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- 05-10-2012, 01:39 PM #1
CA. Supervisor Gonzales supports 287g, SB 1070 & Republican candidates
Supervisor Gonzales wins major award, but some former supporters oppose her
By ALEJANDRO CANO
Published: Thursday, May 10, 2012 10:12 AM PDT
Josie Gonzales received a high honor as part of a Cinco de Mayo celebration last week, but she has also received opposition from some of her former supporters who claim she is lacking in leadership and want her to be defeated in the upcoming June election.
Gonzales, a Fontana resident who is the chair of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, was given the prestigious Ohtli Award and Medal, the highest honor bestowed outside of Mexico to those who promote the Mexican community abroad.
Gonzales was honored for the positive contributions she has made during her political career, said Carolina Zaragoza Flores, the general consul of Mexico in San Bernardino, during a brief but emotion-filled ceremony at the Rotunda on May 4 as part of an event commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Puebla.
"My battle is no different or unique. My battle is like all the battles that have been won through sacrifice, through love for the land which we call Mexico," Gonzales said at the ceremony.
"Consul, it is an honor to receive this recognition, and I'm sure there are thousands and thousands of people who need hope, especially during this moment in history in San Bernardino County. I'm sad my grandparents who brought us here are not here to see us standing proud. I accept this honor with great pride."
Gonzales, who served on the Fontana City Council before being elected as the first Latina woman on the Board of Supervisors, recalled with sadness the journey her grandparents made in order to help bring her to the privileged position she holds now. Looking up to heaven, Gonzales thanked the efforts of those who gave their lives for the sovereignty of both countries, the U.S. and Mexico, and urged the community to remember where they came from.
"I do not come here alone; the road was built with blood, sweat, hunger, loneliness and poverty. But today I stand before this building, open the door, go to the fifth floor and serve the community with pride. I'm only a servant, the commander is the people," Gonzales said.
The Ohtli award, which in Nahuatl means "Opening Pathways," was delivered in 2010 to Graciano Gomez, reporter and publisher of the Inland Empire Hispanic News. Earlier this month, the Mexican government, through the Institute for Mexicans Abroad, gave the award to important figures like former Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez, former Republican Senator Mel Martinez, activist Antonia Hernandez, and actor Edward James Olmos during a ceremony in Washington D.C.
The prize is awarded to people who have devoted much of their professional lives to create opportunities for new generations to have a better chance of success. However, this definition has sparked controversy surrounding Gonzales' recognition.
According to a resolution drafted by the Fontana Democratic Club, the Mexican Consulate should revoke the award presented to Gonzales based on lack of merits due to her support of immigration-related laws such as 287 (g) and SB 1070, and for her offering continuous support to Republican candidates.
Rep. Joe Baca (D-Rialto) said that next time the Mexican Consulate should do a better job of research before handing out a prestigious award to someone who has not worked for the community and instead has a tough stance on immigration. Baca added Gonzales, a registered Democrat, has disappointed him because of her lack of leadership and support of Republicans.
"You can't honor somebody with an award that means opening pathways when her record indicates she supports measures that close pathways to people. It is ironic. We worked hard to place her on the Fontana City Council, and we worked hard to place her on the Board of Supervisors, but she is not what we thought -- she lacks leadership," said Baca.
In 2009 the Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to continue implementing the 287 (g) program, despite arguments that it promotes racial profiling, discrimination, abuse by authorities and violation of civil rights.
On her official web page, Gonzales says that "illegal immigrants are a significant burden on our San Bernardino County communities and public resources," and therefore a "thoughtful solution" requires collaboration in many fronts.
"They have an enormous impact on the County's costs to operate our health care, school, transportation and public safety systems. It is imperative that the United States government secure our borders by enforcing immigration laws and erecting facilities to stem the flow of immigrants," said Gonzales on her page.
Baca is supporting Silvia Marroquin, an opponent of Gonzales, in the June 5 election. Marroquin, a community organizer from Fontana, is one of two candidates running against Gonzales.
In previous years, Baca supported Gonzales, but their ties were strained when Gonzales announced that she is endorsing State Sen. Gloria Negrete McLeod, who is seeking Baca's seat in the 35th Congressional District.
Gonzales, who formerly owned a restaurant in Fontana for many years, still has many supporters in the local community, including some who attended the ceremony.
Fontana Herald News > News
Last edited by JohnDoe2; 05-10-2012 at 01:47 PM.NO AMNESTY
DON'T REWARD THE CRIMINAL ACTIONS OF MILLIONS OF ILLEGAL ALIENS
BY GIVING THEM CITIZENSHIP