June 9, 2006

The Public Forum . . . El Foro Publico

8th District Council Race Results Disappointing

I was disappointed by the results of Tuesday’s election in the 8th district. I’ve known Remy Bermudez for many years. She is a dedicated, creative person with a common-sense vision of the way things can work. I know her goal is to serve the local community well, not to lay the foundation for a political career. She would be an excellent Council member.

Remy’s main challenge was overcoming her lack of visibility. San Diego voters are especially prone to favor incumbents over challengers. They often prefer the known over the unknown, even when, as they have repeatedly demonstrated in some districts, the known candidate is questionably evil while the unknown alternative is unquestionably good.

That’s not to denigrate Remy’s opponents. Rather, it is to encourage Remy to persevere. As people get to know her and recognize her name, I am confident they’ll realize that this formerly unknown good is actually a known good.

Whatever happens, I know Remy will continue to stand up for what she believes in. I applaud her for that, and I will support her again the next time she decides to run.

Robert Goodman
San Diego

To the Chicano/Latino activist community

It has now been 32 hours since the polls closed and no one, especially the media, has seen or spoken with Juan Vargas the loser in the 51st Congressional race against the winner and long time community activist Bob Filner. It sure would be nice to hear Juan’s perspective on why he failed to win the congressional seat that encompasses large portions of south San Diego and Imperial counties.

Perhaps he could enlighten us “activists” and old dinosaurs, relics of the past, as he has called us, on his version of the new politics for our community. Too bad he is all of a sudden out of the picture and incommunicado because his view might be of interest to some. His latest image of being una baba de perico is unfortunate.

For all I know, he might still be standing on the street corner in San Diego’s downtown Broadway Street waiting for the next Latino Immigrant Rights Marcha to come along so that he can wave adios to them like he did on April 9. As all of the Latino world in San Diego knows, he did not join the marchers in their demand for justice even when Bob Filner asked him to join him and the more than 50,000 marchers walk down Broadway Street.

On the other hand, he might still be in the valley being chauffeured around in a limousine or idiotically walking the streets and alleys como perro perdido in Calexico wearing a dark suit and tie in a 113 degree heat wondering why Calexicans and others del Valle kept staring and laughing at him. No wonder my mother-in-law, a resident of Calexico for over 50 years, kept asking me “quien es ese loco con el suit prieto en tanto calor?”

If you see him, please let him know that we are anxiously holding our breath to hear from him. Por favor Dios mio don’t tell us that La Llorona has taken him. Take care.

Gus Chavez
Chula Vista

The Aftermath of Prop. D

National City voters (after defeating Prop B) seven short months ago have now approved the same tax measure Proposition D, the 8.75% sales tax increase by 637 votes, out of 3935 total votes. That margin resulted from a ridiculous 25% voter turn out of 15,202 registered voters. Prop B was defeated in 2005 by 3076 No votes against 2313 Yes votes 5389 vote total. This by no stretch of the political imagination a mandate for NC’s politicians, their policies, or for them continuing to ignore the city employee’s pension deficit.

In fact after 2 elections (Prop B & D) proponents of a sales tax increase will claim victory, but the real question is what has been won by the citizens and residents of NC? Fewer voters (2286) voted Yes on D which passed in 2006 than voted Yes on B (2313) which failed in 2005. So clearly there is less support to a tax increase now than there was 7 months ago. I would consider that a statistical dead heat! To tax increase opponents the issue has yet to be settled in a decisive manner. It would be a foolish mistake for the NC Council and candidates for the November election to consider this a mandate for their contrived lack of leadership, fiscal irresponsibility and ignoring the will of the people and residents of NC.

Scare tactics that public safety would be cut back were made by National City’s politicians, tax proponents and city’s public employees, most who do not reside in NC. Those along with the low voter turn out resulted in the passage of Prop D by only one out of 4 registered voters.

Politicians and city employees that before they claim victory. They should be careful what they wish for, because they just might get it and not like it. The jury is still out if Prop D will resolve the city’s deficit because it has yet to be determined if, shoppers from outside of NC will shop in the poorest city of SD County, with the highest crime rate, and the highest possible sales tax in California, residents of NC will shop in NC, especially for high price items?

The reality isthat if shoppers do not buy in National City, the city could have the highest sales tax, decreased business and continued fiscal deficits until they address the following:

• NC Mayor and City Council renegotiate the pension agreement with city employee unions and demand that employees and politicians who presently pay zero and who can retire at 30 years service with 90% of their salary pay into their pension as most workers in this country presently do,

• NC scales back its redevelopment area, which presently encompasses ¾ of National City and drains millions of dollars annually from the general fund,

• The City Council and candidates running in the November elections demand that Mayor Nick Inzunza resigns immediately, and that incumbent council members be voted out of office.

Herman Baca, President
Committee on Chicano Rights
National City

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