Archive | February, 2009

Tags:

[lang_en]Chicago’s Latino Clergy Demand Greater Representation: Host Productive Meeting with Police Superintendent Wies and Public School CEO Ron Huberman[/lang_en]

Posted on 28 February 2009 by alejandro

[lang_en]

Concerned with the diminishing role of Latinos in government decision making within the City of Chicago, Latino Clergy from across the city came together to announce a boycott of all business and social functions hosted by the City. The purpose of the boycott was to force a dialogue with Mayor Richard Daley and select Department Heads to discuss a plan to increase Latino representation in top advisory positions. The Clergy decided to begin by focusing on the Chicago Police Department and the Chicago Public School system.

The response from the City was immediate. On Wednesday, February 11th Police Superintendent Jodi Weis held a productive meeting with the Latino Clergy where he assured those in attendance he would give full consideration to the Clergy’s concerns when filling new positions and promoting existing officers. The group would meet with Superintendent Weis within the next month to see what progress had been made on this objective.

The following day, the Latino Clergy held another productive meeting with Chicago Public School CEO, Ron Huberman to discuss the under-representation of Latinos in leadership positions within the school system.  Discussions focused on the lack of Latino principals and teachers as well as important education matters such as the high Latino dropout rate and an increase in school violence. Mr. Huberman recognized the clergy’s concerns as valid and vowed to work with them to improve the quality of education for all Latino schools. In this spirit, both Mr. Huberman and the Latino clergy will be organizing a Latino Education Summit, bringing students, teac hers, parents, elected officials, CPS leadership, and members of the clergy together to devise a long term strategic plan to improve Latino education in the City of Chicago.

“The decisions that are made at the top levels of the Chicago Police Department and the Public School system directly affect the lives of thousands of Latino families and influence the foundation of our Latino communities. I am very glad both of these departments seem to recognize the need to strengthen this foundation and have agreed to work with us to make it happen” stated Reverend Wilfredo De Jesús, Pastor of New Life Covenant Church in Humboldt Park and the leader of the movement.[/lang_en]

Comments (0)

Tags: ,

[lang_en]Jornada: 100x 35 One Year Later: March 3, 2008 – March 3, 2009[/lang_en]

Posted on 28 February 2009 by alejandro

[lang_en]

On Tuesday, March 3, 2009 the Puerto Rican Cultural Center concludes a year-long celebration entitled “Jornada 100 X 35.” This title was chosen with a threefold purpose: 1) to symbolize the dimensions of Puerto Rico, 2) to raise $50,000 by identifying 100 people to pledge $325 and 35 people to pledge $500-we are near this benchmark at $40,000-and 3) to pay homage to the life and legacy of Puerto Rican patriot and National Poet Juan Antonio Corretjer on his centennial and celebrate the 35th year of the founding of the PRCC. The PRCC utilized this “Jornada” to create  markers that would inform the historical memory of Juan Antonio Corretjer for future generations to come.

The first of these “markers” began when the Jornada was launched with a showcasing of all the PRCC’s programs and the unveiling of the commemorative 100 X 35 poster on March 3, 2008. In April of 2008 the University of Illinois-Chicago’s Union for Puerto Rican Students dedicated the 14th Annual Pa’lante Conference to Juan Antonio Corretjer and along with the National Boricua Human Rights Network, celebrated his legacy as a Puerto Rican political prisoner and his commitment to the release of Puerto Rican political prisoners over the years; this included a lecture by Puerto Rican human rights activist/attorney Eduardo Villanueva and a musical rendition of Corretjer’s poetry by the Orquesta Nacional Mapeyé. In June, in conjunction with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Graduate School of Library and Information Science’s symposium “Community As Intellectual Space,” the 30th Puerto Rican People’s Day Parade was celebrated under the slogan “The Aesthetics of Resistance: The Act of Community Building.” This theme was drawn from Corretjer’s work Poesia y Revolucion.

