Latino Group Slams Pro-Life Christians For Tolerating Politicians Who Use Dehumanizing Terms Towards People

POSTED ON
May 17

For Immediate Release

 

May 17, 2018

 

 

 

DeeDee Garcia Blase, Co-founder SOMOS INDEPENDENTS

 

Shirl Mora James, Co-founder SOMOS INDEPENDENTS and Civil Rights and Immigration Lawyer

 

Pro Life Movement Leaders Are Responsible for President Who Uses Dehumanizing Terms Towards Immigrants

 

 “One of Nazi film's most notorious sequences compares Jews to rats that carry contagion, flood the continent, and devour precious resources.”  Holocaust Encyclopedia

 

Phoenix, AZ -- SOMOS INDEPENDENTS is a national organization led by Mexican American women who are independent registered voters encouraging voting in our National and local elections. Yesterday, Donald Trump used a dehumanizing term towards immigrants and referred to them as animals. Our organization points the blame directly towards those who call themselves pro-life Christian leaders. For far too long, pro-life leaders have turned a blind eye to Republican lawmakers who use dehumanizing terms towards babies such as "anchor babies", but also with dehumanizing terms used towards fellow mankind. There is a lack of immediate whistle-blowing response by pro-life organizations who turn a blind eye to politicians who use dehumanizing terms towards people -- not just babies. 

We believe pro life members who are Latino / Hispanic / Chicano should withdraw their support from pro life organizations who do very little to push back on Republican politicians who use dehumanizing terms towards human beings and babies.

The National Right To Life organization prides itself on being the largest and oldest pro-life organization in our Nation and continuously ask people to get involved, however, for that organization to grow they must put action behind mere words.  The definition of pro life is protecting life from the womb to the tomb.  Pro-lifers will steer clear of supporting politicians (like Trump) who use dehumanizing terms towards fellow human beings.

We would like for pro-life Mexican Americans / Latinos / Hispanics to be more vigilant as we approach the midterm election cycle to vote against politicians who use dehumanizing terms when referring to fellow man regardless of race or color.   According to the PEW, most Hispanics in the United States continue to belong to the Roman Catholic Church.  While Catholics claim a significant chunk of Latinos, the Pew reports that the number of Hispanics who identified as Catholic fell 12 percent in just four years, from 67 percent in 2010 to 55 percent in 2014. Many convert to Protestant denominations; many, especially the young, are leaving religion altogether.

If any religious denominations and their leaders and/or organizations who have biblical leanings are worried about many leaving religion altogether, perhaps it is time for those leaders to practice the gospel.  Perhaps it is time for those leaders to practice what they preach with regard to stories that are told about the Good Samaritan and How To Love Thy Neighbor.  

Darkness and evil will towards fellow man continue to grow because of the failure of religious and pro-life leaders and we hope to see Latino Leadership arise from the broken pro-life movement as they continue to support politicians like Donald Trump who use dehumanizing and derogatory remarks about fellow mankind.

 

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Women’s Organization Applauds MRC Terminating Man Former Arizona Lawmaker Accuses of Sexual Assault / Slams John Gomez Campaign and Leaders Who Endorse Him For City Council" has been loaded.

POSTED ON
February 01

Women’s Organization Applauds MRC Terminating Man Former Arizona Lawmaker Accuses of Sexual Assault / Slams John Gomez Campaign and Leaders Who Endorse Him For City Council

For Immediate Release

February 1, 2018

 

DeeDee Garcia Blase, Co-founder SOMOS INDEPENDENTS

Lydia Hernandez, Former Arizona State Representative

 

Women’s Organization Applauds MRC Terminating Man Former Arizona Lawmaker Accuses of Sexual Assault / Slams John Gomez Campaign and Leaders Who Endorse Him For City Council

 

Phoenix, AZ -- SOMOS INDEPENDENTS is a national organization led by Mexican American women who are Independent registered voters encouraging voting in our National and local elections.  It was unfortunate to see continued retaliation against Lydia Hernandez who is a former Arizona State lawmaker and woman who is a community leader less than a week later in December after going public against the person she claims sexually harassed her.  After we exposed the retaliatory efforts we feel were made by Dwight Amery in December, we were happy to learn that Mr. Amery was terminated from the Executive Director position of  Maryvale Revitalization Corporation (MRC).  However, it is unfortunate it took MRC years to act on this situation because Hernandez informed the President of the Board during that time. 

 

Even though Amery was terminated from MRC, we are still unhappy to see that the City of Phoenix has not yet acted to remove him from serving as Chairman of the City’s Maryvale Village Planning Committee particularly when the Arizona House expeled a lawmaker who was also accused of harassment recently. We are disappointed because recently the Phoenix Mayor issued his support for a zero tolerance policy statement and numerous women (not just Hernandez) have already come forward against Amery.     Since then, we have been informed there is an investigation taking place regarding the sexual harassment claims made by Hernandez.  Hernandez is currently in discussion with Gloria Allred who is a Women's Rights Attorney about her sexual harassment case against Dwight Amery. Hernandez finally made a formal police complaint with the City of Phoenix Police Department after weeks and several attempts to do so.  Apparently, a sexual harassment police report is considered a level 3 priority because the incident happened in the past.   Therefore, Somos Independents will make a formal request at the next Phoenix City Council Meeting to make it easier for women like Lydia to make sexual harassment claims with the Phoenix Police Department -- upgrading it to something that should require faster response and attention. 

