By Steven Zimmerman
Iliana Holguin, who is in a runoff against Vince Perez, wants to represent us here in San Elizario, and Precinct Three as a whole. The question we need to ask ourselves: is she the best person to represent us?
In order to know and understand who candidates are and how they will represent us, we asked readers of San Eli News to submit questions for all three candidates running for Precinct Three. The only one to respond was the Republican, Randy French.
Our first email went out on May 2, 2020. We asked for each to respond to the questions and had not provided a date to respond.
The second survey went out on May 6, 2020, informing all candidates that we would be running their answers eight days later.
Again, the questions we put to each candidate came from members of our community; issues that are important to many of us.
Today, we wanted to reach out to Mr Perez and Ms Holguin, to afford them one more chance to respond. That’s when we discovered Ms Holguin had blocked us on Facebook.
I get it. I do. San Eli News is a small media outlet serving a community of less than ten-thousand readers. Our daily read averages nine-thousand readers a day. Ms Holguin’s responsibilities, if elected, would be far greater than San Eli.
The political landscape in El Paso County is a sad one. We have both candidates and elicited officials who pick and choose which media outlets they are going to respond to, thinking they will get better ratings or more coverage by choosing one over the other. Still, when you cut out a whole community, it’s even worse.
When you start ignoring and blocking people, as Ms Holguin has done, we begin to have problems.
First and foremost, there is a connection to the community. Ms Holguin wants to represent us, at the county level. She wants to shape policy and make decisions that will have a lasting effect on us. Yet, when you cannot take the time to answer questions from the local media outlet, you have to wonder about her plans.
Transparency is the next issue.
When you are running for office, or are already serving, the media is going to be there to ensure transparency. We are going to take you to task, ask you questions, and make sure you are holding to your campaign promises.
The flip side of the transparency coin is speaking directly to blocking people with whom you may not agree. If elected, you will represent all of us. All our voices are equally important. It is unethical to mute those you don’t agree with.
If elected, blocking people on social media goes against federal court rulings. That means, when an elected official chooses to block critics on their social media pages because of their viewpoints, they violate the Constitution. Courts have specifically recognized blocking as infringing on the Frist Amendment.
We did reach out to Ms Holguin today, she has yet to respond.
I have to now ask the question: do we even want to consider someone that is already blocking people on social media, ignoring the press and refusing to answer questions from the community she wants to serve?