The anger in me was what drove me for a lot of years…

You’ve got to remember that I’m a teacher.  I went through Shafter high school.  This was a little town — sort of like the all-American little town.  You believe in the political system.  You believe that the government is good and that the government is going to do good for you and EPA is going to good for you and I stood at school and I taught that about our government.  I was naïve about how EPA is so corrupted and how the board of supervisors — all they want is the tax money from the cities and I learned a lot of stuff that I wish I didn’t know.  Sometimes ignorance is bliss because then I was powerless.  I didn’t know what to do.  Well the anger in me was what drove me for a lot of years because I don’t like for people to be prejudiced against Mexican people because of — not just color but I think because of the language, because of class, because of lack of education, because you’re poor and all that. You could see it in the faces of these people when we go to the meetings because the majority of people that went to the meetings were farm workers like my husband.

I showed them how to not be intimidated, to go up there and you just have the same right as everybody else.  You just have to hold onto your cojones and ask.  It doesn’t matter.  If they look down their nose at you, you look them straight in the eye and you have every right.  It’s an intimidation.  I learned a lot of the stuff about the government and how awful it is and what they don’t do.  It just opened my eyes.  I couldn’t believe it — all the stuff that the government wasn’t there to support you on.

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