September 17, 2004

The Public Forum . . . El Foro Publico

Regarding Immigrant Day

When we are asked to reflect on the number of people who die while crossing illegally into our nation (referring to article published Sept., 10 “Immigrant Day”), I can’t get the picture out of my mind of the little 4-year-old boy who died in that Texas trailer along with 18 other human beings. But it is ironic that the Catholic church, whose opposition to modern birth control methods are a part of the reason for the desperate poverty that drives people into desperate measures, leads the Immigrant Day observations.

Hard as each of those deaths are, they are a fraction of those who die each day from auto accidents, medical mishaps, or drug-connected deaths. It is easy to blame the United States’ rapacious appetite for cheap labor, but does anyone put up crosses to commemorate those who died in Mexico last year from the neglect and corruption of their leaders? Are there any crosses for those who died as a result of the death-dealing drugs that are funneled through Mexico into our nation? A little 8-year-old girl, sitting at her kitchen table doing her homework is shot by drug-gangster’s random shots. The 4-year-old who suffocated his life away because of corrupt politicians in two countries consider his death just the cost of doing business. Ditto for the little 8-year-old, who bled her life away over her homework because the Most Powerful Nation In The World can’t or won’t stop the drug trade.

I’ve pointed my angry finger of blame at politicians, hypocritical churchmen, and greedy employers. But there is blame enough to go around. Each of us who remains silent or allows the argument to be sidetracked into a race-baiting boneyard. We also deserve to hear that little boy’s last gasps and the little girl’s cry for her Mommie, as we smugly label those who seek a solution to be racists. The little boy and the little girl were different races, but they are both dead, and neither set of parents needs a special day to observe their deaths. 

Barbara Vickroy

A Political Poem

Republicans want to overturn Roe v Wade

criminalize lesbians and Gays

stop Islam with a Christian crusade

institute in every classroom glory and praise.

Healthcare costs are on the rise

the axis of evil remains

social security say your goodbyes

dead or alive, we got Saddam Hussein.

Over 1000 U.S. troops dead

tax cuts that benefit the wealthy

our national debt deeper in the red

polluting our environment is unhealthy.

The NRA wants more Assault Weapons on the street

children are being left behind

Iraq is based on deceit

Americans need unity and peace of mind.

In 2000, Bush was not elected by the majority

he avoided Vietnam, got into Yale

on affirmative action Bush is the authority

Kerry Edwards must prevail.

Joseph Moreno
USMC Retired
San Diego

North County Women Honor Protest

Several months ago, a few of us nominated our friend and colleague Barbara Perrigo on the staff of the North County Times (NCT) newspaper as one of 10 “Women of Merit” the newspaper will honor this year.   

  We were pleased that Barbara was chosen out of scores of other women to receive this honor. Then came the rub. The venue NCT chose for the awards ceremony Sept, 18 was La Costa Country Club. The NCT and its publisher, Dick High, should have known better. La Costa has been locked into three-year a struggle between the hotel workers union (UNITE) and La Costa. Wages are low, the workers have lost their benefit packages, and they have a long list of other grievances. UNITE has called for a boycott of the event and has asked the 10 honorees not to attend. Moreover, the NCT has regularly reported on this labor dispute.  

  Thusfar, three women, Barbara Perrigo, Celia Landis and Gloria Martinez, have decided not to attend the event. Ecumenical Migrant Outreach congratulates them and calls upon the other women to follow suit.

At a recent meeting in the editorial offices of the NCT, several of us met with publisher Dick High. He sympathized with the La Costa workers, but remained adamant his refusal to change the venue of the awards ceremony. Rabbi Laurie Coskey of the Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice (ICWJ) said her group will bring “bitter herbs” to the NCT later this month as a protest. “The ICWJ stands firmly with the La Costa workers,” said Coskey. “Theirs is a just cause and the entire community should help them in their struggle.”

Mark Day
Ecumenical Migrant Outreach


Who is this guy running against Filner?

Lately I’ve noticed a lot of nasty things being written about Bob Filner. Who is this guy running against Mr. Filner and why is he trying to run in this particular district? Didn’t he run for state senate and lose? Didn’t he try something closer to home like the Coronado City Council and LOSE? Now he’s running here and he’s going to lose again; he needs to take his losing streak somewhere else and stop wasting the people’s time. What does a guy from Coronado know about San Ysidro or Chula Vista—nothing. He takes a lot of time to criticize Mr. Filner’s voting record but at least Filner has a voting record. I don’t agree with everything Mr. Filner does, but at least I know he puts his money where his mouth is. All we know about this other guy is that he has a mouth, and that he lives next to people with money.

I looked up Filner’s opponent’s website to try and understand him better only to find myself more frustrated. The man on the losing streak said he had represented businesses and professionals, probably the same people he’d represent on the long shot he gets elected. Where does that leave the Average Joe? Filner manages to get money for things like health centers and emergency rooms that not only make the community a better place but create jobs as well. Later Filner’s opponent complained that Mr. Filner doesn’t support free trade with Singapore and Chile. Singapore and Chile!?!? The last time I checked I wasn’t living in Singapore or Chile and what the heck does that have anything to do with Chula Vista, San Ysidro, or the Imperial Valley anyway??

Margie Hernandez

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