Date: February 10, 2007
To: Louise Ramirez, et al.
From: Lorraine Escobar
Copy: OCEN Tribal Members
Re: Your January 14, 2007 Memo Communication to “Ohlone Costanoan Esselen Nation Tribal Members”
Your proposed constitutional amendments not only make a mockery of the tribe’s constitutional principles, it disrespects the intelligence and heart of the tribe as a whole. With your latest communication, it is obvious you ignored the petition and missed the point of what this tribe really needs. (For a more detailed response on these issues, go to OCEN Chronicles website and see the page entitled as, “Barking Up the Wrong Tree.”) Instead of focusing on having a election, you whine of being misunderstood and misrepresented by a single tribal member. Mature, adult, professional people do not respond to being held to account by feigning victimhood such as you have in your self-serving speech. Such behavior is characteristic of bullying, is only exhibited by weak inadequate people and is thus tantamount to an admission of guilt.
You made innuendos that I am an “adversarial” tribal member that “misquotes” or “misunderstands” the council; I am co-founder of this tribe’s reorganization effort. If anyone understands the duties and obligations of the council, I do. Then you claim that “no documentation” was brought forward for any complaints; Nearly 100 pages of e-mails and minutes were posted on the Internet for the world to see. (See OCEN Chronicles website, “Supportive Evidence for List of Events.”) And, don’t waste time claiming you have not named me – we all know who you are talking about. Although many signed the petition, you single me out. This is so typical of bullying behavior. Do you think that killing the messenger will kill the message? Hardly.
Then you claim that you can only deal with issues brought forward. All of you know about the signed petition which was forwarded to the Conflict and Resolution Center of Monterey County. It called for a general council meeting or an election as required by the constitution. Clearly, your response proves the tribe’s voice falls on deaf ears. Instead of “listening,” you are ready to blame others or treat them with disrespect, such as:
1. Your mailing list for this communication left off many families, including mine. That action betrays a disregard for the principle of “equal protection” of the tribal laws. [OCEN Tribal Constitution, Article VIII, Section 2]. Even when I was working with Ex-Chair Rudy Rosales, every single tribal member, including the Thielman faction, was included in all mail-outs. Your claim of leadership for “the entire tribe” is a falsehood. So what are we to understand from this action? Should those same families expect disenrollment next?
2. Your claim to follow tribal laws is a disingenuous attempt to validate your illegitimate existence. Your letter stated: “Ms. Pamela Tanous, appointed Interim Secretary, resigned by email October 17, 2006 and stopped attending meetings. Therefore, after missing three (3) consecutive meetings without notice or reason, she was removed from the Tribal Council.” Clearly, Ms. Tanous gave “notice” and “reason” through her “resignation.” Your act of removal was nothing more than posturing which not only disrespects Ms. Tanous but makes a mockery of the council process.
3. Lastly, Al Rodiguez has contacted the Board for Certification of Genealogists to file a complaint against me. Clearly, this is a blatant attempt to discredit me. Again, this is what bullies do – posture and threaten. “People who can, do. People who cannot, bully.”
These actions have no resemblance to respectful interaction or responsible leadership. Unfortunately, thus far, you have given us no hope for anything different than we have already experienced since 1992.
For all of our sakes, do something different - Instead of staying your present course put the wheels in motion for another election. That is the right thing to do. The tribal constitution requires it. [OCEN Tribal Constitution, Article VII, Section 1.B. “If the vacancy occurs more than six (6) months before the next annual election, the Tribal Council shall call a special election to fill the vacancy for the unexpired term. Such election shall be held as soon as possible but within forty-five (45) days after the vacancy occurs.”] That forty-five day period started ticking before your October meeting in 2006. It is now February – the election is clearly overdue.