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The American Dream / El Sueño Americano


By: Ms. Brenda Martinez

Hello thank you for allowing me to speak today on behalf of a community who is desperate to keep their homes. My name is Brenda Martinez and I grew up in the green house facing the Barry Ave. This house represents the American dream to my mom just as other owners do of their homes. When I was twelve we moved in and my mom became the owner of her first house, through her hard work we never had to wonder where we would sleep or if it was too cold or too hot. As a single mother of four she was able to reach the American dream and provide for us what no one else could, a home.  So is it a good example to set for the children to see that no matter how hard you work for your dreams, eminent domain can take it all away, how is that being a responsible citizen.

            In your last meeting the board talked about working with the community and wanting the best for the children, but what about their children and the instability of moving while in school, of forcing the parents to move with the little that they’re receiving from DISD? Maybe to homes that have less than what they are accustomed to. Are you willing to help create that kind of distress for the children? How are you working with our community by taking away our homes, our memories, our dreams? We count too and we are asking that you consider other options and not take what we have all worked hard to get.

            One of the other options we are asking the board to consider is the Fannie C   Harris building on east grand. I understand that one of the reasons why it was discarded was because of capacity limitations yet one of the options is to split like Mata and Mt Auburn. O.M. Roberts could be a school for the older children, while Fannie C Harris could be a safer school for the smaller children, away from contaminated land and large freeways that have plans to expand. Would you want your child to be around cars that go at least 60 miles per hour, with the chance to get run over?  DISD used 2.6 million dollars of our tax dollars to renovate a building that is now to torn down. Isn’t it smarter to save the 22 million that DISD is planning to use, and spend less on renovating Fannie C Harris, a structure already standing? DISD is in crisis too, and should consider not spending excess money in an economy that isn’t too well, or that is having a deficit.

             The legal definition of theft is the taking of someone else’s property without their consent, or without proper compensation and using it for their own use. In this room it’s called eminent domain, DISD does not have our consent to acquire our homes, not without proper compensation, however most of our homes do not have a price; our memories don’t have a price, nor our legacy to our children. My mom was planning on leaving our house to our family because she wanted to leave her legacy in our lives. Same with other families who have worked so hard to provide what they can for their families, yet DISD comes in like goliath forcing us into a situation where we have to fight for our hard work, but like David we’re not going to give up.

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