 

Hernandez informed the Phoenix Police Department yesterday that she had turned to the Maryvale Phoenix Police Department Commander Hampton, who was also the Vice President of the Maryvale Revitalization Board immediately after addressing it with the President of the board.   Commander Hampton told Hernandez he did not know what to do but assured her that things would be addressed and resolved.   However, Lydia was terminated from the Maryvale Revitalization Corporation about a month and a half after coming forward to Commander Hampton and Diane McCarthy, former Arizona Corporation Commissioner and then President of the MRC Board.  

 

Women should be encouraged to continue to move forward with sexual harassment claims against their sexual predators and we are happy the #MeToo movement is giving women the courage they need to address their accuser.  We believe the women of Phoenix should not support John Gomez in 2018 who is running for Phoenix City Council District 5 because we believe Mr. Amery has not yet stepped down as his campaign manager nor has that information become official.   We noticed that the Gomez campaign scrubbed Amery name from his website, however, we have not been notified whether Amery has resigned from his campaign.  Dwight Amery was a volunteer for the Republican Party and was the former GOP Precinct Committeeman Chair for LD 13 and 29.    Amery was also the West-MEC governing school board President at the time.  

 

If John Gomez does not make it clear that Amery is no longer serving as his campaign advisor, we will ask the below leaders to withdraw their endorsement of Gomez for City Council District 5:

Steve Gallardo

Maricopa County Supervisor District 5

Ed Pastor

Congressman Ed Pastor

Verma Pastor

Former Educator and Community Leader

Laura Pastor

Vice Mayor, City of Phoenix

Dr. Jacob Chavez

Superintendent, Cartwright School District #83

Dr. Lily DeBlieux

Superintendent, Pendergast School District #92

John Phebus

Former Legislator & President, Roosevelt Elementary School District #83

Marissa Hernandez

V.P. Cartwright Elementary School District #83

Denice Martha Garcia

Former Legislator & Board Member, Cartwright School District #83

Jaime Aldama

Councilman, City of Glendale & Board Member, Glendale School District

Ray Martinez 

State Representative District 30

Tony Navarrete

State Representative District 30

Martin Quezada

State Senator District 29 & Vice President Pendergast School District

Richard Andrade

State Representative District 29

Dr. Gerae Peten

State Representative District 4

Martha Garcia

Former State Representative & Community Leader

Dennis K. Burke

Former U.S. Attorney General

Alfredo Gutierrez

Former State Senator & Community Leader

Francisco X. Gutierrez

Attorney and Community Leader

 

Lydia Hernandez, former Arizona State Representative states:

 

Our nation has been moved to action recently in support of courageous women that have come forward to address very serious and delicate issues of rape, unsolicited, inappropriate and forceful touching that had been hushed for centuries.  Women are uniting in the effort to disclose, educate, hold accountable their aggressors to change a culture that has dominated and controlled women thru sexual assault, intimidation and abuse.  We need to continue to support and hold accountable the abusers and those that have enabled them to prey by remaining quiet and brushing the complaints under the rug.  We are not able to create change by remaining silent.  This is a time for accountability and leadership.  Real leadership, the kind that is not afraid to address issues even when the language is uncomfortable.  I deeply admire and respect our Arizona state legislators that are setting the tone for a “zero tolerance” sexual harassment policy at the state capitol.  On the same note, I ask any woman that has been a victim of sexual harassment, assault or abuse to come forward – particularly if they have been victimized by Dwight Amery, former Executive Director of MRC.

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Veterans Day Memoir: Anxiousness, Eminem and Trump’s Nuclear Holocaust

POSTED ON
November 11

By DeeDee Garcia Blase

There are 18.5 million veterans living in the United States as of 2016, according to the Census Bureau. Of these, 1.6 million veterans are women. Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I to honor all American veterans – living and/or dead. However, as a Gulf War I veteran who is still alive with an opinion, I have no choice but to believe we are nowhere close to ending wars – instead, I believe we are on the brink of nuclear war.

I know I can’t be the only vet (out of the 18.5 million) anxious about Trump’s rhetoric that seems extremely unpresidential when it comes to diplomacy in general and regarding North Korea. A piece in the LA Times shed light from one veteran regarding his Korea concern and wrote: “When you juxtapose the awesome progress of the South with the despotism and economic failures of the North, you understand that our sacrifices there had value. It would be tragic to see all of that collapse in another outbreak of war. I hope President Trump has convinced the Chinese to “persuade” the North Koreans to cease their bellicosity. American kids should not have to fight and die again on that familiar terrain.”

What does my written Veterans Day opinion have to do with one of my favorite rappers of all time?

In October Eminem created the ultimate diss of Trump that touched on those who served our military. As I waited and watched the controversy fallout, I saw a lot of reaction from black artists, athletes and even Ellen Degeneres. But what I didn’t see a whole lot of is the reaction from brown artists even though Eminem mentions the immigrant situation and the wall.

As a brown woman, the below are excerpts I want to draw attention to from Eminem’s freestyle rap on Trump and what they mean to me:

But we better give Obama props ‘Cause what we got in office now’s a kamikaze That’ll prolly cause a nuclear holocaust And while the drama pops And he waits for shit to quiet down, he’ll just gas his plane up and fly around ‘til the bombin’ stops Intensities heightened, tensions are risin’ Trump, when it comes to givin’ a shit, you’re stingy as I am

I was surprised Eminem spit out what many are feeling regarding concerns of being on the brink of nuclear war. Many are in denial about these very real concerns, but the rapper exposes how the government will make every attempt to protect the President whether by plane flying around until the fallout settles, or some kind of other nuclear-proof bunker. Meanwhile, what happens to the approximate 30,000 military members serving in South Korea and the approximate 40,000 serving nearby in Japan? Eminem also confesses Trump may be as stingy as he is, however, Trump is the one who is the elected public servant official who is supposed to do what is in the best interest of Americans.

That’s why he keeps screamin’, “Drain the swamp!” ‘Cause he’s in quicksand It’s like we take a step forwards then backwards But this is his form of distraction Plus, he gets an enormous reaction When he attacks the NFL so we focus on that in— —stead of talkin’ Puerto Rico or gun reform for Nevada All these horrible tragedies and he’s bored and would rather Cause a Twitter storm with the Packers

Eminem nails it here. He sees what we see regarding the Russian collusion and investigation of many in his administration and it keeps sinking like they are in quicksand until #45 devises a strategy to divert attention to other matters. I’m thankful Eminem exposes the smoke and mirrors game to his millions of fans. How humiliating it would be for a President to go down in history with spending more time creating bitterness and chaos than taking part in being a solution to humanitarian tragedies.

Same shit that he tormented Hillary for and he slandered Then does it more From his endorsement of Bannon Support for the Klansmen Tiki torches in hand for the soldier that’s black And comes home from Iraq And is still told to go back to Africa Fork and a dagger in this racist 94-year-old grandpa Who keeps ignorin’ our past historical, deplorable factors

As a Hillary supporter, I’m glad Eminem exposed Trump’s hypocrisy and his slanderous nature against Hillary. According to the New York Times: “…Facebook officials said the fake accounts were created by a Russian company called the Internet Research Agency, which is known for using “troll” accounts to post on social media and comment on news websites. The disclosure adds to the evidence of the broad scope of the Russian influence campaign, which American intelligence agencies concluded was designed to damage Hillary Clinton and boost Donald J. Trump during the election.”

That said, the lyrical lines that addresses “the soldier that is black and comes from Iraq and is still told to go back to Africa” hit a vein with me. The soldiers who are men and women of color have more patriotism in the pinky finger than racist ignorant people who would have known had they served the Armed Forces themselves that the military trains on comradery and the only color that should be noted is the color of our battle dress uniform. In fact the deplorables may want to note that racial and ethnic minority groups made up 40% of Defense Department active-duty military in 2015, up from 25% in 1990, according to the PEW Research Center and 44% of all Americans ages 18 to 44 were racial or ethnic minorities in 2015.

Let that soak in a minute.

Almost half of our United States military consists of people of color even though the large majority of our United States are white alone not Hispanic or Latino. According to NEWSWEEK: “the white population grew by 0.5 percent to remain the largest racial group in America, with 256 million people…”

He says, “You’re spittin’ in the face of vets who fought for us, you bastards!” Unless you’re a POW who’s tortured and battered ‘Cause to him you’re zeros ‘Cause he don’t like his war heroes captured That’s not disrespectin’ the military

A good part and one where Eminem exposes Trump’s inability to say ANYTHING about veterans when he is the very one who attacks them! Trump indeed attacked a Prisoner Of War (POW) and I for one was glad Sen. John McCain, in an interview about the Vietnam War, appeared to take a swipe at President Donald Trump when he criticized people from “the highest income level” who avoided the draft by finding a doctor who “would say that they had a bone spur.”

In my view, Trump lost complete credibility with me as he tries to seem as if he cares about people who served. He already disrespected us.

And any fan of mine who’s a supporter of his I’m drawing in the sand a line, you’re either for or against And if you can’t decide who you like more and you’re split On who you should stand beside, I’ll do it for you with this: F*** You

This above was the best part of the whole diss. Eminem shows he refuses to compromise with racism and I applaud him for that. People of color know the inner racism that has been revealed with this administration and I am glad to see Eminem put his head on the chopping block with angry whites by drawing that line in that sand.

Eminem gets it. He understands we must have zero tolerance for the intolerant. He empathizes with people of color and knows we were born that way and we cannot hide it.

I’ll close with this …

It feels like we are going backwards from all the progress we have made. It’s unfortunate we have such a divisive President as Commander-In-Chief when our very military leaders try to show on the battle field there is no color – just the color of our battle dress uniforms. Eminem has done more with his concert for valor thanking and boosting military morale than Trump will have done in his entire life. And as such, I want to thank all who have served as we march forward during uncertain times.

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Sen. John McCain and Rep. Joaquin Castro Should Conduct Inquiry Of Racial / Ethnic Minority Groups Serving South Korea

POSTED ON
September 29
I'm not afraid (I'm not afraid) To take a stand (to take a stand) - Eminem
While the current U.S. President Donald Trump was receiving numerous draft deferments beginning in the late 1960’s, our people were getting drafted and dying in war.
Many Mexican American Chicanos / Latinos today have had uncles or dads that were drafted in the 1960s to fight in the Vietnam War and were dying at twice the rate of their white compatriots. The Chicano community campaigned then against the conflict and we are campaigning now against Trump’s carelessness on Twitter.
Loose lips sink ships.
I am concerned with the tone the current administration is bringing to global politics and I fear we are on the brink of nuclear war with North Korea. U.S. leadership plays a central role in upholding a rules based maritime order in the Asia Pacific and we believe Trump’s careless tweets are not only un-Presidential – but very disorderly. Trump has never put his life on the line, nor did it appear he had the desire to do so for this great Nation with his multiple deferments. Our troops have no choice as they see us on the brink of nuclear war in the Koreas and have no choice but to not be afraid and take all their knowledge and training into full throttle when Kim Jong Un finally loses it.
When asked about Trump’s views on Vietnam, according to the New York Times:
Trump said he had strongly opposed United States involvement in Vietnam.“I thought it was ridiculous,” he said. “I thought it was another deal where politicians got us into a war where we shouldn’t have been in. And I felt that very strongly from Day 1.”
Just the same, many of us believe it is ridiculous for Trump to take to Twitter to have a war with words with an unstable North Korean leader.
According to VOX:
Michèle Flournoy, formerly the No. 3 official at the Pentagon in the Obama administration, said Trump’s harsh rhetoric toward Pyongyang — which has included deriding North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as “Little Rocket Man” — created the real risk of an accidental war between the two countries. Retired Navy Adm. James Stavridis spent 37 years in the military, including four years as the supreme allied commander of NATO. Hillary Clinton vetted him as a possible running mate. President-elect Donald Trump considered naming him secretary of state. He is a serious man, and about as far from an armchair pundit as it’s possible to be. And that’s precisely what makes his assessment of the escalating standoff with North Korea so jarring. Stavridis believes there’s at least a 10 percent chance of a nuclear war between the US and North Korea, and a 20 to 30 percent chance of a conventional, but still bloody, conflict.
I know that Senator John McCain risked his life for this great Nation and I respectfully ask his office to conduct an inquiry regarding the demographics of military members currently serving in South Korea. It is hard for me to believe Trump cares about military members considering how he disrespected POW’s who put their lives on the line. To this day Trump continues to make fun of McCain’s disability like a silver spoon-fed spoiled brat.
As a Texas-born woman Gulf War I veteran who served my Nation with honorable discharge (now living in Arizona), I am also asking Congressman Joaquin Castro to request an inquiry regarding the military members who are part of racial and ethnic minority groups serving South Korea and Japan. If Trump continues to allow his ego run amok on Twitter with an unstable leader in North Korea, we would like to know more about what Trump is risking regarding the lives and the demographics serving in and near South Korea. Personally I think Twitter should shut down Trump’s account. Will Twitter be viewed as being an enabler to Nuclear War Trump is bringing us to?
I believe it is feasible for North Korea to fire a nuclear weapon into South Korea considering they have little to lose. Approximately 40% of the North Korean population is already starving and they received more sanctions. It doesn’t help when Trump continues egging North Korea to the point of pushing them over the edge where their leadership will eventually want to take down as many as they can in death. China is kicking out North Korean businesses by January, and now their civilians will suffer more poverty.
I care about military members, families and civilians and it is hella scary for me to fathom the catastrophe a nuclear weapon can bring to the Koreas and surrounding nations like Japan and China. I have nightmares of a nuclear war crisis and images cannot seem to stop. A factor for protecting oneself from radiation and fallout is distance. But how in the hell do you create distance on a peninsula? It’s clear Trump’s ego is more important to him because his loose words have been divisive within our own Nation. With Trump’s continued carelessness, I fear North Korea will fire the first missile into South Korea and a snowball effect from a catastrophic event of this magnitude could force the United States to implement another draft and this is unacceptable!
I hope Senator McCain and Rep. Joaquin Castro will initiate an inquiry because a significant portion (at approximately 40%) of our US Armed Forces now comprise of racial or ethnic minorities. Hispanic share of active-duty ranks rises this year according to the PEW. Racial and ethnic minority groups made up 40% of Defense Department active-duty military in 2015, up from 25% in 1990, according to the PEW Research Center and 44% of all Americans ages 18 to 44 were racial or ethnic minorities in 2015.
According to the PEW:
In the same year, blacks made up 17% of the DOD active-duty military – somewhat higher than their share of the U.S. population ages 18 to 44 (13%). Blacks have consistently been represented in greater shares among enlisted personnel (19% in 2015) than among the commissioned officers (9%). The share of the active-duty force that is Hispanic has risen rapidly in recent decades. In 2015, 12% of all active-duty personnel were Hispanic, three times the share in 1980.
A significant chunk of racial ethnic minorities are serving in the ARMY and the NAVY. More importantly the ARMY and NAVY presence in South Korea is significant in overseas missions. The percentage of active-duty service by branch of military are as follows:
Army 36%
Navy 24%
Air Force 23%
Marine Corps 14%
Coast Guard 3%
According to the Guardian, there are approximately 35,000 troops in South Korea and is the third largest host of US military forces. Casualties from nuclear fallout near Japan also creates angst since there are more US military personnel serving in Japan than in any other foreign country. According to Department of Defense data, 39,345 troops are stationed there across 112 bases.
If artillery rounds began to arc over the 38th parallel, ending the tense 64-year-old ceasefire on the peninsula, the Military Times has constructed a detailed picture of what war on the Korean Peninsula might look like, based on numerous interviews with current and former military officials, international experts and intelligence assessments of the North Korean military’s capabilities. However, the Military Times did not construct a detailed picture of what war might look like if North Korea fired a nuclear missile into South Korea.
If nuclear war begins under the Trump administration, the casualties and the blood will be on Trump’s hands and those of his supporters. I do not care for Trump’s carelessness considering he would not even put his own life on the line for this great Nation. If Trump brings us into nuclear war sending us into deteriorating relationships with China, I see no alternative but to see the current administration implement a draft. The Department of Defense is already having a difficult time being fully staffed as it is and if a draft is implemented – Republicans will face a fury and backlash like never before.

