By Josie Talamantez
Editor Note: The following remarks were provided by Josie Talamantez to the San Diego City Council. On August 8, the City Council unanimously approved a twenty year lease on the building. CPMCC can now begin fundraising for renovations.
Mayor and City Council Members,
Thank you for allowing the Chicano Park Museum and Cultural Center (CPMCC) to address you here today. As you know:
• Chicano Park Museum and Cultural Center is a nonprofit focused on exhibition, research, interpretation, collection of contemporary and traditional art and to provide educational seminars and workshops focusing on Art, History and Science, as well as serving as a visitor/information center for San Diego’s most recent National Landmark Chicano Park;
• We have been documenting historical narratives of the region and sharing our sacred homeland stories creating value to our community and visitors from far and near;
• We will be investing in creative place-making inspiring vibrancy and community involvement;
• We will work on bringing in needed funding to support programming serving the community; providing educational life-long services to the community—with no high school in Barrio Logan/Logan Heights we will add value to the community;
• We will provide space for art and artists, promoting local talent and building connections to regional, national and international art and art making and art movements;
• We will integrate science technology, engineering, arts and mathematics into programming, training the next generation in social justice, sciences and technology;
• And facilitating communication with other regional, national and international organizations, building collaborative relationships for a strong regional community;
• We will continue our educational series fostering passion for and appreciation of Chicano Park and the Chicano Park Monumental Murals in the City, County, State, Nation and international communities, but specifically for our Bi-National Region;
• We will provide public programming and hands-on activities, workshops, art, history and sciences classes that utilize a curriculum that has the potential to produce products that reflect our local community
We are all here to urge you to vote “yes” to support this magnificent endeavor that our community has been working on for a long time. We know that anything can occur today with regard to our request and we do not take anything for granted. The community of Logan Heights/Barrio Logan has been the driving economic work force for the City of San Diego for over 100 years and has paid the price of discrimination, marginalization, and isolation through segregation practices for the majority of that time.
Chicano Park became a tipping point in our relationship with the powers that be and now close to 50 years later we are prepared to tell our story and the wonderful contributions our community and community members have added to the well being of the City, State and Nation.
As Maria Garcia, local historian and author of “La Neighbor”, so eloquently put it last week at the Smart Growth and Land Use Committee—we have had many members of this community who have gained high profiles—ie Armando Rodriguez—local educator/principle who served the Department of Education in the State of California and six different US Presidents—as well as, the local dock worker who invented new methods of unloading cargo from the boats that is still currently in use today at the Port of San Diego and is being replicated in other port cities, to our ingenous low riders who use their smarts to invest in their pristine automobiles and bicycles as showcase models of traditional art forms.
Our Danzantes live breathe and demonstrate culture and the arts educating and training our next generations in the pride of our historical indigenous roots and our elders that still use the traditional herbs and medicines to heal our community and to tell us the stories and cultural practices of our diverse traditional roots.
Thank you for your time and I urge you to support our efforts to make San Diego a better place by validating its diversity and culture. Again, thank you.
Chicano Park co-founder and lifelong CPSC member Josie Talamantez wrote the proposal to place Chicano Park and the Monumental Murals on the National Registry of Historic Sites and led the charge to make the CPMCC happen.