Thursday, July 28, 2011

Richard Chavez- RIP

Richard Chavez, 81, Cesar’s younger brother, helped build the UFW from its earliest days

They grew up during the Depression, inseparable and as close as brothers can be on their small family homestead in the North Gila River Valley outside Yuma, Ariz. When the family lost the farm, they became migrant farm workers and labored beside each other as children in California’s fields, orchards and vineyards in the 1930s and 1940s. By the early 1960s, Richard Chavez, then a journeymen carpenter, was dedicating most of his free time after work and on weekends helping his brother, Cesar Chavez, organize what would become the United Farm Workers of America.

Richard Chavez spent the next three decades working full time with the farm worker movement. He suddenly passed away at 81, of complications from surgery in a Bakersfield hospital on Wednesday, July 27, 2011.

He designed the stylized black Aztec eagle that later became the union's world-renowned symbol in 1962. The next year, Cesar convinced Richard to put up his house as collateral for a loan to start a credit union for farm workers. In 1966, Richard gave up carpentry to dedicate all of his time to the movement, earning $5 a week like Cesar and other movement staff. He was the first full time staff person for the non-profit organization that is now the Cesar Chavez Foundation, providing extensive social services to farm workers.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Students learn about the economy

Learn about economy in fact-finding tour

By CYNTHIA MORENO / Vida En El Valle

(Published Tuesday, July 19th, 2011 10:40AM)

FRESNO -- While some students are riding the wave of the economic meltdown, others are looking to find solutions to the problem -- even if they have to use their entire summer vacation to do it.
"These are very interesting times. We are witnessing a rise in injustices and political structures that are failing us," said Maira Pérez, 15, a sophomore at Kentlake High School in Kent, Wash., who visited Fresno last week.
Pérez and 40 other students are traveling to cities in the western United States, including in California, Oregon and Washington, to learn about the localized effects of the economic crisis.
The 13-member group made a pit stop in Fresno as part of its tour, meeting with various community leaders and organizations.
"Fresno definitely has a different set of problems that set it apart from other parts of the state that we have visited so far," said tour participant Stephanie Martínez, 21, a graduate of Oakland's Castlemont High School.
Pérez and Martínez decided to forgo their summer fun to tour 11 cities in California that are suffering because of the economy. The tour, which kicked off in early June, is expected to last through mid-August.
The two were selected in the spring to represent their communities as part of a collaboration between the Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center of Oakland and the Institute for Community Leadership of Seattle. They are gathering people's stories about the effects of the economic crisis.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Joe Arpaio pagara $200 mil

Alguacil de Maricopa detuvo a ciudadanos durante redada de inmigración

PHOENIX – El denominado “alguacil más duro de Estados Unidos”, Joe Arpaio, pagará $200 mil a un hombre de origen hispano y a su hijo, quienes fueron arrestados durante una redada de inmigración siendo que residían legalmente en el país.

El pago forma parte de un acuerdo para evitar una demanda.

La Unión Americana de Libertades Civiles (ACLU) en Arizona (fronterizo con México), detalló que el acuerdo beneficia a Julián Mora, de 68 años, y su hijo Julio Mora, de 21, quienes fueron detenidos en 2009 durante una redada contra el negocio Handyman Maintenance en Phoenix.

De esta manera, agregó, se pone fin a la demanda interpuesta por los Mora contra la Oficina del Alguacil del Condado Maricopa (MCSO). Los demandantes argumentaron que habían sido detenidos solo por su aspecto físico en la calle y transportados al lugar donde se realizaba la redada.

