Why I am voting ‘Yes’ on Prop J

By Tensia Moriel Trejo

“The True Del Marian”

I address this to you, the elderly people in Del Mar Village, who have been told why you should vote “No” on Prop J with scare tactics. Read my story and decide for yourself, do you believe in “Imaginary-Gates” in Del Mar?

I was born in Del Mar, 85 years ago, Sept. 9, 1927. My parents came to Del Mar for a visit in May of 1919 with my two older brothers. Mom fell in love with Del Mar and on Aug. 19, 1919 they moved to the village. They rented a house, Dad went to work in construction, Mom gave birth to four additional children, including me.

My mother’s dream was to buy a lot and have her brother build their house. Even with six kids, my mother found time to earn extra money by catering Mexican food for the parties held by the very wealthy. She also gave sewing classes to young girls and did seamstress work. All of this work was so that my mother could have her dream lot in Del Mar.

I was 3 years old when my mother had the money she needed to buy a lot in Del Mar. Dad went to buy a lot but came home with only a paper for a lot in rural Del Mar, Eden Gardens. This was not my mother’s dream. I remember Mom getting very angry at Dad and Dad trying to explain to her that Mexican and Jewish people could rent but not own property in Del Mar.

This was the first “Imaginary-Gates” at either end of Del Mar.

My mother called this racist. My parents were educated people, who had to flee their country because Dad was of French descent.

My family, including seven children, never stopped coming to visit friends in Del Mar. We simply ignored the racial signs that were posted by the Del Mar pier, the plunge, and in some parts of the beach. The racist practice stopped in 1935.

When, Jenary, my husband to be, asked me to marry him in 1947, I had one condition: “We must buy a lot in Del Mar.” Nobody keeps me out of the town where I was born.

For some time now, we have had a group in Del Mar that feel that since they are now in Del Mar, it is time to re-install the “Imaginary-Gates” at either end of town. This same group opposed the development of the Del Mar Plaza and the L’Auberge Hotel. They forced the gas station to leave town and they stopped the building of the “Garden Project” in its lot with their 60-plus meetings.

I have yet to hear the young people oppose Proposition J. And after all, this will be their city long after we elders are gone. Sure, there will be bumps in the road, but it will be for the future residents, including my son Jeff, to see that our city stays on the right course.

So seniors, don’t do it for yourself, do it for the next generations. Vote “Yes” on Prop J. Del Mar was founded to always be a special place without any gates, a place to thrive and serve all generations.