Pendergast Update: Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich's Office Investigating Complaint Filed Against Sen. Martin Quezada's Open Meeting Law

POSTED ON
May 17

I have been keeping a hawkish eye with regard to Title I Schools that have a high Chicano and Latino population in the Phoenix metro area and the abuses that are going on with regard to our children and community.   One school district we wrote about highlighted a local Arizona state Senator Martin Quezada who sits on the board of Pendergast School District.

To see the initial story, see:  Pendergast Fed. of School Emp. Past President: "Senator Martin Quezada May Have Violated Arizona Open Meeting Law".  In a nutshell, Larry Nolen was a teacher in an Arizona school district for 25 years and a member of the teacher's association for at least 15 years.  He was also a past President of Pendergast Federation of School Employees for 8 years, but also served as Vice President of the federation for 4 years.   Larry Nolen has met with Martin in the past as a representative of the union to discuss how the district was going. According to Larry Nolen, Arizona State Senator Martin Quezada more than likely violated open meeting law as a member of the Pendergast governing board when Quezada sent text messages to Nolen about a teacher that was supposed to be discussed in private. 

I spoke with Larry Nolen, and have discovered that the AG has requested minutes from the Pendergast School District to confirm whether or not the complaint holds water.  I am told Erika Rodriguez, a parent from Pendergast is filing a complaint with the AG’s office, too.

To file a complaint, please contact the Attorney General’s office at https://www.azag.gov/sites/default/files/sites/all/docs/complaints/new/open_meeting_law_complaint_form-2015.pdf by downloading this form and sending this to:

 

Arizona Attorney General’s Office

Attention: Open Meeting Law Enforcement Team/SGO

1275 West Washington

Phoenix, AZ 85007

I will keep you updated as this story continues to develop and what the Attorney General’s concludes.  More than likely Arizona Bar Complaints will follow suit.

 

 

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Idaho House Candidate Apologizes for "Hunting Mexicans" Comment on FaceBook

POSTED ON
May 17

According to the Associated Press:

"Idaho legislative candidate Jake Stephens says he was joking when he wrote on Facebook that he was out hunting Mexicans. The comment was posted underneath a picture of Stephens dressed in full camouflage and holding a rifle. Stephens, a Republican, is running against first term Rep. Ryan Kerby, R-New Plymouth, in the upcoming May 17 primary election. Stephens says he was teasing a close friend, who is Mexican, while commenting on his own profile picture back in October."

Initially, Jake defended his comments, but has now issued an apology to the tune of:

After speaking with my friends and family, I feel it is important to address a comment I made to a good friend of mine on social media which reflects poorly on who I strive to be.   Today, the media posted a story regarding a conversation I had with a Hispanic friend from October. Although it was an attempt at humor, it was in bad taste and is not indicative of who I am. My comment was offensive and disrespectful to our Hispanic community and for that, I am truly sorry. This, in no way represents my true appreciation for my Hispanic friends and neighbors and their contributions to the state of Idaho.


If my words have offended anyone, I would like to extend a heartfelt apology. That is not who I am and will dedicate the rest of my campaign to show the kind of inclusive, dedicated public official my voters expect me to be.  Transparency should be expected from our public officials, and my comment should be part of that equation. It is not who I am and, again, I am deeply sorry to all those my words have offended.

Jake Stephens

Today is election day for Jake Stephens in Idaho.  Will he win?

Here is how I responded:

 

Thank you for the apology. It was necessary especially when enough Republicans (than not) advocate shooting us like pigs, cockroaches and whatever they are calling Mexican Americans or Mexican immigrants these days.  Truth is, we aren't technically immigrants ... we are natives to the southwestern part of the United States.  We have had it with the Republican Party and their continued intolerance (now through Donald Trump). I repeat: We are sick and tired of the dehumanization process against our people.   http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/virgil-peck-kansas-gop-legislator-advocates-shooting-illegal-immigrants-feral-hogs-article-1.121111

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New Poll: Clinton trounces Trump in Miami-Dade

POSTED ON
May 12

According to the Miami Herald:

Hillary Clinton is so much more popular than Donald Trump among Miami-Dade County voters that even a significant number of Republicans support her in the likely presidential match-up, a new local poll has found.  Clinton leads Trump by a whopping 52-25 percent, with 23 percent of respondents undecided, according to the poll by Bendixen & Amandi International for the Miami Herald, el Nuevo Herald, WLRN and Univision 23.


