people of Merced will not forget the short-sighted and self-serving acts of councilmembers Pedrozo, Murphy, Dosetti, Blake and Mayor Thurston.
Anthony Martinez, Merced