Enterprise-Record (Chico)

Who has worked for the Jesus Center?

- — Patrick Newman, Chico

David Walton begins a letter: “The great Patrick Newman has told off Mark Stemen! Seriously folks, you have not been told off until Newman does it. Just ask anyone who has ever worked for the Jesus Center.”

That Walton can attest to my “greatness” suggests he’s paying attention. On the other hand, since I’ve written letters, spoken at council meetings, held forth on KZFR and button-holed anyone who would listen, often dwelling on who has “worked for the Jesus Center,” and who works there now, I’m a little mystified.

In service to an honest history, though a slave to redundancy: For eight years Bill

Such “worked for the Jesus Center.” Such built the center’s reputation as a hospitalit­y-oriented source of food, clothing, showers and genuine non-coercive support. I’ve praised Such many times as a director who exemplifie­d true Christian values.

Such was fired by a board stacked with business boosters who steered the center in a starkly less humane direction under Laura Cootsona —- now Amber Abney-Bass. The “old Jesus Center,” our only soup kitchen, was degraded, demolished and displaced by a reeducatio­n-regimen intake center, aligned with the social engineerin­g agenda of our propertied class, not the survival needs of the unhoused poor.

More Newmanesqu­e “telling off”: Perhaps mesmerized by grievance gold at the end of an identity rainbow, Chico’s “progressiv­es” and “advocates” were MIA on another human rights failure affecting the most oppressed class. Were this anything but a forfeit, our proto-fascists might be congratula­ted on a game well played.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States