LANCASTER — Lancaster Social Equity Commission Chairman Giovanni Christon-Pope treated speakers with respect at the commission’s Feb. 15 meeting as he asserted his authority in what was his second meeting as chairman.
Christon-Pope cordially reminded a speaker who directly addressed another member of the commission that the polite thing to do was to address the chair. He apologized first for not covering that under Robert’s Rules of Order.
“When we were speaking to the commission we do address the chair, that’s the first thing because it is disrespectful to refer to other members of this commission at this dais when there is a person that is leading this body,” Christon-Pope said at the meeting.
Christon-Pope, 20, is the one of the youngest persons to serve on a city commission.
“My leadership is not to yell and scream when people offend me,” he said. “I have been taught to just deal with it in the moment. We just try to think through things and resolve them. I wasn’t trying to step on anybody’s toes in any way. I just really wanted to make sure that people were being respectful.”
The Social Equity Commission got its start in the summer of 2020 amid nationwide protests over social justice issues following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody a few months earlier.
The commission’s purpose, according to a description, “shall be to cultivate and sustain diversity and inclusion through accountability and civilian oversight by fostering a fair and equitable justice system with transparency in all forms of government in the City of Lancaster.”
Christon-Pope is a charter member of the group. He was originally going to serve as an alternate member. He was appointed chairman when former chairman Shawntwayne Cannon left the group last year after he was named a deputy mayor.
The commission unanimously elected Christon-Pope to serve as chairman. Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris typically appoints the chairs.
“He is committed,” Parris said. “I’ve never seen him do anything that is dishonest or even weighted towards dishonest.”
Christon-Pope always tries to do the right thing, Parris said.
“He doesn’t cut corners,” he said. “He’s able to disagree with me about a lot of things, but he doesn’t personalize it.”
Parris added that Christon-Pope takes instruction well.
“Not that I tell him what to do, but I suggest to him better ways to accomplish things,” Parris said. He added Christon-Pope listens to the advice, though he doesn’t always follow it.
Christon-Pope said to judge him based on his ideas, not his age.
“These issues that we’re facing, they are going to take many, many people to solve them,” he said. “Also, I’m not ever trying to be the main voice of anything. I think that’s what people sometimes misinterpret a little bit when it comes to my age. … With this, I’m trying to improve young people’s representation because for so long young people have felt locked out of power and locked out of the ability to talk with people in power. I really wanted to make sure that that was unlocked for as many people as possible.”
He moved to the Antelope Valley in 2013. He moved to Lancaster a year later. He graduated from Highland High School in 2020. He also attended Lancaster and SOAR high schools.
“It was just about finding the right fit because eventually I realized that Highland had the leadership academy,” Christon-Pope said.
Christon-Pope was a student leader in high school. He serves as political director for March for Our Lives California. He credits his mother, a pastor, for inspiring his path.
“The root of Christianity is teaching us and reminding us to help others and to be kind to others and be a light unto others and to make sure that people understand that they are loved and accounted for,” he said. “When I see people that are disconnected from resources in some way or they aren’t being paid attention to by our leaders in power, that ignites a special passion in me that makes me just want to do something to advocate for them in the best way that I can.”
That could be advocating for legislation or working on campaigns or making sure that people who are running for political office are listening to the people they want to represent. Prior to the November 2018 midterm election, he recalled seeing a well-dressed crowd head into the John P. Eliopulos Hellenic Center for a debate between then Rep. Steve Knight and Katie Hill.
“I realized in that moment that all of those people were trying to serve the public, they were trying to serve us,” he said. “So, I was like, ‘OK, I could be one of those people too.’ ”
When the Black Lives Matter demonstrations boiled in the summer of 2020, Christon-Pope wanted to make sure that he was doing everything in his power to advocate for other people.
Christon-Pope is one of the first openly LGTBQ+ representatives to serve as a commissioner.
“In regards to my sexual orientation I just try to be the person that I was looking up at 14 to see if they existed,” he said.
Christon-Pope attends Antelope Valley College. He is studying political science. He hopes to work at a nonprofit organization or run for elected office. He ran for a seat on the AV College Board of Trustees in the November election. Incumbent Steve Buffalo won.
“What we saw at the college was there was an issue of people feeling represented, which I wanted to change,” he said. “Because if you’re unhappy with your representation, it makes quality of life pretty poor.”
He also wanted to fix communication issues and build connectedness.
“When I see that people are getting their power taken away from them or they’re disenfranchised I feel like it’s my responsibility to say something,” he said. “Whether or not it’s the right or wrong decision sometimes remains to be seen. But I am here for my people; I am here for young people; I am here for Black and brown people; I am here for my people.”
Never gets old....Never - Is Biden intentionally trying to take a wrecking ball to the economy?
Is this all part of some diabolical plan, the “great reset,” to end our system of free market capitalism and replace it with some form of big government socialism?
Biden keeps saying that he wants to be a historic president who will “transition” the country into a new worker’s paradise where no one uses fossil fuels or electricity or cars and equality is paramount, ahead of growth and prosperity. Is he taking us there with no regard for the collateral damage to America?
My belief is that, no, I don’t think this is an intentional, nefarious Dr. Evil-type plot.
But if this were a scheme to burn down the village in order to rebuild it, Biden and his administration are doing a great job of it.
Here are seven Biden administration steps to undermine an economy and a society from within. They will all sound familiar with the president’s policies since he took office, 21 months ago.
No. 1: Dismantle the nation’s energy supply.
We get 70% of our energy from fossil fuels. Biden has declared war on American oil and gas, making us more dependent on our enemies for our basic energy needs.
No. 2: Don’t enforce the border.
Biden is letting hundreds of thousands of potential criminals, terrorists, welfare recipients and enemies of the United States into our country through a porous southern border with Mexico. Immigration is good, but it must be orderly and regulated.
No. 3: Devalue the nation’s currency through inflation.
Inflation is up nearly 9% since Biden came into office. Inflation is a means to erode the value of a currency.
No. 4: Destroy the nation’s finances by running up the debt by multiple trillions of dollars.
No president in modern times has so recklessly pushed our nation into debt as rapidly as Biden through his $4 trillion in spending paid for with red ink.
No. 5: Divide rather than unite the nation.
Rich versus poor, black versus white, gay versus straight, rural versus urban. Biden promised unity. Instead, he pits groups against each other. This is the identity politics of the Left that is the opposite of “e pluribus unum.”
No. 6: Dumb down and indoctrinate our children with anti-American propaganda in the schools and media.
And allowing teachers unions and left-wing activists to take over the curriculum with anti-American propaganda. It is the opposite of nurturing patriotism and love of country.
No. 7: Decriminalize a lot.
Let criminals onto the streets. End bail. Empty the prisons. Let minor crimes go unpunished. Biden’s policies favor criminals over victims. It’s a scene out of a Batman movie.
Are these policies intentional or simply completely misguided? I don’t know. But does it matter? Either way, our country is in grave peril..
Please.....Lancaster Social Equity Commission Chairman...unless it is a "voluntary gig" we are being Extorted (IMHO)....Robbed by Grifters using White Guilt as a Tool, only to buy Mansions (BLM = Buying Large Mansions). Let's not Play that B.S. AV is home for many of those...that have not fled the State due to the Parasitical attempts of the Woke, to Ruin California. Now like a cancer the Woke Traitors seem to be setting up "substations" tentacles if you will. Keep a watchful eye on those with an agenda...they are liars, and Power Hungry Scum...Nothing more.... ""The Only Thing necessary for the Triumph of Evil is for Good Men to do Nothing""
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