Saturday, October 26, 2013

A Word On Winning: Letter To My Boxers

Dear Boxers (especially Christian and Lyle),

We got our hours back.  Christian, you told me that the word at the local high school is that the boxing gym has a whole bunch of "cool" new equipment.  This is true.  It's also true we're now open Monday through Friday and on select Saturdays.  We've been fighting the good fight since June 19, 2013.  That's nearly four months, about a season.

Remember how we went up against the bitter and angry adversaries: Council Woman Marlen Garcia and her two amigos: Mayor Lozano and Mayor Pro Tem Raquel Garcia.  Then there was that whole management team - consisting of the City Manager, and the Chief of Police, the Director of Parks and Recreation.  Remember; when it all seemed so impossible?  The internal parks and recreation team laughed at us and bullied Coach Julian and Luis.  They did all this to us because we wanted more hours - hours we needed to have a sustainable program.

Lyle, you would've remembered the first Council Meetings.  And Christian, you would have remembered attending the fundraising event.  Michael and Erik and I think everyone remembers the lawsuit.  Let's not forget La Opinion, the largest Spanish paper in the United States, interviewing all of us.  I was amused that Roger came in the day after the paper was published, showing us that we were in it.  I smiled, thinking of course I knew.

But even now, the management grumbles we're going to cost the City $6,000 more than we should.  I find that grumbling incredible, given the fact that our primary adversary, Council Member Marlen Garcia, has cost our City $300,000 in legal fees because she violated the constitutional rights of two employees.

We will never get that money back.  It went to all the attorneys because she refuses to admit she's wrong.  And from her perspective, she doesn't have to because she's spending our money - not her own.  Can you imagine what $300,000 could do for us?  At the least, it could buy us 10 boxing programs or  20 coaches per year. 

Nonetheless, despite those in power, this letter is to remind you of what your courage achieved.  Many of the boxers were not the valedictorians of the school.  We weren't born of royal bloodlines.  Nor, were we were famous.  None of us are professional boxers.  No.  But, many of you: being only high school students, responded to the call of the fight.

Why? Because you knew it was right.  Because you knew it was evil that the public officials and management team were strangling our poor boxing club so they could get richer and us poorer.  Against all odds, without knowing if we'd win, we stood strong and fought back against those that would raze our boxing program to waste.

For many of you - this will be your first lesson in reaping a harvest sown with perseverance.  In short: you must endure.  You must deliver.  You must also learn to do so when victory is only a faraway glimpse: something you can barely see.  Many of you have been touched and flawed by the brokenness of an unspeakable and shameful past.  Have heart.  Your past is not what defines you.  For even the Holy Scriptures state, "God chose the weak things of this world to shame the strong. . ."  What defines you will be your ability to endure and deliver, even when the deck is stacked against you.

Alright - time for my long distance run.  Keep up the good fight.


Paul "The Boxing Lawyer" Cook.

PS: Also remember, our new hours are a start.  But we need to keep fighting for fair pay for our coaches and even more hours.  We need them to make tournament fighters.

PSS: Next post will be on the worst decision the Lozano-Garcia team has made for Baldwin Park.  Will it be trying to get rid of the police?  Stealing the Boys and Girls Club?  Hiring the worst Chief of Police and City Manager: Chief Hadsell and City Manager Singhal?  Will it be building a useless parking structure for several million dollars?  Stay tuned to find out.

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