Sounds good on paper

radio talk show host, “Uncommon Sense Radio” and newspaper publisher for the North Sacramento Union

State Senator Deborah Ortiz, “The Queen of False Hope,” is at it again. In a supposed effort to help hundreds of Sacramento area residents from being unfairly evicted from the homes they rent from a Japanese real estate investor, Ortiz is offering up legislation which would require the landlord to give the residents until December 2003 to move out. Additionally, he would not be allowed to raise rents more than 3.9 percent during that time. Sounds good, huh?

Well, this is the latest in a series of bills proposed by Senator Ortiz which were supposed to help constituents in need, but did little more than get her name in the paper.

First, she puts forth a bill to compensate the 1986 flood victims of Strawberry Manor, whose homes the state intentionally flooded. Then she passes legislation to support the current reorganization effort of the Grant School District. Under her bill, students from one of the two newly created districts could transfer to a school in the other and receive transportation to and from that school. And now this bill. So what am I complaining about?

Let’s start with the flood victims. Only a fraction of the homeowners in Strawberry Manor were included in the bill. She left out hundreds of residents many of whom were homeowners. Deborah knew, or should have known, that they were not included and did absolutely nothing about it.

The bill to help the reorganization effort also falls terribly short of the mark. It makes students who wish to transfer schools fourth or fifth on a priority list that only has six priorities, thus not making it a real option. This makes the current reorganization plan exactly like the one proposed 10 years ago, which was shot down by the courts because it created two racially segregated districts. This plan is sure to go the same way.

And as for her current PR venture, even she admits that it will have a hard time passing the constitutional test. That is, of course, if the Legislature buys it, which she also admits is unlikely.

Senator Ortiz, your quest for headlines is hurting people. I have no problem with you trying to help people in need, but stop offering false hopes. You have continually raised the hopes of desperate people only to let them down when the “Pie in the Sky” solutions you sell them fall tragically short of expectations.

I feel for the folks being evicted from their homes. But false hopes aren’t going to cut it. They don’t have time for pie in the sky. They need real solutions and they need them now.