Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Latinos experience discrimination in historic town

Historic community from the mid-1600s did not learn from past mistakes
By Adrian Perez

East Haven, Connecticut was established in the mid-1600s and was known for being perhaps the nation’s first iron works.  Although the community is old, it has remained relatively small (pop. 28,000) compared to its neighbor only 70 miles south, New York City.  Like many towns across America, East Haven witnessed a growth in Latino residents, comprising 7 percent of the total population that is until the City’s police force decided to implement their own attrition program.

Latinos in America number approximately 45 million, of which 76 percent are born in the U.S.  But, apparently that has not mattered for the predominantly Italian community whose Police Chief decided to conduct flagrant racial profiling of Latinos.  His officers have been serving as implementers of hate, hassling Latinos with unjustified traffic stops, false arrests, jailhouse beatings, and even towing their cars without warrant.  The situation has grown so severe that Latinos are making every effort to leave this picturesque community.

Restaurants and stores, which have been catering to Latinos on East Haven’s main street, are shutting their doors due to the owners and their clients being harassed.  One grocery owner was jailed for almost a week, charged with child neglect for having his 3-year old play in front of the store unsupervised.  Out of town shoppers have been threatened with arrest and deportation if they are unable to prove their citizenship.

About 100 years ago, Italians were the target of this type of discrimination and many would figure their experience would have led them to have a more tolerant view of immigrants.  But, Police Chief Leonard Gallo saw it differently, using his office and the city’s police as an opportunity to rid the community of the growing Latino population.  This is a population that includes immigrants and U.S. born.  Hiding behind the badge to implement racial profiling and decide who should live in East Haven and who should not, is a page from fascist regime of Mussolini.

Mayor April Capone
Today, two-years after allegations the Police Department was abusing its authority, Chief Gallo is on administrative leave while the Justice Department conducts a civil rights investigation.  In addition, the FBI has opened a criminal probe that is making police and city officials nervous.  Neither acting Police Chief Gaetano Nappi or the town’s attorney, Patricia Cofrancesco, are talking to the media or the public about these investigations.  The town’s mayor, April Capone, revealed that the FBI was conducting an investigation, but has refused to respond to further inquiries.  And, of course, embattled Chief Gallo is denying the allegations.

There is no question that this historic community needs major reform, beginning with its leaders, and will need to take steps toward resolving its new recognition of being perhaps the most racist small community in the North East.  In the meantime, it is witnessing the exodus of what could have been their next generation of tax payers.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Did White House fail Latinos?

Defeat of immigration measure reveals failed White House strategy, advocates say
By Shankar Vedantam
Washington Post (December 18, 2010)

Whenever Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-Ill.) and other immigrant-rights advocates asked President Obama how a Democratic administration could preside over the greatest number of deportations in any two-year period in the nation's history, Obama's answer was always the same.

Deporting almost 800,000 illegal immigrants might antagonize some Democrats and Latino voters, Obama's skeptical supporters said the president told them, but stepped-up enforcement was the only way to buy credibility with Republicans and generate bipartisan support for an overhaul of the nation's immigration laws.

On Saturday that strategy was in ruins after Senate Democrats could muster only 55 votes in support of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, a measure that would have created a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who were brought to this country as children. Under Senate rules, Democrats needed 60 votes to overcome Republican opposition to the bill. The House of Representatives had passed the measure earlier this month, 216 to 198.

The irony of the DREAM Act's failure is that it had strong bipartisan support at the start of the administration, and advocates believed it could generate momentum for more controversial policy changes.

But as the country's mood shifted on the issue of illegal immigration, support among Republicans and some Democratic senators evaporated, with many decrying it as backdoor amnesty for lawbreakers. Even a former co-sponsor of the DREAM Act, Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), voted against it.

"This law, at its fundamental core, is a reward for illegal activity,'' said Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), who led Republican opposition to the measure. "This is an amnesty bill because it provides every possible benefit, including citizenship, to those who are in the country illegally.''

Virtually no one believes immigration overhaul is possible in the next two years, given the views of many members of the incoming Republican majority in the House.

Now many immigrant-rights supporters are second-guessing the president's efforts to woo Republicans by ramping up deportations.

"It is a strategy which has borne no fruits whatsoever," Gutierrez said. "This administration has unilaterally led the march on enforcement, yet the other side has not given one modicum of compromise."

"If you really want to bring Republicans to the table," he added, "so long as they are getting everything they want, every piece of enforcement, why, why would they come to the table?"

At a recent press briefing, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano denied that the administration had increased deportations to bring Republicans to the bargaining table.

"I don't view it as a quid pro quo," Napolitano said. "We enforce the law because we took an oath to enforce the law."

Monday, November 1, 2010

Latinos need to get out and vote!

Your vote is important: California’s future is at stake!
By James Barrera, Freelance Writer/Latino Journal Contributor

Sacramento, CA – The California general election is right around the corner:  Tuesday, November 2nd to be exact.  And if you are a registered voter, it is the day of reckoning.  High noon, if you will -- time to get out and vote!  No excuses this time.  The stakes are too high and this election will impact Californians for generations to come.

I have voted in every major election here in California ever since I was 18-years-old.  As a citizen of the golden state, my California, it is my right and my privilege.  Throughout the course of my life, I may have missed out on family weddings and funerals.  I may have missed major interviews for jobs.  I may have even ducked out on a few break-ups with ex-girlfriends.  But I have never missed out on my right to participate in the electoral process.  It is my way to be part of our unique Democratic experiment and be a part of shaping the direction that my beloved California is headed.  That is why I encourage my fellow Californians to engage in the simple act of voting.  But consider your voting decisions carefully:

The Governor’s Race – Brown or Whitman: As you make your decisions on how to cast your vote, I encourage you to remember history.  At this juncture, Republican governor’s candidate Meg Whitman has spent an astounding $150 million in her attempt to buy the California governorship.  And yet, in the previous 30 years, she herself had never taken the interest to vote or participate in the democratic process.  She has no knowledge in dealing with Sacramento politics.  She touts her business experience as billionaire CEO for EBay as her only qualification to run California.  Does it all sounds so familiar?  It should!  It sounds a lot like current Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Whitman retains one of California’s most odious former governors, Pete Wilson as her personal political guru.  Wilson provided her with the same script, line for line that he provided Governor Schwarzenegger.  But unlike the consummate showman, Schwarzenegger, Whitman rarely strays off of those talking points.  And when she does, she stumbles badly, looking inept and out of her element.  Whitman picked up Wilson’s career-long political theme of demonizing immigrants for well, everything.  Of course, that blew up in her face, when a former Whitman maid, Nicky Diaz Santillian, went public with her story.  At the time she was hired, Santillian was an illegal immigrant.  She subsequently worked for Whitman for nine years.  Can you say – awkward!  The thing to remember was that Schwarzenegger won the governorship based on the same exact promises and talking points spoon fed to him by Wilson.  And look what happened to the terminator?  He found out the real land sharks are in Sacramento, not Hollywood.