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/election/article76550682.html#storylink=cpy

I have enjoyed a little breather on the Presidential election race because I know Hillary will be the Democratic nominee despite playing whack-a-mole with Bernie. We also knew Trump would be the GOP candidate, too. But here is where I get to say: "I told you so" .... Moderate voters are the ones who decide the win in elections [Pareto Rule or 80/20], not extremist far right or far left fringe groups. Do you really think I would support the "self proclaimed democratic socialist" knowing god damned well we would lose the key swing state of Florida with that bullshit? Do you know how many Cuban families live there who HATE Fidel Castro? Same with Trump and his anti immigrant bullshit. Now we are seeing (as we predicted several months ago) how Republican voters are starting to get behind Hillary now that they see Trump as their GOP nominee.

Why?

Because they at least moderate Republicans a/k/a #‎ReaganVoters know Hillary has the experience. [Remember: Reagan was a former long time Democat when he led in Cali and they are still a force to be reckoned with.] Whereas Trump is in it for himself. Trump doesn't give a shit about the middle class and certainly not the poor. The comments Trump has made against immigrants will cost him with the old guard Cuban immigrants living in Florida, and Miami is a key area when it comes to deciding Presidential cycles.

It's nice knowing that our energy, time and money brought us this far (if you are a Hillary supporter). We can never assume she is going to win, and we must act like she will lose despite several who thinks she is already President. Yes, of course we know moderates are going to prefer the one with more experience, but .... WOMEN WILL NEVER EVER FORGET THAT THERE IS A REAL PROBLEM WITH MALE CHAUVINISTS WHO FEAR A STRONG WOMAN IN POWER. Male chauvinism is very real, and we must never let our guard down to that regard. Never.

And as a key swing independent voter (supporting Hillary), it is my job to convince the Indies, Republican moderates why Hillary is better than Trump to run this country -- particularly when The Economist has already classified a Donald Trump win as a global risk / threat.

I believe I have to do my job in convincing the moderate Republicans, key swing independent voters, and etc, to vote Hillary, because too many of us die hard immigration advocates spent YEARS and YEARS on what we have now with DACA and DAPA. President Obama helped immigrants with his executive orders via #‎DAPA and #‎DACA, and you can bet your ass a Republican President will turn the clock backwards on that. DAPA and DACA is a band aid that helps a little keeping families together. Too many people forget that when the Democratic Party owned the Senate -- they PASSED immigration reform in 2013 only for it to be quashed by the Republican-owned House of Representatives!!!

Bottom line: Hard core #‎immigrant advocates like myself have spent our #‎Tears, our years, our passion, lots of money, thousands of hours in time trying to effect change with our broken immigration policies. And to be honest, I can't stand Bernie's vote against CIR and protecting the minutemen, and I certainly cannot stand Trump's immigration views and policies that have only increased hate crimes against Chicanos and Latinos in our Nation.

 

 

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No Transparency at Pendergast School District and Bullying / Violence Builds In Title 1 Phoenix Schools

POSTED ON
May 11

"Title I" is the federal program that provides funding to local school districts to improve the academic achievement of disadvantaged students. It is part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act first passed in 1965. That Act is reauthorized by Congress from time to time, and often given a new name.  According to Bright Hub Education:  "Title 1 funds aim to bridge the gap between low-income students and other students. The U.S. Department of Education provides supplemental funding to local school districts to meet the needs of at-risk and low-income students." 

The bottom line is this:  Title 1 schools get additional funding from the federal government to help with the income gap.

So why are Title 1 Schools suffering in Phoenix, Arizona?

Personally I think the buck stops at the leadership level.  There is no transparency that will hold the Pendergast School District leaders accountable, and I know this because there are no video recordings and/or accurate minutes on their website.  Minutes of the board meetings are very broad and general thus opening up the door to the continued a ongoing bullying problems at Pendergast. 

Take for instance a school district performing well in the Phoenix metro area with regard to the Scottsdale Unified School District -- not only do they have a full account of the Governing Board meetings, they also list documents and presentations, and recordings.  In fact, they live stream the meeting for persons who cannot by physically present at the board meetings, then after they live stream they post all of their videos up on their website.

"Kingmaker" Pendergast school board member Martin Quezada is instrumental in getting carpet bagger Lily Matos DeBlieux in as Superintendent, and it appears he will do what it takes to protect her decisions even though teachers and students are leaving her school because of the bullying problems that are not being handled very well.

