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Two Latino Denver School Board Members are Sell-outs, Group Says

Two Latino Denver School Board Members are Sell-outs, Group Says

Several prominent Denver Latinos have created a group and launched an ad campaign against two Latino Denver public school (DPS) board members which the group says have made votes that have hurt the district’s Hispanic and minority students, according to the Denver Post.

The DPS board members being targetd Arturo Jimenez, who is running for re-election, and Andrea Merida, whose seat is not up for another two years.

“What’s more important are issues as opposed to ethnicity or race,” Marco Antonio Abarca, a small-business owner and member of the reform committee said to the Denver Post. “It’s a sign of our progress in the Latino community that we don’t automatically vote for whoever has the same last name or a similar Latino name as us.”

The ads accuse Jimenez and Merida of overspending their district expense accounts and for lobbying against federal and local reform programs, including Race to the Top and Senate Bill 191.

“Andrea Merida and Arturo Jimenez continually claim the mantle of Latino culture — while at the same time consistently opposing critical reform policies most likely to help Latino kids,” the ad reads as reported by the Denver Post.

The group, Latinos for Education Reform, registered as a 501(c)4 political campaign organization, have endorsed three non-Latino candidates running for openings on the school board.

Dave Sabados, campaign manager for Jimenez, said to Education News Colorado that accusing Jimenez of “blocking policies beneficial to Latinos,” as the ad does, “is preposterous.”

He added: “I find this a disgusting attack on a man’s heritage.”

Merida could not be reached for comment, according to Education News Colorado.

Read the full story here and here.

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    Daniel is our Mexico City-based editor and Dos Lives contributor. Contact him at Daniel[at]doslives[dot].com.
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