In addition, a new mural depicting Juan Antonio was added on Paseo Boricua in back of La Casita de Don Pedro by Mexican artist Manelik Gutiérrez.  In August, on the eve of the 15th Annual Fiesta Boricua, the PRCC and El Quijote Bookstore sponsored a book signing of ”Un Boricua En La Luna” written by Carlos Quiles Rodríguez about Juan Antonio Corretjer’s influence on the PRCC’s work in Chicago. In addition, a bust of Corretjer by Puerto Rican sculptor Juan Nuñez was unveiled at La Estancia as well as a new mural at the PRCC Annex, 2700 W. Haddon, by Puerto Rican painter Pablo Marcano García. Finally, in December 2008, the PRCC published Juan Antonio Corretjer’s “La Lucha por La Independencia” translated by his daughter Consuelito (the first English translation of Corretjer’s major publications).

Furthermore, the PRCC was instrumental in helping to promote other events commemorating Juan Antonio Corretjer in Philadelphia, New York and Puerto Rico.[/lang_en]

Comments (0)

Tags:

[lang_en]Recent Book Highlights Struggle To Save Community Mural – La Crucificación de Don Pedro Albizu Campos[/lang_en]

Posted on 28 February 2009 by alejandro

[lang_en]

Roz Diane Lasker and John A. Guirdy recently published the book, Engaging the Community in Decision Making, summarizing how five community partnerships attempted to address the growing field of community participation, which promises to include formerly excluded community members from decision-making process. One chapter of the book is dedicated to the saving of the Humboldt Park Mural, La Crucificación de Don Pedro, located on the corner of North Avenue and Artesian Street. The chapter deals with the community’s attempt to save the mural against the backdrop of the forces of gentrification and the intersection of the work by Alderman Billy Ocasio, Near Northwest Neighborhood Network (NNNN) and the Puerto Rican Cultural Center.[/lang_en]

Comments (0)

Tags:

[lang_en]State Rep. Cynthia Soto Proposes Bill on Moratorium C.P.S. School Closing[/lang_en]

Posted on 28 February 2009 by alejandro

[lang_en]

State Representative Cynthia Soto to introduce the measure to place moratorium on CPS school closing. If approved, new standards would be developed to regulate how buildings in the district are used and when schools should be closed.

Soto says the process for identifying schools for closure in the Chicago public school system has not been applied fairly and consistently.

“So you are hearing from my constituents. They want a moratorium now and that’s what this bill will do. There is going to be a process…and we are going to be investigating how the old process works,” said State Rep. Cynthia Soto, (D) Chicago.[/lang_en]

Comments (0)

Tags:

[lang_en]From Chicago, Rev. Wilfredo de Jesús and Rev. Freddy Santiago are already playing a role – Gutiérrez Expands “Family Unity” Immigration Outreach Tour: 16 Cities in Five Weeks Interfaith Communities Unite to Document Urgency for Immigration Reform in 2009[/lang_en]

Posted on 28 February 2009 by alejandro

[lang_en]

U.S. Representative Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) announced he will expand his five-week national tour—now visiting 16 U.S. cities—to document the harm caused to citizens across our nation in the absence of comprehensive immigration reform.

In an unprecedented nationwide effort, Gutiérrez will visit local communities and churches to spearhead the Family Unity Tour, which will hold community meetings, prayer vigils and town halls for thousands of U.S. citizens whose families have been or risk being torn apart by a broken immigration system. Many members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus are also holding similar events in their districts.

“As a nation —as citizens— we cannot wait any longer for fair and just immigration reform,” said Rep. Gutiérrez. “Across America, parents and children, husbands and wives are being torn apart by a system that values quotas over family values and which undermines our economic security in a time of crisis. It is for this reason that U.S. citizens in each of these cities are joining this effort and standing up for real, lasting change.”

Already nearly 40 evangelical church leaders, representing nearly 20,000 parishioners, have joined Rep. Gutiérrez to demonstrate the vast numbers of American families—from all political backgrounds—who demand change from a legal system that undermines family values. U.S. citizens whose families have been affected will be available at each event to share their specific stories with the press.

*The event in Los Angeles will not be attended by Rep. Gutiérrez. Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, including Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, Rep. Xavier Becerra, Rep. Grace F. Napolitano, and Rep. Linda Sanchez will attend.