Why aren't there bully problems at the Scottsdale Unified School District?  And why are there neglectful bullying problems in the Phoenix area Title I schools?

A good start for Pendergast School District is to install cameras for their public board meetings in order for transparency to begin with regard to the decision they are making.  A good model to begin with is taking a look at how SUSD conducts itself in the live streaming / recording transparency department.  This is what Chicano / Latino parents deserve for their children and it is not a sin to raise the bar and the level of expectation for Chicano children. 

 

For the Pendergast Parents:  Please contact the below leadership and demand board meeting transparency. 

Jose Arenas, President
Email: jarenas@pesd92.org

Ruben B. Gutiérrez, Vice-President
Email: rgutierrez@pesd92.org

Susan Serin, Member
Email: sserin@pesd92.org

Hilda Ortega-Rosales, Member
Email: hortega-rosales@pesd92.org

Senator Martin Quezada, Member
Email: mquezada@pesd92.org

Dr. Lily Matos DeBlieux, Superintendent
Email: ldeblieux@pesd92.org

Brian Mee, Chief Business Officer
Email: bmee@pesd92.org

Dora Barrio, Chief Academic Officer
Email: dbarrio@pesd92.org

Patti Tussey, Executive Director for Human Resources
Email: ptussey@pesd92.org

 

 

 

 

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Computer Theft Update At Roosevelt School District #66 in Phoenix, AZ

POSTED ON
May 11

I have been writing about abuse of authorities and wasted tax payer dollars in school districts that have a high population of Chicanos and Latino students.  Last month we wrote about whether or not  Computer Theft Was Being Allowed At Roosevelt School District #66 in Phoenix, Arizona, where Ricardo Gallego submitted the below letter to the Superintendent of the school district:

My name is Ricardo M. Gallego.  I'm a community member, former employee of the Roosevelt School District #66 and former member of the Phoenix Union High school District governing board. As a board member at PUHSD, overrides were necessary to fully fund the district. During my employment at RSD #66, several override elections took place as well because funds were extremely limited. As an employee at RSD, I saw a lot of waste in Food Services Dept. Pilferage was a common occurrence with janitorial supplies and as a member of the Maintenance Dept., there too I saw a lot of items purchased by district p.o.'s that ended up in an employee's home. I have been tracking an employee in the Technology Dept. by the name of Jorge Custodio. I have presented incriminating evidence to the Roosevelt School District' Technology's Dept. supervisor , Mr. Nathaniel Hawkins and Superintendent Koba.

 

We have confirmation now that Jorge Custodio will not have his contract renewed.

Our fears that our tax payer dollars can be put to rest now. The bottom line is this:  There should be no excuse in our pursuit of excellence in schools with a high population of Chicano and Latino students.  Our goals and standards should be raised to the highest levels, and it begins with school leadership.

For the entire story and evidence submitted to the police department and the school district, visit this link:  http://www.somosindependents.com/is_computer_theft_being_allowed_at_roosevelt_school_district_66

 

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Arizona Democratic Senator Quezada Flip Flops And Votes Against Adding More Vote Polling Places

POSTED ON
April 20

State Sen. Kimberly Yee speaks on the floor of the

According to the AZ CENTRAL:
The Arizona Legislature is proposing changes to election law intended to prevent a repeat of the problems visited on voters during the presidential preference election.  Sen. Kimberly Yee, R-Phoenix, who waited in line for more than five hours to vote in the March 22 preference election, proposes new regulations that would:
  • Require Maricopa County to provide at least one polling place for every 1,700 "active registered voters" for the presidential preference election. It defines active registered voters as those who are not on the permanent early-voting list and are eligible to vote in the presidential preference election as of Jan. 1.
  • Allow a county recorder or officer in charge of the election to designate emergency polling places for presidential preference elections.
  • Allow individuals to electioneer and engage in political activity, including posting signs outside a 75-foot limit, at facilities used as a polling place or voting center -- except those used in an emergency. Emergency locations do not have to allow electioneering or political activity on their property.
The proposals are part of an amendment to House Bill 2017.
 

Arizonans are outraged that a member of the Latino / Chicano community and state lawmaker would vote against adding  much needed vote polling places in the State of Arizona.   After crying foul during the Arizona Presidential primary election regarding not having enough polling places, Arizona State Sen. Martin Quezada (a Bernie Sanders supporter) voted against adding more polling places yesterday.

