Reading the back and forth over the discourse surrounding the Time Capsule is a worthwhile discussion. As a resident of Gilroy for a little more than a year (most of it inside) the first bit of exposure I had to the project was the “Are we invisible?” opinion article published recently in the Dispatch, articulating the lack of representation within the Time Capsule. There is a rich racial tapestry of Gilroy, which I personally had no idea about until I took the time to research it after I read the op-ed.

The reason why I am writing this post is because of the response from the city member placing the blame on the shoulders of the writers and co-signers. The inherent classism is sickening to read and reeks from the words on the page. Even though I am on the outside looking in, it does not take a lot to figure out why the committee is at fault.  

For those uninformed, the main argument given by the committee member is summarized as “You did not make the effort and now you complain about the end product.” It is sad to see members of Gilroy, especially ones in power, have a clear misunderstanding of people in different socioeconomic conditions. For example, most volunteer opportunities happen on weekends, or sometimes weekday evenings. This makes sense, seeing as most of the volunteers that work office jobs would have those time slots available. Except for the fact that the people being unrepresented don’t work those jobs, and typically don’t have that time off. Manual labor (especially field work) is being done long before sunrise. Not only was availability not discussed, basic physical barriers were also seemingly not considered. Lack of internet access, ease of transportation and physical location were thrown to the wayside. Even with Covid “locking us all down at home” none of them started working from home. This led to shrinked availability and even more limited outreach.   

Secondly, these communities in Gilroy are not invisible, but the committee made them through having no representation on the committee. If no one can speak up for you, how would you possibly expect them to be represented? People were available; if none of the 75 cosigners could be present, council member Rebeca Armendariz is a wonderful ally to the underrepresented in Gilroy. As far as I am aware, nothing of the sort was conducted, seeing as nothing was changed. Sadly, it just looks like the committee threw their hands in the air.

This situation is more than a capsule. As economic inequality increases in Gilroy, these grand shows of love for our city will slowly look more and more rich and white. The people that put Gilroy on their back through their hard work, especially through Covid, will likely receive less and less credit. I personally would have no idea of their plight, should that opinion piece not have been written. Maybe it’s time we reconsider who is invisible, and who has blindfolds on. 

Naka Elelleh is an aspiring writer who attends Gavilan College. Feel free to reach out to [email protected].

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