Cabrera speaks out on her removal from San Luis City Council ballot
Yuma, Arizona February 8, 2012 - Alejandrina Cabrera says she feels betrayed by the San Luis City Council.
"I'm very angry, not with the judge. I'm angry with Mr. Escamilla because he's Latino and he's Hispano."
Even though Mayor Juan Carlos Escamilla is suing her for her lack of English abilities, Cabrera is comforted by the support she receives from her community.
"I feel happy when I know the people support me," says Cabrera. "I feel happy, but it's hard."
Cabrera went door-to-door throughout the City of San Luis, looking for support. Now, she's going back door-to-door and telling her supporters why she won't be on the ballot.
"I will go to the house face-to-face with the people and speak with the people and explain because the people don't understand that," says Cabrera about the Arizona Supreme Court's decision to uphold Yuma County Superior Court Judge John Nelson's ruling that excludes her from the ballot.
One of Cabrera's attorneys, John Minore, is disappointed with Tuesday's Arizona Supreme Court's decision.
"Anybody in the State of Arizona that wants to run for office, you can challenge them on their ability to speak English because you have to speak English, but we don't know what level. I mean, we tried the case," says Minore, a principal with Edgar & Minore. "We saw the Lower Court order and it doesn't say at what level of proficiency is required to do the job."
Cabrera, who was born in Yuma, says she understands her constituents.
"The people speak more Spanish than English and I understand. I can read and write," says Cabrera. "But the decision is not mine. It's for the judge."
Cabrera's attorneys say her case is a constitutional matter and should go to the highest court in the land. Minore says they're looking for other law firms and law schools to help them out.
"I'm a two-person law firm and the gentlemen at the other firm that helped me," says Minore. "There are four or actually five lawyers in there. This [case] has stretched us to the limit."
Minore says the other attorneys (John S. Garcia, Brandon S. Kinsey, Ryan Christopher Hengl and his firm's partner, Richard Edgar) have contributed over 300 hours of pro bono work towards Cabrera's case. He says the other attorneys need to take on paid cases to support their families.
"We can't proceed forward," says Minore. "We are without the funds and resources to take this to the Supreme Court level."
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