In contrast, Jerry Brown has four decades of successful political experience.  In 1970, Brown was elected California Secretary of State.  During his term, he argued before the California Supreme Court and won against Standard Oil of California, International Telephone and Telegraph, Gulf Oil and Mobil for election law violations.  In addition Brown forced legislators to comply with campaign disclosure laws.  While holding this office he discovered Nixon’s use of falsely notarized documents to earn a tax deduction.  Brown was also instrumental in establishing the California Fair Political Practices Commission.  Not a bad start at all.

In 1974, Brown was elected Governor of California.  Upon taking office, Brown gained a reputation as a fiscal conservative.  Certainly more of a fiscal conservative than Governor Reagan ever was.  Reagan never met a budget surplus he couldn’t transform into a deficit.  On the other hand, Brown’s fiscal restraint resulted in one of the biggest budget surpluses in state history, roughly $5 billion.  In his personal life, Brown was legendary for his frugal lifestyle.  Instead of moving into Reagan’s former digs, the governor’s mansion, he rented a modest apartment at the corner of 14th and N Streets, in downtown Sacramento.  Unlike Reagan, who rode in a chauffeured limousine, Brown drove to work in a Plymouth.  In short, Brown could talk the talk, he could walk the walk.  If there is anybody who could cut through the Gordian knot of political divide and partisanship currently choking Sacramento, it is Jerry Brown.

Proposition 23 – Big Oil against California’s Green Industry:  One of the measures on the ballot is Proposition 23.  The measure is nothing more than a blatant attempt to kill California’s landmark work in reducing Greenhouse gas emissions.  This proposition is being bankrolled by major Texas corporations which include Valero, Tesero Energy and Koch Industries. What is at stake is the future of California’s green industry.  An industry that will generate billions of dollars in new commerce.  But even more importantly, green industry technology could potentially break our country’s addiction to oil.  Scientists agree that oil is a finite resource that will only become more scarce and expensive in the years to come.  Why would big oil companies out of Texas possibly be against that?

Citizens United Decision – A corporate war on American Democracy!  For months now, Californians have been inundated with an avalanche of negative political ads on television, radio, newspapers and direct mail.  More often than not, the shadow sponsors of these ads do not have to disclose who they are.  This is the result of a January 2010 decision by the U. S. Supreme Court on the case of Citizens United.  An atrocious ruling which allows billionaires and corporations to anonymously funnel millions to dollars into the electoral system.  In essence, the Supreme Court declared war on democracy and the American people.  Conservative Justices Joseph Scalia, Samuel Alito, John Roberts and Clarence Thomas proved to be nothing more than toadies actively pushing an extremist conservative agenda.  Since then, millions of dollars have been and are being laundered through organizations such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and American Crossroads to corrupt our government.  American Crossroads is headed by one of the most the Republicans most loathsome political fixers, Karl Rove.  Formerly one of President George W. Bush’s closest advisors, he gained the nick-name “Bush’s Brain.”  Rove is revered in Republican circles for his unique brand of dirty politics.

More recently, President Obama has rightly called out the Supreme Court’s judicial corruption and hijacking of our democratic electoral process.  In response, the best the Republicans could do was trot out that circus side-show phenomenon known as Sara Palin on a Fox News studio stage.  She engaged in yet another one of her banshee screeds, accusing the president of “Attacking capitalism!”  Political pundits are still trying to figure out what exactly that means.  The only thing missing was the spectacle of her daughter, Bristol Palin dancing in her “Dancing with the Stars” gorilla costume.

That is why it is important for each and every Californian voter to make themselves heard.  Through the simple act voting, we can successfully counter-balance the millions of dollars being laundered into our electoral system.  We can help steer California in the right direction.  Do what is right for your family, your community, and yourself.  Do your research, get to the polls and cast your vote.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Latino Journal voter recommendations for California

For the last 14 years, the Latino Journal has made voter recommendations on statewide and local elections.  The recommendations are result of our studying the issues, learning about the candidates, and assessing who and what would benefit the Latino community the most.  The following are the 2010-midterm election voter recommendations for California:

U.S. Senate:  Barbara Boxer

Carly Fiorina is just too divisive for California Latinos to support.  She endorsed the new discriminatory law in Arizona and is too much of an arch-conservative on immigration.  So, we reluctantly endorse the re-election bid of Barbara Boxer, but not without expressing serious concerns.  Boxer blocked the last comprehensive immigration law on behalf of unions.  America’s unions have a problem with “undocumented workers” and they don’t want more Mexicans.  Latinos need to figure out how to rattle Boxer’s cage so she stops disrespecting this community in the future.  It would be great to have Boxer defeated but not by someone who is obviously a much worst choice.  

Governor: No Endorsement

Both Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman have strengths and weaknesses. 

Brown will champion worker and undocumented immigrant rights.  He has government experience and may be able to work with the current legislature.  But, he has some major flaws.  In the seventies he hired union supporters as deputy labor commissioners who used “Gestapo Like” actions to close down businesses for labor code violations (as he has done with the Attorney General’s office).  He lacks ability to work with the private sector that ultimately creates jobs and stimulates the economy.  Non union companies will find it hard to get access to Brown.  No Latinos were part of his inner circle the last four years he has been Attorney General, or now in his campaign circle.  His seventies style of governing is not relevant today. 

Meg Whitman knows how to work the private sector to gain economic advantages for California which then creates jobs and prosperity.  We also like that she appreciates Latinos and has a robust Latino component in her campaign.  She was hurt by two major factors, the illegal immigrant who lied on her employment documents and her contribution of over $160 million of her own money to her campaign that she claims makes her independent from special interest.  Most of the 200,000 state employees are working hard to defeat her since she declared a desire to cut 40,000 jobs.

We wish California had better choices, so, take your pick.

