In "Translation Equation" (April 22), we were treated to a quotation from Paso Robles Joint Unified School District Board Member Chris Arend:
"The rule is when you address the board ... you can address the board in English. You do not address the board in Spanish, which none of us understand."
Let's unpack that.
According to the 2019 census (the most recent data I could get for Paso), Paso Robles was 38 percent Hispanic or Latino. It was 57.3 percent white alone.
Furthermore, the 2019 California census reported the state was 39.4 percent Hispanic or Latino, and merely 36.5 percent white alone.
Trends suggest that the Hispanic or Latino percentages have gone up since 2019.
Yet, the school district does not seem to prioritize having a board that represents its community. Instead, it tells the community to bend to the will of a certain group. A group that doesn't seem to be willing to take reality into consideration.
I suppose that's just the way things are. Even when Paso Robles has blown up with wineries and vineyards, and it seems like there's an underserved population in the school district working hard to keep them going. It's clear who's in charge and what they won't value.
Mexicans matter. Latinos matter. Chicanos matter. Hispanics matter.
That's a fact. And another fact is that what you do about itspeaks volumes about your character.
Thank you for all your hard work, Yessenia Echevarria of Paso People's Action and Mujeres de Accion! Si se puede!
Rachel S. Bird