YUMA, Ariz. - The San Luis City Council candidate ordered to take an English proficiency exam was in court yesterday. During a hearing in Yuma Superior Court, Judge John Nelson wants the audio from the exam to be available to all parties involved at the city's expense.More >>
One city council candidate may have to prove her English proficiency before the ballots are printed for a March election.More >>
YUMA, Ariz. - The San Luis City Council candidate disqualified following a Yuma Superior Court Judge's ruling that she could not dominate the English language enough to serve office remains hopeful.
Alejandrina Cabrera's legal team has decided to take her case to a higher court for re-evaluation.
"As a result of the Judge Nelson's judgments and orders in this case that effectively require the city clerk to remove Ms. Cabrera from the ballot, we have filed an appeal straight to the Arizona Supreme Court," said John Garcia, one of Cabrera's attorneys.
Cabrera's lawyers filed an expedited appeal this past Friday because the ballots for the upcoming city elections were set to be printed this Thursday; however, they got an extension from the city.
"Originally the ballots were going to be printed February 2nd, which is just around the corner. But the city clerk has basically allowed there to be a little wiggle room in there and the absolute drop dead date is going to be February 7th," said Garcia.
During a press conference, Cabrera answered questions in both English and Spanish. She openly acknowledged her English speaking skills are not perfect.
"I know that my English is really good for this city, it would be different if I were going to the White House," Cabrera said in Spanish. "I understand my English is not enough for over there but here is enough and I'm sure, very sure, with my English," she continued in English.
She says she feels sad and frustrated that she has to go through all the court proceedings but does it because she wants the opportunity to serve her community.
"Seeing all the necessities of the people, the water and how much they pay. Education, there is money but they (city council) doesn't use it," said Cabrera.
Cabrera's lawyers say the City of San Luis has violated her civil rights and plan take legal action against the city for using federal money to remove her from a voting ballot.
"One law is you can't influence an election which the City of San Luis is trying to do," said John Minore, co-counsel in Cabrera's case. "But they take federal money, they sign a statement and say ‘we're not violating anybody's right' and someone's ability to speak English is a violation of that right."
Cabrera's legal team will be having conference over the phone with the Arizona Supreme Court tomorrow morning to decide the next step.
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