Letter to the Editor: A candidate’s response
October 22, 2008
In response to Bill Merriam’s letter to the editor (“No room for small-minded candidate” Tuesday Oct. 21) regarding a letter to the editor I sent Oct. 2, 2007, I would like to clarify to you and the readers that my views of a melting pot are based on my upbringing. My mother came here as a child from Panama along with her five siblings and my grandmother. My grandmother went along with the immigration standards of the day: having a sponsor, having an income, learning English and ultimately becoming a citizen along with my mom, uncles and aunts. While raising me and my siblings, my parents ‘chose’ to teach us only English because we are part of the American system. My grandmother, mom, uncles, and aunts would speak Spanish at family functions. But once out of those gatherings, they spoke English in public.
Do we have that type of system today? I think the answer is easy to figure out. Do I love our way of life in the United States? You bet. I wish you felt differently about our culture in the United States. People come here to be part of the greatest country in the world. Am I Panamanian-American? No. I am American. I am proud of my Panamanian heritage. But in no way do I let it influence my role as an American in the United States. Do I feel my beliefs will affect my role on the Truckee Town Council? Absolutely! We should be reaching out to help others become part of the American system, thus recreating the ‘melting pot’ we used to have. I hope you’ll join me in this effort. Possibly you’ll consider helping my Sunrise Rotary Club next year with Un Mundo, a soccer tournament for Hispanic teams we have sponsored the past two years. Each of us has a different world view that is part of what makes the United States such a wonderful country. Many times I hear the word ‘tolerance’ from people; I ask that you have some tolerance for me and my views. If I didn’t make myself clear in my letter to the editor last year or should you care to discuss this further, I can be reached on the Town of Truckee Web site. Thank you.