The interpretation by Dan Kimber of the events surrounding John Drayman (“A voice rising to Drayman's defense,” April 15) is reminiscent, to me, of the Town Center (Americana at Brand) discussion I had with friends I regard highly, yet with whom I disagreed.
In both cases, the differences of opinion were inversely proportional to the exposure each of us had to the data. The toughest part in keeping an objective evaluation also lies in our willingness to challenge the favorable predisposition we may have toward someone we like, especially when we have invested our trust, reputation, money or effort in that person.
Like Kimber, I befriended Drayman and supported him for many years, including his two candidacies in 2005 and 2007. But I followed almost weekly Drayman’s actions at the City Council, Housing Authority, Redevelopment Agency and the budget study sessions. The differences between his public pronouncements and the actions he took as councilman opened up slowly to me.
Try as I could to reconcile the differences, I could not disengage the mounting evidence before me that the man I had befriended and his record as a politician were significantly at odds.
The psychologist Leon Festinger, in his classic study of how we attempt to reconcile two conflicting opinions, labeled it cognitive dissonance.
To experience that dissonance directly, I’d like to invite Kimber to read the Glendale News-Press report in July 2008 on the Advanced Development & Investment Inc. Glendale City Lights project approval, and then watch on the city’s video stream the joint meeting of the Glendale City Council, Housing Authority and Redevelopment Agency. Since that event predates the federal investigation into ADI by more than two years, it might shake Kimber’s firm beliefs.
That is the challenge historians have for which Kimber, as a history teacher, would likely appreciate.
Glendale group is on the right PATH
Recently, your publication ran an article about the potential sale of property in the city of Glendale to the organization People Assisting The Homeless, PATH, to potentially be used as a housing option to military veterans (“Housing for homeless veterans pondered,” April 1).
I want to commend PATH Achieve and the city of Glendale for considering such a venture. Currently, California is home to nearly 2 million veterans, with an additional 30,000 new veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. With these numbers facing our state, it is almost a certainty that we will need affordable housing options for homeless or displaced veterans who are suffering from physical injuries or mental stressors, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
PATH Achieve has a long history of providing services to the general homeless population. What makes their operation different is their intensive programs that require accountability of those they are helping. PATH is now also working to expand their programs and services to our men and women who have served in our armed forces. I have seen their operation firsthand and can say they are committed to properly serving our veterans who need help.
What many other cities do not realize when working with nonprofits is that they are not all the same. Some take greater care of their facilities than others, and some enhance the city in which they reside by creating safe and clean living options that do not put a strain on local law enforcement or city resources. PATH is such an organization that not only has the best intentions, but also a great staff and operation that can help deliver a positive result to any project they undertake.
As a former city councilman in Oceanside, I worked through issues facing a city government dealing with homelessness. I can say from experience that the best work in this fight will be done at the local level.
I encourage the city of Glendale and concerned citizens to work with organizations like PATH in trying to find affordable solutions that work toward restoring the health and spirit of our nation’s veterans who have fallen on troubling times.
Rocky J. Chavez
Editor’s note: Chavez is acting secretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs.