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Voice: Voter project representative was just answering a question

March 24, 2002

In 1952 both sets of my grandparents attended citizenship classes and registered to vote on the Eastside of Brawley. These programs were sponsored by the Community Services Organization, which was directed by Cesar Chavez.

The CSO was listed as a "subversive movement" by the infamous House Committee of Un-American Activities. What can be more patriotic than to become a citizen and to exercise your right to vote?

Now, 50 years later, a paranoid El Centro high school teacher and a reactionary Calexico eye doctor see the efforts of the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project as anti-Americanism. It's no wonder why many Mexicans think that only white monolinguals can be "American."

I didn't want to write this letter. I feel that an administrator, faculty or a student of San Diego State University IN Calexico should come to the defense of their student body president. Also a Mexican candidate of the recent election for which this voter registration drive was meant to benefit could aid this fine young lady who deserves a bright future for herself and family.

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It is my understanding that the young woman in question, while giving her pitch to convince high school students to register to vote, was asked by a student in Spanish "Por que bedemos de votar?" so she answered in Spanish (duh!) by giving the example of the 1998 anti-bilingual initiative Proposition 227 as for the importance of voting and what are the consequences when you don't vote.

Using that example was not in violation of SWVREP's neutrality because the issue was moot and not on the March 5 ballot.

DANIEL SANTILLAN

IVSWREP coordinator

Calexico

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