Supervisor Marina Dimitrijevic took issue with opponent Bill Buresh declining participation in a County Candidate Forum. On her Facebook page, Dimitrijevic wrote:
"Just found out that my opponent has also declined to participate in the Candidate Forum sponsored by neighborhood groups serving the south side on March 20th. Seems there was a claim that some how these neighborhood associations are biased. Layton Blvd. West Neighbors, Voces de La Frontera, and the Southside Organizing Committee cannot make candidate endorsements as they are non-profits."
Although Dimitrijevic is correct, Buresh didn't claim that these associations endorse candidates. Sylvia Ortiz, candidate for the 12th district, declined the forum as well citing that all but one of the board members of the Southside Organizing Committee had either contributed or supported her opponent. Buresh and Ortiz declined the forum because the host and sponsors support their opponents. In the interest of transparency, Marina Dimitrijevic and Peggy West should have just hosted the forum themselves.
"These groups work hard to improve our neighborhood and also took time to organize this forum to help voters decide. As elected officials, we debate publicly everyday. A major part of this job is to be a vocal advocate for the issues that the people you represent care about. I have gladly accepted the invitation and am looking forward to speaking with concerned voters, especially in the Latino community."
This is fascinating. El Conquistador is far more effective at helping voters in the Latino community understand the issues than a candidate forum that few people know of or would attend, yet Supervisor Dimitrijevic refuses to speak with us. You can't have it both ways.
Dimitrijevic also said she gladly accepts invitations to speak with concerned voters, "especially in the Latino community." Apparently, she now has a special place in her heart for Latinos. What about the Latinos she tried to surgically remove from her district last spring so she could increase her chances of winning a reelection against a possible Latino opponent?
Supervisor Marina Dimitrijevic has shown no proclivity to look out for Latinos. Just last spring, she tried to remove a second majority voting-age district from the south side Hispanic community. In the past decade, Census data showed that her district grew into a majority Latino voting age population. By voting for the Board's preliminary redistricting map, she tried to shrink her district down far enough to make it a minority Latino voting age district - depriving Latinos of voter representation. Let the facts speak, Marina. Write an op-ed for El Conquistador defending your position on the County Board's preliminary redistricting map. We would gladly publish it for you.