Xipe Totec: Two-Thousand Twelve Transformation Arrives in Tucson as New Era Begins After 2012 Elections

Xipe Totec: Two-Thousand Twelve Transformation Arrives in Tucson as New Era Begins After Elections

I have been getting requests from around the country to analyze what happened in the TUSD school board election this week. Who won and what does it mean?

The first question is easy to answer so we can get those facts out of the way right now.

As of the time of this writing, and things haven’t changed much lately, it appears that the three open seats will go to Kristel Foster and incumbent Mark Stegeman who both got about 13% of the vote followed by Cam Juarez who received 10% of the vote.

This means the new TUSD school board will be governed by three people who combined failed to even get 40% of the vote, but being on the TUSD school board does not make one popular anyways, at least not in a good way.

Just ask Michael Hicks about his interview on the Daily Show…

The reason it has taken me a few days to write down my thoughts is because the situation is very complicated. Racism has been perfected in Tucson and if I was a working on a political science dissertation this would be my title.

“How to get Progressive Democrats to enable racist Republican policies: From Klansbake to Dixiecrats to Grijalvistas.”

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Before continuing on, let us be clear about the racism involved here. We don’t mean racism as in “oh that person is racist” because no one is racist anymore. Not even Russell Pearce and Sheriff Arpaio who have Latinos like Steve Montenegro as friends… no one is a racist.

Yet racism still thrives.

In TUSD that racism has an official category that no one can dispute that is known as Segregation which was supposed to have been banned back in 1954 in all public schools. Yet after three decades under a federal desegregation order, Tucson’s largest school district was placed back under it after it was lifted in 2009 after John Pedicone became TUSD superintendent and Mark Stegeman became board president. This federal desegregation order still applies to TUSD, and things have gotten so bad that they are now knowingly breaking the order since things are so bad that they are already in trouble, so why change that now.


The next chapter in TUSD Racism is definitely about to begin in this historic and symbolic year of 2012, where 520 years after 1492, cultural and historical genocide continue in the “520” area code, land of the banning of Mexican American history and literature classes, land of banned books of Chicano and Native American authors, and… what makes this situation so complicated… in the land of the progressive stronghold of Tucson, Arizona, where 4 out of 5 TUSD board members are Democrats and 3 are from a group known unofficially as “Grijalvistas” or those under the command of Tucson’s Chicano kingmaker Don Raul Grijalva, US Congressmember and former La Raza Unida member.

A lot has changed in the 4 decades since La Raza Unida movement, and the same is true for Tucson’s Chicano godfather, who very symbolically began his own rise to power on the TUSD school board.

Now that you know who won the election, here are a list of things that must be considered in order to analyze and come to your own conclusion about Tucson’s future in Latino education.

  1. The highly anticipated and all-powerful Unitary Status Plan (USP) will be made public this Friday, November 9th, 2012.
  2. Tucson’s largest school district is broke, in debt at least $17 million. Prop 204 was a possible solution made by John Pedicone’s friend Ann Eve from the Civility Fund that would have made the temporary 1 cent education tax that expires soon permanent. Prop 204 failed this week.
  3. Superintendent Pedicone’s contract was extended right before this Election, and as the main obstacle to progress in TUSD and for Latino education, the reason he remains in power provides insight into the politics of educating Latinos.
  4. TUSD is under multiple Office of Civil Rights investigations, and more are coming.
  5. How money has blinded local Democrats locally, as nationwide, who fail to stand up for justice in exchange for personal power. The TUSD race is filled with many such stories.
    1. The significance of Raul Grijalva’s legacy comes full circle as this new chapter in Tucson’s history begins.

All of this must be considered before coming to any meaningful conclusions, as you will see.

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