Saturday, June 28, 2008

MAPA for Obama

June 27, 2008

The Mexican American Political Association (MAPA) announces the MAPA FOR OBAMA national campaign for the purpose of aggressively introducing the candidacy of Senator Barack Obama to the Latino communities throughout the U.S. This is a campaign to mobilize the Latino vote in favor of the Obama candidacy for president, but also to establish permanent organization in our neighborhoods, schools, colleges, universities, and work-places.
Form a MAPA FOR OBAMA chapter today. It is not only about electing a president who stands for change, but making the change ourselves on the issues that are important to us. It is about both electing candidates for change to political office and building permanent organization that you control and own.

Let us unite around the issues that unite our communities:

· Fair and humane immigration reform
· Return the U.S. troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and an end to the war
· Universal single-payer health care for all persons
· A living wage for all working people
· Respect a women's right to choice
· University education guaranteed to all irrespective of immigration status
· Respect the right to organize a union in the work-place with no retaliation
· A green and clean environment and an end to dependency on fossil fuels
· Homeownership - a dream based on fair loan terms and no predatory lending
· Fair and equitable trade policies

These are the issues that are important to us and around which we can form chapters of the MAPA FOR OBAMA campaign.

Call us today to form your chapter, hold a house meeting or campus meeting. Once you form your MAPA FOR OBAMA chapter you control the leadership, you engage in the campaign locally, you control the resources, you direct the campaign in your sphere of influence, and you will hold the candidate accountable after Election Day.

You can reach us at - - or (323) 269-1575. We are organized in all major counties throughout California and in other states. You also can be part of this network. Call us.

Nativo V. Lopez
National President

Why the AFL-CIO Endorses Barack Obama
By John J. Sweeney

If ever working families needed change we can believe in, it is now. America's promise to working families has been broken by the deliberate corporatization of our economy. The basic needs and dreams of our families have been sold to the highest corporate bidders-Big Oil, Big Pharma, the insurance industry, the giant mortgage lenders and the speculators.

With 80 percent of the public saying our country is headed in the wrong direction, it's time to turn around America. This primary season, we were blessed with a committed and talented group of working family champions running for the presidency. Each would have brought special strengths on our behalf to the White House. AFL-CIO unions embraced and campaigned mightily on behalf of former Sen. John Edwards and Sens. Chris Dodd, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama.

But now the AFL-CIO's autonomous unions, representing 10.5 million working men and women from every walk of life, have come together to pledge our energy, our hearts and our grassroots strength to electing Barack Obama.

The reasons are many. As the son of a single mother, as a Chicago community organizer and Illinois state senator, Obama saw firsthand and addressed the struggles of working families. And in his years in the U.S. Senate, he has earned a 98 percent record of voting on behalf of working families.

On the greatest priorities of America's union movement and the millions of working people we represent, Obama's record and proposals ensure he is the right choice. Good Jobs and Wages: Obama proposes an "aggressive strategy to create good, middle-class jobs," including hundreds of thousands of jobs in the renewable energy sector. He opposed the Bush administration's move to take overtime pay rights from some 10 million workers. He strongly supports Davis-Bacon wage protections and project labor agreements and voted repeatedly to increase the minimum wage.

Health Care: Obama's plan would provide health care for all, lower costs, improve quality and ensure no one could be denied care because of a pre-existing condition or illness. Employee Free Choice Act: Obama is committed to ensuring that workers can choose to gain a union voice on the job and bargain with their employers for better wages, benefits and working conditions-without employer harassment or intimidation. He co- sponsored and voted for the Employee Free Choice Act and promises to sign it into law as president. Fair Trade: Obama wants to end tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas and will oppose new trade agreements unless more steps are taken to protect American jobs and the environment. Fair Taxes: Obama's tax proposal would give families making between $37,595 and $66,354 a year an average tax cut of $1,042, compared with the $319 proposed by rival John McCain.

Retirement Security: Obama opposes privatizing Social Security and has a solid record of supporting Social Security and Medicare, as well as opposing cuts in benefits. He also has fought to lower the cost of prescription drugs for seniors. An Economy That Works for All: Obama says working families' current economic hardships were not "inevitable." They resulted from irresponsible economic policies by the Bush administration that gave tax breaks to the rich while cutting working family priorities. Obama consistently has fought tax cuts for the wealthy and program cuts for working families. As president, Barack Obama can lead the change working families need.

Find out more about Barack Obama and his positions on key working family priorities at
Then help us spread the word.

Paid for by the AFL-CIO Committee on Political

Education (COPE) Political Contributions Committee,, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

Join us in this prolonged campaign for driver's licenses and visas for our families. The first step in making change is to join an organization that pursues the change we desire. We welcome you to our ranks.
Other organizations leading this movement include: Hermandad Mexicana Latinoamericana, Mexican American Political Association (MAPA), MAPA Youth Leadership, Liberty and Justice for Immigrants Movement, National Alliance for Immigrant's Rights, and immigrant's rights coalitions throughout the U.S..

