There are so many issues that need our attention and should be foremost on our minds, the war in Iraq, the issues of immigration, the Peace movement, the Patriot Act, a bill that was signed last week with little fanfare but with lasting impact on our lives. Yet despite the significance and importance of these issues and many others they have become secondary when each morning we take a look at the local news and see that the Mayor of Chula Vista is skimming money from the city budget, the Mayor of National City is rewarding political cronies with sweetheart contracts, the ex-city manager of San Diego mysteriously losses 9,000 emails, and the congressional candidates in the 50th are all falling over themselves to extol their minuteman endorsements and certify their anti-Mexican credentials!
You can’t ignore the knot in the middle of your stomach as you try to wrap your mind around all that is happening within our cities and communities, and this is only the tip of the iceberg. All those other issues such as the war in Iraq, that is just too much to think about right now, while we struggle with the local issues, those that are affecting us most directly.
Is it no wonder there is a loss of faith in our government and in politics, we no longer know who or what to believe? Then there is the sinking, hapless feeling of; what can you do?
Fortunately politics is local, meaning that politicians have to come home to get elected and have to be accountable to the local community. This concept was uniquely demonstrated this past week by the South Bay Forum and their president Norma Cazares, when they held a public meeting and asked their County Supervisor, Greg Cox, to respond to the racist remarks made by Board Chairman, Bill Horn, in his State of the County speech. Horn’s speech was insulting and degrading to the Hispanic community and members of the South Bay Forum wanted answers from their County Representative.
La Prensa San Diego published a front page story on this meeting in today’s paper, a meeting that was well attended by the Hispanic community. Members in attendance expressed their outrage at these racist attacks by Bill Horn and put Supervisor Cox, as one person put it, through the coals.
This is just one example of what one person, one group can do. Community groups are present in Chula Vista, in National City, and are forming in the North County such as the chapter of LULAC. Government is for the people and by the people and the Hispanic community is rising to the occasion and holding its representatives accountable to this community. We as a community must continue to become involved with such groups as the South Bay Forum and LULAC and/or create more groups within our communities to ensure that our interests are represented and our political leadership is working in the best interest of our communities, from fiscal responsibility to ensuring that pot holes are filled.
Government doesn’t work in a vacuum it requires involvement, input, and work. To do less than this, well we have seen the results; just take a look at your local newspaper!