Lieutenant Governor:  Abel Maldonado

Abel Maldonado is perfect as California’s Lt. Governor.  He is a Latino who began as a farm worker, then became a businessman farmer, then a legislator and now is the highest ranking Latino in the State.  Throughout his political career Maldonado consistently led to create laws that make good public policy and in a non-partisan fashion.  He works diligently for the public’s best interest and clearly deserves the Latino vote.

Secretary of State:  No Endorsement

Current Secretary of State Debra Bowen has been a great disappointment.  She displays no sense of concern or urgency over the fact Latinos have some of the poorest voter turn-outs as any other group.  She la-di-das through her work day and seems not to give a hoot for the mess in voter apathy.  Her opponent, the high energy and great guy Damon Dunn, is not going to get elected, so, we make no endorsement.  Stay home on this one … she doesn’t care anyway.

State Controller:  John Chiang

John Chiang is an up and coming public servant that should be supported by the Latino community and should get re-elected.  He is widely speculated as a future candidate for governor and the Asian community holds him in high esteem.  His inclusive nature and success in public service make this an easy endorsement.

State Treasurer:  Bill Lockyer

Throughout his public life Bill Lockyer has been inclusive and pays a great amount of attention and respect to the Latino community.  Over the years he has championed policies that are balanced and good for the public.  We encourage Latinos to vote for Bill Lockyer to retain his position as State Treasurer.

State Attorney General:  Steve Cooley

Steve Cooley’s long history of being tough on crime, yet a noble and non-partisan law enforcement professional as the District Attorney for Los Angeles has made him the top choice of law enforcement leaders throughout California.  Latinos could not have a better candidate to support to be top cop as Attorney General.  He is fair, non-partisan and inclusive in his governance and so Latinos should vote for him.

Insurance Commissioner:  Dave Jones

Sacramento Assemblymember Dave Jones is an intelligent and charismatic leader who works hard and works smart.  He promotes balance between consumer interest and business.  We have found him to be a formidable champion and an articulate speaker of inclusive policies that he hopes to promote as Insurance Commissioner.  It is with deep respect and admiration that we endorse his candidacy and urge Latinos to vote for Dave Jones to be our next Insurance Commissioner.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction:  Tom Torlakson

A long time quality education champion, former Senator and now Assemblymember Tom Torlakson deserves the Latino vote to become superintendent of public instruction.  He understands the school dropout problem and is endorsed by so many Latino elected officials such as Antonio Villaraigosa, Senator Gil Cedillo and many more.  His opponent, Larry Aceves, is an education administrator and a great guy, but he lacks the breadth of depth of policy formulation and execution.  It would just take him too long to learn it.  That is why we endorse Tom Torlakson.

California State Supreme Court Nominations:

It only makes sense for voters to confirm Tani Cantil-Sakauye as Chief Justice, Ming W. Chin and Carlos R. Moreno as Associate Justices because they reflect California’s rich diversity and clearly understand the law from a judicial perspective.

Proposition 19:  No

What California needs are healthy minds to fix the economy, not poor pot smokers we can tax.  (Oreo cookies anyone?)

Proposition 20:  Yes

Gerrymandering for political gain is wrong, regardless of who does it.  Californians need to control their future and this is what Prop 20 will do.

Proposition 21:  No

This is one of those situations where the state needs to live within its means and not in our pocket books.

Proposition 22:  No

The ballot measure pretends it would bar the state from diverting certain types of local revenue. It's not the right solution.

Proposition 23:  No

Suspending California's global warming law as prescribed in this proposition would lead to more genetic and respiratory problems for children and the elderly.

Proposition 24:  No

Corporations (the wealthy) need tax breaks to grow and create more jobs.  This is Econ 101 - the more jobs, the more taxes, the more money for schools.

Proposition 25:  No

This is another political party power grab disguised as a public benefit.

Proposition 26:  Yes

At last, a law that makes sense for all taxpayers.

Proposition 27:  No

A Democratic Party power grab that will leave voters stranded. 

For specific candidate information or proposition language, visit the Secretary of State website and good luck on readily finding the information.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Latinos not reflected on Spanish TV

Blonde, Blue-Eyed, Euro-Cute Latinos on Spanish TV
Has Spanish language TV violated its trust to maintain American Latino cultural identity?
Dr. Al Carlos Hernández, www.LatinoLA.com
Edited by Susan Aceves

For second and third generation Latinos living in the USA, Spanish language TV is as foreign and disingenuous to our lifestyles as Jersey Shore. Everything portrayed on Univision, Galavision, and Telemundo reflects a "Euro-Cute" opinion of beauty; a visual that has tormented normal-looking Latinos for generations. To me, light skinned, light eyed, wealthy people represent the patron, not the peon.

Why, when I travel down south to the Motherland, is it always the Festival of St. Cara de Burro? I have never seen anyone even close to novella-quality walking the streets or even working the hotels.

Spanish-language TV has made a strangely twisted, anti-affirmative action effort to hire any Spanish-speaking white person on the planet who can over-act on cue. I have never seen a Benito Juarez-looking leading man or a leading lady like Freda. Brown is bad and guiro is always good.

Spanish TV ambitiously perpetuates this Arian beauty myth. People go to church with these novellas five times a week to learn the value of racial misinformation. No one says anything about it because these people happen to be speaking Spanish. Speaking Spanish doesn’t make one Latino. I met several Spanish speaking Chinese folks at Popeye’s Chicken.

Cortez spoke Spanish and taught it to La Malinche - then she turned around and sold out the Aztecs. Her name is remembered when you bang your thumb with a hammer, stub your toe on a bedpost or realize that your brother-in-law won the lottery.

Is Spanish TV selling out American Latinos and indoctrinating them into a universal Anglo ideal of beauty? Of course they are. It's all about giving the advertisers what they want: our money not our cultural integrity. This, via foreign-programmed Spanish TV, is for sale. I cannot relate to Spanish TV. It has even less quality than Network TV and we are excluded from that media as well.

I was amused to find that Captain Crunch, Colonel Sanders, and the Cocoa Puffs bird could speak Spanish. Advertising in Spanish media is now a multi-billion dollar-a-year industry, which seems redundant. Real numbers indicate that at least 70% of Latinos living in this country can communicate in English and prefer English as the language of commerce.