Nativo V. Lopez, National President of MAPA (323) 269-1575

Join the Mexican American Political Association mailing list

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Solidarity with Guest Workers

Solidarity with Indian Guest Workers on Hunger Strike

Sponsored by Jobs with Justice (JwJ), Grassroots Global Justice (GGJ), National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (NNIRR),
and South Asian Americans Leaders of Tomorrow (SAALT),
together with the New Orleans Workers' Center for Racial Justice
Indian guest workers trafficked to the Gulf Coast to work for Signal International have been on a hunger strike since May 14 demanding dignity and justice. The workers were charged $20,000 apiece for false promises of permanent residency but instead were given temporary H2B visas that bound them to their employer, allowing the company to impose deplorable conditions and threaten workers with deportation. When they organized, Signal sent armed guards to detain the organizers and fired the leaders. The intimidation hasn't stopped their organizing, and the hunger strike now enters its fourth week. The workers have already won their first demand - Congress will hold a hearing later this year to investigate Signal International and the use of the guest-worker program.

Help the workers win their second, key demand - that they be granted "continued presence" - so they can end their hunger strike. The workers must be released from the terror of deportation and granted this legal status as authorized by the U.S. Trafficking Victims Protection Act so they may safely participate in the federal government's investigation.



Representative Dennis Kucinich is circulating a sign-on letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey calling for continued presence for the workers. Call your member of Congress through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask them to sign onto the letter.


Actions should be focused on public education, media visibility, and pressure on the Attorney General. Local solidarity actions can:

Grab media and public attention by preparing visuals, street theater, or making local connections to expose the abuses of guest workers.
Take a delegation inside to deliver a copy of the Kucinich letter and local letters of support to the U.S. Attorney or other federal official demanding they fax it immediately to the Attorney General. For a list of U.S. Attorneys offices:
Take cell phones and ask passers-by to call the Attorney General immediately to express support for the workers.
Hand out leaflets with information about the hunger strike and the Attorney General's phone number. These will be available soon at
Through these actions we will demonstrate to the Department of Justice that workers' rights organizers around the country are paying attention and calling for justice in this case. In Washington DC, the workers and their allies will be holding a massive rally at the Department of Justice in conjunction with the events around the country.


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Thursday, June 05, 2008

Socialist International meeting on Migration

The Migration Committee of the Socialist International met in Los Angeles, California June 2-3, 2008, Chaired by Alicia Garcia Medína , Governor of the Mexican State of Zacatexas and representative of the P.R.D.

The meeting was called to develop a position paper on Migration for the 23rd Congress of the Socialist International meeting June 30-July 2, 2008 in Athens, Greece. I was one of three delegates from DSA at the meeting. DSA is the only U.S. organization holding membership in the Socialist International.
Migration is a global issue. In the neo-liberal economy capital has been freed to cross borders. Socialists need to develop strategies to support and to protect migrants and working people in this new globalized era.
The final declaration of the Los Angeles preparatory meeting focused on the fact that migration was fundamentally a result of the unjust distribution of wealth between rich countries and the poor countries of the world.
California Senator Gil Cedillo testified to the important roles that immigrants play in the California economy and the concern raised by the growing right wing hysteria.
Participants discussed the importance of getting the U.S. presidential candidates to return to considering legislation proposed for a just and a comprehensive immigration reform bill to legalize the almost 11 million undocumented workers presently in the U.S.- and to oppose the building of a wall along the U.S. – Mexican border. The Committee urged adoption of immigration reform and the respect for the rights of all workers- including immigrants.
Concern was expressed about the effects of the U.S. recession and the slowing world economy, noting that in time of a weak economy xenophobic attacks on immigrants increase. Dra. Margarita Zapata Choiseul, representing the Socialist Women’s delegation, asserted that the death last week of Maria Isabel Vasquez Jiminez, a 17 year old working in the grape fields of N. California, along with hundreds of other deaths, was both the responsibility of the California labor department for not enforcing existing laws and also the responsibility of the home country- in this case Mexico- for permitting the corruption and poverty which forces young people to migrate in search of a decent life.
Delegates to the meeting heard from academics, elected officials, and leaders of local grassroots organizations, notably Nativo Lopez of Hermandad Mexicano on the necessity of a just immigration reform.
Delegates and observers from El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico and the Dominican Republic testified to the many ways that immigration distorts their own economies.
The final draft statement, to be ready soon, supported the position of focusing on the rights of working people in all countries – native workers and migrants. The S.I draft should place a Human Face on the issue of migration.
Deputies from Morocco argued that the U.N Convention on the Rights of Migrants and their families – which the U.S. has not signed- provided a good framework for immigration policy for the S.I.
Representatives of NGOs urged inclusion in the SI statement of a concern for the feminization of immigration and particularly the problems of sexual exploitation, exploitation of children, and sex slavery.
A final report of the event will be posted on the Socialist International site when it is completed.