According to CNN Politics, the Arizona State Sen. Martin Quezada (Bernie Sanders supporter) tweeted the following:
"If U are standing in very long line to cast your ballot today, this is what @AZGOP's claimed imaginary voter suppression looks like #AZVotes."
Though Arizona State Senator Martin Quezada voted against adding more voting polling places, his vote was thankfully cancelled out by the likes of Arizona State Senators Catherine Miranda and Robert Meza.
 
Above:  Arizona State Senate Votes on HB 2017 on April 20, 2016
 
The bill is clear.  This was a Maricopa County positive thing to do given the problems we witnessed during the 2016 Presidential primaries as it relates to Arizona H.B. 2017, yet, Quezada fouled up what Arizona Independent voters want.  We want more polling stations,  and that is the bottom line.    Evidently, Quezada refuses to work in a bipartisan fashion and across the aisle with his dissenting vote, and as such, he should be inducted into the Get Out The Vote Hall of Shame.  Saying one thing to media while doing another thing on the Arizona Senate floor is another. Strong consideration for his opponent Lydia Hernandez ought to be considered come primary election day in Arizona.
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In Honor and Memory of Antonio Orendain

POSTED ON
April 14

Founding convention of the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA) in Fresno, California, showing (from right) César Chávez, Tony Orendain, and Dolores Huerta 1962.  Unknown artist / digital print. Courtesy of The Phillip & Sala Burton Center for Human Rights, image provided by Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan. 

 

Yesterday we lost another great hero of ours -- Antonio "Tony" Orendain who was a co-founder of the United Farm Workers Union.

From The Monitor:

Antonio “Tony” Orendain, cofounder of the United Farm Workers Union with labor and civil rights leader César Chávez in 1962, died Tuesday at McAllen Heart Hospital. He was 85 years old.

Orendain’s work was remembered Wednesday by activists in the Rio Grande Valley who continue to fight for immigrant and farm worker rights.  “Mr. Orendain leaves a legacy of struggle on behalf of the farm workers in South Texas and California. His work on behalf of those who toiled in the fields under disgraceful conditions and for unspeakably low wages lives on in the memories of thousands. May he rest in peace and power,” reads a statement released by La Unión del Pueblo Entero.

 

In honor of Antonio Orendain's life, I want to a share a paper  written by Nyssa Cruz,  a fellow Tejana.  She wrote the paper during undergraduate studies, and gives further credit to Orendain where credit is due -- particularly with regard to Texas history.  She writes:

Most people in the Mexican-American community have a great respect and gratitude to Cesar Chavez and the labor rights of farmer’s stretching from the hills of California to the tip of Texas in the Rio Grande Valley; much of the credit is given to César Chavez as he is the face of the labor movement as well as the leader of the Union Farm Workers. There is however discrepancy as far as the workers movement in the State of Texas as well as in the Rio Grande Valley. There was a principle factor for the labor movement here in the Rio Grande that still has its hold in the valley today it is greatly due to the hard work dedication of Antonio Orendian.                

          The brief history of Antonio Orendain was born in Etstatlán, Mexico.[1] He was raised by his grandparents and unlawfully entered the border to pursue a better life as a young adult. He eventually became disenchanted with the dilemma of harsh working conditions that the farmers were facing in California. Orendain motivated factions of people with rallying speeches along the labor camps although in California he joined in the labor organization held by César Chavez and as well as others such as Dolores Huerta but as always it was overshadowed by the presence of Chavez. Just like as all farm workers they were all harassed with deportation by the growers if they did not work for free and that is harassment still going on today by unscrupulous farm growers as well as the state and federal government. He eventually joined up with César Chavez to be a part of the Community Service Organization (CSO).[2]  

          As a result of early organizations the government implemented a program to further enhance illegal labor practices to the next generation of workers under this ‘Bracero’ agreement between the nations of United States and Mexico. The Bracero program which started in 1942 and ended in 1964, staged the uprising of the laborers in opposition to the exploitation of the farm growers on the knowledge that these Braceros who were temporary workers from Mexico would take lower wages, forgo health care and other benefits as well as their counterparts the illegal workers on the field.  They were willing to take the unwanted work by the Americans. The program was no longer renewed as it resulted to more harsh conditions for the temporary workers and this was a sign of relief for Chavez and the United Farm Workers (UFW) who did not want illegal immigration to begin with. If the illegal immigration continued it would reduce the pay for the workers of those legally working.   