What concerns me, are the visual image values that are conveyed on the novellas and the variety shows night after night. Few Latinos have light hair, light eyes, and are draped in designer labels. The irony is that those whose actual lives mirror that description would never be caught dead watching Univision. Those who do pass for Anglo avoid the sting of American racism. We should continue to reject the American notion of "Euro-Cute" beauty as it is inherently colonial and racist. Many of us would protest such caricature on Network TV. On the other hand, they hired Blair Underwood to be a Black Cuban President. Seriously? It seems like they go around the block to avoid us.

Why do we accept caricature as legitimate? Is it just because the racist message is in Spanish? Our kids should not be subjected to situational values (assumed as truth from birth) that tell them that the Anglo ideal of beauty is good and ideals of color are wrong.

I find it also true that most of Spanish TV programming is a corny, cheap knock-off of what we American Latinos call, "played out." That being said, my monolingual sons watch Spanish TV to see the babes, TV volume down, while listening to rap. I like the guy who blows the horn on the whacked singing contestants on Sabado Gigante.

We rant. We boycott about the conspicuous lack of real Latinos on Network TV, as well we should. They don't even pretend to respect us. What we don't realize is that while the viewing numbers of Spanish TV soar into the hundreds of millions of households, they dwarf network ratings worldwide. And speaking of dwarfs, I saw a Mexican midget rodeo and almost laughed my way into the emergency room. I sincerely hope that the program was a comedy. If not, I volunteer my sincerest apologies.

Spanish networks, especially the local affiliates, should be held incredibly accountable to the community. They have a sacred trust to maintain and sustain Latino cultural integrity. It was second and third generation Latino activists who rallied and demanded a bigger Latino presence in modern media. We built the house. Spanish TV foreclosed on us. Now we have no real community presence on Network T.V. They pitch their commercials to the advertising agencies claiming to speak for the people. But how many Castilian-speaking, blonde-haired, green-eyed busboys have you met in the barrio?

And if you have never been to the Barrio, you are unqualified to comment.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Gerrymandering harms all voters

Hold Politicians Accountable on Election Day
'Gerrymandering' Exposes the Problems and Absurdities with Letting Politicians Draw Their Own Districts
By Arnold Schwarzenegger, California Governor

Right now, across the country, our two major political parties are gearing up for a once-a-decade war whose winner will control Congress for the next ten years, and possibly more. There will be battles in every state, and each will be kept carefully hidden from the prying eyes of average voters who only become more disenchanted with their government with each meaningless election.

Democrats and Republicans collude to keep these skirmishes private so that they can maintain total control over the ultimate political weapon: the ability to directly determine the outcome of elections. Why bother stuffing ballots when they can just draw districts? For the first time, Gerrymandering exposes the most effective form of manipulating elections short of outright fraud. After the 2010 Census is finished, will you know where your district went?

Gerrymandering looks at the practice of politicians around the country drawing their own election districts to protect their jobs and power. California voters should know that voting Yes on 20 and No on 27 can eliminate this practice in California.

The film is timely and relevant in California because Prop 20, on the November ballot, will extend the redistricting reforms voters approved in 2008 so that the independent Citizens Redistricting Commission, instead of Sacramento politicians, will draw congressional districts in addition to state Assembly and Senate districts. Prop 20 will stop Sacramento politicians from drawing “safe” districts for their friends in Congress, which virtually guarantee their reelection even when they ignore the needs of voters.

By supporting Prop 20, voters can help ensure that all California politicians are held accountable and put an end to the backroom deals that have characterized the politician-controlled redistricting system for decades.

Also, voters should not be fooled by the incumbent politicians and special interests who are bankrolling Prop 27. Prop 27 will gut the voter-approved Citizens Redistricting Commission and return the power to draw districts to legislators. Voting No on 27 will stop the politicians’ power grab and ensure voters have a real voice in elections. 

The Yes on 20/No on 27 campaign is a broad-based coalition of individuals and groups including AARP, California Common Cause, the National Federation of Independent Business/California, NAACP California State Conference, California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, California Black Chamber of Commerce, Latin Business Association and many more that believe the voter-approved Citizens Redistricting Commission, not Sacramento politicians, should draw district lines for Congress.

To learn more about the Yes on 20/No on 27 campaign and the growing list of California stakeholders that want to hold politicians accountable, visit www.yes20no27.org. Or follow the campaign on Twitter at http://twitter.com/VoteYes20No27. To learn more about Gerrymandering, visit www.gerrymanderingmovie.com.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Anti-Latino move put Arizona in world map

The Manifestation of Jan Brewer

By Aidée Valenzuela López, Special to The Perez Factor 
On April 23, 2010, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed the controversial Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act or SB 1070, catapulting her and the state of Arizona into the national spotlight. To the anti-immigration crowd she became the heroine of a story that has an extensive and sometimes vexing preface with a well-supplied cast of characters:  beginning with John Tanton, an influential activist in efforts aimed at reducing immigration levels. Tanton is the organizer and first chairman of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), a group that advocates a reduction in the level of immigration into the U.S.  He is still on the board of directors of that group which enjoys “non-profit status.” 

Seven years after he started FAIR, Mr. Tanton wrote this: '... to govern is to populate... will the present majority peaceably hand over its political power to a group that is simply more fertile? ... As whites see their power and control over their lives declining, will they simply go quietly into the night? or will there be an explosion?' In 1997, John Tanton also told The Detroit Free-Press that America will soon be overrun by illegal immigrants '... defecating and creating garbage and looking for jobs.

'FAIR reportedly received more than a million dollars in funding from The Pioneer Fund.

The Pioneer Fund describes itself as a group formed 'in the Darwinian-Galtonian evolutionary tradition, and the eugenics movement.' For the last seventy years, The Pioneer Fund has funded controversial research about race and intelligence, essentially aimed at proving the racial superiority of white people. The group's original mandate was to promote the genes of those 'deemed to be descended predominantly from white persons who settled in the original thirteen states prior to the adoption of the Constitution.

'He also helped to start two other groups with a similar goal: the Center for Immigration Studies, a non-profit research group; and NumbersUSA, a grassroots lobbying group.  Tanton has also been a leader in efforts to make English the official language of government in the U.S. To that end, he was co-founder (1983) and chairman of U.S. English and later (1994) of ProEnglish, of which he is still a director. 