 

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Mexican American National Independent Voter Group: Ending DACA A Moral Catastrophe As Americans Face Another Probable War

POSTED ON
September 04
For Immediate Release
 
September 3, 2017
 
 
 
Mexican American National Independent Voter Group:  Ending DACA A Moral Catastrophe As Americans Face Another Probable War
 
Phoenix, AZ --  SOMOS INDEPENDENTS is a national organization led by Mexican American women who are independent registered voters encouraging voting in our National and local elections.  We are key swing voters and leaders who are calling for Senator John McCain to support the 2017 DREAM Act. We know McCain would prefer to support the "whole enchilada" regarding Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR), however, we ask him to reconsider a piece-meal approach because desperate times call for desperate measures. We hope Senator McCain will consider supporting Senator Lindsey Graham’s and Sen. Dick Durbin's Dream Act Bill.
 
It doesn't help when Americans know we are on the brink of nuclear war with North Korea and the billions it will cost in another new impending war, and it makes no sense to divide this Nation more than it is now while spending billions more to end DACA.   According to the Washington Post:  "....ending DACA and moving toward deportation of approved applicants would run up a bill of over $8.5 billion. That’s enough to fund the National Endowment for the Arts (which Trump’s budget proposed eliminating) for 56 years. "
 
Today, Defense Secretary James Mattis  warned of a "massive military response" if North Korea threatens an attack against the United States, after the rogue nation said it completed the test of a hydrogen bomb, according to POLITICO.  The goal of the United States ought to be creating strategic allies – not showing other Nations in the globe how inhumane the current administration can be. Our priorities from the Twitter-in-Chief has taken Americans off balance and now Americans fear nuclear war and a nuke arms race.
 
Shirl Mora James -- co-founder of Somos Independents and a Civil Rights and Immigration Lawyer states:
 
"Clearly the only solution to Trump’s attack on the DACA recipients/DREAMERS must come from our Congress. We must start working hand in hand with our federal representatives and U.S. Senators to pass an immigration reform bill to provide a path forward to citizenship for the DACA recipients/DREAMERS."
 
Ryan Trabuco – San Diego, California organizer states:
 
As a first-generation American, I grew up in suburban Houston with many dreamers. So many of my friends -- who once could only dream about being successful -- have been able to earn degrees, start businesses, create jobs, run for public office, and offer help and assistance to their families. DACA has absolutely helped them achieve the American dream. Donald Trump, however, has banned Americans from our airports because of their religion, he’s banned soldiers for serving in our armed services because of their sexuality, and now he wants to end the American dream for millions because of who they are and where they come from. I absolutely support DACA, and stand with millions of dreamers who fight for the American dream every day.
 
Earlier this year in January, we sounded the alarm to brace the undocumented community of Trump's Mass Deportation Plan intentions, but our message to DACA / DREAMer recipients today are clear:
 
Stay put.  Do not ready yourselves to self deport as the anti-immigrant hardliners would want you to be. You pay taxes and are a contributor, but unfortunately you are here right now without representation.  Please wait it out.
 
Our message to those who have DREAMer / DACA friends or family:
 
Be observant to their needs. Know your local suicide hotlines as hope may fade away or weigh on the DREAMer’s minds. Be there for them.  Show them love and compassion as their futures seem uncertain and shaken.
 
 
 
Above: Joaquin Luna Jr. committed suicide and has become one of the poster children for the DREAM Act because he wanted to be an American Citizen. He wanted to work hard and contribute to this Nation. He wanted pay taxes and work hard. More importantly, after the United States was attacked on 9-11 -- Joaquin Luna Jr. wanted to enlist to help defend our Nation.
 
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Immigrants Don't Pose National Security Threat - Trump Retweeting Classified Info Does

