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Letter to the Editor: "After the Election…"

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Foremost, I thank the citizens who voted for me in the San Bernardino City Clerk election.

I am grateful to the volunteers who worked long days and stood by me as we carried out a clean “grassroots” campaign. I appreciate my family and friends who contributed their hardearned dollars to help finance our campaign. And, a heartfelt thanks to The Black Voice News for your endorsement.

I continue my life-long commitment to San Bernardino.

I’m participating in the City of San Bernardino’s Citizens Academy, and my family and I are looking forward to participating again in the next Beautification Day scheduled in 2012, among other programs.

The people who turned out to vote decided the outcome and I respect that. San Bernardino is my hometown and I’ll continue to work with those who are as sincere and concerned about our communities as I am. I met many great people throughout the city who are new found friends.

In this first bid for elective office, I answered the call to serve the public as candidate for City Clerk, and appreciate the support we received. I am proud of our democratic election process, and I’m aware of how it can be corrupted. I experienced a crash course of “San Bernardino Campaigning 101.”

The past 3 1/2 months have provided us with vital lessons, to say the least. We experienced first-hand “big boss-style” politics, and the culpable will probably tag my comments as “sour grapes.” Nonetheless, the facts are:

In Ward 3, we came across a group of firefighters placing signs and distributing literature for candidates they were supporting.

A resident wouldn’t be convinced that I am an American - she was told, and without a doubt believed the untrue rumor that I am “illegal alien” without enough credits to obtain Social Security. Also, a resident informed my volunteers that he witnessed firefighters pulling out my campaign signs as they replaced them with their own candidate’s signs.

Several 7th Ward residents shared their experiences regarding fear and intimidation tactics incurred by the City Attorney.

Another ugly lesson took place early in the morning on Election Day when two “dirty” police officers harassed a volunteer in the 1st Ward who was “legally” standing across the street from a polling place. They manhandled him and tried to wrongfully accuse him of being there illegally. I’m aware that the majority of our safety officers are committed to protect the public, and I applaud them.

The most valuable lesson for me was to see many of our volunteers grow from their civic engagement – they make me proud. I encourage residents to vote their conscience in the next election.

Thank you.

Esther Jimenez, San Bernardino

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