A Letter to President Trump
By Wayne Fishback
Editor’s Note: This letter was penned by Mr. Wayne Fishback. Mr. Fishback is an architect who has had projects constructed all over the world. An admirer of Buckminster Fuller, Fishback has always considered himself an environmentalist who works his buildings into a symbiotic harmony with the surrounding landscape. Unfortunately when Mr. Fishback purchased prime ranch property straddling Los Angeles and Ventura Counties with an eye to building his home he ran afoul of the powers that be. You can read about his travails in Fishback Mountain; The Most Beautiful “Illegal Dump” in the County. But never one to be defeated, a fighter and a decent man, Mr. Fishback has undertaken another quest. You can read his letter below.
Dear President Trump,
My name is Wayne Fishback, 72 years old, now living in Southern California with 400 acres of land in the “movie ranch” area of Chatsworth and Simi Valley. I was raised on a farm by a noted educator and school teacher before moving to Washington D.C. My professional background is architecture and urban planning with roots in agriculture and a love for all things urban.
My background has provided opportunities to work with inner-city friends and associates to demonstrate local food solutions and the synergies between urban and agricultural land uses. Our dream is to empower disadvantaged people, improve environmental conditions and expand the economy and jobs for all. I have accomplished similar philanthropic and pro bono efforts in Mississippi and I am convinced I can do so in California.
I was greatly inspired and encouraged by your Inauguration Speech, but concerned that your “new vision for governing our land” may be limited to governance at the federal level. The problems of governance are epidemic and extend to all levels of government. For example, California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom is opposed to the construction of the Border Wall. In a published interview, he stated how he would oppose the construction: “there are all kinds of obstructions as it relates to just getting zoning approval and getting building permits”.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s the Border Wall or some other politically unpopular project; Lt. Governor Newsom articulates how state and local government operates in California. Whether you’re the President of the United States, a wealthy person or the poorest of the poor, he describes the manipulation of laws to obstruct projects the Establishment doesn’t like and/or collect fees for unneeded permits by politicians and enforcement agents from Sacramento to local jurisdictions. Until corruption is exposed and reforms made, from top to bottom, our disadvantaged citizens will continue to suffer and our inner cities and infrastructure will continue to decay. To achieve your vision for the Nation will require your Department of Justice to establish a zero tolerance for waste, fraud and abuse that deprive our people at all levels of government.
Just like desegregating the schools in the South took federal intervention at the state and local levels, the same will be necessary in places like California where obstruction to rebuilding our cities are so extreme they are actual bans on what the people can do with their own property. These government tactics are unlawful and produce waste, fraud and abuse rather than opportunity and progress.
Prior to your Inauguration you tweeted Congressman Lewis “should finally focus on the burning and crime-infested inner cities of the U.S. I can use all the help I can get.” We know we can help you, but first we need your help and the DOJ’s intervention.
We are dedicated to self-reliance and do not seek any monetary assistance, but rather the removal of the government’s boot placed on the neck of its citizens, be it Mr. Newsom’s boot on you, the privileged and wealthy, or the poorest of the poor. Your focus of the nation’s challenges aligned the need to rebuild our inner cities and infrastructure. This has the potential to “get our people off welfare and back to work.” You promised that “we are transferring power from Washington, D.C., and giving it back to you, the American People.” You warned a “small group in our nation’s capital, has reaped the rewards of government, while we the people have borne the cost”. You promised, “the people will rule the nation again and everyone is listening”, so, Mr. President, please listen.
Your promises will not work if they are hijacked and obstructed by states and local jurisdictions. The only way to prevent this is to enforce the federal laws that are being broken.
Despite the challenges, the people and groups I am associated with, including Jim Brown’s Amer-I-Can, want to regenerate an economic engine for Los Angeles, CA. We believe this economic engine will exceed even the former aerospace industry that supported the world’s largest research and industrial complex for the Apollo and Space Shuttle Programs. We want to capitalize on existing LA assets, such as the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, SpaceX and world-class university research. In addition a unique component will be a proposed research park located on Native American land free of California’s burdensome regulations.
My interest as an architect and urban planner is getting things built. Your admonishment of “politicians that are all talk and no action” and “empty talk is over. Now arrives the hour of action” is music to my ears! However, much of California’s elite establishment are not so inclined. California’s governing elite has done everything possible to throw roadblock after roadblock in the way of economic progress.
Since you were elected, we have picked up where Amer-I-Can, a program you admire, leaves off. We have put into action what Amer-I-Can teaches by providing jobs to disadvantaged youth and people of color. Our activities, while embryonic, range from building a learning incubator and pocket park for after school STEM curriculum to restoring trails in honor of Clint Eastwood and other movie and T.V. legends who appeared on the trials in T.V. shows like Rawhide and movies like How the West Was Won. However, in both cases, government agents have challenged our right to build these projects designed to benefit the environment, economy, and equity (3 E’s) and in the end, are sustainable and regenerative.
Our learning incubator in the “Death Alley” area of Los Angeles, CA was stopped by a building inspector and contractors hauling construction material to our trail restoration project received notices of violation, including warnings of fines and imprisonment. The government’s actions are a combination of ignorance, political agenda and maliciousness under color of law. For property owners like me and my minority partners, who suffer (1) fake orders and violations, (2) strict liability law enforcement and (3) the court’s deference to government allegations and opinion (orders and violations) there are no Constitutional protections.
This construct is just as evil as segregation and a threat to everyone, not just minorities. President Trump, your Executive Branch of Government has the power and the obligation to investigate this injustice, pursuant to 18 USC Section 241, 242 and 245. In conjunction with this letter, I am requesting the Department of Justice to investigate the government’s waste, fraud and abuse as cited above to help us help you. If we are truly going to make government more responsive to the needs of the people we must stop the reckless and malicious activities by local government officials and allow the people to take charge of their lives to improve their local communities. We are not asking for money. We only want to be left alone to do the work needed to help all of our people.