POSTED ON
August 08
“But stay woke...” - Childish Gambino
According to CNN, “ President Donald Trump's retweet of a Fox News story claiming US satellites detected North Korea moving anti-ship cruise missiles to a patrol boat is raising eyebrows on Tuesday after US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley indicated that the information in the report is classified and was leaked. “
In other words, the word hype Trump has been using is meant to distract us from the real danger. That very real and clear present danger appears to be this so-called Commander in Chief who wants Americans to fear immigrants rather than his own carelessness with classified and leaked military intel.
The purpose of me writing on political matters is to give you the “brown perspective” — a Chicana’s point of view (if you will). Too often folks make the mistake that we are not as informed as we ought to be, but considering the per capita rate Mexicans / Latinos / Chicanos are very much a part of when we put on that combat uniform, I would beg to disagree. According to the Population Reference Bureau: “ Besides the rapid increase in the U.S. Hispanic population, Latinos are likely to increase in the military because of several recent trends and activities. The Army has launched a vast recruiting campaign targeting Latino youth, placing ads in Spanish-language media, including magazines, radio, and television.”
Why do brown people care about our national security and the decisions made by the Commander-in-Chief?
Because we represent a tremendous share of military personnel.
Typically, things come full circle and it will more than likely be the case with the need for the Chicano movement to amp upward again. We still remember the Vietnam War and how detrimental the effects were on Chicanos. In a nutshell, minorities were drafted and sent to the front lines in disproportionate numbers affecting 170,000 Mexicans and their families.
Do you think the Trump administration is aware of the high minority population in our Armed Forces? You ‘betcha he does. And right now, we must sound the alarm and warn our children. This President doesn’t give a rat’s ass who dies in our future wars and he proves his carelessness with retweeting classified information.
We have two leaders — one in North Korea and one here in the United States who are more concerned with their egos rather than human lives. This memo is to inform everyone (not just my own brown community) to stay alert and be prepared because I believe we are on the brink of something catastrophic and terrible affecting several thousands of lives. Stock up on food and water unless of course you trust this administration’s zero experience in foreign policy and in dealing with our classified information.
Senator John McCain was indeed accurate to say that President Obama was better than Trump when it comes to American leadership. I second that.

 

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Republican Vulture Kelli Ward Wants McCain to Step Down So She Can Step Up

POSTED ON
July 21
59726bc72100001a00fc8220
John McCain lies in a hospital bed in Hanoi, North Vietnam, after being taken prisoner of war. (Francois Chalais)

John McCain lies in a hospital bed in Hanoi, North Vietnam, after being taken prisoner of war. (Francois Chalais)

Kelli Ward has no heart and no class.
Kelli Ward is a Tea Party darling with no class and has made herself look like one aggressive Arizona desert vulture. Perhaps it was the Kool-Aid she drank when the largest tea party Facebook Group hosted a Kelli Ward Day a couple of months ago. If she wants to beat Michele Marie Bachmann’s image — she certainly has attained that goal with her recent comments about our decorated war hero and vet Sen. John McCain.
Tea Party supporters and the alt right share similar views. According to NEWSWEEK:
“The last president for McCain will be Trump. There’s some godly justice right there,” wrote one user on the “Politically Incorrect” message board of social media network 4chan, a hothouse of right-wing memes.
“I’m pretty sure that God is punishing him,” wrote another 4chan user. “God made it pretty clear that he supports New Right now.”
Former State Sen. Kelli Ward, who's running against Republican Sen. Jeff Flake in next year's primary, says cancer-stricken Sen. John McCain should resign "as quickly as possible" and Arizona's governor should think about naming her to replace him.
Here's what Ward told an Indiana radio station Thursday:
"I hope that Senator McCain is going to look long and hard at this, that his family and his advisers are going to look at this, and they're going to advise him to step away as quickly as possible, so that the business of the country and the business of Arizona being represented at the federal level can move forward." 
Ward, who was defeated by McCain in his Senate primary last year, made the comments the day after doctors revealed the 80-year-old McCain had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer.
Resnik is a respected Arizona journalist who shared his story on a public Facebook post, and it appears Ward’s tasteless comments are backfiring with comments like:
Robert Warrington Reeks of desperation.
Marquis Scott Wow. No shame in her game
Lisa James One bad choice after another seems to be her motto
Sophia Tesch No heart. All hollow.
Jim Helga Benbrook She seems to typify the Republican mindset these days. As long as I've got mine, screw you!
Jan Buchholz She's all heart, ain't she? Real pro-lifer. She's ready to knock him off -- prematurely no less.
Craig Darling I was ambivalent about her before.. Now I am against her completely.. "As a Christian" she says... She's a pretender that should never hold public office again.. She's about power not people apparently.
It’s a shame (for gospel reasons) to have Tea Party Christians and the alt right Christians use a tragic illness to advance their agenda. They are quick to judge and are certainly individuals who bring darkness into this world and in my opinion, they are one of the most hypocritical types when their church pulpits claim to spread the message of love and healing. Calling oneself a Christian and rejoicing in Senator John McCain’s illness as a “godly justice” is harming the Christian brand. Christ showed his love through healing and action and we see Arizona hypocrites of the gospel with blood on their teeth.
Former President Obama has more class than hypocritical Christians claiming McCain’s cancer is godly justice when he tweeted:
John McCain is an American hero & one of the bravest fighters I've ever known. Cancer doesn't know what it's up against. Give it hell, John.
I second that.
In fact, if Senator John McCain can pull through being a Prisoner of War — he can pull through this!
Kelli Ward ought to be ashamed of herself. Hell, Lydia Hernandez, a former Arizona Democratic State lawmaker doesn’t want Ward to lead either and said:
Kelli Ward sounds like someone who is more interested in the position and sounds desperate to do anything to grab power now. This position warrants someone with statesman like character in our State of Arizona.
Senator McCain has managed to pull votes in Arizona from Independents and registered Democratic voters, and if Kelli Ward thinks she can fill his shoes, she is sadly mistaken.

