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Race Plays No Role in Santa Ana School Recall

September 29, 2002

Re "Bilingual Issue Drives Recall Battle," Sept. 15:

Once again Nativo Lopez is using the race card to discredit the recall effort against him. In an attempt to gain support from Latino voters, he asserts that the recall effort is being driven by affluent residents in north Santa Ana, who are trying to stop a school from being built in their neighborhood.

As one of the mothers who started the recall campaign, I can vouch that the recall effort has nothing to do with racism. It has everything to do with Lopez's failure as a school board member to responsibly use our resources to educate our children. The battle over the Griset School in north Santa Ana is just one of the many issues that the school board has bungled. Otherwise, 15,000 residents from every ethnic background, economic background and ZIP Code of Santa Ana wouldn't have readily signed the recall petition.

The hard-working parents of south Santa Ana have been waiting years for the new Manuel Esqueda School. We were promised if we voted for Measure C, our school would be the first one built. We have the need, the neighborhood support and the property to build this school. But three years after Measure C was passed, we still don't have our school.

Yet on the north end of town, where the neighborhood doesn't want it, and where the property required seizure by eminent domain, the school board pushes forward with a fast-track program to build the Griset School. It is painfully obvious that Lopez looks at the Griset School as his "trophy" in north Santa Ana, meanwhile ignoring and discriminating against the kids and parents of south Santa Ana whom he feigns to protect.

Veronica Gonzalez

Santa Ana

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