April 11, 2003

The Public Forum … El Foro Publico

Good News 

A historical meeting took place at the City of Carlsbad offices. For the first time migrant farm worker advocates met with growers, city officials and others to plan long term (called “temporary” for political reasons) housing for 150 Carlsbad farm workers. The plan was initiated by Officer Keith Blackburn of the Carlsbad Police Dept., along with Carlsbad Housing officer Debra Fountain. But it is the direct outcome of grassroots organizing and protests from migrant farm worker advocates.

Thanks to the protests, the letters, the calls, and the political pressure of many people, a viable plan is taking shape.

Modular units will be developed and the project will be coordinated by Sue Reynolds and the staff of Community Housing Works of North County. It will be a pilot project that can be imitated at several sites throughout the state. Much work needs to be done, and further meetings are planned. The goal is to get this housing in place before the cold weather sets in this winter. Hopefully, farm workers themselves will participate in the planning of this project. Without their input, it cannot be a success.

Mark Day

Weber’s presence doesn’t reflect well

It’s interesting to me to read of Shirley Weber’s involvement (Commentary: SDCS Payment to “Facilitator” – $10,000. Published March 28, 2003) at Johnson Elementary School and the scandal of the unused textbooks. Dr. Weber is also a consultant at Hope Academy in Southeast San Diego, where I was a teacher, last year. I filed a complaint with the California Department of Education against Hope for warehousing for years many thousands of dollars of new books purchased with public funds.

I don’t know if Dr. Weber has any direct role in the non-use of these valuable educational resources at these schools. But her presence in both schools, unproductive and expensive, doesn’t reflect well on her or her service to the students at the schools.

Perhaps Dr. Weber will respond.

Bill Hoffine
San Diego

City schools and real participation

How can San Diego City Schools release a propaganda article at the end of March, inviting parents to participate in community meetings which were held in February and early March?  Surely you can understand, embedded in this article, the insincerity of the district administration.  If the administration wanted real parent/community participation, there would be an advisory committee to the Budget, established and ongoing.  NO ONE can attend a two-hour meeting, listen to an overview of a billion dollar proposal and then give intelligent suggestions or comments on future plans.

Hypocrisy?  Hell, yes.

Anne Shillam
San Diego

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