What appears to the public as a myriad of voices advocating for severe immigration enforcement is nothing more than a series of cloned front groups, coalitions and spin-offs seeking to overwhelm reasonable debate on immigration. Tanton has founded and funded through US Inc., Federation for American Immigration Reform, Center for Immigration Studies, NumbersUSA, Pro English, Social Contract Press, U.S. English, American Immigration Control Foundation, American Patrol/Voices of Citizens Together, Californians for Population Stabilization, ProjectUSA and Population-Environment Balance and the legal arm Immigration Reform Law Institute who employs Kris Kobach.

 Kobach crafted local laws for towns including Hazelton, Penn. and Farmer's Branch, Texas, designed to crack down on citizens who rented property to illegal immigrants. The Hazelton law was struck down by a federal judge in 2007. Kobach is a frequent media spokesman for the anti-illegal-immigration cause. A law professor at the University of Missouri -- Kansas City, he also serves as chair of the Kansas GOP, and is running for Secretary of State of Kansas. After 9/11, as a Bush administration lawyer, Kobach designed the "National Security Entry-Exit Registration System," which required fingerprinting and monitoring of visitors from Muslim and Arab countries. As Prerna Lal recently pointed out on Race in America, The program registered 83,000 people and led to the arbitrary detention of over 1,000 individuals, but didn't net a single terrorist and eventually died under the weight of charges of racial profiling and discrimination. Hundreds of people who had voluntarily appeared to register were arrested and detained without reasonable justification and 14,000 put into deportation proceedings--none of them charged with terrorism.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kris_Kobachhttp://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/06/25/legal-architect-arizona-law-sought-immigration-guru/

FAIR/IRLI's Kris Kobach and AZ Senator Russell Pearce are the architects of SB 1070.  In 2006, Rep. Pearce, R-Mesa, said during an interview on AMorning Edition@ on KJZZ (91.5 FM) that he would support bringing back a controversial federal program dubbed Operation Wetback, which was designed to apprehend and deport illegal Mexican immigrants in the mid-1950s

Also in 2006 Russell Pearce sent out an e-mail titled "Who Rules America" produced by the National Alliance, a neo-Nazi group known for its anti-Semitic views. The email contained views about Jewish control of the news media and the media's bias against whites, while favoring minorities and Israel. The National Alliance promotes White Living Space "a racially clean area of the earth for the further development of our people. We must have White schools, White residential neighborhoods and recreation areas, White workplaces, White farms and countryside. We must have no non-Whites in our living space, and we must have open space around us for expansion. Government must be wholly committed to the service of our race and subject to no non-Aryan influence. It must be structured and organized in a way suited to its purpose of safeguarding and advancing the race". 

Russell Pearce has sponsored three such laws.SB 1070 http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/49leg/2r/bills/sb1070s.pdf
**note: FAIR makes a living off of suing local and state governments over immigration laws. Tucked inside Article 8 of Arizona's new law is a provision that if groups like them win their cases 'a court may order that the entity that brought the action recover court costs and attorney fees. 'That could create a nice financial boon for the formerly eugenics movement-funded, advance-the-white-majority, promote-the-genetics-of-white-America anti-immigrant group whose attorneys helped write the new law.**   

SB 1097 a bill that threatens to cut state funding from schools unless they report on children's immigration status. http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/49leg/2r/bills/sb1097p.pdf

HB 2631 which amends current marriage law to require that a prospective bride and groom provide both their social security numbers and proof of citizenship before a marriage license is issued. So only Americans can wed Americans.

In January 2009 Jan Brewer became Governor of Arizona as part of the line of succession due to the resignation of Janet Napolitano after being selected as Secretary of Homeland Security. In her inaugural address, Brewer promised to keep taxes low in Arizona, yet two months into her term Brewer proposed a tax increase in front of the State Legislature. Championing a one-cent sales-tax increase (abhorred by most of her fellow Republicans) to keep Arizona from going bankrupt, several versions of an immigration bill floated around the legislature under the watchful eye of state senator Russell Pearce. Worried about the fate of the sales tax and Arizona's budget, political observers say, Brewer had no choice but to attach herself to SB 1070 to avoid turning off Republican voters.

On April 23, 2010, Brewer signed the controversial Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act or SB 1070. A bill that she initially lobbied against while Secretary of State. SB 1070 was enjoined by Judge Susan Bolton. Just hours after filing an appeal with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Jan Brewer admitted to Larry King that SB 1070 does nothing to secure the border. Then that Friday after being denied the expedited appeal, she announced she would consider changes to "tweak" the law. Later that same day she posted on her FB page "Americans want the border secure first...."

Just a couple weeks later on May 11th, Governor Brewer signed  "Ethnic Studies" Law: HB 2281 which prohibits schools from offering courses at any grade level that advocate ethnic solidarity, promote overthrow of the US government, or cater to specific ethnic groups—regulations which will dismantle the state's popular Mexican-American studies programs.

Governor Brewer has come under questioning for her ties to Tennessee-based prison company Corrections Corporation of America's executives and lobbyists had donated $1,780 in "seed money" for Governor Jan Brewer's Clean Elections campaign. CCA also contributed $10,000 to the campaign for Prop 100, the state sales-tax initiative. CCA operates six prisons in Arizona, three of which house detainees for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The various enforcement provisions of 1070 practically ensure that more undocumented folks will be turned over to ICE. CCA probably will end up holding some of these individuals as they wait for removal proceedings or if they are convicted of federal immigration-related crimes.So CCA stands to profit from SB 1070 as they hold the federal contract to house detainees in Arizona. The company bills $11 million per month. . Phoenix's CBS 5 (KPHO) investigations indicate, Brewer's relationship to CCA runs far deeper than just the political contributions mentioned. Brewer's top representative, Paul Senseman, worked for Arizona's Policy Development Group, which lists CCA as a client. Senseman's wife, Kathy, is listed with the firm as a lobbyist for CCA. CCA employs Highground Public Affairs Consultants to represent its interests in Arizona. Highground's president is Chuck Coughlin, Brewer's top political adviser and the man running her gubernatorial campaign. Brewer refused to answer questions about her advisers' ties to CCA.

After saying that "Our law enforcement agencies have found bodies in the desert either buried or just lying out there that have been beheaded," A Fox News team investigated the claim and concluded in the last two years only one human skull had been found and that had been the results of animals. Six medical examiners in Arizona from Yuma, Pima, Santa Cruz, Cochise, Pinal and Maricopa confirmed that they had no records of decapitated bodies.