          With the establishment of the United Farm Workers in the sixties and in the seventies were in the crossroads of division for the power and leadership of the union. It is not surprising that Chavez took it upon himself to maintain a strong hold of the organization that eventually started the rift to Antonio Orendain. Orendain one of the principle leaders under the UFW knew of the harsh conditions for the disillusioned workers in Texas. In an article from the Free-Lance Star from Jack Anderson stated in his editorial ‘wanted to consolidate his own power’ rather than focus on the needs of the people of the UFW. At the same time Manuel Chavez, a cousin of Chavez was not practicing the same principles in Mexico as he was exploiting low paid workers in Mexico. In direct quote to the article brought further light of the difficulty of working with Chavez:

“As far back in 1967, Chavez promised that Texas would be the next state organized by the agricultural union. He then made the same promise to Florida, New Jersey, and Arizona. “Finally we decided the workers couldn’t wait until César Chavez was ready,” said Antonio Orendain of the Texas Farm Workers. “The workers don’t even who César is. They want just healthy working conditions.” [3]

Antonio Orendain mentioned in an interview[4] that Chavez was way too busy for the needs of the workers in the State of Texas. As it was Orendain spent twenty five years to help Chavez in California until 1975 to establish the Texas Farm Workers Union (TFWU), he wanted to accomplish similar results as far as winning workers right as it was in California and yet it could not be accomplished without some form of organization for the State of Texas. There were various ‘hit and run’ strikes around the valley from Raymondville to Roma, which brought forth the attention of the abuses of labor practices to the workers that eventually had rights for the farm workers served and restored. Most of the time these strikes were not thought-out and some of the time nothing would be done on behalf of the workers. He was working on getting the basic necessities that were not given to the workers before as in basic care, and labor breaks.

In many speeches he showed that the farm workers and their children whether they may or may not be in the farm movement in generations to come the harsh conditions with all the hard labor was not the right path to take in life. Instead they should focus to better themselves to get a better education in order to improve their way of life. He showed not only the people in the state of Texas and California that life on the farm is unattractive, full of mistreatment and hardships, with peoples stories voicing their complaints and how every person no matter of their profession or background, one should have their basic necessities and as well as fair wages for their grueling work.

Although there was lack of funds in the organization, it was  sporadic throughout its existence they carried out non-violent strikes as opposed to Chavez statements about Orendain was not a stable leader and hostile in a message to the White House under the Carter Administration. Orendain with a group of forty followers went on a journey of 1,600 miles to Washington, D.C., on behalf of the  175,000 campesinos who worked on the labor fields[5] and  to garner more support for the workers but as well as to address President Jimmy Carter.[6] Various religious leaders and union officials from other organizations endorsed its movement. However, not to add insult to injury President Carter did not meet up with the marchers at the request of César Chavez of the UFW. Yet he may have not met up with President Carter he returned as a formidable leader than Chavez for the workers in Texas.

Although it failed as an organization it did however have accomplishments in the labor laws in the State of Texas; such as eliminating anti-union laws as well as for Texas being one of the twenty-two states to prohibit union fees and forcing employees to enter a union when employed.[7] However to this day, still there are harsh working conditions for the farm workers. Even though the TFWU is dissolved, he thinks that his efforts were not wasted. To this Mexican immigrant, it's something that had to be done. But for Orendain the future for the workers and labor movement is not clear. "I'm like Socrates: the only thing I know is that I don't know anything," he said.[8] He is one of the last main leaders left from the UFW and now defunct organization for the TFWU. They all pushed for the advanced workers rights from the late 1960’s to the early 1980’s it was not all about Chavez. It was about a movement of many leaders with various backgrounds that helped the workers advance some form of rights and humanity on the backs of the people that provide us with our provisions on our dinner table. With Chavez death in 1993, as well as other leaders the question that rises from this is the farm workers movement dead?  As it is seen in the eyes of Antonio Orendain when he was given a long overdue honor for his contribution for the farmers in the Rio Grande, he also stated:

“What does this mean?” The resolution that honored him and he asked with a smile. “What are we going to do with this?” The question remains can the organization survive the globalization that has come to the twenty-first century. As more and more people are bound to pursue an education that Orendain greatly emphasized and stricter immigration regulations, who will do the unwanted farm work? Will it throw all the work of the labor movement that was done by Chavez, Huerta and Orendain in the back of the pick-up?

