Local man makes good with the city council

STAND UP FOR YOUR RIGHTS

Saddleback College student Sergio Farias, 25, journalism, believes in change and is doing something about it. A self-employed gardener, he is also the Party For Socialism And Liberation’s (PSL) candidate for San Juan Capistrano City Council.

The son of Mexican immigrants that came to the San Juan Capistrano area in 1976, Farias attended local schools and graduated from Junipero Serra High School in 2005. He began attending Saddleback in 2006 with a major in journalism, but has struggled with maintaining the balance between college and work.

Farias has always been attracted to politics, and his interest intensified while volunteering as a precinct captain for the 2004 Kerry Presidential Campaign, where he monitored voting at the polling stations.

While volunteering, he carefully examined what the different political parties had to offer, and found the PSL fit best with his personal views.

He recently completed all the forms and procedures for the city clerk in San Juan Capistrano, and will be on the ballot Nov. 4, running against five other candidates.

“All politics are local; immigration is a local issue,” Farias said. “Resources that would otherwise be here are at war. Ending the war in Iraq and immigrant rights are the main issues that need change.”

Farias has attended protests with the Act Now to Stop the War and End Racism Coalition, as well as the Aug. 16 Obama/McCain interviews led by Pastor Rick Warren at Saddleback Church.

Farias has also been a leader against the recent gang injunctions in San Juan Capistrano, and sites the lack of community opportunities for Latino youth as the main cause of gang activity.

“Sergio has a strong work ethic and is passionate about the issues,” said Carlos Alvarez, Farias’ campaign manager.

Farias feels that the gang injunction, implemented after the death of a 14-year-old alledged San Clemente gang member in an altercation with a San Juan gang, is designed to remove all of the Latino population from San Juan, especially undocumented immigrants.

Farias also believes the DUI checkpoints in San Juan Capistrano, in addition to the gang injunction, are meant more to ensnare unlicensed, undocumented immigrants, impound their cars and discourage them from living in the area.

He believes the issue in general is racism, and sees the best start is community involvement.

“[The injuction] is a failure,” he said. “It’s a lot more expensive to throw someone in prison, and most are in prison already.”

Farias wants to bring all city community groups together to see what they can do together about issues in San Juan Capistrano, and he believes a local brand of Socialism is the answer.

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