Hours after CA assembly takes action on ‘social distancing’, five assembly members have dinner at restaurant

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SACRAMENTO, CA – A group of California state assembly members recently decided to change the venue of where they planned to hold their respective swearing-in session, so as to better observe social distancing. 

Yet hours after said effort, five of the assembly members that attended (including one assembly member’s significant other) decided to go dining out together

The change of venue reportedly took place on December 7th, where California state assembly members opted to refrain from holding their swearing-in session at the state Capitol and held the session at the Golden 1 Center instead. 

Purportedly, this move was all in an effort to better observe social distancing, as the Golden 1 Center apparently affords more space for said practice to be better enabled. 

So, it’s rather peculiar that the state assembly members would go to said lengths to enable the aforementioned, only to have five state assembly members go dining out later that same day together. 

According to a report from the Sacramento Bee, four Democrats and an Independent (along with said Independent’s fiancée) at an eatery called Maydoon in Sacramento’s Midtown neighborhood. 

The local news outlet listed the assembly members at said restaurant as Adrin Nazarian, Chad Mayes and his fiancée, Tasha Boerner Horvath, Marc Levine and Chris Ward. 

From what was also noted about the dinner, is that the party had not all arrived together at the same time. 

Apparently Mayes admitted that he and his fiancée went to Maydoon to “kill time” before having to hop back onto their flight to their neck of the woods in California (Yucca Valley is nearly 500 miles south of Sacramento). 

But the other four assembly members decided to join their table after they’d arrived and were seated. 

What makes that aspect critical in this is that California state guidelines as of November 24th for restaurants operating says that any group dining at restaurants (be it indoors or outdoors) has to be present and seated all at once: 

“Limit the number of patrons at a single table to a household unit or patrons who have asked to be seated together. People in the same party seated at the same table do not have to be six feet apart. All members of the party must be present before seating and hosts must bring the entire party to the table at one time.”

So, outside of completely defeating the purpose of holding a socially distanced session hours earlier, this group of state assembly members also managed to violate the state guidelines relating to eating out. 

Marc Levine, after being confronted with the dining-out debacle, framed the group of assembly members as just trying to support “a local business”. As for Adrin Nazarian, he rhetorically asked critics “can we not have dinner?”

Rob Charles, who serves as Tasha Boerner Horvath’s chief of staff, claimed that the group were “following the protocols,” while dining at the restaurant and pointed out that they’d all “tested negative,” for the virus prior to eating. 

During a recent Organizational Session, Democrat Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon was asked about the group of assembly members dining out together, to which he replied with: 

“I would hope that every assembly member makes safe choices for themselves, their families, and their constituents. I would also hope they are mindful of the sacrifices Californians are making during this COVID pandemic.”

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Speaking of California, we at Law Enforcement Today recently reported on some of the practices that were going into effect in portions of the state with regard to businesses that may flout any pandemic mandates. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CA – According to officials, firefighters within the Silicon Valley area are going to be tasked with helping enforce business-related mandates for the next few days with regard to a surge in COVID-19 cases in California. 

While typically firefighters gravitate more towards code enforcements pertaining to capacity measures for businesses, they’ll also be aiding general enforcement relating to mandates such as no indoor dining and the ilk. 

Michael Balliet, director of Community and Business Engagement for the County of Santa Clara, stated that business owners have a “moral” obligation to comply with mandates – as well as a “legal” one: 

“Businesses have a legal, ethical, and moral obligation to protect their employees and the public.”

Firefighters will be afforded the discretion to contact local enforcement officials when spotting violations, which will result in immediate fines ranging from $250 to thousands of dollars. 

Balliet stated that with the pandemic levels rising within California, that the era of grace periods are over: 

“We’re now at a point where it is vital that we ensure accountability at every level.”

Meanwhile in L.A. County, therein lies the possibility of stay-at-home orders making a return – albeit, not to the extent they were enforced back in March reportedly. 

Dr. Christina Ghaly, health services director in Los Angeles County noted that 1 out of every 145 people within L.A. is potentially infectious to others – and discouraged Thanksgiving gatherings this year: 

“You have a 15-person gathering at a dinner table, then 1 in 10 of those tables could have … a person that is unknowingly infecting others.”

On November 24th, the state of California collectively saw over 18,000 new cases of COVID-19, which creates concerns that with this uptick, the healthcare system within the state could eventually become overwhelmed. 

Health officials from the state say that an estimated 12% of all positive cases of COVID could find themselves requiring hospital treatment at some point. 

Following the November 24th spike in cases, the state of California enacted an evening curfew the forbids non-essential work and many forms of gatherings throughout most of the state. 

Restaurants have also been barred from any form of indoor/in-person dining in L.A. County for a three-week period.

While these eateries can still provide delivery, takeout and curbside pick-up, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce said these restrictions will still affect roughly 700,000 restaurant employees: 

“These measures will be devastating to families as well as businesses so close to the holidays, and without relief in sight.”

Seeing that indoor dining has been kiboshed for three-weeks, employees who function as servers have been left out to dry, proverbially.

Jaime Taylor, a server at Spago in West Hollywood, is among those concerned about how to earn a living in the meantime: 

“I’m definitely scared…I’m by myself. I live alone. Spago was my main bread and butter. … It means a lot of uncertainty, a lot of questioning, trying to decide what you are going to spend your money on.”

Alexandra Kazarian is among the local attorneys who plan to fight the restrictions on businesses, remarking on plans to bring a legal battle against L.A. County and the Department of Public Health: 

“We are here to take this fight the courts to tell judges: if you are going to enforce arbitrary rules, you need to enforce them to the government before you enforce them on people that are actually trying to comply.”

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