(La Prensa San Diego received a series of E-mails from the leadership of the “San Diego for Democracy” which hosted the DemocracyFest that was recently held at San Diego University, Aztec Center/Montezuma Hall. From our observations of the DemocracyFest, an Editorial was created by the Editor that addressed perceived short comings in the three Day Festival. The following E-mail was sent to our offices by the leadership of the DemocracyFest. La Prensa San Diego is sharing it with our readers along with our responses.)
E-Mail from Mr. Imes, Chairman
San Diego for Democracy
Mr. Munoz... I’m sorry that you feel DemocracyFest was inadequate at addressing Latino issues or whatever exactly the problem was. Would your paper be willing to entertain and publish a rebuttal/explanation of our line-up? I’d be happy to take the time to write one if you’d seriously consider publishing it.
You see, while I’m sympathetic to your point of view, I can’t say that I agree with your assessment or the manner in which you jump to certain conclusions. I don’t think you were fair to the event and I feel that your editorial was harsh and overly critical. I’d be happy to elaborate in a fair-minded, well written rebuttal, if you’d assure me that you would give it fair consideration for publication. I know I can’t expect such fair consideration from the Union-Tribune, but I’m hoping your paper is different. Just let me know how many words I have to work with. If we can’t get a fair shake from your paper, though, I have better things to do.
Charlie Imes, Chairman
San Diego for Democracy (www.sdfd.org)
DemocracyFest 2006 Host Committee
This letter from the Chairman of San Diego for Democracy is in response to our editorial on July 14 entitled: “DemocracyFest This Weekend, Billed As Progressive - We See It Another Way!”, in which we took them to task and held them accountable for their lack of Hispanic participation, for the abscense of a featured Hispanic speaker, and their lack of attention of issues in regards to the Hispanic community. We were particularly galled by the fact that the one and only Hispanic leadership group they had listed on the program was unknown and led by a non-Hispanic, obviously a front group.
We took to task this DemocracyFest billed as progressive, progressive meaning advocates social, political, or economic reform, looking toward the future, because we saw the weekend fest as non-progressive. How can you call yourself progressive when you limit the Hispanic community to a mere supporting role? At issue is not this singular event, but at the attitude towards the Hispanic community that has been pervasive throughout the whole Democratic Party. Take for example the last Democratic Presidential Convention, can you recall how many Hispanics were highlighted in this week long convention and afforded on-air television time in primetime. We do! Exactly zero - NADA!
This DemocracyFest was representative of what is wrong with the Democratic Party in general and how they incorporate the Hispanic community into non-meaningful irrelevant ways within the Party. Historically Hispanics had overwhelmingly supported the Democratic Party at election time. The Party took this support for granted and at the same time slowly but steadily drifted from the core beliefs of the Hispanic community. The results being that the more conservative Hispanic voter has started to vote Republican as witnessed by President Bush receiving 40% of the Hispanic vote. And more damming than that the remaining Hispanic voters have become ambivalent about politics and the Party and don’t vote!
Mr. Imes’ letter, reflects the disconnect between the Party and this Hispanic community. This disconnect can be found in the fact that Mr. Imes has never approached La Prensa San Diego to discuss the issues or find a way to work together. We doubt that Mr. Imes, with the exception of the July 14 edition, has spent much time reading Hispanic newspapers. If he had been a subscriber to La Prensa he would have then seen the editorial in a different light and would have realized that we were critical in an attempt to serve as a wake-up call to the Party and that it was time for them to be Progressive and reform the Party in a fashion that no longer takes the Hispanic Voter for granted but instead includes the community as an equal and as a decision maker. Until that time Hispanics will stay on the sidelines and the Party will continue to struggle to regain its prominence.
Daniel Muñoz, Editor
La Prensa San Diego.