Santa Ana’s Nimby Usual Suspects are quick to scream that something is historical whenever their institutions are threatened. And then they sue. They did that when dilapidated housing in the proposed Station District was threatened and they are doing it again now that folks are talking about bringing the Chivas USA soccer team to the Willowick Golf Course. Suddenly Willowick is, you guessed it, historical.
You don’t however hear these folks screeching about the pending change of Downtown Santa Ana’s Fiesta Marketplace, on Calle Quatro, to the “East End,” which is what the Chase family wants us to call this area now. And not one of the Usual Suspects is complaining about the pending eviction of El Centro Cultural de Mexico from the building on the West Side of Downtown Santa Ana, where they have been for over seven years. (Click here to read more about this story).
You see, in Santa Ana “historical” is in the eye of the beholder – and nothing Latino is ever deemed to have such value, at least not by the Usual Suspects.
That said, we cannot stop business and property owners from exerting their right to do with their property what they want to do with it. The Chase family appears to be hellbent on purging all things Latino from the “East End,” and making it an extension of the Artists Village. And whoever it is that is evicting El Centro appears to have similar ideas.
The sad thing is that our Artists Village is better for being in an area with Latino influence. It makes our Artists Village more interesting. Whitewashing Downtown Santa Ana actually makes our Artists Village less interesting.
It is worth noting that the “Godfather” of the Santa Ana Artists Village, Don Cribb, is one of the Usual Suspects crying foul over the proposed move of the Chivas USA soccer team to the Willowick Golf Course. How ungracious of him. The people of Santa Ana spent a fortune to put in place his vision of an Artists Village. The least he could do is get out of the way and let Mayor Miguel Pulido try to improve the rest of Santa Ana.
Make no mistake about it – there is a concerted effort at hand to de-Latino-ize Santa Ana. That this is happening while we have an all-Latino City Council in place is beyond ironic.
I hope that our City Council members will try to help El Centro Cultural de Mexico to find a new home. It might be too late to save the Fiesta Marketplace, but we can at least help out El Centro, before it is too late. Turning Downtown Santa Ana into another Irvine would be beyond tragic.
Imagine if we could find the money to restore the old YMCA building on Civic Center and put El Centro there – eventually? How awesome would that be?