March 8, 2002

The Public Forum ... El Foro Publico

Orale Jefito!!

Maybe you will give a little support to someone in the PGOP. Oh, that's the new name of the California Republican Party if Riordan doesn't win the primary. All those ultra white wing conservatives who just love bashing Mexicans. If we don't do right by nominating Riodan on Tuesday we will forever be known by Latinos as the Pinche Grand Old Party!! Maybe we can do good by recruiting a real leader to lead California..........

Vicente Fox for Governor 2006!!!

Henry Palma
Pinche California Republican Party

(The following, abridged, letter was sent to the San Diego Unified School District in response to a letter presented by Parents of the King community "King Elementary Alleges Discrimination," reprinted in La Prensa San Diego on 3/1/2002)

Focus School Discrimination Letter

I received a ... letter from a group calling itself Concerned Parents and Members of the King Community (CPMKC). ... [T]he issues raised in the letter merit reply; particularly due the fact that anonymous letters within SDCS are becoming quite common given the current "climate of fear and suspicion among school staffs."

The issues raised in the letter by the CPMKC are not new ... Additionaly, other groups ... have brought similar concerns of equity, accountability, engagement, collaboration, and implementation to the attention of the Superintendent, the Chancellor, and the Board. However, it has been our experience that little, if anything, has been done, or is being done, to address these issues. In fact, we believe that there does not exist even a sincere attempt by the District leadership, or Board "majority," to engage or rectify reoccurring "problems" such as these.

The San Diego County Latino Coalition on Education (SDCLC), a coalition comprised of many prominent Latino organizations throughout San Diego County, for example, has echoed similar sentiments and has felt equally shunned by the SDCS Superintendent and Board majority in their attempt to find solutions to the academic problems plaguing our Latino students and communities within SDCS.

Since the implementation of the "Blueprint," CABE, along with the SDCLC has been very concerned about its negative educational impact on students and communities of color, particularly those who are non-English fluent. Specifically, we have seen a dramatic decrease in the number of administrators of color (both at the district offices and the sites), a disrespectful and hostile relationship between the district office and its schools and the parent communities they "serve" (particularly Latino and African-American communities), a lack of resources, training, and respect for biliteracy teachers, parents, and students, and a disproportionate number of students of color being retained and or tracked into low achieving and remedial classes.

We at the GSD-CABE take very seriously concerns of this nature, particularly when they are brought to our attention. We support the initiative brought forward by this group and understand their fear in dealing with SDCS; hence their anonymity. We are particularly concerned that issues such as these continue to emerge in SDCS, despite the constant outcry for educational justice by many local educational advocates and organizations.

Therefore, we as concerned educators, taxpayers, and U.S. citizens, ask that the Board of Education and the Superintendent of SDCS, address the issues raised in this letter. The current attitude of the District leadership must change. The District administration must quit ignoring concerns of this nature and accept responsibility for the alleged discriminatory practices that are becoming prevalent in SDCS -whether by intent or unintentional. ...

We at the Greater San Diego CABE will continue monitoring this situation as well as continue advocating for sound educational policies and practices for our students. We hope that we can count on SDCS to do likewise.

Greater San Diego CABE
Edward M. Olivos


Recall Effort in San Ysidro

It was extremely disappointing to find out that the recall effort is on, and ironically, before the labor contracts are signed. The recall organizer failed to provide their name because of fear of retaliation. What that person should be fearing is that the community finds out that they do not reside in San Ysidro and are merely carpetbaggers.

The intent of the recall is to continue with the circus environment in which we have had to co-exist for the last two years. Education in San Ysidro is in a stalemate. Recall organizers cite their reason: they were disrespected at board meetings. The truth is that board members sat through the threats and virtual mooing like cow antics that took place, along with heckling and mocking a board member's speech impediment. The meetings were absolutely disgusting and filled with hate. I did everything I could to avoid these meetings because every rule was violated in Robert's Rule of Order by many in the crowd.

A recall is not warranted just because of contentious and difficult labor negotiations. Labor negotiations with school districts are not pleasant, and whoever takes on this task should be up for the experience.

A recall is not warranted because it is costly and a continued impediment in teaching the students of San Ysidro. New residents are beginning to move out of the school district because of the chaos and dissension that exists in the schools. If people seriously want to forge ahead in this recall, they have to have the wherewithal to at least indicate who they are and not hide behind the innocent children's educational lives.

Lorraine Staffiero Ramirez
Vice President/Jr. Past President
California School Employee's Association, Chapter 154.

Blaming the Homeless Victim

"Innovative Program Helping the Homeless" (Published 2/28/02) is very misleading in the facts that abound before our very eyes. First, to label a human being as homeless, when the word is an adjective used as a noun, is a symbol of our lost humanity. No doubt there are over 20,000 homeless persons in San Diego County. Forty percent of them are Vets, and many of them hold medals. One third of them are women, and the City of San Diego has the dubious distinction of having the largest population of homeless children in America, (Statistically, in the year 2000.)

On my street corner on 7th Avenue, there is a homeless woman who has been homeless for the past decade. Thousands of San Diegans have passed her by, as if she were an object.

Moreover, in North County, there are thousands of undocumented Mexican workers, who live on par with third world peoples living in undescribable hovels.

Moreover, ... in San Diego... many children live on par with the eternal homeless peoples. Who can imagine in our beloved America, with a ten trillon dollar GNP, that our innocent, homeless children will grow up never knowing what a home is like.

The City of San Diego is the ONLY American city not to have its own Department of Health and Welfare. Thereby, hundreds of millons of dollars: state and federal that is rightly ours, will never be given to us.

We are witnessing, THE WEAKEST LINK: Mayor Murphy and the City Council, whom are disconnected from their own humanity, and the abject failure to undertake a housing/social program that will save lives. In progress, our Compassion-less Conservatives are blaming the victims.

April 1, 2002, Tent City will come down in our city. The revolving door of involuntary homelessness will once again descend upon us. For the County and City of San Diego to have in place a long term program to reverse involuntary homelessness, is in order.

I have just returned from L.A. where entire streets are Tent Cities nightly. Is this our future also?

Dr. Art Salzberg
San Diego

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