Amezcua, OC Metro and His Lawyer Friends

An article was published by the OC Metro recently that profiled Alfredo Amezcua’s bid to unseat long-term Santa Ana alcalde Miguel Pulido. In the piece, writer William Lobdell notes Amezcua’s campaign as the first serious challenge for Mayor the city has had in a good long while. With the election a month away, Amezcua is quoted as saying that Santa Ana, “is at a crossroads. We can either go forward or backward. We are the county seat. We need to be as good as anybody, if not better.” Santa Ana, like many other places across the United States, is definitely at a crossroad of sorts trying to pull itself up from the smoldering rubble of the Great Recession.

The Mayoral hopeful went on to note in the OC Metro profile that,  “he’s tired of lawyer friends telling him that a drive through his hometown reminds them of being in a Third World country.” Notwithstanding the opinion of his professional colleagues, the income disparities in the global south that pull on the heartstrings of social justice resemble this:

A drive through, much less a stay in the city, does not in any way remind an honest person of a third world country. Although the intention of his statement is probably different, such rhetoric is what we come to expect from an OJ regular rightist commenter like Michelle Quinn! The comparison just doesn’t stir the kool-aid from either angle! Now, within the global dominance of monopoly finance capital, we have seen, and continue to see the “third-worldization” – if you will – of cities within  industrialized nations (simply meaning greater wealth stratification and all its accompanying manifestations) In an Orange County context, this is occurring in Santa Ana and in other places to a lesser extent. Amezcua notes a few of the problems that underscore that process – without contextualizing it as such – when he went on to note in the article that ‘it’s unacceptable that Santa Ana has the county’s highest unemployment rate, highest homeowner foreclosure rate and the worst schools.’

The platform to address such pressing needs? “Make the streets safe and tidy, create a more business-friendly environment, put more focus on education, allow for more citizen participation in government decisions and, of course, install mayoral term limits.” The fact that if I hoped into the “hot tub time machine,” I’d be sent back to a year in which Mayor Pulido was still in power is reason enough to say it’s time for a change. Is Amezcua the candidate? As for addressing the needs of the people of Santa Ana, he would have been well positioned to allow readers of the OC Metro to hear the thoughts of the residents he has been speaking to on his morning campaign walks.

Those are the voices that really matter, not the opinion of professional lawyer friends…in any case, they are just driving through.

About Gabriel San Roman