Saturday, December 1, 2018

A New Wave

I attended this morning’s LULAC Ventura County District concourse at the Clinicas del Camino Real, Inc. health center in Saticoy and learned the information below, in summary, about the honored guest speakers.

(Left in image) Gabriela Basua, Oxnard City Councilperson Elect. Works for the City of Port Hueneme, grew up in Oxnard, and attended Channel Islands High School. She served as a leader in the student high school walkouts in protest of the xenophobia of the 1990s—yes, little has changed nationally. A specific concern of hers is public safety and social justice.

(Center in image) Sofia Rubalcava, Ventura City Councilperson Elect. Works for the Santa Barbara School District. She grew up and lives in the Avenue barrio. She vanquished a carpetbagger candidate who moved into her council district specifically to win that seat. The electorate of the Avenue community responded with a decisive, “hell no!” A concern of hers is bilingualism as part of education and public policy.

(Right in image) Gabriela Torres, Ventura County Community College District Trustee Elect. She, too, grew up in Oxnard, attended Ventura College, and graduated from UC Berkeley. Like many proud Cal alumni, she echoed the Berkeley brand several times. Go Bears! She worked in the TRIO program of Cal State Channel Islands before her counselor appointment at the Oxnard School District. A main concern of hers is the reduction of the achievement gap among students.

All three persons expressed their appreciation of Chicana/o Studies in their higher education and support for Ethnic Studies. Two gave shout outs to the late/great Ventura College educator Professor Mayo De LA Rocha in this regard. They believe that the power of Ethnic Studies must be a core aspect of the K-16 curriculum.

These three awesome persons also championed the principles of equity and inclusion for all.

As I advocated on behalf of Chicana/o Studies within the VCCCD, due to its systematic evisceration, I connected this area of study to Cesar Chavez’s Community Service Organization leadership in resistance to police violence (particularly in relation to the notion of public safety and the City of Oxnard’s Civil Gang Injunction), the promotion of bilingual education, a tenure-track college faculty that reflects the community it serves, and the recruitment, retention, and graduation of students, especially the historically underserved.

From the countenances of the honored guest speakers, I gathered that they supported these ideas.

In closing, a big congratulations to the electoral victories of Gabriela Basua, Sofia Rubalcava, and Gabriela Torres. Ahua! Y gracias to the leadership of LULAC-Ventura County District for the sponsorship of this event. I left the meeting hopeful.