August 19, 2005

The Public Forum . . . El Foro Público

National City Puppets

The National City Mayor Inzunza has a handful of puppets. Ron Morrison you are so right in stating that. Some of us are keeping our eyes open not on San Diego but in our own National City Council. It is also apparent that these council members are painting with the same brush. Mr. Natividad should know that when people make jokes about improper spending and accepting campaign contributions from tribes, there is truth behind those jokes. Ms. Zarate, if the voters reject a one cent a tax increase to help with the funding deficits in our state and cities, will that mean that the board and mayor will do their part and reduce their pay by 20 percent? Frank Parra says that he wants what is the best interest for the city and it’s residents. Is that why the city is slamming residents with their eminent domain? They are kicking us in the butt and sending residents flying like golf ball. They are kicking residents out and not offering affordable, let alone alternative housing for them in return. The city council needs to spend more time thinking about taking people’s property. Is it in the best interest of its citizens? Or is it in the best interest of the Mayor and the council?

The same goes for the increase in taxes. We are already paying more than any other state or our cost of living. House prices are ridiculous. Our gasoline is the highest in the nation. Because we live in a town that rarely has to use its energy on heating and air conditioning, we pay higher amounts than cities that use their air conditioners practically year around. We pay more all around on cost of living and now they want us to pay more on sale tax in order to make up for the incompetence in our city halls and state capitals. Personally I need this penny that is being asked for. I need if for my rising cost in my medical and dental. I need it in order to buy my food. Small business cannot afford this increase. It would hurt small business also.

I believe we need to get smarter as voters and elect a new mayor and council people for our city. Our current officials are not working for us and they are definitely not working with us. They have a development plan for the city and need help in financing it. What exactly is their plan? When asked questions about it they have yet to give a straight answer. They have failed to give an answer that justifies what they are doing with this eminent domains.

We should stick together and say no to the one-cent tax increase. We are going to need this money to help pay for our own living expenses.

¿Quienes van a ser los oficiales locales que nos van a ayudar cuando ya no tengamos asistencia para nuestra salud y ya no tengamos Medical?

Sino pa Kaya ang local na Politico na tutulong sa atin kong wala na tayong medical?

Diane Salinas
National City

English Learners Failing

Say What? Today’s release of scores from the 2004 - 2005 California Standards Tests reveals that less than 1 in 8 English Learners reach a proficient level of English. “These scores should not be interpreted to mean that English Learners have failed. In reality, it is the system that has failed the students. The reading reforms in Sacramento have consistently ignored the needs of students who come to school speaking a language other than English,” says Shelly Spiegel-Coleman, president of Californians Together. It is not California’s education system, which is reeling under the mass of immigrant students, that has failed the English Learners. It is the officials at all levels who refuse to acknowledge that immigration laws are also education laws, and lobby Congress for meaningful relief measures. As long as massive unrestrained legal and illegal immigration continues at historically unprecedented rates, we will continue to fail ALL of our students, the low-income child first, foremost, and most devastatingly. The growth of the tutoring industry - $4 billion per year - demonstrates that parents with money or other resources can mitigate for poor schooling. But poor parents can’t. The failure that Ms. Spiegel-Coleman so easily relegates to our school system, and by extension to all Californians, is caused by corrupt government in two nations who treat illegal immigration as a political football that enriches their elite corporate pals, and the low income in our nation are the losers. There is a reason why César Chávez fought illegal immigration. It has destroyed the very benefits he fought to win for migrant workers, as he knew it would. Ditto for our school system. Naming a school after César Chávez, while cringing away from speaking plainly and forcefully about the unbearable stress that illegal immigration places on our schools, is nothing short of criminal neglect.

Barbara Vickroy

Losing part of Memorial Park for parking!

ln case you are interested, this morning they have put up the fence in preparation to tear out the section of dedicated parkland at Memorial Park for the parking lot for the new public library. It breaks my heart. What precious little park land we have in this community is about to be sacrificed to build a parking lot, for one of Ralph Inzunza’s most ill-conceived projects.

I can’t tell you how many parents have called me and said, “Mrs. Lopez, they are tearing down our school,” with such pain and anger in their voice. And now, the park. What an injustice.

Kathy Lopez
San Diego

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