 

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Latina / Chicana Leaders Challenge Standards of Juan Martinez as the deputy county attorney for the "Serial Street Shooter" case

POSTED ON
May 24
Latina / Chicana Leaders Challenge Standards of Juan Martinez as the Deputy County Attorney for the "Serial Street Shooter" Case
 
 
Phoenix, AZ --  Somos Independents is an organization led by Mexican-American women leaders across this Nation. It is our understanding that lawyer Juan Martinez is still on probation.  The Attorney Discipline Probable Cause Committee of the Arizona Supreme Court ordered prosecutor Juan Martinez placed on probation for a year last September 2016.  That said, the Hispanic public expects much more from prosecutors and Martinez’s book released shortly after his Jodi Arias murder trial significantly risks undermining those expectations.
 
Though police have accused Aaron Saucedo of being the "Serial Street Shooter," prosecutors have not filed charges against him.  That said, according to KJZZ, “Juan Martinez is listed as the deputy county attorney for the "Serial Street Shooter" case. Martinez prosecuted Jodi Arias in another high-profile case in the State of Arizona.” We believe standards should be set high with regard to the serial shooter case and the numerous ethical complaints against Martinez has us concerned.    For instance, why is the State choosing a lawyer who has a long list of ethical complaints filed against him from organizations such as the Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice?  On another occasion and according to the AZ Central, “ …  a bar charge lodged against Martinez accused him of violating ethical rules regarding "the existence and content of certain exhibits previously sealed by court order." Essentially, a bar complaint was filed (later dismissed) due to Martinez writing a book about his most famous case, the Jodi Arias murder trial.
 
Our question to the State is:   Why is Juan Martinez the Deputy County Attorney for the Serial Shooter case where prosecutors wanted Court Case Records sealed from us in the public, but is that same lawyer who blabbedwhen his book made general reference to the existence of sealed testimony and exhibits, the references did not contain specific content and was, in some circumstances, publicly available despite the court order(s) sealing the testimony and exhibits"?
 
Lydia Hernandez, a former Arizona State Representative and resident of Maryvale states:
 
As a community member, I question Juan Martinez’s authority in utilizing privileged information.   I continue to feel concerned with how the Maryvale / Phoenix Serial Shooter case is moving forward. The suspect has not been charged but prosecutors have already assigned the prosecuting attorney. A prosecutor who has recently had ethics bar complaints filed against him is questionable to me.   We need an ethical professional that has the public’s trust regarding making sure he is going to be the best professional on this case. We are talking about a capital murder case which involves many deaths. Our community cannot afford any mishaps. We need to raise the bar on this one.
 
 
According to the AZ CENTRAL:
The order states that Martinez violated three Supreme Court rules governing the conduct of attorneys:
  • Engaging in unprofessional conduct.
  • Using means that have no substantial purpose other than to embarrass, delay, or burden any other person, or using methods of obtaining evidence that violate the legal rights of such a person by, among other things, improperly attacking the defendant.
  • Engaging in professional misconduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice.
We believe the State should learn from Martinez’s past mistakes in the Jodi Arias case and not repeat them.  The Chicano / Latino population deserve more in the way of public trust.
 
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Response to May 17, 2017 Hearing: We Demand Right To Our Enjoyment of Free Press in Maryvale / Phoenix Shooting Cas

POSTED ON
May 18

For Immediate Release

May 18, 2017
 
Contacts: 
 
Lydia Hernandez
Former Arizona House of Representatives
 
 
DeeDee Garcia Blase
Co-Founder Somos Independents
 
 
Response to May 17, 2017 Hearing:  Yes to transparency and No to Censorship in Maryvale / Phoenix Serial Shooting Case
 
Phoenix, AZ -- Somos Independents is an organization led by Mexican-American women leaders across this Nation. According to the Arizona Republic: "A Maricopa County Superior Court judge took under advisement a request by several media outlets to unseal court records regarding Aaron Juan Saucedo, who police and prosecutors believe to be the "Serial Street Shooter" who terrorized predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods in Phoenix between the summer of 2015 and July 2016.  In a hearing Wednesday, Deputy County Attorney Patricia Stevens argued that the document should remain closed to keep the media from interfering in the ongoing investigation and to protect what she called "investigatory conclusions" set forth in the document."
 
We want to congratulate the Phoenix Police Department for securing a person of interest.  However, we are respectfully requesting more transparency as it relates to the Maryvale and Phoenix area murders that have affected our community.  
 
Lydia Hernandez who is a former Arizona State Representative and resident of Maryvale states:
 
"As a resident of Maryvale where many shooting occurred, I am asking for due diligence. We don't want to build a false sense of security for our residents. I want the security of knowing that we got the right person beyond a reasonable doubt. Our community is depending on the information that is being shared. Announcements of having captured the Maryvale shooter is technically wrong considering that the person of interest has not been convicted, yet. There are still judicial proceedings to be had. With little information being shared, it has not been proven that the responsible person has been captured."
 
DeeDee Garcia Blase, co-founder of Somos Independents states:
 
"Here at Somos Independents, we believe in investigative journalism and the right to circulate opinions in print without censorship by the government, and we intend on supporting the enjoyment of  our freedom of press under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.  We believe in transparency particularly when the public's faith in our local authorities has waned due to the handling of a high profile freeway shooting case when we learned Leslie Merritt was charged for this crime and later vindicated -- and it was in that case, too, where local authorities requested sealing  records, only to unseal records later on.  The public has a right to know why one single pawn shop in Phoenix has access to weapons involving 2 high profile shooting cases in the state of Arizona and the pawn shop is a red flag to any reasonable person in search for the truth."
 
