This February voters in Santa Ana will have an opportunity to decide on a controversial ballot proposition that would extend the number of four year terms for city councilmembers from 2 to 3.Ã‚Â The proposition known as Measure D has brought together a small, but vocal, faction of voters led by Councilmember Michele Martinez.Ã‚Â
For Martinez and others like School Board Member John Palacio and local dentist Dr. Arturo Lomeli the fight is about what they see is bad public policy.Ã‚Â For others like Art Pedroza, Measure D gives them an opportunity to grandstand and stir up anger towards politicians they disagree with.Ã‚Â However, there is yet another faction of folks, the “usual suspects”,Ã‚Â that have long carried water for anti-Latino and anti-immigrants movements in our community.
The fact that these folks are involved in the efforts to defeat Measure D leads me to ask, is race a factor in their opposition to Measure D?
The results of the November 2006 elections led to Santa Ana becoming the first city in Orange County to have an all-Latino city council.Ã‚Â This definately did not make the “usual suspects” happy at all.Ã‚Â The thought of these Latino councilmembers getting another term does not sit well with these folks.Ã‚Â If Measure D passes the chances of an Anglo getting elected to the city council anytime soon become much slimmer.
Many of those working against Measure D were involved in the recall of School Board Member Nativo Lopez.Ã‚Â The efforts against Nativo were perhaps the worst demonstration of race baiting and bigotry ever seen in Santa Ana politics.Ã‚Â Among this group are folks that support the Minuteman Project, immigrant bashers Lupe Moreno and Rosie Avila and those thatÃ‚Â have continually sought to use code enforcement as a means to attack the immigrant community.Ã‚Â Measure D has now replaced vendor trucks at the top of their agenda.
When you hear folks condemning Measure D make sure you ask yourself “why”?Ã‚Â Is it because it is bad policy?Ã‚Â Is it because they always complain and grandstand?Ã‚Â Or is it something more sinister?
Leopards can’t change their spots and these folks just can’t change their ways.Ã‚Â The thought of a continuing all-Latino city council is something they just don’t want to see happen.Ã‚Â They will do anything in their power toÃ‚Â eliminate itÃ‚Â and today it is opposing Measure D.
There are many good folks with legitimate reasons opposing Measure D.Ã‚Â However their entire effort is tainted by those folks who have a long track record of Latino/immigrant bashing.