July 14, 2006

Editorial:

DemocracyFest This Weekend, Billed As Progressive - We See It Another Way!

Unless, you are actively involved with the Democratic Party, you probably are not aware that there will be a weekend event at San Diego State University billed as the DemocracyFest, an event for Progressive Activist! You haven’t read about it, in the local daily paper, it goes against their Conservative leanings. And, if there has been mention of it on the local television news, then we missed it. La Prensa San Diego didn’t make any mention of this event until now!

Why haven’t we talked about this gathering of Democrats? The answer is simple: the DemocracyFest offers nothing for the Hispanic Community! As has been the habit of the Democratic Party, for some time now, they are taking Hispanics for granted! We have to assume that they believe that what is good for the Democratic Party must then assuredly be good for Hispanics. This is where they are wrong!

This DemocracyFest is headlined by Al Franken, Howard Dean, John Garamendi, Rep. Maxine Waters, Wahu Kaara of Kenya, Brad Friedman, etc, etc. etc.; I think you catch our drift. They do have listed as attendees: Enrique Morones, of the Border Angels, State Assemblyperson Lori Saldana, Laura Esquivel, former director of policy for the National Latino Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Organization, and Steven Ybarra, a Professor at Sacramento College. With the exception of Ms. Esquivel none of these Hispanics have a scheduled appearance or none that we can discern from their web site!

Of course, after their big Saturday night blow out, or as they like to call it, their Crown Jewel of the event the: “Demstock” Dinner and Concert, plus a “Saturday Night Beach Party,” on Sunday, when everybody is heading home, there is a “Forging the Future” presentation, featuring Latinos for America and Root Camp, which appears to be directed at the Black community. Funny thing about these two organizations, they are directed by the same man Ralph Miller (non-Hispanic nor Black) with the focus of the presentation on the nuts and bolts of precinct operations.

There is a passing note on Immigration which will be discussed during the weekend, which we assume Morones will be a part of! But, other than that, there is no accountability or acknowledgement of the Hispanic/Mexican-American Community! You would think that here in San Diego, on the Border of Mexico, that this would be a central theme!

This is what is wrong with the Democratic Party — They don’t take into account our Community! They don’t address our issues! They do nothing to empower, highlight, or make central our Community. All they want us to do is to learn how to walk precincts and register voters! Towards what political end? Of course in difference to the Hispanic community, they use patronizing terms like: “Buy the whole enchilada,” and put on a Mexican Fiesta dinner. And they wonder why Hispanics don’t come out and vote – what for? They don’t address our issues, they assume we revolve around the immigration debate; they don’t highlight nor have as main speakers, Chicanos/Hispanics! We are tired of being talked about and talked down to. We want to lead and develop a Party that has our interests at heart!

As long as the Democratic Party treats the Hispanic community as a step-child, this Community will continue to be disinterested and will continue to drift towards the Republican Party and/or continue to stay home on Election Day!

In our opinion, there is nothing progressive about this weekend’s Democracy-Fest! In fact, it is regressive back to the old days where they have just enough Hispanics hanging around to appear as if they care. Are there other political parties willing to step-up to the plate and seek the support and votes of Americas millions of Mexican-American VOTERS?

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