In just over a year in his position as the Santa Ana City Councilmember representing Ward 6 Sal Tinajero has manged to open city governement to our Spanish speaking residents.Ã‚Â Prior to Tinajero’s election the majority of Santa Ana’s residents who are Spanish speakers were essentially shut out of participating in and viewing Santa Ana City Council Meetings.Ã‚Â Thanks in most part to Tinajero’s efforts, this isn’t the case anymore.
Recognizing that the majority of Santa Ana residents are Spanish speakers, Tinajero proposed that the City of Santa Ana follow the SAUSD’s lead and offer live translation services at all city council meetings.Ã‚Â Tinajero convinced his colleagues to go along wth his plan and now translation from English to Spanish and Spanish to English in now available to all residents attending the city council meetings.
Prior to Tinajero’s program being put in place translation services were usually provided by Mayor Miguel Pulido.Ã‚Â The fact that Pulido was doing the translation sometimes led to some precarious situations.Ã‚Â When people were critical of the Mayor and his policies and the Mayor was responsible for offeringÃ‚Â translation, on occasion the speakers sentiment was shall we say, “lost in the translation”.Sal rectified this problem but he did not stop there.Ã‚Â Do to his efforts the city council meetings are now available on cable television in SAP.Ã‚Â That’s right, if you push the SAP button on your television while you are watching Santa Ana City Council meetings you will get the meeting in Spanish.Ã‚Â Last Monday’s meeting was the first one in which this service was available.
With so many of our residents being Spanish speakers it is important that they are able to participate in our city government.Ã‚Â Councilman Tinajero recognized that something needed to be done and he stepped up and addressed the issue.Ã‚Â The Spanish speaking residents in Santa Ana have long been ignored by our elected officials past and present, but not Tinajero.
Don’t be fooled by those who claim to be progressives and seek “open government”.Ã‚Â They have stood on the sidelines and never sought to help bring our Spanish speakers into the fold by making city government more open and user friendly for them.Ã‚Â I feel that this is the type of progress that is long overdue in Santa Ana and it likely would have never come to fruition without Sal’s efforts.
Tinajero’s actions in regards to helping Spanish speaking residents have not come without some detractors.Ã‚Â Measure D opponent and Michele Martinez ally George Collins has condemened Tinajero for only offering translation into Spanish.Ã‚Â He says there are hundreds of foreign languages and that Tinajero is discriminating against them by only pushing for Spanish translation services.
Don’t buy into this bogus argument.Ã‚Â Collins, a Republican, is simply acting as an agitator on the behalf of the “No on D”/Martinez cabal in an effort to downplay these accomplishments by Tinajero.Ã‚Â Collins has never once advocated for any type of translation services at city meetings in any language until Sal announced Spanish translation services.Ã‚Â
This is a step in the right direction in regards to opening government in Santa Ana.Ã‚Â Lets all hope that these efforts continue and soon both council meetings each month will be available in SAP.Ã‚Â But that issue isÃ‚Â until yet to be determined to the new ad hoc committee.