Dr. Gene Dorio | Concern About Local Rhetoric

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

Most citizens do not attend Santa Clarita City Council meetings. 

Recently, derogatory remarks have been made against ethnic groups that I don’t feel are reflective of the true nature of most Santa Claritans. You can find online all past meetings from City Hall. Voicing your opinion has always been a sacred part of our society, and presently we see some countries around the world losing that voice. Consider looking at past meetings, and restart your efforts to guide our community in a humane direction. Losing the power to voice your opinion will not be felt until silence overwhelms you.

Here is what I said to the City Council on Feb. 22:

This is in response to public participation comments made at the last City Council meeting. I checked my DNA several years ago and was enlightened to find I come from three continents: Asia, Africa and Europe. I grew up in a Los Angeles neighborhood of color, and was welcomed to Santa Clarita 35 years ago establishing a medical practice. As you know, I became a whistleblower for better health care in our city and battled for the rights of seniors and the community. My parents were civil rights workers forced out of New York in the 1950s. My mother lives in Santa Clarita and recently celebrated her 100th birthday. Distributed to you is a photo of her wearing her Black Lives Matter shirt, raising her fist in the air.

I support the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, L.A. Police Department and funding the police. I am a member of the NAACP, League of Women Voters, recent past president of the L.A. County Commission for Older Adults, and serve on the California Senior Legislature. 

I’ve worked with former Mayors George Pedersen and Bob Kellar, and many of you, bringing better health to our community. 

Some of you don’t know, my wife Robin Clough is the great, great, great granddaughter of Hannah and Jacob Leverton. They were conductors and ran a station for the Underground Railroad known to guide Harriet Tubman northward multiple times. Robin has an historic and philosophic past. 

Many of my childhood friends from Los Angeles moved to Santa Clarita including Grace Elliot, who is a retired L.A. County deputy sheriff; Paul Felix, past pastor at The Master’s University, with daughter, Allyson, an Olympic multi-gold medalist; and my brother, Ray Dorio, who serves L.A. County as a hospice physician.

We, with Robin and my mother, were welcomed to Santa Clarita. We have all fought Cemex, struggled through a pandemic, built a new senior center, and brought better health care to the community. What if we weren’t welcomed here?

All of us come from different places in the world, and have varied backgrounds including, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation and opinions. We bring this to the table, whether it be a roundtable or square table. But we must diligently move forward treating each other with respect and dignity to provide our children and those in need, a better life in the future. This is who Santa Clarita is. 

Everyone should check their DNA. It might be enlightening.

Dr. Gene Dorio
Santa Clarita

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