When & Where:

1.      February 27, Providence, RI
2.      February 28, Atlanta, GA
3.      March 1, Albuquerque, NM
4.      March 7, Ontario, CA
5.      March 7, San Francisco, CA
6.      March 8, Phoenix, AZ
7.      March 13 El Paso, TX
8.      March 13, Los Angeles, CA*
9.      March 14, Dallas, TX

10.  March 15, Mission, TX
11.  March 21, Chicago, IL
12.  March 21, Joliet, IL
13.  March 22, Milwaukee, WI
14.  March 27, Las Vegas, NV
15.  March 28, Orlando, FL
16.  March 29, Miami, FL
17.  April 4, Philadelphia, PA

2201 W. North Avenue Chicago, IL 60647 (773) 342-0774   http://luisgutierrez.house.gov/[/lang_en]

Comments (0)

Tags:

[lang_en]Tribute To José “Chegüi” Torres [/lang_en]

Posted on 28 February 2009 by alejandro

[lang_en]

El Bronx, NY – How do you pay tribute to a person that meant so much and that will be missed by so many people? That was Chegüi Torres, a person who was the life of any conversation or party.

Chegüi was a master with a microphone. He educated people with facts about the Latino community that even made some of us educators and activist feel like students again. I sometimes felt like I was in a lecture hall in college when I listened to Chegüi speaking. He also motivated us by his sheer experience coming up the ropes as a Puerto Rican boxer in a racist and dirty business that could easily swallow the best of them. That was Chegüi, an asset to our community. A boxer from Ponce, Puerto Rico in the cement jungle of New York who became the first Latin-American world light-heavyweight boxing champion, turned journalist, writer and author. In 1956, Chegüi won the Silver Medal at the Olympics for the USA in Boxing.

José “Chegüi” Torres was one incredible role model for anyone that took the time to speak to him.  The fact that he was loved in the Puerto Rican communities of the 60’s is a matter of record. He was an inspiration for every Boricua sweating in the factories of New York struggling in a city that did not understand our political plight.
The 1960’s were a very rough period for the Boricua’s living in this city. It was the height of the struggles between Italians and Puerto Ricans that was manifested in many schoolyards, rooftops and parks in this city with casualties that would equal those of many undeclared wars that received no international attention. It was West Side Story in every community where Puerto Rican’s were moving into and Italians were holding on to.

In was during that volatile period in our history that Chegüi Torres got his long awaited chance to fight for the World Championship that was being delayed for no other reason except that he was a dark skin Puerto Rican. Finally in 1965 Chegüi was given the opportunity to fight the reining Champ, Willie Pastrano the pride of the Italian’s.

This might seem trivial today, however, historians would tell you that no other countries national anthem, other than the American national anthem was ever played in a boxing match, especially if both fighters were American citizens.

On March 30th, 1965, Chegüi was anxiously waiting when he was informed that they would not be able to play the Puerto Rican National Anthem. Chegüi said, “I was promised that we could play the Puerto Rican National Anthem and if we don’t I’m not fighting.”

Finally, the promoters and organizers told him it was worked out and that he could sing the national anthem. Chegüi smiled, walked out of the dressing room and headed for the ring to make a little piece of history. Chegüi called out to his Compadre, none other than singer, Felipe Rodriguez, one of the most popular Puerto Rican singers of all time. Felipe, who was sitting in the first row came up to sing the Puerto Rican National Anthem and thus it was the first time that a national anthem, other than the American national anthem was performed in a major boxing match and quite possibly in any sports event in this country.

Chegüi then went out to make history for the second time by knocking out, Willie Pastrano in the ninth round and becoming the third Puerto Rican to win a World title and the first Latino to win a light-heavyweight title. He started his professional boxing career in May 1958 and in 11 years as a fighter he won 41 fights (29 by KO), 3 losses and one tie. After retiring he became a known author, writer and sports reporter. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1997.

He was a friend to every progressive cause and will also be in our memory as a friend and supporter to Latino Sports.

The above article is an excerpt. The full length version can be found at  latinosports.com/boxing/tribute-to-jos-cheg-i-torres.html.[/lang_en]

Comments (0)

Tags:

[lang_en]Letter From Ald. Billy Ocasio To Supt. Weiss Regarding Division St.[/lang_en]

Posted on 28 February 2009 by alejandro

[lang_en]

I write to you regarding the deteriorating situation along the 2400 to 2800 blocks of west Division Street. I was just visited by a senior citizen of my ward who was assaulted on the corner of Division and Washtenaw Streets on the evening of Monday the 16th around 8:00pm. The victim was interviewed by two responding patrolmen, but no police report was filed. This occurred within a half block of a “blue light” camera, located just north of Division on Washtenaw.

