On Feb. 5 at McClatchy High School, junior Naomi Turnbull attended California Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s Spanish-language rebuttal to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech. Becerra addressed concerns about the federal government and answered questions.
Q: How did you learn about this event?
A: My mom works at the high school, and she wanted to bring me and my brother to hear the speech. It was mainly directed to underprivileged families who can only speak Spanish.
Q: Why did you want to go?
A: I’m trying to be more politically aware and understand more about politics. Going to this speech was a good first step.
Also, his speech was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The only reason McClatchy was able to host him was he’s an alumnus.
Q: What did he talk about?
A: Xavier talked about his view on certain (federal) government policies and how they affect poor families. He talked about DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), the future of immigration and his plans to sue our president.
He said the (federal) government is trying to shut down DACA and (enforce a zero-tolerance immigration policy), and he’s doing everything in his power to ensure that it’s not going to happen.
One parent asked him how underprivileged kids were going to get equal opportunities for education. He said everyone has to keep working hard and never lose hope.
Q: What did you think of the speech?
A: It was really interesting because a lot of Spanish-speaking families were concerned about the DACA program. I completely agree with everything that Xavier said.
Q: What was the atmosphere like?
A: The parents seemed extremely concerned about the future. His responses were reassuring, and he told the families to keep being strong.
Q: What was your favorite part about the speech?
A: When he was answering the parents’ questions, he really connected to the audience. People felt confident in his actions.
Q: What surprised you most about the event?
A: I did not realize that his address would be nationally televised (on Univision, the largest Spanish network in the country). There were a lot of recorders and cameras. I thought it was important to be publicizing his speech.
Q: Why do you think televising this was important?
A: He spoke in Spanish pretty much the entire time, so other Spanish speakers around the country could understand what was going on. It’s good that other people are aware of the country’s political situation.
—By Sanjana Anand