In Phoenix, police spokesman Trent Crump said, "Despite all the hype, in every single reportable crime category, we're significantly down." Mr. Crump said Phoenix's most recent data for 2010 indicated still lower crime. For the first quarter of 2010, violent crime was down 17% overall in the city, while homicides were down 38% and robberies 27%, compared with the same period in 2009. Arizona's major cities all registered declines. A perceived rise in crime is one reason often cited by proponents of a new law intended to crack down on illegal immigration.

Between the economy and boycotts related to Arizona's tough new immigration law, SB 1070, tourism in the state is down 10 percent. The state has lost about 40 conventions and $15 million so far.

The state has already had to pay $77,000 to defend the immigration enforcement law in court and enforcement of SB1070 will continue to cost the state money. According to the Arizona Republic, booking costs the state $192 per suspect and the city must pay $72 per day for each inmate to be housed in jail.

lWith manageable politicians such as Jan Brewer pushing legislation like SB1070, SB1097, HB2631 and HB2281 John Tanton has been able to further advance his agenda......  'I've come to the point of view that for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority, and a clear one at that.'

Latino voters caught again on "wedge" issue

Latino voters caught again on "wedge" issue

By Adrian Perez, Publisher

In 1994, California’s Governor Pete Wilson used illegal immigration as a wedge issue to ensure his reelection and secure the election of Republicans across the state. His effort was successful, plus the voters passed a measure that would have denied public services to illegal immigrants, Proposition 187. Now, in 2010 gubernatorial race, the tables have turned and Democratic candidate Jerry Brown is using illegal immigration as a wedge issue to attain the support of Latino voters.

There is no question that Brown needed to pull a “rabbit out of the hat” to compete against Republican candidate and billionaire Meg Whitman. That rabbit was actually presented as a gift by media hound and sometimes attorney Gloria Allred, when she introduced to the world Nicky Diaz Santillan, an illegal immigrant who worked as Whitman’s nanny for nine years.

Whitman immediately denied knowing that Nicky was illegal and says when she found out in 2009, she fired her for lying and because it was the legal thing to do. Now the big questions for California voters are: Is Whitman a hypocrite for hiring a person carrying false documents? Why didn’t Nicky complain in 2009 when she was fired? How will this fix California’s economic woes? Will this improve Latino retention in public schools? Why doesn’t the state of California hire or contract more Latino employees and businesses? Oh wait those last three questions are too germane to the real issues affecting California.

Detractors during an election are a common ploy and seem to work for those seeking to represent the masses. But, if that’s what campaigns are about, here are some suggested detractors for Whitman to use, especially after being accused by Brown of playing politics like a girl:

Brown uses sexist terms like “bread-winner” and promotes male dominated jobs like retrofit construction. He ignores the fastest growing small business owners in the state, women – especially Latinas.

Brown helped Latinos when he was Governor, not out of the goodness of his heart, but because he was pushed and lobbied by the powerful labor leader Cesar Chavez (view the videos on the UFW website.)
Brown wants to punish women with a capitol gains tax after their husbands die (men have a shorter life span.)

While Mayor of Oakland, Brown removed thousands of African Americans living along the Cypress freeway and replaced them with upper class, Silicon Valley employees.

Brown did nothing for Latinos as Mayor of Oakland and has done nothing for Latinos as the state’s Attorney General (ask any Latino attorney in that agency.)

And the list can go on. But this election is not about the failed policies or mistakes the candidates have made in their past that are being exploited by campaign consultants and used as detractors. It is about getting California’s economic engine back on track. The candidates need to see the real problems facing us…senior citizens and large Latino families losing their homes…more homeless people…a growing number of closed businesses in every shopping mall…farmers fallowing their land…Latino children’s health issues on the rise…Latino children not being educated.

This column has spelled out before how Latinos comprise nearly 40 percent of the state’s population. Immigration reform is an important topic, but not the sole topic. Jobs, economic development and education remain the top areas of concern for all voters and we are all waiting to learn how these two political candidates will tackle these problems. To date, neither has been specific enough, especially Jerry Brown, on how they will work with the Legislature in resolving our economic dilemma and helping Congress fix the undocumented worker issue.

And as for Nicky, “Que la hechen patras! Es lo que merece por andar de mentirosa (Send her back!  That's what she gets for lying),” says Socorro Contreras a naturalized U.S. citizen who votes and earned only $20 per day to clean, cook and wash windows as the late Governor Pat Brown’s (Jerry’s dad) nanny.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Former Brown appointee says Latino minds being poisoned

Why should Jerry Brown be California’s Next Governor?
Latino’s let’s use our power wisely!
By John R. Banuelos
Publisher’s Note:  Mr. Banuelos was an appointee under former Governor Jerry Brown, including being the Director for the Department of Boating and and member of the Youth and Adult Offender Parole Board.
The Latino community cannot afford to sit back and let Meg Whitman rewrite California history with her money.  Her paid lies about Jerry Brown are poisoning the minds of voters.  She has no roots or no ties to our community.  She ran a company that had no Latinos in high positions.  Brown marched with Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers and as Governor he brought hundreds of Latinos into positions of great responsibility in state government.

I’ll admit that I only know Whitman from her ads and news accounts.  I don’t think running EBay is enough to justify her candidacy.  In private business you pick your constituencies, but not in government where public service means you serve all.

I do know Jerry from the days I worked for California Conservation Corps (CCC) Director Leroy Chatfield and Deputy Director Richard Ybarra during the infancy of the CCC in the 1970’s and later when it became a full agency in 1982.  This idealistic program – Jerry’s dream – brought young people of all backgrounds together in the name of hard work for minimum wages.  The benefactors were the public lands where trails were built and streams cleared.  While this youth corps is a small footnote in today’s gubernatorial battle, it also documents that Brown was on the job over 30 years ago in the spirit of making California a better place to live.  The CCC was a springboard for many Latinos seeking to enter state public service.  The CC formula was echoed through the state government that Brown oversaw during his first years as Governor.

But, my point is not to labor on identifying all the things that Brown has done for this state over the past 38 years.  His record has been made.  He’s broken bread with the Latino community for a half-century while Whitman has only recently begun to court Latino voters.  We don’t need to recreate Jerry Brown, but we do need to stand up to a billionaire who is targeting those who don’t know him; voters under 40.  She has locked up TV time through selection day in her campaign to prove that money can buy the corner office.  She is running ads in Spanish.  She’s opened a campaign office in East LA and she’s hired a Latino to be her new outreach director.  But, regardless of what does, she is still Meg Whitman, a high-tech executive with no experience as governor who hasn’t bothered to vote in the majority of elections and who only recently has found the importance of knowing Latinos.

