February 1, 2002

The Public Forum ... El Foro Publico

An Open Letter

Assemblyman Gil Cedillo
Los Angeles, CA

RE: Event for Hermandad Mexicana Nacional of "Los Angeles" on Friday, February 1st, 2002 in Los Angeles

After receiving many calls of inquiry, it is with great concern that we write you this letter based on your sponsorship and support for an event by Her-mandad Mexicana Nacional of "Los Angeles" on Friday, November 16th, 2001 in Los Angeles.

It is truly unfortunate that we are forced to raise to a public level our serious differences and contention with the present leadership of HMN-"Los Angeles". Its composition is questionable and the manner in which it illegal usurped the control of the corporation was nothing less than an unbridled grab for power.

With the passing of Bert Corona, one of the principal modern founders of Hermandad Mexicana Nacional in 1976 (the others being Soledad and Socorro Alatorre) in January of this year, we repeatedly sought to prevent a split in the organization to no avail. There simply did not exist the political will. Family interest prevailed over community interest. However, you should know that the issue is yet to be definitively resolved.

The present legal status of the corporation - Hermandad Mexicana Nacional -, compliance with standard norms and procedures for nonprofit corporations, its present fiscal management, and other serious legal challenges continue to weigh heavily on the organization.

Our community deserves an honest accounting of the management of contracts and programs (past and present) fund-ed by the government. Our political supporters deserve a sincere explanation of the corporation's on-going legal challenges and investigations. The membership of HMN deserves a thorough accounting of monies received by the corporation, public review and inspection, and a final resolution of the serious deviation of rampant nepotism.

The honest resolution of these issues internally by the broad leadership of all chapters and its corresponding members of HMN has been made impossible due to the divisive and insidious interference and intervention by the Service Employees International Union in the person of Eliseo Medina, its Western Region Vice President, and his assistants, Ben Mon-terroso and Juan Jose Gutierrez. This union and its representatives have insidiously inserted themselves and repeatedly interfered in the internal affairs of our organization for their own ulterior motives and interest, and have systematically undermined our internal process. We will no longer permit this!

We call upon you to withdraw your support for this event and not muddy the cherished legacy of Bert Corona with falsity and self-interest. We call upon you to more closely examine the present circumstances of HMN, the pre-sent composition of its leadership, which was never elected, and its motivations.

We will no longer leave unchallenged the use of the corporation and its good name for purposes other than those subscribed in its founding mission: Advocate and defend the rights of Spanish-speaking workers and their families and seek their full integration into the mainstream of American life based on a complete recognition of their social, economic, political, and cultural contributions to the United States.

Soledad Alatorre and I work-ed with Bert Corona for between thirty-five and twenty-seven years, respectively, stemming from the days of MAPA and CASA (the late 1960s and early 1970s) and continued through the 1980s and 1990s to build the Hermandad Mexicana Nacional as a fighting instrument for immigrants, especially the undocumented. Other Hermandad leaders also have fifteen and twenty years of experience with the organization.

Let no one be fooled into believing that the prevailing internal dispute will remain in its present status for too much longer.

Nativo V. Lopez
National Co-Director

Soledad Alatorre
Director, San Fernando Valley

Racial Privacy Initiative Opposed by MAPA

The Mexican American Political Association of San Diego County (MAPA) has unanimously voted to oppose the Racial Privacy Initiative.

Susanna Valencia, President of MAPA of San Diego County said, "We are appalled that John Moores, a public servant appointed to the University of California Board of Trustees to serve the educational needs of all of California's most diverse population in the USA would open his home to raise money for the Racial Privacy Initiative Proposition." This proposition is aimed to further create barriers to retard the advancement of minorities such as Latinos which soon will become a majority of the student body in many California's schools. Ed Valencia, MAPA member said, "The Racial Privacy Initiative will motivated us to register more Latino voters in San Diego if this initiative qualifies for the November election."

MAPA is a statewide nonpartisan political organization organized to promote the issues of the Latino community by endorsing those who will support the concerns of the Latino community . MAPA intends to register new voters, raise funds, walk precincts and work on get out the vote efforts to support its endorsed candidates.

Submitted by
Ed Valenica

Bush Demonstrates Leadership Skills

In my humble opinion, President Bush has demonstrated all of the necessary skills it takes to be the president of this great nation. After 9/11, the president wasted no time in making those responsible run for their lives.

We may never catch them, but every time the terrorists walk out of their house, they will always look both ways. Concerning the economy, the President had two choices to make with the surplus, keep the money and invest, or give the money back to the people who worked hard to earn it.

He made the right decision. In every decision he has made, he has used both his heart and his head. He has never compromised his morals for worldly gain. Mr. Bush has won public suppport because the public finally sees the type of leader he really is.

Jeffery Beeman
via e-mail

State Needs Parity When Comes to Health Care

"Gov. Davis Balances State Budget On Our Backs" (Jan 25, 2002) by Dr. Grisolia, is a medical imperative and a wake up call for all San Diegans. Our present state of medical health in the County of San Diego is that we are unequals in California.

The County of San Diego GCP is $90 billion per year, with a population under 3,00,000. Therefore, the County of San Diego is one of the wealthiest in California. Moreover, we are more than our fair share to the revenues to Gov. Davis. However, our revenue from the State as it pertains to our medical health, is a travesty: albeit, S.F. receives more than 400% than we do, per person, for their medical needs. L.A. receives 700% more than we do per person.

Therefore, this is out of order and its in order that we receive parity for medical needs that are growing by leaps and bounds.

Dr. Art Salzberg
San Diego

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