We are living in uncertain and chaotic times, in which the President of the country is playing golf while millions of workers are losing their jobs daily and his Republican allies in Congress refused to increase the emergency benefits to the citizenry. The contempt for people’s well-being by the current administration has no limits, including its lack of interest to control the pandemic.
To make things worse, and in an obscene show of hypocrisy, a few days back images of Senators Marco Rubio (R–Fla.) and Lindsey Graham (R–S.C.) taking the newly produced vaccine against Covid-19 were published. They are both Covid-19 deniers and have mocked people wearing masks. Why did they get the vaccine instead of essential workers, particularly when they laughed about the danger of the pandemic?
At the local level we are not any better. Inspired by the irresponsible behavior of the President and his followers, thousands of people daily challenge the expert’s recommendations refusing to follow the protocols to control the spread of the virus. Not surprisingly, the availability of ICU beds in the Valley is almost zero. And yet, some of our political “leaders” keep on criticizing California’s governor for trying to control the pandemic.
The Community Alliance newspaper reported—and will continue to report—about the status of Covid-19 and its local effects, as well as the behavior of our elected officials.
The role and importance of an independent media outlet such as the Community Alliance newspaper doesn’t need to be explained, particularly in difficult times. The support of the community is crucial to keep this effort well established and strong. And we are glad the community showed its support for our paper during our fundraising event on Dec. 12. (See the article here about our successful fundraiser.) The virtual event included a panel discussion and a presentation by our keynote speaker, the legendary Dolores Huerta.
She expressed disappointment that Prop 15 didn’t get enough votes last Nov. 3 because, she explained, California lost a great opportunity to raise money for our schools and communities. “California ranks No. 39 nationwide on per capita investment per student. And the majority of the students in most of our school districts are people of color,” said Huerta, who also insisted on the importance of educating our communities on social issues; otherwise, we’ll see more of these negative election results.
Prop 15 was about taxing 10% of the richest corporations. We need to change the narrative that taxes are bad; that’s what the rich people want people to believe.
She was clear when calling the audience to vote for more progressive candidates. “We have to change the idea that in the San Joaquin Valley we can’t vote for progressive candidates, that we can only get ‘Republican-light’ candidates instead.”
And to achieve this, she insisted on educating people. “We can’t do this without the work of outlets like the Community Alliance.”