Case settled against Nativo Lopez


By: Alexis Calvo
A settlement not totally to the liking of the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office was finally reached after twenty-four months of attempting to bring to trial the case against Nativo Lopez, National President of the Mexican American Political Association (MAPA) and the Hermandad Mexicana Latinoamericana. Originally charging Lopez with eight felony counts of voter fraud and perjury in June 2009, District Attorney Steve Cooley finally conceded to eliminate seven counts and stand on one count of voter registration fraud, a felony wobblier, which will be reduced to a misdemeanor and expunged from the record (constituting a dismissal) after twelve months assuming Lopez complies with probation conditions of 400 community service hours.
The original case was filed by the district attorney in June 2009 with four felony charges and subsequently amended to include four additional felony counts for a total of eight. After one year the D.A. was unable to bring the case to a preliminary hearing, and actually came close to losing the case, Commissioner Kristi Lousteau, the first judge to hear the matter, was overheard to say by the eleventh month of the case. The D.A. then moved to convene the Los Angeles County Grand Jury to obtain an indictment, which it successfully did in June 2010. One year later, after three different judges ordered Lopez to be examined by court-ordered psychiatrists on six separate occasions and three incarcerations lasting from four hours to five days, including two instances of strict solitary confinement, and having been before six superior court judges, the case was finally set for trial on June 22nd before Superior Court Judge William Ryan.
Lopez sought to have private counsel engaged after defending the case himself for most of the two years with no previous legal court experience. However, two judges denied him the right to legal counsel of his choice and imposed on him the public defender over his repeated objections on the record. Judges George G. Lomeli and Patricia Schnegg also denied him additional time for private counsel to prepare for a trial.
With literally one day to prepare for a trial, review all discovery documents, interview prospective witnesses, and prepare pre-trial motions, the defense was inclined to offer a settlement in the interest of the defendant. At the end of the day, the district attorney's office was motivated to drop seven felony counts, not seek any jail time, and settle for a plea on the one felony charge (defined as a wobblier - could be filed as a felony or a misdemeanor), which it conceded would be reduced to a misdemeanor and ultimately dismissed from the record once Lopez completes the community service hours. On the other hand, conviction of the eight felony counts was the equivalent of a 48-year prison sentence.
Lopez never conceded that he had not taken up residence in his Boyle Heights office during the height of the historic immigrants' rights marches of 2006 thru 2008, the period under investigation by the D.A.'s office. Cooley conceded that Lopez had been registered to vote in only one location, not two, and that he voted only once in each of the elections - never in two jurisdictions and never more than once. To the prosecutor's insistence that Lopez verbalize a plea of guilty to the one count, Lopez responded, "a plea of guilty has been entered because it is in my interest to do so based on the plea agreement reached with the district attorney's office." Judge Ryan immediately found this acceptable and so ordered.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Boycott of MLBA All Stars Game in Arizona

July 4, 2011
MLBA All-Stars Game
PhoenixJuly 12, 2011
Good greetings to all. We are a community alliance of families, communities, organizations, and individuals that represent the most affected constituencies of the pogrom of persecution known as AZ SB1070, and the Obama Policy of immigration enforcement known as ENDGAME. We are Los Comités de Defensa del Barrio (Committees in Defense of the Barrio). We raise our voices to you as our relatives, as our heroes and as role models to our youth to consider the implications and consequences of your participation in the 2011 MLBA All-Stars Game in Phoenix.
We have made our position clear since the beginnings of our collective campaign in 2009 to address the inhuman, discriminatory, and unjust state and federal policies that officialize state sanctioned racism as result of the AZ SB1070 legislation. We have always stated as a matter of principle that our community sanctions in the form of targeted boycotts of the financial accomplices to the injustice of AZ SB170 would not be removed until AZ SB1070 is completely dismantled and rejected as law and policy in Arizona. From this position we have never waivered and today we reiterate our call to confront the moral crisis of the present reality in Arizona:

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Winnemem Wintu Tribe and Shasta Dam

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Recall Arizona Senator Pearce

RECALL Arizona Senator PEARCE UPDATE –As of this morning, 15,609 signatures have been processed – 9,414 ARE VALID!  With 1,339 signatures left to process, and at a 60% validity rate, we are on track to hit approximately 10,217 valid signatures. 

Citizens demand more from their leaders when it comes to addressing real problems like the budget crisis, job losses, foreclosures, funding for public education and health care for those most in need.
Because of our effort Russell Pearce will be the first State Senate President to be RECALLED in the history of the United States!

Now is not the time to rest, wait or declare victory. Now is the time for bold ACTION and we need your support to launch our next phase of the recall campaign.  PLEASE contribute $25 or more today.