Ponder This:

Real public servants are free enterprising individuals who, inspired, embrace challenge, take risks, and create, sometimes big, and often, they create jobs in the process, all out of their ideas, and self initiative...

About me

I am dedicated to promoting policies that empower private citizens and business owners and to supporting policies that advance economic and personal freedom and liberty and nourish civil society.

M family moved from Mexico to the United States seeking opportunity. My mother was a seamstress and my father a textile mill machine mechanic. The fourth of six children, I was the first in my family to go to college. Attended UCLA and majored in History. Lived two years in Barcelona, Spain.

Enjoyed success in the financial services industry before marriage and children. Experienced firsthand the weight government policies and excessive unfair taxes have on small business owners and entrepreneurs.

I believe individuals who are prosperous practice integrity, discipline, commitment, and hard work. These same individuals are entitled to governance which does not infringe and which rewards them for stewarding their investment for their future, the future of their children, grandchildren and their community.

There is no virtue in doing something you are forced to do. We need to be free to choose to be virtuous, and I believe morals and ethics are measured in integrity.

In January of 1999, I began producing and hosting my own weekly radio program called Make Sense with Martha. It was a gift of opportunity from the local radio station when I called in to a program. Topics included local, state and national politics. Guests included local community leaders, elected officials, businessmen and women, and members of policy think tanks from around the country.

In the fall of 1999, I began a four-month stint as co-host of a local cable television program called Bay Undercurrents, a political program filmed bimonthly but aired four times per week. My perspective was counterpoint to that of co-host's.

Also in late 1999 and early 2000, I assisted a group of agricultural laborers in Watsonville, CA with their public relations and media campaign to secure official recognition and certification as a legitimate union despite legal and political adversity they faced against the politically appointed ALRB, the well financed UFW, and the mainstream media.

In 2000, I served on two political campaigns. Locally, I worked on a campaign to qualify an initiative for district elections in the City of Santa Cruz, for the November 2000 ballot. In summer and fall of 2000, I served as co director for Latino affairs for the Prop 38 school voucher initiative as well as Deputy Press Secretary responsible for Hispanic media interviews, and coordinating Latino leadership supportive of vouchers, for press interviews statewide.

My commitment is to advancing the strength and vitality of the emerging Latino middle class and business sector, which as part of the middle class at large, as in every free society, is the cornerstone of freedom, democracy and opportunity for all citizens.

I believe that the promotion of sound economic and social policy is the means to this end. Safeguarding access to the free flowing marketplace of ideas, opportunities and capital is the best way to secure and guarantee freedom and liberty to pursue happiness and prosperity for families, community, and a free society.

Botched Paramilitary Police Raids: An Epidemic of "Isolated Incidents"

"If a widespread pattern of [knock-and-announce] violations were shown . . . there would be reason for grave concern." —Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in Hudson v. Michigan, June 15, 2006. An interactive map of botched SWAT and paramilitary police raids, released in conjunction with the Cato policy paper "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids," by Radley Balko. What does this map mean? How to use this map View Original Map and Database

Key

Death of an innocent. Death or injury of a police officer. Death of a nonviolent offender.
Raid on an innocent suspect. Other examples of paramilitary police excess. Unnecessary raids on doctors and sick people.
The proliferation of SWAT teams, police militarization, and the Drug War have given rise to a dramatic increase in the number of "no-knock" or "quick-knock" raids on suspected drug offenders. Because these raids are often conducted based on tips from notoriously unreliable confidential informants, police sometimes conduct SWAT-style raids on the wrong home, or on the homes of nonviolent, misdemeanor drug users. Such highly-volatile, overly confrontational tactics are bad enough when no one is hurt -- it's difficult to imagine the terror an innocent suspect or family faces when a SWAT team mistakenly breaks down their door in the middle of the night. But even more disturbing are the number of times such "wrong door" raids unnecessarily lead to the injury or death of suspects, bystanders, and police officers. Defenders of SWAT teams and paramilitary tactics say such incidents are isolated and rare. The map above aims to refute that notion.