 As it was in San Juan, Texas the present city where he resides, the city commissioner Bob Garza on the importance to recognize Orendain and others for their contributions to the Hispanic history, Garza never heard of Orendain before the proclamation declared October 23 as the “Day of the Migrants.” He stated that “This should be more publicized, especially for our school kids.” Today the union follows thru an organization called La Union del Pueblo Enterero (LUPE) that focuses on community organizing and civic engagement. While UFW left Orendain his record and accomplishments in the movement in Texas his work and legacy will not be forgotten. [9]

Sources:

Anderson, Jack; Has César Chavez let power go to his head? The Free-Lance Star March 8, 1980

Bowman, Timothy P. “What about Texas? The Forgotten Cause of Antonio Orendain and the Río Grande Valley Farm Workers, 1966-1982.” Manuscript in the Farmworker Documentation Project, May 2006. www.farmworkermovement.org pp 119-121

Contreras, Gloria. "Onda Latina ~ The Mexican American Experience Program Collection of the KUT Longhorn Radio Network." Instructional Technology Services. http://www.laits.utexas.edu/onda_latina/dase/modules/ol/program?sernum=000511544 (accessed March 8, 2010).

Gaffney, Sean . "Standing Up: Decades-ago crusade for farm workers by Chavez contemporary echoes in Valley” | The Monitor. September 01, 2008

Gómez-Quiñones, Juan;  Mexican-American Labor, 1790-1990 (Albuquerque : University of New Mexico Press, 1994)

Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "," http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/TT/oct3.html Texas State Historical Association (accessed March 7, 2010).

Leon, Arnoldo De. Mexican Americans in Texas: A Brief History. 2nd ed. Wheeling: Harlan Davidson, 1999

María Flores Collection, Benson Latin American Collection, University of Texas at Austin. Texas Farm Workers Union Collection, Benson Latin American Collection, University of Texas at Austin.

Pipitone, Nick. "The SIXTIES: South Texas labor leader honored, at last." The SIXTIES http://sixties-l.blogspot.com/2009/11/south-texas-labor-leader-honored-at.html (accessed March 7, 2010).



[1]  Antonio Orendain to Allen McCreight, November 14, 1978, Folder 1, Texas Farm Workers Union Papers, Rare Books and Manuscripts, Benson Latin American Collection, University of Texas at Austin

[2] Juan Gómez-Quiñones, Mexican-American Labor, 1790-1990 (Alburquerque : University of New Mexico Press, 1994)

[3] Anderson, Jack; The Free-Lance Star March 8, 1980

[4] Contreras, Gloria, Interview with Antonio Orendain,  The Plight Of The Migrant Farm Worker #

  1977-48; Onda Latina Collection October 12, 1977. (University of Texas at Austin)

[5] Texas Observer, April 17, 1981.  p. 5

[6] Leon, Arnoldo De. Mexican Americans in Texas: A Brief History. 2nd ed. Wheeling: Harlan Davidson, 1999. Pg 147

[7] Pipitone, Nick. "The SIXTIES: South Texas labor leader honored, at last." The SIXTIES. http://sixties-l.blogspot.com/2009/11/south-texas-labor-leader-honored-at.html (accessed March 7, 2010).

[8] Gaffney, Sean . "Standing Up: Decades-ago crusade for farm workers by Chavez contemporary echoes in Valley” | The Monitor. September 01, 2008

[9] Bowman, Timothy P. “What about Texas? The Forgotten Cause of Antonio Orendain and the Río Grande Valley Farm Workers, 1966-1982.” Manuscript in the Farmworker Documentation Project, May 2006.pp 119-121

 

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Sec. Julian Castro The New Target As Bernie Sanders’ Surrogates Continue Attacks On Chicano Heroes

POSTED ON
April 13
From political matriarch Rosie Castro, the sons also rise. An outspoken activist, she was an influence on Julián and Joaquín to enter public service. The Castros, Julián, Rosie and Joaquín, pose for a portrait on Sunday, April 23, 2006. Photo: Helen L. Montoya, San Antonio Express-News / SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS

Photo: Helen L. Montoya, San Antonio Express-News / SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS

 

Surrogates of the Bernie Sanders campaign recently attacked a well-known Chicana hero Dolores Huerta and now they have their sights set on  HUD Secretary Julian Castro who is on the short list of possible candidates for Sec. Hillary Clinton’s running mate. We take offense and will not remain silent when campaigns and/or their supporters attack our national Mexican American leaders. This demonstrates disrespect and insults us all.

