Who We Are--Luis Escamilla

by Nate Jackson  

Teacher Luis Escamilla is very worried about the lack of options many of his students have due to state wide budget cuts.

The SeaTac resident has been an active member of Working Washington because he sees the need for different groups and organizations to stand together in the face of crisis against big corporations that are not doing their part to build up the community.

"As a teacher, I see firsthand the effect of cuts to education,” he said. “Class sizes are a problem, which is compounded by the diverse needs of the students in the classroom.”

Luis also sees the problems with budgetary cuts to special education.

"When special needs schools are closed, those students then get absorbed by mainstream schools, where their unique needs are often not met."

Many of those students fall through the cracks as the instructors, faced with large class sizes, have a difficult time meeting the needs of their students with limited resources, time and support.

But blaming parents and teachers is not the answer. The community needs to become more "socially responsible," according to Luis. Budgets are cut because corporations are not paying their fair share; they are being socially irresponsible and we need to hold them accountable.

He is also worried that the community is becoming disconnected from its schools. Some young people do not graduate with basic requirements either because of lack of good grades, support or the allure of the street. The community, and particularly families and churches, needs to step up, Luis said, as he feels that the faith organizations are the only buffer against Seatac becoming “a true ghetto.”

This has led him to get involved in coming to various Working Washington events, meetings and gatherings to fight for a more fair economy that will hold corporations accountable to pay their fair share just like the rest of us already do.

"These multi-billion dollar corporations are feeding at the trough like pigs,” he said. “Communities need to stand up to corporations (because) any institution in our community should benefit our community."