Wednesday, February 16, 2022

The Importance of Voting


I work as a janitor in Houston. I can’t vote, but my friends and family do. When we chat about what we want out of life, some say that they want their loved ones protected from the threat of deportation, some want to make more money, and some just want the best for their family. This is why they vote in every election.

They know that our freedom to vote is the key to winning on all the issues that matter to our families– from deportation protection, to raising the wage, and accessing clean water. 

But let’s be clear. Some Republicans do not want our communities to vote. In the past few years alone, Republicans have introduced or passed hundreds of racist, anti-voter bills to limit who can vote and make it harder for some people to cast their ballots. 

Right now, many states have imposed laws that require voters to show identification when voting. In Georgia, lawmakers have made it a crime to offer water to voters waiting in line at the polls. But guess what? 21 million U.S. citizens do not have government-issued photo IDs, and they are disproportionately voters of color. And lines for the polls are typically longer in–  you guessed it– communities of color! 

The list of anti-voter tactics goes on and on. Just a few years ago, here in Texas, the secretary of state’s office tried to purge a voter list of eligible naturalized citizens. Thanks to the ACLU and other civil rights organizations, we were able to stop this purge from going into effect. These voter suppression laws are designed to take our power, which is why protecting our right to vote is crucial. 

Democracy works best when all eligible voters, no matter their zip code or place of birth, can make their voices heard. Your votes count. If they didn’t, so many politicians wouldn’t pass bills to make it harder for people to vote.

Protecting our right to vote is the path to immigrant justice.

Carmen Salazar
Janitor and SEIU Texas member

Washington, DC 20036
United States

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Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Voting in Texas

 The Texas primary election is just 15 days away and we have a massive opportunity to elect two progressive champions to Congress: Jessica Cisneros and Greg Casar.

Electing these two candidates will grow our voice in Congress calling for Medicare for All, reproductive rights, a Green New Deal, and much more.

It’s the reason why Alexandria traveled to San Antonio and Austin this past weekend to help get out the vote before early voting starts on Monday, and met with organizers on the ground.

Wednesday, February 09, 2022

A Day Without Immigrants


National Day of Action

Join a grassroots day of action for immigration reform - A Day Without Immigrants - Valentine’s Day on Monday, February 14.

From call: Valentine's Day is one of the highest-spending days in the United States. But if it weren't for immigrants, this very commercial day would not be possible, since immigrants sustain the economy of this country. Still, the government refuses to recognize our contributions and grant immigration reform to help us.

So in protest, this year on Valentine's Day we immigrants are going to make our absence felt. ALL OVER THE UNITED STATES We're not going to work. We are not going to school. We are not going to spend. Instead, we will take to the streets peacefully to raise our voices.
For the government to see that it is time for immigration reform!
If we all unite, we can achieve it... 

The FB page, where you can find actions in different locations under the events tab, has gathered over 69k followers in a few days. Comrade Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spoke in support.

AT the Border - Conversation

 Join Us February 15 for Humanities and the Border

Mellon’s live events feature conversations with changemakers in the arts, humanities, social justice, and higher learning who are working to build more just and creative communities.  

Our 2022 series kicks off next week with a conversation that takes us to the US-Mexico Borderlands region, where we’ll explore a range of locally-driven, Mellon-supported projects. Learn about the ongoing richness of and opportunities for cross-cultural community engagement; and the intersection of environmental justice, higher learning, and artistic production born out of this region. 

Featuring: Dr. Elizabeth Alexander, President of the Mellon Foundation; Natalie Diaz, Poet and Director of the Center for Imagination in the Borderlands at Arizona State University; Teddy Cruz and Fonna Forman, who lead the UCSD Community Stations across the San Diego-Tijuana, Mexico border.


Wednesday, February 02, 2022

SCUSD and Covid- Our Kids


 Community Priorities Coalition 



 Statement on the Impact 

of COVID-19 on SCUSD Students 


The Sacramento City Community Priorities Coalition (CPC) is very concerned about the quality of education for children in the Sacramento City Unified School District. We recognize that the district, parents, and students are in very difficult times with the impact of COVID-19, but while the school doors are open, the education is fractured. That is not okay. 

The CPC has deep concerns about the following issues that must be addressed to address increasing learning loss of students, particularly for students who are academically behind and emotionally scarred by the pandemic. 

We particularly concerned about the following: 

                • _Since classes resumed after the Winter break, the number of students without a regular teacher in SCUSD grew to over 15,000. Many students are attending day and after-school classes in which their teachers (or substitutes) are not available. 


                • _We know that up to 40% of students in SCUSD schools are being shuffled into combined subject classes, and even in larger gym spaces. There is no curriculum for such mixed classes. Even a skilled teacher would have difficulty deciding what to teach and at which grade level. That is crowd control, not in person learning. 


                • _Ignoring the emergence of a second wave of COVID-19 and the omicron variant, the district also made a poor decision to return to in-person classes and abandon remote learning for students and teachers who are quarantined or choose not to return to schools because of the pandemic. 


                • _There are no apparent protocols for dealing with COVID health crisis. There’s no formal COVID testing or consistent tracking of COVID infections. This puts teachers, staff, and students at greater risks. And it’s difficult to reduce the spread of the virus in schools when there’s not adequate social distancing or ventilators in classrooms. 



                • _We’re also deeply concerned about the learning loss of students. The district hasn’t reported on the academic and social-emotional impact of the pandemic on students, particularly among Black and Hispanic students with disabilities. 


Our Recommendations 

While we understand the challenges the district is facing, we are calling for SCUSD to close impacted schools, especially high schools for two weeks so alternative plans can be developed. Because what’s taking place now is clearly not working. 

Alternative plans might include the following: 

                • _Return to a hybrid model of remote and in-classroom in order to serve students and teachers who choose not to return to school and who are in quarantine because of COVID infections. 

                • _Start the development of a Virtual Academy for “students who qualify as medically fragile with documented health conditions.

                Lower class sizes.  Spreading children out not grouping them together.._ _

                • _Increase the physical and mental health support for students. Increase health professionals on site at each school where there is an outbreak and improved ventilation. 

                • _N-95 and K-95 masks for all teachers, staff and students. 

                • _Require weekly testing for all unvaccinated teachers, staff and students. 

                • _For teachers and staff: If you are sick, stay home. Remain at home until you complete the recommended quarantine. You should isolate for the full time needed to heal. You should test negative for the virus prior to returning to 


the classroom. Early returning to the school spreads the virus and places everyone at risk. 

                • _For Parents: If your child does not have 24 or fewer students in the classroom, with a credentialed teacher, we recommend that you consider keeping your child safe at home for a few weeks – until the district creates and implements a responsible plan including no merged classes, expanding testing and optimal personal protective equipment. 


You should also insist during this time on the return of at least some form of 

on-line instruction for the Spring semester, until schools are safe. The district does have an independent study program you might consider for your child to learn from home. 

For more information contact Carl Pinkston, BPSB, or to the website:


Black Parallel School Board, Building Healthy Communities, Tower of Youth, Democracy and Education Institute and League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC, 2862)