From 2009 to 2014, Castro served as the mayor of his native San Antonio, Texas, until he was tapped by U.S. President Barack H. Obama to join the Cabinet in Washington, D.C.  Julián Castro was born in San Antonio, Texas, the son of Maria “Rosie” Castro and Jessie Guzman.  He is the identical twin brother of current United States Representative Joaquín Castro. His mother was a Chicana political activist who helped establish the Chicano political party La Raza Unida.  Julian Castro was on the World Economic Forum’s list of Young Global Leaders as well as Time magazine’s list of its “40 under 40” rising stars in American politics. During his term as Mayor, San Antonio was ranked No. 1 on the Milken Institute’s Best-Performing Cities list, and ranked No. 3 as the new tech hotspot and graded A+ for doing business by Forbes. He was known as a national trailblazer in urban development. His top goal as HUD Secretary is giving every person, regardless of their place in life, new opportunities to thrive. As Secretary, he has worked to improve broadband access to economically disadvantaged communities, so kids in public housing have access to 21st century information technology to help them in school and prepare them for the current workplace.

According to POLITICO: “With Bernie Sanders’ durability exciting progressives at their potential to shape the Democratic race, a coalition of groups — many of them backers of the Vermont senator — are launching a preemptive strike against Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, aimed at disqualifying him from consideration to be Hillary Clinton’s running mate.”  Matt Nelson, the managing director for Presente.org stated: “It’s a situation where the Clinton campaign wants Castro to be a major asset to her chances of winning the White House, and unless he changes his position related to foreclosures and loans, he’ll be a toxic asset to the Clinton campaign.”

While the managing director for Presente sets anticipatory strikes against Sec. Julian Castro, it is also important to know the connection between Presente and Bernie.  In this small world, Bernie Sanders’ current “Latino” outreach director is Arturo Carmona – who was also Presente’s executive director. Those who have been following “Latino” organizations, their followers and the money, know and understand Presente attacks against Castro is predictable.

Castro critics say they believe the mortgages should be sold instead to nonprofits and other institutions that would care more about the communities involved.  Despite political posers abusing their nonprofit status, nonprofits are not immune to fraud either.  Brian Collins — an Audit Manager with over 10 years of public accounting experience responsible for performing audits, reviews, compilation, and tax services for a wide range of clients in various industries including not-for-profits and automotive dealerships, states:

“Fraud has been around since the beginning of commerce and continues to plague even the largest of business organizations, from Enron to the mom and pop corner store, and America’s charitable communities are not immune to fraud.  As reported by Independent Sector, an organization that performs research and publishes not-for-profit trends and data, there were more than 1.1 million not-for-profit organizations in the United States, employing about 13.7 million individuals and generating an estimated $1.5 trillion in revenue. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners estimates that organizations lose 5 percent of annual revenue to fraud, which means the not-for-profit sector is a victim of $77 billion in estimated annual losses due to fraud.”

Presente.org bills itself as the largest online Latino advocacy group, however, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) is America’s largest Latino advocacy organization.

Grassroots political immigration advocates have witnessed the likes of  Presente.org, Dream Activist.org, and Latino Rebels go after the Obama administration as if he were some king of a monarchy able to undermine public support and laws with regard to our immigration laws. In fact, Erika Andiola, another Bernie staffer suggested the idea of boycotting the Latino vote until she received strong backlash in the State of Arizona.  One well known U.S. Congressman and advocate for immigration, Rep. Luis Gutierrez,  had to cut off ties with groups in light of manipulation and racist ideas  during heated “anti-Obama” moments  when immigrants were being instructed to “deport themselves” by folks who were bullet-proof and not held to the same risks as other immigrants.   Gutierrez told FOX News Latino, a meeting was very emotional, and the parents discussed things that they haven’t told others.

DREAMActivist.org alleged on its Twitter page that Gutierrez, in reference to a founder of the groups, said to one of the parents of the detained activists: “‘Did you know he’s gay?’ – @LuisGutierrez, to #Dream30 parents about 1 of our founders. Guess he hoped subtle homophobia would go a long way”

Gutierrez said to Fox News Latino that his point in asking the question was to make the parents aware that Abdollahi was not making the same personal sacrifice — and taking the same level of risk — that his organization had encouraged their children to make.

