October 6, 2006

The Public Forum . . . El Foro Público

In Response to: “The 2006 San Diego Women Film Festival Graces MOPA and the Centro Cultural (front page, Sept 29, 2006)”

As a woman filmmaker, I am troubled to hear that The San Diego Women In Film Foundation, a progressive advocacy organization, would cross a social justice picket line at the Centro Cultural de la Raza, which is upheld by many women artists and filmmakers. For several months community members tried to dialogue with the Centro’s new administration and were brutally barred from even entering the building.  Police were called to enforce the exclusion which culminated in the current administration’s decision to deny striking female Marriott workers access to the building for their organizing efforts. The community was outraged and the boycott was called. I firmly stand in solidarity with my fellow filmmakers, artists, activists and community leaders who will not be attending.

Sandra Peña-Sarmiento

Estimados Compañeros:

I was outraged at the racist, political vandalism of the finest newspaper in San Diego. Bound to be political also since you provide us with the best information and analysis we receive. My pensions are very small, but here is a donation to help financially, a little, and emotional and political support, much.

Over the many years, I have had such important information from you that I hate to think you will cease operation. Further, as you aged, you developed an understanding. As a member of the county central Committee of Peace and Freedom Party, I marched to force giving us the Barrio art space under the freeway. How the years fly.

Lamberto Halsema

In regards to the Housing Ordinance that passed in Escondido last night

Outside of the racism and prejudice that initiated this ordinance; I’m curious as to how the city of Escondido plans on implementing this Act. I’m also curious as to how the city council members managed to gain access to seats on the City Council without knowing the Federal Housing laws of the US, the laws they are asking business owners of Escondido to violate. The Fair Housing and Employment Act, was enacted to protect certain classes of our society from denial of housing and employment. “National Origin” is one of the protected classes. So how does the city plan on implementing this ACT without violating this federal law? This question has not been brought to the surface by any major media outlet. How are the citizens who make the reports to the city going to determine that their neighbors are “illegal,” by color, nationality, language? I heard a statistic on Channel 8 that stated that the population of Escondido is comprised of 52% Mexicanos. As a Property Manager in the city of San Diego, I know enforcing this ACT is illegal. I advise all business owners who are in the housing business to get on the California Government website and check out the Fair Housing laws. They may be able to keep their business until the Fair Housing Council gets to them. And the Business owners, and employees who participate in any way with the enforcement of this ACT can be sued as well. That mean two suits, one for the business and a personal suit for each employee involved in the enforcement of this law. Are the businesses and employees ready to lose all they’ve worked for to enact this law? I doubt it. How can the city of Escondido ask it’s business owners to break a federal law? I’m curious to see if when the first lawsuit is filed how much the city will have to pay, and if each of those City Council members will be sued as well? Federal Law supersedes state law, so what makes the City Council of Escondido think this ACT will hold any ground? Ignorance? Or maybe it’s just another way for them to get the crowds hyped before an election? And even though it won’t pass they can say they tried.

Mariajulia Urias

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