I wanted to share something good with you today; we see so many elected officials and/or so-called “community leaders” display some real abhorrent behavior. But I digress, the point here is to share some good news. I recently saw this posted on Twitter by San Diego County Supervisor, Nora Vargas. Some of you may know that we featured Nora Vargas in our pre-election series, “Spotlight on Education Champions” last November. Since then, she was elected to the San Diego County Board of Supervisors First Supervisorial District which includes “the world’s busiest land border crossing in San Ysidro to the Point Loma peninsula.”
Many barriers were broken with the election of Supervisor Nora Vargas. She is the first woman of color, first Latina, and first immigrant to serve in the Board’s history, and as an added bonus, she was appointed by her board colleagues to Vice-Chair. Very impressive! We congratulate her and wish her much success on all counts.
Now let’s talk about what she just posted on Twitter. This week is yet another unprecedented accomplishment, the people of San Diego California were able to witness a representative speak in Spanish to their Spanish-speaking constituents. Why is this important? Because Supervisor Vargas represents cities that are literally a stone’s throw from Mexico.
When we say that representation matters and that people from different perspectives and cultures should have access to civic participation and the political process, this is exactly what we mean. It’s unfathomable that in its entire history, San Diego has not had Spanish-speaking representation. When Supervisor Vargas tweeted that she was able to relay messages to her constituents in Spanish, we are here for it!!
It’s surprising that in the past the board of supervisors has not embraced the rich cultural diversity that exists in the county of San Diego. I’m a little surprised this is the first time this has happened, but it goes to show that when you go out and vote, it matters. You have to consider whether or not that person is truly representing you and can communicate with you on a level that you are comfortable with. This is not about using second languages in public meetings, this is about connecting with constituents and providing information to them where they’re at.
All of this said I believe all public meetings should be easily accessed by people with language challenges/barriers, and also the hearing impaired. The pandemic and Zoom meetings really left folks out. Thank you Supervisor Nora Vargas for remembering the constituents of the 1st District, and making the needs of the community a priority
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