Sunday, September 24, 2006

Signs of the Season
Politics in the 'hood

Politics dominated the scene in San Francisco's Mission District yesterday -- Nicaraguan politics. Nicaraguans are choosing a president on November 5. Supporters of this candidate were working the corner for this highly qualified individual:

Before entering the political sphere, Mr. Montealegre worked on the board of directors of several Nicaraguan financial institutions. He lived in exile in the United States during the decade of Sandanista rule in Nicaragua. During that time, he was the Vice President of the Banking Investment Group of Shearson Lehman Hutton before forming his own private financial advisory company, Montealegre & Co. Prior to his exile, he was a manager of the BANIC Corporation and an Assistant Director of the Central Bank of Nicaragua.

Mr. Montealegre completed his higher education in the United States, receiving his MBA with a focus in Finance and Strategic Planning from Harvard University in 1978, and his BS in Economics from Brown University in 1976.

This fine specimen of the international neo-colonial elite is battling Daniel Ortega, once the leader of the Sandinista insurrection against peonage and dictatorship, now thought by many to be just another corrupt Central American politician. The U.S. could probably purchase the former rebel, but instead prefers the home-raised, technocratic variant. Don't know what stake Mission district folks have in this, but apparently Montealegre's people have troops here -- not perhaps surprising since the U.S. is this candidate's base.
Meanwhile there was other political activity in the intersection. Unfortunately my most important sighting was so fleeting that I missed photographing it: a volunteer wearing a T-shirt reading "today we march -- tomorrow we vote" setting off to knock on doors with a clip board full of voter registration forms. It will take time, but the focus of politics in this neighborhood will change. Check out the windows of the nearest bookstore:

The title of the book reads (roughly, but realistically translated) Citizenship: how to ace your interview with the US citizenship authorities.

1 comment:

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