Mountain View Voice

Opinion - May 29, 2009

Letters to the Editor

Ruling on Prop 8 is disappointing

Editor:

Like most civil rights advocates, I was as disappointed by the upholding of Proposition 8 as I had been when it first qualified for the ballot.

The ruling creates an extraordinary inequality. All great social justice fights have begun with inequality, but this one is especially unsupportable, and I am confident this is not the last word on the matter. However, I have hope in the California Supreme Court's validation of the 18,000 same-sex marriages conducted before the proposition passed.

California has a special role to play in this battle. All the things you and I love about California are the reasons I decided to enter public service and represent my constituents in Sacramento. Californians have always been an inspiration to progressive forces nationwide. At such an important moment in history, it is frustrating to feel that we are so far behind other parts of our great country. But we can take heart at the lessons of the past, and gain energy from the optimism of our brothers and sisters in struggle. We will not be discouraged from our duty as social justice fighters to win equal rights for all men and women, no matter what race, creed or sexual orientation.

I stand strong and will continue to fight for the LGBT communities in Mountain View, my district, and in the nation until we all have equality.

Paul Fong

Assembly member, 22nd District

Memorial Day event was weak

Editor:

I was sad and embarrassed when I came upon the Memorial Day parade Sunday morning. I kid you not, there were maybe 15 people there to watch it.

Being that I just moved into the city limits last weekend I figured I'd bike over to the farmers market. I heard the bands playing and wandered over to check out what was going on. I got the feeling I was the only one curious, since not even those who were already on Castro for whatever reason seemed too interested in the event. I had to get cash for the market so I "walked with the parade" as we both made our way down the street. As we did so I was overcome with amazement that no one (well, a handful of people) was actually there for the parade.

Whether this was due to a lack of publicity by the organizers or just plain selfishness and disinterest by the citizens, I don't know. But so far, the patriotism in this town is not much to be desired ... at least it wasn't Sunday.

Jennifer Heffley

Mountain View

Comments

Posted by Nick Perry, a resident of another community
on May 29, 2009 at 10:45 am

In response to Jennifer Heffley's letter on the lack of Memorial Day parade crowds:

What you saw last weekend was not a "Memorial Day Parade" it was a Portuguese Holy Ghost parade. In late spring/early summer Portuguese societies up and down the state of California have cultural and religious celebrations called Holy Ghost Festas that often include processions to the local Catholic church for mass.

Mountain View has two Portuguese socities; There's the "Irmandade da Festa do Divino Espirito Santo" (IFES) on Stierlin Road and the "Sociedade da Festa Velha do Divino Espirito Santo" (SFV) on Villa Street. They both trace their origins to 1926 and have roots stretching back to the days when the north side of town was home to many Portuguese-owned dairies.

This past Sunday was the IFES parade and featured representatives of Portuguese societies throughout the region. The IFES parade usually falls on the sixth Sunday after Easter and it was purely coincidental that it fell on Memorial Day weekend this year. The annually changing date, combined with a lack of publicity outside of the membership of the Portuguese societies, is the reason few people outside of the halls know about the parades and few come to watch them. It's too bad though, because these parades are uniquely Californian event and a part of Mountain View's history.

So, rather than a lack of patriotism what you saw on Castro Street was just one example of the wealth of cultural diversity which defines Mountain View. Welcome to town!


Posted by Jennifer Heffley, a resident of Whisman Station
on May 29, 2009 at 11:17 am

Thank you for the clarification (and welcome)and the history of this event Nick- I appreciate it! I was curious about the people who were actually in the parade. You're right, this is a culturally diverse community and everyone should embrace all aspects of it....and learn something new.


Posted by NW Resident, a resident of North Whisman
on Jun 1, 2009 at 10:06 am

As an addendum to the above comments, I also saw the parade and there were banners of Portuguese socities from Watsonville, Los Banos, South San Francisco, San Jose, and many other communities from the Bay Area and central valley.

The SFV lodge will be conducting their parade on Sunday June 14th, using Villa and Castro Streets, so watch for that one too!


Posted by Jennifer, a resident of Whisman Station
on Jun 4, 2009 at 4:34 pm

Thanks for the info, will be on the lookout.

And I do have to say that someone evidently looked in the phonebook to find me, I'm not in the phonebook, and left a message with the gentleman who did answer the phone... It's not his responsibility to track me down and pass on the messages... I guess this particular person didn't think to access this online forum. Just throwing that out there... Thank you.


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