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Hilbert Morales  Publisher

Hilbert Morales
Publisher

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Once again the Hispanic community has found itself ‘on the menu’.Recently the Laureate Education Inc. officials stopped future student enrollment at NHU. Now NHU announced the adjustment to a curriculum which includes a charter school and a teacher training program. Many of your kids are needing access to “a four year university education”. Where are the concerned voices of those impacted? The NHU lost an opportunity to convert the entire community into stakeholders to support its university program.

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Also, recently MACSA lost its IRS non-profit status and had not informed its supporters. How could this be allowed to happen? Where is a ‘current public status report’ on MACSA operating budget? MACSA has done good things like setting up affordable housing for retirees and the MACSA’s Youth Center which addresses the needs of at-risk youth. The local community needs to hear from its present board about the planned disposition of these two programs. If MACSA is not capable, what steps are being taken to ensure that these two programs are transferred to local competent nonprofit organizations such as CTC. CET. Somos Mayfair or Sacred Heart Community Center? Where is the public voiced concern of the local stakeholders? The price being paid might have been mitigated by ‘public disclosure’ of its cost of operation, allowing each member of the community to contribute to a supportive fund.
The same sort of thing happened at the San Jose Chapter of the American GI Forum which lost ownership of an $8.4 million facility built by volunteer Latino skilled construction labor and their supportive enterprises. And let’s not forget that $100,000 was misappropriated by trustees of a local scholarship foundation. Where was the voiced outrage?

You can bet your life that Cesar would not have kept so silent nor been so stoic after learning about these situations. How many of you would have gone on a ‘hunger-strike’ to reinforce DOING WHAT IS RIGHT AND APPROPRIATE FOR ALL OF US? WHERE IS YOUR VOICED CONCERN?

WHERE WAS YOUR VOTE? Recently, a special election was held to elect a Supervisor for District 3, County of Santa Clara. Only ONE IN FIVE registered Latinos voted. Realize that your elected represen-tative, Cindy Chavez, through her presence and voice ensures that an appropriate level of resources is allocated to meet the County’s jurisdictional responsibilities. The County is responsible for the reasonable allocation of some $4.6 billion every year. If your community does not elect an effective, responsible and accountable
representative to be at the negotiation table, be assured you will be ”on the menu”. People of color already are…just look at the disproportionate level of Latinos in jails and prisons today using the current system of enforced ‘Justice, Law and Order’ ,which must be examined and adjusted to become a renewed system which is fair to all. Equal protection under the law is an American ideal.

The Latino community must change its traditional habit of distancing itself from these issues. Cesar would tell you to become factually informed, involved, engaged, and committed. Existing leadership must do what is right for all of us by keeping us fully informed with facts. And we must begin at the local level with jobs, education and community safety.

Cesar’s “Si se Puede’ must be accompanied by ‘Juntos hacemos mas con exito.” (Yes, we can” and together we can do more, successfully’). Required changes need your involvement. With your involvement, concerns, and commitment , these things could go from being a ‘dream’ to becoming a reality. When the community is fully informed and its civic organization’s operations are fully transparent, wrongful events such as those mentioned above will diminish.

Since 1986 EO has been an information distribution service which factually informs all about local civic issues, concerns and priorities. We all live in a community where things happen and will continue to happen. With good information dissemination, all can do something about those things. Cesar’s life is the example of using non-violent civic disobedience and factual information to correct the low wages, unsafe working environments, and other farmworker labor issues extant at that time. Today, we must deal with a gridlocked U.S. Congress; advocate for comprehensive immigration reform; deal with growing wealth distribution disparities, access to job training and responsible pension reforms. These are some of the challenges of our time. If our leaders are not at the negotiation tables as decision- makers, then we will be ‘on the menu’.

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© 2011 news el observador ·A weekly newspaper serving Latinos in the San Francisco Bay Area
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