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Oct 04th
Home Columns San Diego Happenings PTE-HOPE, INC. Meeting Recaps on CA Redistricting and Budget Crisis in San Diego County
PTE-HOPE, INC. Meeting Recaps on CA Redistricting and Budget Crisis in San Diego County PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - San Diego Happenings
Written by Marissa Acierto   
Sunday, 13 March 2011 14:53


By Marissa Acierto

S AN DIEGO – The PTE-HOPE, Inc. (Pagasa-Tumainisha-Esperanza) recently held a forum for its officers, members and guests. The participants heard and met with two high-profile go-getter speakers in the San Diego community who exemplify quality leadership by example. The speakers were San Diego Councilmember Carl DeMaio and California Redistricting Commissioner Lilbert "Gil" Ontai. The venue was the San Diego County Library community room in Bonita-Sunnyside Branch, 4375 Bonita Road.

As the room filled up with the capacity seating of more-than 30 seats, PTE-HOPE, Inc. President Mateo Camarillo gave the opening remarks. He then introduced the first speaker, San Diego Councilmember Carl DeMaio.  Honorable DeMaio spoke about the "Roadmap to Recovery" Plan that would balance the city's budget and reform the pension system. Carl calls it a five-year plan to generate more-than $1-billion in cost savings and adopt new approaches to provide city services. The tip-of-the-iceberg plan would borrow ideas from a bankruptcy process and would allow at least five years of spending caps, reorganizing city operations and restructuring liabilities facing the city. The DeMaio's "Roadmap to Recovery" flyers were distributed during the forum.

SD Councilmember Carl DeMaio supported the PTE-HOPE during its early stages after it was formed in 2007. He supported the organization’s vision and mission of multi-ethnic diversity outreach by participating in the PTE-HOPE’s sponsored table in 2008 during the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Annual Breakfast Celebration at the
Bayview Church. The event was sponsored by the United Ministerial African American Council. He aided also the PTE-HOPE Multi-Cultural Festival at the Spanish Landing, Cancer Survivor Park, co-sponsored by the Port of San Diego and the County of San Diego.  DeMaio said, "I will continue to support PTE-HOPE's efforts and will provide any assistance that the group needs." 

Then President Camarillo introduced the next speaker, California Redistricting Commissioner Lilbert "Gil" Ontai. He is an architect and a former San Diego Planning Commissioner. Commissioner Ontai mentioned that he was born in
Hawaii and indicated he was of Pacific Islander ethnicity. He said, "As a Commissioner, I need to make sure that I hear all the views of the different communities of interests." He also said that the census data would be available on the first week of April 2011. He gave literatures pertaining to the California Redistricting process. 

On a different note, President Mateo Camarillo talked about a change of tangent in the local redistricting for
San Diego County. He showed a San Diego map to highlight the redistricting process. He was formerly the chairman of the San Diego County Redistricting Commission. Mateo has extensive experience, know-how and first-hand knowledge of what happened several decades ago about the San Diego County redistricting areas. Mr. Camarillo believes that growth has occurred more in the Southbay area as compared to the  North County. Mateo mentioned the silent voices of the census such as the undocumented workers and illegal aliens that would be counted. Julio de Guzman a guest of PTE-HOPE said, "Those people are not voters." Mateo informed the audience and said, "It doesn't matter.  The census is not looking for voters."


Mateo reiterated again that the census would reflect the silent voices of others such as undocumented workers and illegal aliens that would make a difference in census numbers. But he said that the ability to vote does not factor into the census. Filipino-American Mel Marin said, "Even though we want a Filipino-American or Asian-American district, it does not stipulate that it would be a guarantee that the Filipinos or Asians would vote for their own people."


Mateo said, "It is the responsibility of the individual to promote voter registration, increase voter-visibility awareness to continue to increase the number of Filipino-American voters.  That will not be the responsibility of the census." Then Vice President Dr. Maxine Sherard and former alternate of the San Diego County Redistricting Commission said, "With that note from what Mateo had indicated then it may not work out that a Filipino or Asian district will take place; therefore, increasing voter awareness to all people may be a better shot in getting a winning political position."

Overall, the discussion was a healthy one. Different perspectives outweighed information that other groups are lobbying for, which at that point seem completely a misguidance of how census data are factored in. The census does not count the number of voters and high-propensity census areas are accounted for in mapping out a new district. The individuals who attended got a clear understanding of the scale and role of how the redistricting could be affected not by votes but by illegal immigrants and undocumented workers. Redistricting, therefore, was more feasible in the Southbay area, and that reasoning could affect where the 9th District would include. 

Vice President Maxine Sherard, Ph.D., thanked San Diego Councilmember Carl DeMaio and California Redistricting Commissioner Gil Ontai, the individuals who organized the forum: Corazon Espiritu, Gerald Espiritu, Lydia Duro, Bob Crider and Eddie Enriquez and the speakers that reached out to multi-ethnic communities. Special thanks were made to Walter Davis Enterprises, which videotaped the speakers for television-and-radio broadcasts. 

Other members of the community that participated were Attorney Palma Hooper, president, SCAPAL; Sonia Ruiz, Community Relations of Greenlining Institute and former president of the House of Mexico; Bob Crider, Realtor; Hercules Dinglasan, financial agent; Regina Ong-Garcia, broker and entrepreneur, Streamline Web Systems and; Eddie Enriquez, co-founder PTE-HOPE, Inc.; Antonio Garcia, electrical engineer; Walter Davis, Walter Davis Enterprises; Kim Piker, finance director of the Bob Filner for Congress; Charito Grace, accountant; Fred Grace, U.S. Navy veteran; Ann Duenas from the SDSU /DUI department; Armando Pelayo, Realtor; Jim Perman, Sweetwater Unified Adult School teacher; Vina Phelps, community activist; Carmen Duenas, member of Sons & Daughter Chamorro and Guam Club; Van Cooper, former U.S. Navy commander and entrepreneur, Phone Guards; Mel Marin, former professor; Julio de Guzman, employee for S.D. City Attorney's office and co-founder, Asian Community Luncheon; Angie Garcia, Gate Student; Natalie Garcia; Gerald Espiritu, assistant treasurer, PTE-HOPE, Inc.; Lydia Duro, R.N., treasurer, PTE-HOPE. Inc.; Corazon Espiritu, secretary, PTE-HOPE, Inc.; Rosemarie Cuevas; Alfredo Grace; De' Andre Walter; Lucila Rubio and Alen Ridley.     

PTE-HOPE, Inc. means hope in four different languages: Pagasa is the Tagalog equivalent of hope; Tumainisha means hope in Swahili, one of the major languages in
Africa; Esperanza is hope in Spanish, and Hope is for all others.  It is a non-profit corporation organized for the public benefit since 2006. It is registered as a tax-exempt corporation with the federal government and the State of California. It is a multi-cultural partnership designed to promote community awareness, cooperation, hope, unity, respect and goodwill among various cultural and ethnic groups.  For further information on how to join or to be on its mailing list, contact Maxine Sherard, Ph.D. at # # #


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If a man will begin with certainties,he shall end with doubts;but if he will be content to begin with doubts,he shall end in certainties.-- Sir Francis Bacon, 1561-1626