Whitman is free to spend her money as she wants.  The Firs Amendment and the rule of campaigning allow her to practice deceit.  Those rights require Latinos to stand up for a man who was with us from the beginning, when it was unpopular for Whites to associate with Mexicans and when farm workers were someone else’s problem.

One of Brown’s most noted appointments was Mario Obledo, a Mexican-American who ran California’s Health and Welfare Agency from 1975 to 1982.  Mr. Obledo ran for Governor in 1982 with few news predictions that his candidacy would awaken a sleeping giant, i.e., the Latino voters.  But the surge didn’t happen.  That sleeping giant has really awoken for sure this time, now we are a voting force to be reckoned with and it behooves us to use wisely our power.

One candidate has been our friend for over 40 years and another, who is trying to buy it.  I know whom to trust, Jerry Brown for Governor 2010.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Latino haters destroying America

“Goose-stepping” Latino haters destroying America
By John Neri

It is frustrating to see grown, educated men take extreme efforts to devour this great country for the sake of spreading their hatred of Latinos in America.  From Arizona’s SB 1070 to Delaware’s move to adopt similar legislation (as if Latinos really want to live there) are direct efforts to undermine federal authority, pushing for the regionalization of the country, and essentially undermining what the U.S. Constitution says.

More recently, a so called constitutional instructor, Kris Kobach of Kansas and a candidate for that state’s Secretary of State post, has decided to partner with America’s number one hater of Latinos, Arizona Senator Russell Pearce (SB 1070 author), to write a new law banning births from illegal immigrants.  These so called God fearing men use the term “anchor babies” to derogatorily describe God’s gift to humans.

The U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment says that most babies born in this country are citizens automatically.  What these two public figures want to do is create state laws requiring that at least one parent be a U.S. citizen or legal resident.  They are modeling the law after what some European countries have already done.  These same two guys go around waving the American Flag and telling all of us how they love America, Praise Jesus, and yet they would rather see the U.S. function like another country and desecrate the Bible. 

Undocumented immigrants come here for the opportunity America offers, including employment and entrepreneurialism.  They take the jobs America does not want to do, but is willing to pay for them being done.  They stand at street corners selling fruit to make a living and not begging for change to buy alcohol or drugs.  More importantly, they come here seeking refuge from the oppression and poverty experienced in their country.

The French were not wrong when they gave us the Statue of Liberty to greet the oppressed, the sick, the poor.  We continuously offer a helping hand to peoples across the face of the Earth, including those who are interested in killing us like some Afghanis, Iranians, and radical Muslims.  So why are some so called American leaders interested in denying opportunities for Latino immigrants, specifically?

If Mr. Kobach and Mr. Pearce don’t like America, they are welcome to leave.  Many Latinos, if not all, are tired of being the tale end of their hate and mind polluting rhetoric.  There are much bigger issues that need immediate attention, including addressing this stubborn recession, which was not caused by undocumented immigrants.  We need leaders that will make America great again and not try to dismantle the country piece by piece.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hispanic business group supports Prop 20, opposes Prop 27

Yes on Prop. 20/No on Prop. 27 Will Give Latinos a Stronger Voice
By María Luisa Vela (Special to The Perez Factor)

Publisher’s Note:  Maria Luisa Vela is President of the Los Angeles Metro Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

On November 2, Latinos in California will have a clear choice:  Protect and extend voter-approved redistricting reforms that ensure their fair and effective representation in election districts, or return to the days when Sacramento politicians drew districts behind closed doors, sometimes splitting Latino communities apart to dilute their voices.

A yes vote on Proposition 20 will extend voter-approved redistricting reforms to include members of Congress, so that the independent Citizens Redistricting Commission, not legislators, will draw California’s congressional districts in addition to drawing the state’s legislative districts.  

Proposition 20 will allow Latinos to hold politicians accountable, and to vote politicians out of office when they don’t address the needs and interests of the community they were elected to represent.

Unfortunately, politicians who don’t want to be held accountable have sponsored Proposition 27, a measure that will thwart congressional redistricting reform, gut the Citizens Redistricting Commission that voters approved just two years ago, and return California to the days when politicians drew their own safe districts, virtually guaranteeing reelection for themselves and their friends even when they didn’t do their jobs.

Historically, Latinos and other minorities have had very little say in how election districts are drawn.  As a result, their communities have often been divided up and fractured, and their vote diluted.  After the 2001 California statewide redistricting, at least two California districts were challenged for purposely shutting out Latino voters in order to limit their influence, but that does not have to be the case any longer.  Under Proposition 20, the Citizens Redistricting Commission must comply with the Voting Rights Act, which expressly protects minorities against unfair voting and election schemes, and protects communities of interest by ensuring they remain intact so politicians can no longer carve out Latinos to diminish their voice and their power.

Proposition 20 will ensure an open and transparent congressional redistricting process.  It will put an end to the days when politicians met behind closed doors and entered into backroom deals like the one in which a southern California congressman and his brother, a redistricting consultant, carved a reported 170,000 Latinos out of his district so he could ensure his reelection.  In contrast, the Citizens Redistricting must hold public meetings, all information brought before the commission is part of the public record and district maps must be posted for public inspection before they are approved.

Yes on 20 and no on 27 will return power to all California voters and hold politicians accountable.  For Latinos, it is also an opportunity to protect the integrity of their communities and ensure their interests are equally represented.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Latino businesses mostly ignored by gubernatorial candidates

Latino businesses mostly ignored by gubernatorial candidates
By Adrian Perez, Publisher

SACRAMENTO, CA - There are two distinct individuals running for governor of California and as their campaigns begin to gear up, it seems their message to voters sounds the same. Both are talking about getting people back to work, cutting government spending, and not increasing taxes. Yet, neither is detailing how they will get a stubborn state legislature to work with them in resolving the state’s $19 billion budget deficit, improving education, and getting the state’s economy rolling again. Worst still is that neither of them is talking directly to California’s growing new economic engine, Latino small business owners.

After being absent for the last three months, Democratic candidate Jerry Brown, a career politician, finally launched his gubernatorial campaign on Labor Day, meeting with a few hundred labor union members in different parts of the state. But over the summer, he had several chances to meet with several Latino groups, including the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce (CHCC), which represents nearly 430 thousand Latino small business owners. Instead, he only appeared in two press conferences after polls showed him losing Latino votes.