 
We hope to have answers to these burning questions that will help the community know and be confident that the right man being accused is in jail.  Now that records have been sealed with a lack of transparency, we may not ever know the answers to these questions.  The Freeway shooting incident takes away a little bit of confidence since a man (Leslie Merritt) was falsely accused and later vindicated. Now that Leslie Merritt is filing a multi-million-dollar lawsuit against Arizona local authorities, the rest of the American public should not be punished with gross further lack of transparency due to local authorities botching up the freeway shooting case.  There should be no price attached to our enjoyment of freedom of press.
 
 
"I found you guilty of the crime, Of sleeping in a time when you should have been wide awake." - Chris Cornell
 
 
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Written Recommendations and Follow-Up To Maryvale Area Community Recommendations In Response To Phoenix PD May 8, 2017 Press Conference

POSTED ON
May 11

or Immediate Release

May 10, 2017
 
Press Conference Contact:  Lydia Hernandez
Former Arizona House of Representatives
Phone:  602.463.9900
 
DeeDee Garcia Blase
Co-Founder Somos Independents
(480) 200-3748
 
Follow-Up To  Maryvale Area Community Recommendations In Response To Phoenix PD May 8, 2017 Press Conference
 
Phoenix, AZ -- Somos Independents is an organization led by Mexican-American women leaders across this Nation.  We want to congratulate the Phoenix Police Department for securing a person of interest.  However, we are respectfully requesting more transparency as it relates to the Maryvale and Phoenix area murders that have affected our community.  We are not sure why Maricopa County Counselor Bill Montgomery has sealed the case since the Phoenix Police Department seem certain they have their suspect.  This reminds us of when DPS sealed records in the Freeway shooter case only for them to be unsealed later on. We believe it is reasonable to seal some information such as protecting informants and juveniles, but in this case a defendant has already been identified and the worry to tip off defendants before they are arrested shouldn’t be there.  Additionally, we believe there should be a general written summary of investigation for the public.
 
At the initial court appearance, the Judge told Aaron Saucedo that “more than likely” the public defender representing him in another case might be representing him in the current case which leads us to believe he has not spoken to a lawyer yet.   After enduring the Freeway Shooter debacle, Leslie Allen Merritt Jr. (a white male who was wrongly accused and later vindicated regarding the freeway shootings) was able to secure his own private lawyers.   But we don’t even know for certain if Aaron Saucedo (a Hispanic male held as a suspect for the Maryvale and Phoenix area serial killings) will have the same single public defender that is defending him in another case.  Our concern is that Saucedo won’t receive the same level of legal advice considering the bogged down system in Phoenix and we want to ensure that due process is fulfilled and a man is innocent until proven guilty in all situations.
 
There was a rush to judgment on the freeway shooter incident and we want to make sure that mistake does not happen again. Leslie Allen Merritt Jr (WHO WAS LATER VINDICATED FROM BEING THE FREEWAY SHOOTER) was arrested at a Walmart in a suburb of Phoenix but he told a judge  they've 'got the wrong guy'.  Merritt told the Judge he was not the shooter and he had no access to his gun because it’s been in a pawn shop for 2 months.  This same pawn shop had Aaron Saucedo’s weapon, too, and he is a Maryvale and Phoenix Area Murder person of interest who also is claiming he is innocent. 
 
We are having problems with this pawn shop who has had 2 weapons in 2 high profile criminal cases. 
 
What is this pawn shop doing with these weapons?
 
Why is the same pawn shop involved in both high-profile cases?
 
Why are both guns involved in the same pawn shop with the same individual who owns that pawn shop?
 
What is this pawn shop doing that other pawn shops are supposed to be doing?
 
Is there a word on the street that this is the pawn shop that buys weapons related to murders or crime?
 
There were 8 other high capacity 9 mm guns involved at this pawn shop, so did the other 8 guns get checked besides Saucedo’s? 
 
Were ballistics testing conducted on all the other 8 high capacity 9 mm guns?  We don’t want evidence ignored or for there to be a blatant tunnel vision from local authorities as was the case in the Freeway shootings investigation.
 
How long was Aaron Saucedo interrogated for?  Was he fed? Was there sleep deprivation?  What is his mental condition?   He looked out of it at the initial court appearance when he appeared in front of the Judge at his initial Court Appearance regarding the serial shootings.   We also noted he wore glasses. Does he wear contact lenses?
 
Was there a motive behind Saucedo killing his mother’s boyfriend?  Was it because he was protecting his mother from domestic abuse?  Was he defending her?
 
We hope to have answers to these burning questions that will help the community know and be confident that the right man being accused is in jail.  Now that records have been sealed with a lack of transparency, we may not ever know the answers to these questions.  The Freeway shooting incident takes away a little bit of confidence since a man (Leslie Merritt) was falsely accused and later vindicated. Now Merritt is filing a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Arizona local authorities … more than likely at the tax payers expense.
 
 
 
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SOMOS INDEPENDENTS
An Independent American Voter Group merging Tip O'Neill Democrats and Ronald Reagan Republicans.