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Escondido resident and president of the Chamber of Citizens, Lisa Prazeau, is calling on Mayor Lori Holt Pfeiler and city councilmembers Dick Daniels, Sam Abed, and Marie Waldron to stick up for fellow councilmember Olga Diaz.

In an April 26 email to the council, Prazeau denounced a derogatory remark about Diaz in a North County online forum, and she blames the council majority for what she refers to as “anti-Latino” sentiment in Escondido.

Diaz, a first-term councilmember, is a Democrat and is also the first Hispanic woman ever elected to the Escondido city council; both make her a minority on the council.

In her email, Prazeau included a comment from a North County Times reader accusing Diaz of treason.

“[Diaz] is an agent of a foreign government,” reads the comment from “El Capitan.” “[Diaz] is someone who, if fully investigated, is involved in treason, sedition, and plotting to overthrow our ‘borders, language, and customs,’ which define our society and way of life!”

Prazeau wants city councilmembers to publicly denounce the accusation. “Your colleague [has been] slandered, and I expect the rest of the city council [to] stand up for councilwoman Diaz immediately.”

Prazeau blames the conservative majority of the council for introducing ordinances such as “the rental ban” and “the parking ordinance.” Ordinances that Prazeau and other residents believe promote “exaggerated statements about the population of illegal immigrants in Escondido.”

“Back in 2005, all this racism started,” wrote Prazeau. “That is what it is, plain and simple. The majority on the council has essentially [condoned] this kind of behavior.”

“Please stop treating [Diaz] like she is the enemy,” Prazeau wrote in the final paragraph of her message. “It's so sad and disheartening and embarrassing for this Escondido resident, legal citizen, voter, taxpayer, mother, and advocate for the general public.”

At the time of this report, Prazeau had yet to receive a response from Mayor Pfeiler or the city council.

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Comments

Robert Johnston April 28, 2010 @ 11:12 a.m.

I've lived in Escondido from 1998-2006...and I'm just glad I no longer live there. The area I lived in was great for cycling, but the community was heavy on "racial polarization" even then.

Until we realize that all of us share a common biology...regardless of skin tone or language spoken...we will never really grow up enough to abandon racism as a lifestyle. Plus, until we substitute true patriotism for the insipidly chauvinistic jingoism that passes for it today, we will never grow up as a society.

Something to think about. --LPR

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HonestGovernment April 28, 2010 @ 12:17 p.m.

What can anyone expect when the United States Representative of Escondido is Republican Brian Bilbray?

Defending the recent Arizona law that allows local police to stop and demand proof of citizenship from anyone whom police suspect might not be a citizen, Bilbray stated (on Chris Matthews' show, Hardball) that the police wouldn't be unfairly stopping citizens, because they could tell by looking who was illegally in the country:

"They will look at the kind of dress you wear, ...there is different type of attire, there is different type of -- right down to the shoes, right down to the clothes."

Way to go Bilbray. You set the tone for Escondido.

Where did Bilbray learn to speak English, anyway? Here is the rest of his ungrammatical statement, verbatim:

"It's mostly behavior, just as the law enforcement people here in Washington, D.C. does it based on certain criminal activity. There is behavior things that professionals are trained in across the board, and this group shouldn't be exempt from those observations as much as anybody else."

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Mutt April 28, 2010 @ 3:22 p.m.

Too bad that we can't fire the Council for failing to act responsibly. These are not people we should admire. Diaz is a good councilmember and the city should be grateful to have such an educated, thoughtful and hardworking civil servant. I can't fathom the reasons why the Council has not acted on her behalf, other than the fact that they are heartless and enjoy the controversy.

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Russ Lewis April 28, 2010 @ 3:27 p.m.

(#2) I would hate to have to diagram those sentences.

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BigBiz April 28, 2010 @ 3:56 p.m.

The rest of the Escondido City Council will never defend Diaz because they (Abed, and Waldron specifically) used the racist polarization of Escondido to get elected. Abed is using it again this time in trying to become Mayor.

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CuddleFish April 28, 2010 @ 8:01 p.m.

Ditto and Amen to LPR, HonestGovernment, Mutt, and BigBiz.

Oh, and again, great big thanks to Dorian for this excellent story, you're the best!!

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