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Group bewails Pete Wilson statue

Group Opposes Pete Wilson Statue

Latino Leader Calls Former Mayor 'Persona Non Grata'

POSTED: 11:13 AM PST December 11, 2003

UPDATED: 11:51 AM PST December 11, 2003

SAN DIEGO -- A group of Latino activists is urging the San Diego City Council to block plans by a private foundation to erect a statue of Pete Wilson, the former mayor and governor, in downtown.

"He is a persona non grata in Mexico and to many in our community," said Enrique Morones, who hosts a radio talk show and is a former president of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

The City Council only would have authority over the statue if it stood on city land. No site has been picked for the Wilson statue, said Donna Alm, a spokeswoman for the Centre City Development Corp., the city's downtown redevelopment agency.

Wilson supporters want to install a statue of the former mayor outside Horton Plaza alongside statues of downtown pioneer Alonzo Horton and developer Ernest W. Hahn, who built Horton Plaza. Those statues are on private property, Alm said.

As mayor, Wilson was credited with helping start the redevelopment of downtown San Diego. But Morones said that as governor, Wilson supported Proposition 187, the 1994 ballot measure that sought to deny benefits to illegal immigrants.

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