Latino engagement challenges are echoes of past struggles

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Of the Keizertimes

Last summer, when the Keizer City Council voted to ban undocumented residents from taking part in a junior city councilor program, two primary concerns rose to the fore for those who supported the rule change:

1. The program was intended for students who might pursue local government positions; and

2. Where were the members of the Latino community who didn’t face the stigma of undocumented status?

Vicky Falcon-Vazquez knows first-hand the challenges immigrant students face when it comes to getting involved in the wider community.

Falcon-Vazquez moved to Keizer from West Salem prior to starting classes at McNary High School – she graduated in 2003. Despite being a fluent English speaker, she was assigned to English as a Second Language courses.

“I think they put me there because I had been born in Mexico and because of my last name,” she said.

To read the complete article and other news from around the Keizer area, pick up a copy of the March 22 issue of Keizertimes, available at stores all around the area. To subscribe for just $25 a year, click on the ‘Subscribe Today’ link at the top of the page, call 503-390-1051 or visit our office at 142 Chemawa Road North in Keizer.

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