Reading Between the Grammatically Incorrect Lines


Election season is upon us and like many of you my mailbox is beginning to be stuffed with political mailers. Spoiler alert: it’s only going to increase as we near the June 7th primary election date.

Mailers, emails, canvassers, and phone banking volunteers and supporters of issues and/or candidates do help provide information and are traditional aspects of any election season. As voters, we have a responsibility to do the research and educate ourselves in order to make informed decisions before checking a box at our polling places.

This is why one mailer caught my attention recently. Not because of the information it provided, but rather the extreme lack of details on the issue it supports.

A group from Long Beach sent me a nicely printed, high-gloss mailer riddled with grammatical errors. The issue the Long Beach group presented is the Vote Yes on GS for Greater Montebello Unified Schools.

To my earlier point about mailers being a campaign tool and having some educational value by providing voters with details on an issue/candidate – the more information I receive the better I feel about voting for or against an issue or candidate. In this case, information was replaced with rhetoric dusted over one page while photos of officials who support the bond dominated the other side of the mailer.

The mailer looks more like a candidate slate with 12 images of elected officials including Tom Torlakson, our state’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Montebello Unified School District’s board president, Benjamin Cardenas.

The problem is there is no information on how much money is involved with the bond or what the funds will be used for specifically if the bond is approved by voters. What it does provide are clichés on helping students and children and making sure all kids get an education they need to succeed.

And they are clichés, because who would argue against any of these obvious goals of our educational system?
So why not remove the images of elected officials and use the space to tell voters more about the bond? There is a website (more grammar issues) offering detail on what the bond will pay for over an eight year period, but for many seniors, first time voters, and those of us with families and careers, we can use help in understanding issues without logging on to the web.

So for all of us voters the lesson here is do your homework.

To the Long Beach group wanting to inform me on Montebello issues, and other groups making the effort to send items to voters, take the time to place useful information on your mailers; and to the elected officials representing education, please proof read items carrying your name and image – especially if you are asking for money for our schools.

Richard Garcia is a Montebello resident.

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