Hilbert Morales | EL OBSERVADOR
Photo Credit: Unsplash

Someone shared with me a quote by Simon Sinek, “Leadership is a way of thinking, a way of acting and, most importantly, a way of communicating.” The King James Bible states that, “Without (leaders communicating) a vison (of their future) the people will perish.”

The featured speakers of last Friday’s La Raza Roundtable monthly meeting were Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (Democrat; Congressional District 19) and San Jose City Council member Raul Peralez (SJ-District 3).

After 26 years of service as an elected official, I projected that at this meeting Congress member Zoe Lofgren was going to endorse Raul Peralez as an appropriate ‘replacement elected official’ for Congressional District 19. Not so! Zoe is campaigning to be Congressional District 19’s continuing re-elected official (first elected 1992).

The D-19 constituents need to seriously consider the selection of her successor. Zoe Lofgren was able to communicate many actions undertaken which served D-19’s constituency and the nation. The most important Congressional legislation needed by the Latinx community did not occur.

While many individuals who were undocumented were assisted, the reality remains that the very essential “Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act 2019” was not debated nor enacted. Zoe’s previous profession involved working in immigration law.

The Congressional District 19 constituents, especially its Latinx cohort, needs to understand that too many American employers are benefitting from the 11.5 million undocumented (of which an estimated 5.5 million are Latinx) will never be given some form of legal status.

That will never be enacted because that skilled labor pool can be employed at substandard wage levels which provides low labor costs for those who employ (and exploit) those undocumented individuals.

Keep in mind that undocumented skilled labor has no legal status anywhere in America. Their skills may be exploited at salary/wage levels which do not conform with the usual and customary wage/salary levels.

Nor does this undocumented cohort have any way to benefit from union collective bargaining authority and powers. This cohort does not possess that union authority at all. Those who benefit are in a position to continue to fund Congressional lobbyists at just the right levels to thwart any U.S. Congressional enactment of legislation which, at the minimum, would establish some level of legal status. That will not happen during the current Republican Trump Administration.

Is this an opportunity for someone, preferably, a Latinx to challenge the re-election of Zoe Lofgren? Yes, it does exist. And understand that every elected member of the U.S. Congress somehow becomes a millionaire as an outcome of the lobbyists who represent their special interests.

Meanwhile, this Latinx community continues to be ‘kept in its place, on its knees’. It was Emiliano Zapata who declared that It is better to die standing on one’s feet and putting up a righteous struggle for equity and prosperity, than to live a life groveling on one’s knees compliantly and subserviently.

The times call for change because the Latinx millennial youth’s future best interests are not being promoted by the current status quo. And, understand that the Latinx registered voters exist in sufficient numbers to support this ‘change in leadership’.

First, they must decide to register to vote, learn about public policy issues which impact their lives; and then vote in their own best interests. Furthermore, understand that several qualified Latinx elected officials already exist. The collective vote of local Latinx individuals coupled with supportive Anglo-liberals would suffice to elect a new replacement member of the U.S. Congress representing District 19.

I project that individual will become the next millionaire member of the U.S. Congress within his/her first 2 years of service as an elected official. It would be good to have this new U.S. Congress person come from the local Latinx community.

One behavioral habit of Latinx individuals must be set to one side, that is to not focus on the deficiencies of nominated Latinx’s; but rather focus on the many points of supportive agreements, values, and principals. Just think of the advantages of being represented by ‘one of our own’ rather than a liberal progressive Anglo-Saxon. Check out the demographics by going to the data base available at the Registrar of Voters, County of Santa Clara, phone 408-8280-3003. A prepared candidate is probably already a youthful millennial Latinx.

Your thoughtfully considered vote may change the current status quo which has existed unchanged during the past 33 years I have monitored local political issues. I project that the youthful Latinx registered voter is more likely to vote in his/her best interests and not be swayed by local unions and established stakeholders.

But this transition of authority, power, and influence will not happen without some effort (which will not require a huge political budget because of available capability to communicate using Facebook, YouTube, and other social media networks. The Democratic process (one person: one vote) permits peaceful transition of power, authority and influence.

To be successful, grassroots efforts are required and are best organized now. Phone the Registrar of Voters office for consultation regarding schedules and deadlines (first examine the Registrar of Voters, County of Sana Clara website). Count on EO’s supportive actions but be willing to ask your supporters to donate $20 per person to El Observador Foundation, Inc. (used to train reporters, investigative reporters, writers, and journalists). All funds received since 1986 have been re-invested in our community in a variety of ways and for a variety of purposes.

Raul Peralez, San Jose City Council member, District 3, reported that he had watched the City of San Jose annual budget process now for two cycles and realized that the Mayor and City Manager negotiated the majority of adjustments. The City Council only dealt with a ‘few million dollars’ of budgetary decisions while the entire budget of the City of San Jose totaled some $6.7 billion per year.

Peralez is concerned about equity. Are available tax revenues being distributed in a manner that is fair and equitable? This will become evident when Peralez and his elected colleagues effectively help each other with the efforts needed to reveal if City taxes (which fund all budget projects) are being fairly and equitably allocated (used and distributed). Peralez is the first Latino to ask this kind of question, and he will need the involved support of his colleagues and the entire Latinx community. EO asked Raul Peralez to keep this publication and its op-ed columnist informed.

The community will benefit and become involved when more meetings such as this one held last August 26th happen. A needed feature is to include discussion panels and establish a topic of interest system which most effectively informs the Latinx community to enable it to speak up in its own best interests. That may be a challenge for those who are used to determining the agenda for all of us to consider.

Our local democratic process must become totally transparent and accessible. For too long a self-selected oligarchy has assumed leadership authority without having developed electorate support. Our local Democratic process requires that the truthful facts pertaining to all issues be available and accessible to all stakeholders, not just those who are members of existing oligarchies.

“Without communicating their leadership’s visionary goals, the people will languish.”

That will happen when ‘We, The People’ demand full disclosure coupled with responsibility, accountability and equity. Understand that as consumers who pay sales taxes, we all become stakeholders.