Thursday, August 26, 2004
Portrait of Armenta Was Unfair
In your July 29 issue of the Weekly you ran a photo of my district supervisor, Fernando Armenta, which was embellished with a sombrero and a bag of money. The cartoon additions carry the implication of theft, an implication that is not appropriate to refer to legal campaign contributions.
Given the terrible legacy of distortion of Mexican history, and the present-day exploitation of low-paid Mexican labor to create the wealth of our county, this cartooning is not consistent with your paper’s usually high standards.
Some of the points in the article:
The office that Mr. Armenta occupies is the same office his predecessor used and another county official before that.
The money spent by Mr. Armenta on a re-election campaign when running unopposed is part of maintaining voter registration and community participation in a part of town that for decades was left out of the political process.
Before community leaders like the late Jesse G. Sanchez and Fernando Armenta worked to have the city and county divided into districts, therewere close to zero Hispanic elected representatives.
Mr. Armenta worked for years registering people to vote in east Salinas, going door to door to help with school bond elections and to support local progressive candidates. The candidates were not necessarily Hispanic, as former mayor Alan Styles can testify. Since there is a high percentage of renters in our district, with a corresponding mobility, Mr. Armenta goes door to door and educates our community with his campaign even if he is running without an opponent. This maintains voter registration and participation.
There is one very good reason to vote for more housing, and that is that the scarcity of available housing drives the prices too high for local people to buy homes. That is why there are so many renters in District One. Although I disagree with Mr. Armenta on his Granite cement quarry vote, his vote was in response to visits from poor residents of Chualar who wanted the quarry to be built.
Mr. Armenta’s door is open to any one who makes an appointment with him and he is one of the few full-time supervisors who is not running a business or holding another position at the same time.
MacGregor Eddy | Salinas
Weekly: Inconsistent Taste Enforcers
Just a quick thought… Your claim that the picture of the 30-week-old fetus picture in the national anti-abortion ad would “offend and inflame” your readers might have been more convincing if the issue in which the claim aired had not contained a comic strip featuring a man vomiting into a garbage can to the point where he could not hit on a scantily-clad, well-endowed female.
I’m trying to be open-minded, but the claim you were afraid of offending someone was ludicrous. If you’re going to be “free press” then do it—and don’t hide behind an appeal to decency substantiated only by the fact you don’t advertise escort services, while the word “shit” appears in a feature article.
Elaine Giuliano | Salinas
Kerry: Strong and Wise
At the Democratic Convention, former President Clinton said it well: “Strength and wisdom are not opposing values.” President Bush’s policies seem strong, but they are unwise. We can’t afford four more years of mistakes under the guise of strength. We need a president who will use strength and wisdom as guiding principles. John Kerry will be that president.
Eric Sustaita | Marina