On January 5th, the Division Street Business Development Association located at 2457 W. Division was broken into and had computer equipment stolen at approximately 8:00 am on a weekday. A blue light camera is located directly across the street, less than 100 feet away, yet it caught nothing. Early last week the building at 2458 W Division and several cars park in front were tagged by graffiti. This is less than 50 feet from the camera I referenced above.

Assaults, burglaries, vehicle theft, and criminal damage to property are up along Division Street despite the fact that we have at least three cameras along this corridor. What is the point of expending our already limited resources on equipment that serves as neither a deterrent nor a functional crime-fighting tool? I am extremely frustrated with this situation and expect to see it addressed immediately. Furthermore, I will not waste my time on any “ride alongs” until I see more productive and proactive police work in my ward.

Sincerely,
Billy Ocasio, Alderman, 26th Ward[/lang_en]

Comments (0)

Tags:

[lang_en]Rep. Luis Arroyo Questions Latino Workforce Representation in CTA[/lang_en]

Posted on 28 February 2009 by alejandro

[lang_en]

During a hearing convened by the Illinois House of Representatives Mass Transit Committee, State Representative Luis Arroyo (3rd Dist.) challenged the CTA on Latino representation in relationship to the agency’s contracting and workforce practices. On Monday, Feb. 23, the main issue he addressed was based on a recent article in the Sun-Times, which noted outrageous bonuses for top executives at the CTA. Rep. Arroyo responded in a letter to the editor that big bonuses was not the reason the Mass Transit Agency were given a major bailout package last year. Additionally, he noticed that none of the forty top CTA executives were Latinos. He stated: “there appears not to be a single Latino worthy of making decision at the CTA.”[/lang_en]

Comments (0)

Tags:

[lang_en]Paseo Boricua’s 2007-2008 Cacica Among the Top Nine Selected in National Rupaul’s Drag Race[/lang_en]

Posted on 28 February 2009 by alejandro

[lang_en]Jade, who served as Paseo Boricua Cacica/Queen 2007-2008, was selected as one of the top nine in National Rupaul’s Drag Race- a competition that involved thousands of female impersonators. Jade is one of the first female impersonators, serving as an ambassador to the Puerto Rican/Latino Community. She serves as a model and inspiration to the Puerto Rican/Latino LGBTQ residents in Humboldt Park. Jade’s motto is “Always stay true to yourself and never give up.”

The Puerto Rican Cultural Center and Vida/SIDA Bartolo Hernández de Jesús congrats to Cacica/Queen Jade [/lang_en]

Comments (0)

[lang_en]Luis Rosa’s One Year Reflection-One Year Showcase of Crime Against Humanity[/lang_en]

Posted on 07 February 2009 by alejandro

[lang_en]

When the prison doors shut behind us in 1999, part of me remained behind. We knew we would not be taking our comrades Oscar, Carlos and yes, Haydee with us and into the waiting embraces of our families, community, and nation. But we also knew we would be at their side accompanying them through their journey.

“Crime Against Humanity” was born of the necessity to reach in and bring those comrades closer. It had to be born. And like any birth process, the pain can only be soothed when one internalizes what is being contributed…what is being presented to the world. And like any creation, once shared, it ceases to belong to you …it belongs to us.

This play refuses to be limited by obstacles. It has fallen time and time again throughout the last year, on capable and committed hands, into strong and passionate hearts. And like a wonderful book you can revisit time and again, “Crime Against Humanity” promises to move you and spark emotions no matter how many times you experience it.

I join the many to congratulate each and every one of the cast members, to say thank you to all of you, embrace you with a strong and proud embrace.  As you become us, become Oscar and Carlos, Haydee and Avelino…as you become the thousands of Puerto Ricans who  have walked proudly through the prison corridors…you are engaging in a liberating process…you free yourselves, you help free others, and you bring Carlos and Oscar home.

I once heard that…”in order to heal, you must revisit the experience that caused the pain…” You have taken me into those dungeons and once again I come out stronger.
Thank you my comrades,  Luis Rosa Pérez[/lang_en]

Comments (0)

Advertise Here
Advertise Here

RELATED SITES