By Gaetana Rohrer-Drake
On November 2nd, I sent an e-mail to our mayor and city council members. I asked why they are not enforcing the Stanislaus County mask mandate, which says masks should be worn indoors at all places of business regardless of vaccination status.
I received one answer, that was actually a non-answer. Mayor Sue Zwahlen responded, stating that she wears her mask everywhere (however her own social media pages have plenty of pics of her without a mask), and that the mask mandate is enforced at city council meetings (which very few people attend in person). That does nothing to protect us when we are out and about in this community. Since she is a former registered nurse, I truly don’t understand her lack of concern. Yes, she has publicly promoted vaccinations but she and the council remain silent on masks. Stanislaus County had 167 new cases of covid the week I sent this e-mail. The same week I sent my e-mail, Doctor’s Medical Center published a letter noting the uptick in cases and encouraging people to get vaccinated and wear masks. I don’t understand the city council’s inability to do the same. Businesses are spreading disease by allowing customers to shop without a mask. Schools are spreading diseases by not enforcing the mask mandate. People refusing to be vaccinated and/or wear a simple mask are spreading disease. I understand that some businesses are concerned about the danger an employee may face by asking a customer to wear a mask. However, if we had the backing of our city council and an enforcement policy in place, some businesses may be prompted to do the right thing. Sadly, here in Modesto, we have no such leadership.
The city council has the authority to require the police chief to enforce the mandate. Are you willing to quietly risk a potentially deadly disease due to the lack of backbone in our elected leaders? Willing to risk the health and/or life of your children? Your grandparents? Those among our community who have weakened immune systems? Because that’s what is happening to all of us right now, due to the apathy of our city council. It’s amazing how rapidly some of them went from being enthusiastic about doing what’s right for Modesto (during their campaigns) and now suddenly they don’t want to rock the boat if it will mean they risk not being re-elected.
As an example of how little they want to hear from the people they represent, at the last city council meeting, Mayor Zwahlen said “to avoid discussion, let’s just vote.”
So here are the names and e-mail addresses of all our city leaders. Please feel free to e-mail them and voice your opinion. E-mail all of them, not just the one who represents you. Or better yet, make your opinion known in person at a city council meeting. At least there the mask mandate is enforced and you will be safe! And even better than that? VOTE THEM ALL OUT!
Mayor Sue Zwahlen – Szwahlen@modestogov.com
Rosa Escutia-Braaton – Rescutiabraaton@modestogov.com – District 1
Tony Madrigal – Tmadrigal@modestogov.com – District 2
Chris Ricci – Cricci@modestogov.com – District 3
Bill Zoslocki – Bzoslocki@modestogov.com – District 4
Jenny Kenoyer – Jkenoyer@modestogov.com – District 5
Jay David Wright – Dwright@modestogov.com – District 6
Or you can reach them all with one e-mail addressed to Council@modestogov.com
Again, I have received only one response to my e-mails. It shows just how much our representatives care about communicating with us.
To the city council members…y’all need to grow a pair and be concerned for the people you represent and not your future re-election bid.