Friday, July 17, 2020

Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro Keeps FIRST COUSIN from Tribe

The Pechanga Moratorium is 20 years old.  Eschewing kinship, Mark Macarro keeps his own family OUT.

It was purportedly designed to give the Pechanga Enrollment Committee time to review their membership rolls. Ya think they could do it in 20 years?   ARLENE MACARRO cousint to Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro and to Victor Rocha, editor of Pechanga dot Net is still not in the tribe.  (OP:Yet some adults who voted for disenrollment got their family into the tribe in a quid pro quo)

The LosAngeles Times wrote about the Macarros

And then there’s the squabble between Pechanga Tribal Chairman Mark Macarro, the main television spokesman for the Yes on 1A campaign, and one of his first cousins, who says she was unfairly dropped as a tribal member & denied reinstatement.
The woman, Arlene D. Macarro, was removed from the Pechanga membership rolls in 1979 when members--including people who indisputably shared Pechanga blood-were told to formally reapply for membership. (OP: MY family has some of the lowest membership numbers, and Mark isn't on the 1st base roll)
The traditional system for gaining membership,in which tribal elders would interview Indians who claimed Pechanga ties--was changed in 1979 to a formalized process in which applicants had to prove blood ties--no matter how thin--to Pechanga ancestors identified either in the 1940 census or through earlier records.
Arlene Macarro, who is one-quarter Pechanga Indian, says she didn’t learn she had lost her tribal membership until she traveled two years ago to the Temecula reservation to visit her grandfather’s grave and was denied entry by security guards.
Since then, she said, she has been unsuccessful in reclaiming her tribal membership.
The reason, says Mark Macarro: After casino operations began, the tribe was so inundated with membership applications that it has suspended acceptance of additional members. His cousin, Macarro said, will have to wait at least another year, when the moratorium may be lifted, to rejoin the tribe. (OP:relations to Jared Munoa, from Pechanga's PDC are also in the moratorium)
Throughout California and the nation, formal tribal membership was not much of an issue before the advent of casinos, because, in times of poverty and struggle, there were few benefits. That has changed dramatically.
About 250,000 people living in California claim Native American blood, according to the California Research Bureau, an arm of the State Library.
About 18,000 Indians belong to the 41 tribes that now operate or have recently run casinos, according to the state’s figures.
Most tribes determine membership by the applicant’s percentage of tribal blood: one-quarter, one-eighth or even less in some cases. But blood ties do not necessarily guarantee admission. Some tribes exclude certain blood relatives if they have not participated in tribal affairs 
Multiple federal court decisions have affirmed that tribal membership criteria are “pretty much up to the discretion of the tribe,” said Dorson Zunie, a tribal operations officer for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Sacramento.
Before it had a casino, the Pechanga tribe received 15 to 30 applications a year from people seeking tribal enrollment, Mark Macarro said.
In 1995, after its casino opened, 60 people applied for membership. The following year 160 applied and, in 1997, the tribe was overwhelmed with 430 applications.
With about 800 members, the Pechangas declared a moratorium to figure out how to process all the applications, Macarro said.
“We didn’t have all these applications before, and one of the obvious changes was, now we had a casino in place,” Macarro said.  (OP: Many had their paperwork in, corrupt enrollment committee members shuffled paper around.)
Arlene Macarro says, tribal leaders are selfishly blocking her readmission.
“They employed the moratorium to keep people off the rolls, so only a handful of them get all the [casino] money,” said the woman, who has lived in Hawaii all her life and says she is impoverished. “Once greed and ambition take hold, it’s a bad cancer. They’re feeding at the trough like greedy pigs.”
Mark Macarro offers a different perspective: For years, he said, his cousin “didn’t want anything to do with this poor little tribe. I guess we had nothing to offer her. Arlene is indicative of a wider group of people who suddenly became interested in their tribal affiliation after a casino opens.”
Arlene Macarro’s complaints are echoed by Kathy Lewis, who has been denied membership in the Table Mountain tribe near Fresno, where her grandfather was once tribal chairman.

READ HERE FOR THE REST of the Tribal stories

1 comment:

White Buffalo said...

Any idea how the tribe is doing since March and Covid 29?