Dear Editor:

I’d like to address the topic of racism as it has been a big part of the last two city council meetings.

The controversy started when city council voted for an anti-racism proclamation after Mayor Uribe brought up incidents with city employees (one was documented). As I can only speak for myself, my vote was strictly on supporting my colleague and friend and reaffirming my stance against racism.

My vote was not to condemn my city as racist as the perception by some have made it out to be. As I stated in a Univision interview (which did not air due to time constraints), I don’t believe Douglas as a whole is racist and only has a few “bad apples” that every city and country have.

After the vote, allegations of racism toward the recall effort have been made. I find it unfair the organizer, Tanya Duarte, has had to defend herself against these allegations. I have had numerous discussions with her before the recall was a thought and feel her frustrations are mostly about transparency. This is a legitimate reason and should be addressed by our representation.

Other individuals such as her husband Sergeant Jose Duarte, Ms. Olga Robles, and Alex Espinosa have had to address these allegations. I believe their grievances fall under the same category as Mrs. Duarte’s: transparency. I have been attending city council meetings for a little more than a year and have heard Mr. Espinosa ask for records which were not given in what he thought were appropriate time frames. All the requests and complaints made by these individuals are legitimate and should be treated with importance.

We cannot water down the true definition of racism is by accusing innocent people because there’s a disagreement. These types of allegations can follow people in their private and professional lives and ruin reputations.

We need to sit down and discuss ideas and differences. The only way to move forward is together, not divided. I hope we can move passed this and start discussing the real issues surrounding our city. I also hope the individuals mentioned and their families can get passed these false allegations against them as I support them continuing voicing their concerns for our community.

Sincerely,

Jose Grijalva

Ward 6 councilman

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