Emilio Martinez | Self-serving politicians detrimental to community


Monterey County Supervisor Luis Alejo’s op-ed “KSBW editorial resorts to false attacks” (Register-Pajaronian, Jan. 25-31) is typical Luis Alejo pulling the race card.

According to Alejo, he didn’t say that KSBW’s J.W. Heston should focus on the fact that another cop killer was “a white man” as Heston stated in his Jan. 18 editorial. Alejo is correct that he didn’t use those words, but what Alejo did write on his Twitter account was that Heston did not mention “the guy who killed Davis Police Officer Natalie Corona!” As some of you already may have surmised, “the guy” was white. Now, for what reason would Alejo write this on his Twitter account other than to render his opinion that: “J.W. Heston has revealed himself as a Trump racist!”? Alejo is well known for dishing it out but he can’t take it.

When Alejo was first elected to the Assembly in 2010, he appointed his replacement on the city council. This resulted in a lawsuit costing taxpayers over $100,000 in legal fees. He did this in a community with an approximate unemployment rate of 18 percent.

The response from the community was Measure H, which passed in 2014, resulting in a change to the City Charter allowing an election when a city council seat became vacant. Voters can now decide who they want to represent them instead of the city council. 

And when Alejo attempted to name the City Plaza after Dolores Huerta, once again costing Watsonville taxpayers thousands of dollars to conduct a study, it further enraged our community. The result was Measure J which now allows voters to decide what they want to name their parks and public places.

But Alejo did put up a fight against the measures. According to the Recipient Committee Campaign Statement (California Form 460) filed at the Watsonville City Clerk’s office on June 16, 2014, for the “Watsonville Voters against Measures H-I-J,” Alejo contributed $4,914.72 from his “Alejo For Assembly Committee” and questionably $800 from the “Law Office of Luis Alejo, Watsonville” for “Legal Services.”

But Watsonville can thank its lucky stars that passing the measures resulted in Alejo carpet-bagging his way to Salinas where he cherry picked a district that best provided his chances of gaining a Monterey County Supervisor seat.

I served on the city council with Alejo and I witnessed his racially divisive political agenda which financially crippled our community for decades. But Alejo’s departure, coupled with the departure of some city management employees aligned with Alejo’s tactics, has helped Watsonville to start getting back on track. East Lake Avenue is taking on a Miracle Mile look with the diverse businesses that are popping up. Diversity is the key to Watsonville’s future and success. Certainly, racially motivated self-serving politicians have proven to be detrimental.


Emilio Martinez is a resident of Watsonville. His opinions are his own and not necessarily those of the Register-Pajaronian.


More In Opinion