“I said ‘Somebody is putting you at risk who has no risk,'” Gutierrez said.”I wanted the parents to understand they’re being manipulated by someone who is bullet-proof.”

DREAMActivist conceded recording the meeting in a response to a tweet inquiring about it.
The response was: “@latinorebels Well, if a member of Congress can troll our members’ Facebook, #Dream30 parents ought to record what he says about their kids.”

Immigration has always been a federal issue, and both Republicans and Democrats must pass a bill that will reach the President’s desk.  The President cannot waive a magic wand and have immigration reform laws appear out of thin air.  Federal laws must be discussed at a Congressional level so that it can advance to the Executive level.  This is basic government 101.  That said, the Democratic-Controlled Senate did pass an immigration bill with the help of the Gang of Eight in 2013, but it was the Tea Party Republicans like  Sen. Ted Cruz who blocked it in 2014 from advancing and reaching the President’s desk to begin with.  Had Presente.org and/or other anti-Obama groups (who are against “the Democratic establishment”) focused more efforts against Senator Ted Cruz and Tea Party Republicans instrumental in blocking immigration reform instead of President Obama,  – we may have had immigration reform after all.

Mexican American Chicanos and many Latinos  would be proud to have Sec. Julian Castro as a Vice President and we would stand behind him. As a former Mayor of San Antonio, one of the largest growing cities in the country. Sec. Castro would bring a deep understanding and knowledge of the issues confronting our country. He has experience in bringing together people of all walks of life and has demonstrated he can get things done.  We will stand by our Leaders that have been working hard for us and not remain silent when campaigns and/or their supporters attack them.

 

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Write Arizona State Sen. Quezada And Ask Why He Voted To Raise Teacher Fees for Certification Renewals

POSTED ON
April 07

Teachers are already taking a hit in Arizona.  Educational morale is near another all time low with budget cuts, so it does not make any sense for Arizona senators to vote in support of raising fees for teachers. 

Today, Democratic whip Senator Martin Quezada voted to raise the fee on teachers when they renew their certificates.  

Those who voted with him claimed it was a symbolic vote for the legislature "to find education."  Symbolic or not, it is a stupidly thing to take it out on our public school teachers.  We should not take more money away from teachers who take care of our children, and had Mr. Quezada had any children of his own, he would know the ins and outs of how precious our children really are and why we must take care of our teachers who instruct them.   Concerned parents interact with their student's teachers and we hear their complaints with the demands made of them when budget cuts are made.  We should not punish our teachers with raising their fees to renew their certifications.

HB 2620 legislative language can be found here, with the final failed attempt to raise fees being killed here.

 

Please call or email Sen. Quezada and voice your concerns to him now:

Phone Number: (602) 926-5911
Or Send an Email to Quezada

 
 
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National Hispanic Council of School Board Annual Nominating Committee Makes Endorsements

POSTED ON
April 07

 

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March 28, 2016

The National Hispanic Council of School Board Members convened its Annual Nominating Committee via conference call on Thursday, March 17, 2016.  The Committee consisted of myself and two representatives from NHC Membership, Mr. Ruben Campos (IL) and Mr. Sylvester Vasquez (TX), both members of the Council.

Charged under the NHC Constitution and Bylaws the Committee affirmed unanimously that it would endorse only those candidates who were judged to be the most outstanding leaders to represent public education and the interest of Hispanic Students. 

The following slate of candidates represents those persons whom the Committee believes has the potential to do a truly outstanding job on behalf of public education, and would serve as excellent representatives of the National Hispanic Council:

  • Chair-Elect                                                      Steve Corona (IN)
  • Vice-Chair                                                       Lydia Hernandez (AZ)
  • Secretary                                                          Jesus Rubalcava (AZ)
  • Director, Southern Region                              Gloria Casas (TX)

 

The Hispanic Council Nominating Committee carefully examined the qualifications of each applicant for consideration as members of the NHC Board of Directors.  The Committee believes these candidates can provide capable leadership to NHC, and recommends them for election as NHC Officers and Regional Director.

The Hispanic Council Elections will be held on Saturday, April 9, 2016 from 10:30 am – 11:45 am, at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel, Grand Ballroom E, in Boston, MA.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

 

Guillermo Z. López

Nominating Committee Chair and Immediate Past Chair

National Hispanic Council of School Board Members

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