Helen Martinez, a candidate for Ward 6 on the Santa Ana City Council, showed up today at Godinez Fundamental High School, where she spoke to a combined group of students from three government classes. Unfortunately for Martinez, the group included my son Joey, a senior and AP student, who quickly texted me.
Joey asked her stance on illegal immigration and the Dream Act; she chose to “reserve her opinion.” What a cop-out!
However Martinez was able to give her opinion on prop 19, which she is opposing. One student asked her why she was able to give her opinion on that but not on illegal immigration and she said “it’s because that isn’t a proposition.” Lame!
Martinez’ main argument against marijuana was that california would become “smokier” and she had concerns for asthmatics, such as herself. She had nothing else to say basically, she just beat around the bush a lot.
When asked why she was running against the incumbent, Councilman Sal Tinajero, with the person asking the question looking for specific policies, all she said was that it was because her opponent had lost sight of what it means to be a “public servant,” that he never showed up when he was supposed to. She went off on a huge tangent, according to my son, and she failed to answer the question.
The general reaction towards her from my son’s classmates was that she didn’t really answer anybody’s questions and that she didn’t seem well informed. My son didn’t think anyone in his class would have voted for her.
Martinez is running against incumbent Councilman Sal Tinajero, an award-winning teacher who used to work at the SAUSD. Why did she get invited to speak and not Tinajero as well? This is an outrage. I suspect the SAUSD district office will be hearing from Tinajero tomorrow.
I know the Godinez students would learn a lot more from Tinajero, who also served on the SAUSD School Board previously, then they could possibly learn from Martinez.
I am very proud of the students who asked about immigration and Prop. 19. This shows they are very much aware of some of the most important political issues we are currently dealing with.
Tinajero, for the record, does support the Dream Act, which provides students who came here at a young age and completed their education in our schools to have a pathway to citizenship – and college.