Voice: Rios is victim of political agenda, and Calexico City Council is to blame

August 11, 2001

Lupita Rios is a woman of great character with strong values, good work ethics and is Christ-centered. This sometimes conflict with politics.

Ms. Rios is an unsung heroine of the Hispanic community. Her parents followed the crops and she worked her way through college. Her career at the Calexico Housing Authority began in an entry-level position and through her preparedness and work excellence she became the director.

Let's summarize her tenure. She is one of a few Hispanic housing directors. Under her the leadership the Calexico Housing Authority has been nationally recognized by HUD for perfect audits the last four years, yet all they can say is she is not a people person.

Today, when asked what really is the problem, the only answer is Ms. Rios is not a people person. Are they saying that someone who cares and is committed to provide the people in Calexico good public housing and affordable homes in a safe environment is not a people person?


Are they saying that someone who is responsible for implementing a residents' self-sufficiency program, i.e., English as a second language, citizenship, computer training and has established partnership with the public and private sector to provide skills to the residents is not a people person?

Let's just be honest and make it perfectly clear this whole "mess" is not about job performance. The commissioners appointed by the council have launched a personal attack on the director with the sole purpose to "oust" her.

There is a saying that even Stevie Wonder can see that. I would expand it to include even Jose Feliciano and Helen Keller can see that.

Unless one has failed kindergarten, it is plain that the Housing Authority's saga of events are very well orchestrated. A handful of residents and a few commissioners have made a mockery of the city of Calexico, with support of the City Council.

Something is terribly wrong with this picture. The problem lies with the City Council. One thing we all learn in Politics 103 is when you appoint people, you generally appoint people who share similar or same beliefs. And like Judas, they can always wash their hands clean.

The commissioners are extensions of the council. The reality is you cannot separate the commissioners' actions and behavior from the City Council.

The great legends of Calexico Hispanic political activism, Grande Herrera, Willie Moreno, Luis Legapsi, Tayo Ibarra, Spud Moreno and Hector Burgos, just to name a few, believed in empowering the people, not misuse of power by manipulation of the people.

To the City Council I say let's be an example of how good, fair and just politics can work for the people, not for possible re-election of a few. To the silent majority, I say the vocal minority has spoken. Now its time for the majority to take a stand for what is just and correct, for the future of the Calexico Housing Authority is in your hands.

Bulldog forever:


El Centro

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