Chula Vista is many things. Serene. Scenic. Spacious. Civically enthusiastic. Underappreciated. Politically and socially active? No. Not really.
Maybe my bar is set too high. Perhaps it's not fair to judge the population of the county’s second largest city compared to that of the county’s first — San Diego. But the difference is hard to ignore.
Last week a group of about 40 protesters marched south on Sixth Avenue in San Diego. They held signs and chanted, drawing attention to the alleged beating death of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas at the hands of Border Patrol agents. If there was a similar event in Chula Vista, I didn’t hear about it. (But, then again, is it unreasonable or bigoted to expect that in a city less than 10 miles from the Mexican border — with 68 percent of its 244,000 residents claiming to be Hispanic — there would be some sort of outcry?)
On Wednesday a group of almost 10 people protested at Chula Vista City Hall and asked the council to withdraw any money it may have with Bank of America. The action was to draw attention to B of A’s lending practices.
In Chula Vista, the city’s general fund was decimated because the housing collapse meant there was less property tax to collect. Given that a lot of former homeowners probably still live in the area, I couldn’t help but wonder why there weren’t more people.
In the fall about eight people — in conjunction with the Occupy movement across the country — occupied the four corners at Third Avenue and F Street as part of an effort to raise awareness of economic disparity.
In a city where the unemployment rate recently loitered near 12 percent, I thought Occupy Chula Vista would have resonated with more people. I was wrong. That’s what I get for thinking.
When gay marriage was OK’d and then rescinded nary a public outcry was heard either time.
Years ago when thousands of people marched through San Diego and tens of thousands of protestors took over Los Angeles avenues in response to immigration bill H.R. 4437, Chula Vista’s streets were free of clutter and protesters.
Notably, however, several taco shops and restauants were closed as part of Day Without a Mexican, when an effort was made to show how much Latinos, especially immigrant workers, contribute to California’s economy.
Chula Vista doesn’t need mass protests to be a desirable place to live. It has lots going for it. It’s just an observation I’m making: This city is a quiet little town. I guess some people like it that way.