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?