February 11, 2000
75th Assembly District Incumbent Charlene Zettel represents the Republican Party's new image of compassionate conservative.
By Daniel L. Muñoz
Reeling from the drubbing of George
W. Bush, given by the New Hampshire voters, the Republican National
Committee lost no time in coming to California. It will be here
that who(m) the Republican candidate for President of the United
States will be determined.
Unfortunately, the Republican Party has a very tarnished image among minorities, in particular the Mexican American Latino community. The albatross around the Republican neck is former California Governor, Pete Wilson, who carried a racist, biased campaign against the Mexican people of this state, in particular and of the nation. By their failure to stop or blunt Wilson's divisive attacks, the Republican establishment of California did not cover themselves with glory. The large Mexican American/Latino population abandoned him in droves and nearly disappeared from the Republican register.
For Roxana Fox, the chair of the Republican Central Committee of San Diego County, the implications of losing the Hispanic vote, that Governor G.W. Bush desperately needs, were evident. She has begun courting the Latino-Mexican American politicos seeking answers to the very serious problems that confront the Republican Party of San Diego County. Not too many of the elected or appointed officials could, by any stretch of the imagination, be considered the "compassionate and caring type." The idea of the Republican Party being a "Big Tent" where-in, room could be found for minorities of color and stripe, did not resonate well with the `power brokers.'
The answer to some of the Republican's problems may perhaps lie in the person of Charlene Zettel, who is running to be re-elected in the 75th Assembly District.
Assemblywoman Zettel's full name is Charlene Gonzales Zettel, a full blood Mexican American! Her roots can be traced directly back to Mexico in just one generation to her mother who was born in Mexico City. At the age of six, her mother immigrated to the United States with Charlene's Grandmother. Her Father was born in Texas close to the border. His parents were both Mexican by birth and lived in the area which later came to be called Texas. It became part of the United States after the U.S.-Mexican War. In a sense they didn't move ... the border did! By the time Charlene's father was born, he was an American citizen.
Charlene was born in the East Los Angeles, an area that is still heavily populated by Mexican Americans. As a young lady she attended Catholic Parochial schools eventually ending up at the University of Southern California, where she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene.
Charlene Gonzales Zettel demonstrated her caring personality by her involvement in the community prior to running for elective office. She served two terms on the Poway Unified School District Board of Education. This board is responsible for 29 schools and over 31,000 students in the communities of Poway, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Peñasquitos, Carmel Mountain Ranch and Saber Springs. During her tenure on the school board, her fellow board members elected Charlene twice as Board President.
In addition to her experience in education, Charlene has extensive knowledge of the health care field, as a practicing dental hygienist for over 20 years. Charlene has first hand knowledge of the complex relationship between health care provider, patient and insurer. Added. To her experience in health issues is Charlene's business background where she has for 20 years owned and managed over 300 rental units.
Charlene and her husband, Dr. David Zettel, a successful Poway dentist, have lived in the Poway area for over 27 years. They have two children; Brent, a 21, a sophomore at Harvard and Jeff, 19, a senior at Poway High School.
Recently Charlene Gonzales Zettel was appointed by Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa as Vice Chair of the State Assembly Committee on Higher Education. This committee is the primary forum for all legislation concerning the University of California and California State University Systems and the Community College System.
This Friday, February 11, 2000, Assemblywoman Char-lene Gonzales Zettel has been selected by the Republican Party of speak at the Lincoln Day Dinner the topic: "Impact and Involvement." She will share the podium with the Republican National Committee Chairman Jim Nicholson.
Through the efforts of Assemblywoman Charlene Zettel and the Chairwoman of the San Diego Republican Party of San Diego, Roxana Fox, three members of the Republican Hispanic Caucus: Abel Maldonado of San Luis Obispo, Rod Pacheco of Riverside and Robert Pacheco of the City of Industry will add their voices to the chorus of those conservative Republicans who are now beginning to speak out, for their party to become more inclusive, rather than exclusive, more compassionate than divisive, more humane than indifferent.
(The Lincoln Day Dinner will be held at the Hilton San Diego Resort, 1775 E. Mission Bay Drive. VIP reception 7 p.m. Reception 7:30 p.m. Dinner 8 p.m. Call 1-858-573-0222 for reservations or pay at the door.)