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A Snapshot of Polling at San Fernando Recreational Park PDF Print E-mail
Written by Diana Martinez   
Thursday, 08 November 2012 05:55


If anyone still believes the old stereotype that Latinos are "sleeping" and don't vote, they need to stand in line at the polling place in San Fernando. At San Fernando Recreation Park, the line was 50 deep with people waiting patiently as poll workers tried to move them through the line to vote as quickly as they could.

Most voting at this location at San Fernando Recreational Park said they came out to vote in the Presidential election, and many weren't aware that a contentious recall election was even being held in their town. On the very last page of their sample ballt, many said they failed to notice it. "Which one was that?", asked one young voter, "Bocanegra?"

In contrast, one family said they came out to vote as a group and they strongly supported the recall. "What they did to our town was very embarrassing every time we saw an article written about it."

"We are hoping with the recall that they restore San Fernando to what it once was. We love living here, our family all lives on the same block and we've lived here for 30 years.San Fernando is all about pride."

Another voter said she couldn't vote in the recall election because she didn't live in the city, "But if I did, I would have definitely voted, 'Yes,' she said enthusiastically.

Aida Valdivia said she did not supported the first recall election but believes it is that experience that has taught residents that they have options to take action if they don't like what their council is doing, " The recall opened doors for people to state that if you don't agree, you have the ability to change things." Valdivia said she worked during her younger years at San Fernando recreational park and believed that experience changed her life but "saved her life" during a tough time. "A lot of the children she worked with were low income kids." This work was the inspiration she said that motivated her to get a higher education to become a mental health therapist.

Valdivia said she was concerned when she heard about the layoffs that were going on at the park. One young resident said he didn't vote on the recall because he felt he just didn't know enough about it."But I know many of my neighbors have said they were going to vote for the recall. I didn't feel right about voting on it because I just didn't have enough information." While he asked that his name not be used he said that he hoped whoever got into office would consider that the San Fernando police department can be "too intense."

"My friends and I were walking down the street and we had been drinking at my house earlier. Maybe we shouldn't have left my house, but they stopped us and searched us and left us on our knees for thirty minutes even after they searched us. They could have just given us a ticket." he said.

"Sometimes when you get pulled over, there are 3 other patrol cars that respond. The police in San Fernando can be extreme."

Exasperated, one long time resident just gave up, " I didn't vote, the line is just too long to wait," he said.

Last Updated on Saturday, 10 November 2012 02:06

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