October 6, 2000

El Grupo Sin Nombre Host North County Candidates Forum

VISTA - North County candidates for state and local office will hold a forum to discuss Latino issues. The forum will take place at Mira Costa College in Oceanside Saturday, Oct. 7 from 2-5 p.m. The event will be co-sponsored by El Grupo Sin Nombre, The North County Latinas Association, and the Mira Costa College Chapter of MEChA.

At the forum, there will be a social hour for the public to meet candidates and an area for candidates to set up information booths. There will also be a state representatives forum where candidates will answer questions from moderators on issues like education, job opportunities and public safety.

Local candidates will also be invited to participate in break out sessions to meet potential voters in their cities or districts to answer question from the public starting at 2:30. A state candidate forum will begin at 3:30. All candidates will be invited to participate in the event.

Mica Estrada, vice president of the North County Latinas Association, will serve as moderator for the event.

The candidate forum was the brainchild of El Grupo Sin Nombre, whose Latino leadership, said the event would serve to highlight Latino issues in this election year. The event will also help Latino candidates present their platforms for leadership to their communities.

"This forum will provide an excellent opportunity for candidates to meet and provide their positions on important issues that impact upon our community" said Rocky Chavez, organizer of the event for El Grupo Sin Nombre. "Keep in mind, Latino issues are the same issues that impact upon all communities, including education, economy health care and others."

At the event there will also be voter registration forms available for eligible voters who are not yet registered. Representatives of the Southwestern Voter Registration Project will also be at the event to drum up support for the Latino voter registration effort.

With an increase in Latino voter turnout in recent elections, leaders in the North County agree that in this year's elections the Latino vote will be seen as crucial for the success of candidates' campaigns.

El Grupo Sin Nombre is a Latino leadership group that meets once a month to discuss Latino issues in the North County. El Grupo was founded by the late Vista council member and Latino activist Vince Andrade. Leaders who attend the group's meetings include school officials, law enforcement, business owners, city and civic leaders.

The next meeting of El Grupo will be held Monday, Oct. 23, 7 p.m. at Casa Linda Restaurant in Vista. For more information call (760) 725-6504.

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