Letters to the Editor: Well-informed citizens, not animosity; Hartmann inspires, leads

Letters to the Editor: Well-informed citizens, not animosity; Hartmann inspires, leads


Well-informed citizens, not animosity

Rivalry took the form of racism at a recent Righetti vs. St. Joseph’s basketball game. The original report highlighted Righetti High School students chanting “Where’s your passport,” while a second report stated that St. Joseph students initiated the chanting by yelling at Righetti students about their “green cards.”

Both of the chants illustrate how harmful nationalism is. A synonym for nationalism is xenophobia, which is prejudice against people from other countries. What our country and its citizens should support is internationalism, not nationalism.

Internationalism is defined as “the advocacy of cooperation and understanding between nations.” The U.S. is part of a global society; what we chose to do as a country and as citizens affects and is affected by the global community. Additionally, the U.S. is a diverse country made up of immigrants from all over the world - to be nationalistic is oxymoronic.

It is disturbing that xenophobia is so prevalent in the U.S. when the country was “founded” by Europeans – people who are not native to this land. It is frightening that xenophobia is widespread in Santa Maria when the majority of the population is Latinx.

The discrimination that students engaged in at the basketball game was learned. We do not know if they learned it explicitly, implicitly, or because adults in their lives have failed to teach these young folks about race, ethnicity, and how the U.S. privileges some groups of people over others.

One thing has been made clear from these reports, high schools need to address race. As a member of the community and former teacher, I want to know what the high schools in Santa Maria are doing to educate their students about race, class, and privilege. Are the schools teaching ethnic studies? Is ethnic studies a graduation requirement? How are the high schools implementing the new social science framework, which includes teaching multiple historical perspectives?

What I want to see, and I think the community wants to see as well, is Santa Maria graduates who are well-informed citizens who have respect and empathy for other cultures – not animosity.

Betsy Gold


Hartmann inspires, leads

As an appointed member of the Los Alamos Planning Advisory Committee, I want to express my gratitude for 3rd District Supervisor Joan Hartmann’s eminent approachability, pragmaticism, and humble respect for her constituents.

Joan Hartmann’s campaign runs on the same clean energy and enthusiasm as does her platform on the environment. She works with dedication towards the goal of creating a vibrant, sustainable community, whether on the shores of UCSB, or in the farm-to-table Los Alamos Valley. Such an ability to multitask between the many communities in the 3rd District doesn’t distance Joan from her innate focus on each individual task until it has been completed to the highest standards.

Joan’s passionate governance has created the needed base for fiscal responsibility, individual inclusivity, and community transparency that has played out in cities and unincorporated towns alike.

It’s important to see our local government representatives want to be involved in the well-being of our communities. Joan has gone the extra distance to engage in townhalls and to help get awareness to local organizations like the Los Alamos Business Association. I have even found myself picking up trash with Joan in the riverbed behind my house in October!

I, a 23-year-old autistic man, wouldn’t be in public service pursuing a Political Science degree if she hadn’t inspired me to challenge myself and try new opportunities in my own community.

Forest Starr

Los Alamos Planning Advisor



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