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Blog: Let's Not Rename The Plaza

not renaming the plaza

Let’s face it, the topic of renaming the Plaza is a divisive one. Does anyone really call it “the Watsonville plaza?” Don’t most of us refer to it as just “the plaza” or “the city plaza?” (I’ve even fondly called it “our little plazita” myself). I’m guessing that the feeling for most long-time, non-Latino Watsonville residents is that it’s just one more voice saying “this town is not for you.”

After a little more digging, I’ve found that the Watsonville Plaza (aka the Plaza) was added to the National Register (No. 83001244) of Historic Places in Santa Cruz County in 1983. The National Register Web page states that before any changes are made “the property owner should contact the State Historic Preservation Office” to see if there are any state or local preservation laws that they should know about. So renaming the Plaza may not be as easy as anyone thinks.

Maybe this proposed renaming effort will be seen by some as another way for certain “haters” in our community to try and eliminate yet another attachment to the White-European heritage in this town, I don’t know. And whether or not I am on some type of enemy list as “a problem to be dealt with,” I personally will not support a renaming effort at this time - but I will fight the fight against it just as I did last time. 

With all the other problems Watsonville has, I’d rather work together to come up with ideas for our city leaders to get businesses back, as well as jobs that pay a living wage for every skill level in town. I’d rather work together to come up with ideas to help our police department get a handle on crime, gang activity and domestic violence. 

To paraphrase Maria Lopez: the white guy who founded this town in the 1850’s was living in a very different time. And yes, as Martin said, he was a “thieving, killing, slave-owner” but does that really matter right now? Is the most pressing issue really that our town’s founder was a scumbag white guy?

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Angela Elmore- Gallardo December 07, 2012 at 08:41 PM
I don't think our town needs to change the name either. That is so stupid! THIS sort of thing is what really makes me so mad. Who in their right mind would even think to spend ANY money on this sort of thing???
Daniel Skeen December 07, 2012 at 10:31 PM
I must agree with you on this one Cathy, the idea of changing the name of 'the plaza' seems out of touch with the realities of today. It is sad how some would spend a lot of time and money on such a thing where those same resources could be put to much better use else where. I know from first hand experience that there is a tiny but very vocal group of people who still think it's the 1960's and they are seemingly making plans accordantly, out of step, out of time and I believe in this case out of luck.
David H. Perez December 08, 2012 at 03:22 AM
Very well-stated Cathy P.! While Martin Enrique Garcia writes like a very intelligent man, I would love for him to devote future dissertations to the much bigger issues that plague Watsonville like jobs, better wages, bringing businesses to town and fighting crime - rather than personal agendas like renaming the plaza. The tiny vocal group Daniel Skeen referred to needs to accept the fact that this is a diverse community, that everybody has equal rights, Latino or otherwise, and this area is not a Mexican state nor will it ever be.
randy December 08, 2012 at 04:10 PM
XITLAI... You are so very wrong. I am in total accord with NOT renaming the plaza no matter who is writing about it. Are you an Alejo-ite or a Brown Beret-ite? or both.
Trying to be nice to the kid December 08, 2012 at 04:30 PM
Token in the AM or still buzzed from last night. You really need to think before posting dude.
Tania Grant December 08, 2012 at 07:23 PM
I enjoyed the history! Thank you Martin. I vote for Plaza, period. If enough people are unhappy with Watsonville Plaza, then drop the Watsonville. Looking around I note that it seems that Watsonville is the only "ville" around that has a plaza. Do Aptos and Capitola have a plaza? What about Santa Cruz, Gilroy, and Monterey? Monterey, it seems, has a patch of green grass in front of Colton Hall, but is it really a plaza? I say, the name should be Plaza, or even The Plaza. This word is substantial and has a long history. Towns and cities in Central and South America have a Plaza. Those that don't are missing something. Let's stick with the discussion of a plaza name rather than political name-calling of contributors to this discussion.
La Comorana December 11, 2012 at 08:16 PM
With the new powers comming into place the renaming of the plaza is a done deal. It was decided some time ago. Next up we shall rename this town something more correct.
Roberto P December 06, 2013 at 07:53 PM
The Plaza is just The Plaza. In most cities in Latin America The Plaza is The Plaza. Just leave it alone. It connotes the Latino Culture as it is. It means "Square, place, or market-place (mercado)" in Spanish. Why must this town always piss on everything with Latino Surnames? The Plaza is Spanish. Leave good enough alone. California is a Spanish Mission Territory. Learn your history. All around you is the great culture of Spain. Don't be so insecure.

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