Since Brown was governor, back in 1981, the state’s Latino population has dramatically changed, creating a higher need for political leaders to address the growing economic development and educational needs of this population segment. This includes acknowledging a large shift within the Latino community going from a unionized labor force to that of small business owners. However, it appears as if Brown is unaware of that shift, opting not to meet or even acknowledge this growing political force.

More recently, Brown did not respond to requests by the powerful Latin Business Association (LBA), which represents nearly 200 thousand small business owners, to participate in their Political Action Committee’s (PAC) candidate endorsement interview process. At least Senator Barbara Boxer, whose anti-business positions are well documented, had the courtesy of letting the LBA PAC know she was unavailable for the interview.

Brown’s opponent, political newcomer and billionaire Meg Whitman has also avoided meeting with some Latino business owners. This past August, after signaling to the CHCC that she would appear at their annual conference, she failed to appear, generating strong words of disappointment from CHCC Chairman Ken Macias. However, she is scheduled to meet with the LBA’s PAC this month to seek their endorsement.

Whitman’s relentless campaigning since the June primary has been continuously targeted at the Latino voter through a series of Spanish language ads and appearances at some Latino sponsored events. Her efforts have garnered 39 percent of Latino likely voters, according to a Field Poll released two months ago. Although she and Brown are in an overall statistical tie, the number of Latino voters she is now carrying could put her over the top, allowing her to become the state’s next governor in November.

To win, Brown will need at least 60 percent of the Latino vote. According to the latest Field Poll he only has 50 percent. So, why is Brown avoiding meeting with especially Latino business groups?

In the 1970’s, it was clear that Brown was the answer for many Latinos who were seeking social justice and a chance at being at the table. He worked with the late labor leader Cesar Chavez and appointed the largest number of Latinos to cabinet and directorial positions ever. But in the last two decades, he has rarely worked with or appointed Latinos to positions of authority as Mayor of Oakland or as the state’s current Attorney General.

Conversely, Whitman has no track record with the Latino community other than creating an outreach campaign committee with prominent Latino business and political leaders. Her biggest obstacle to gain more Latino support is having former governor Pete Wilson as her campaign chair. Although they have a different perspective on the issue of illegal immigration, many Latinos do not trust or like Wilson.

Brown and Whitman will hold their first, and perhaps only, public debate on September 28th at the University of California, Davis campus. It will be televised in English and Spanish. What many Latino voters will be listening for are specifics of how each will work with the legislature on resolving the state’s economic troubles and ensure the inclusion of Latinos in economic development and education strategies.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Response to the attacks on the 14th Amendment

Response to the attacks on the 14th Amendment
By The National Latino Children's Institute

San Antonio, Texas - For more than 500 years, the people of this nation, except those of Native American descent, have been immigrants.  The "founding fathers" were all from immigrant families.  Additionally, Hispanics have been a part of this land since before the founding of Jamestown or Plymouth Rock.  In recent weeks, in a strange turnaround, the descendents of immigrants - i.e. those who are not of Native American ancestry-are now engaging and condemning the newest of its citizens - the children of immigrants born in the United States. According to the Pew Hispanic Center in their recent report, Unauthorized Immigrants and Their U.S.-Born Children, there are "5.1 million children born of immigrant parents, of which 4 million are U.S. Citizens."

Our founding fathers established this fundamental protection (citizenship) meant to immediately attach at birth.  In shedding a cast system, they recognized the inherent belief that the sins, burdens or limitations of the parents should not indelibly attach to the descendants; children have an independent right to improve themselves.  This has imbued our country with a constructive way to allow for opportunity, based not on background, but on what is done with what one has through hard work.  Such core values should not be shed in a futile effort, given the appropriately high burden that must be met to change the constitution.  What this effort clearly constitutes is political drama or theater simply for election purposes rather than constructive action which has been and is a characteristic of this nation at its best.  This is a country that stands on equality for all-not on equality for some.

The National Latino Children's Institute (NLCI) believes that all children born in the United States have a right to citizenship and are under the protection of the U.S. Constitution.  They are an integral part of this country's life and its future.  The National Latino Children's Institute will work hard to safeguard and protect children's citizenship rights.  As stated by U.S. Congressman José E. Serrano on the Latinovations blog dated August 13, 2010 (16th District of New York), "...We cannot allow our country to slip further along towards a place where specific ethnic groups are made to feel unwelcome.  We are a nation of immigrants, and a nation that has always supported the rights of children.  Seeking to strip some children of their citizenship is not just wrong, it's un-American.

The immigrant population, specifically Latinos, has an earned history of contributing to this country's development and will continue to do so; and the children are the center and most precious aspect of immigrant communities.  As this county debates the issue of immigration, let us not utilize the children as political fodder to win elections and avoid the real issues of comprehensive immigration reform, job creation, health care and education.  Instead, let us focus this country on solving the issues that impact the safety, rights, education, well-being and protection of all children.

What do we say to the young people who were born in this country to immigrant parents and are right now serving in the armed forces of the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan?

If comprehensive immigration reform is not addressed soon, some members of Congress, - and many citizens - will continue to blame the victim rather than fix the broken system.  "It is not just Latino children but all children born in the U.S. of immigrant parents that will suffer.  This nation will suffer greatly as well - it will no longer be a free nation but a police nation.  It will no longer be a nation that is open to new ideas, but one that is entrenched in one view.  To be fearful of everyone who is different is not a way of life; these are not the principles on which this country was built," said Josie F. Garza, executive director of the National Latino Children's Institute.  NLCI believes that immigration reform is necessary, and that laws must be followed, but it is also imperative that the children of immigrants, all immigrants, not be punished because they were born in this country.

NLCI urges you to contact your U.S. Members of Congress and voice your concerns that the act of changing the 14th amendment will be detrimental to our country.  To use children born of immigrant parents as the basis for denying citizenship to some under our constitution is not acceptable. ¡ya basta! Enough is enough!  Children cannot speak for themselves on this issue, so the National Latino Children's Institute calls on all children's and human rights organizations and individuals to support the right of U.S. born children to their citizenship by raising a united voice on their behalf.  Join NLCI in the fight to support the most vulnerable population-the children-by fighting against changing the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and supporting comprehensive immigration reform.  To sign on go to www.nlci.org.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Latino students impacted by ineffective teachers

Latino students impacted by ineffective teachers
By Adrian Perez, Publisher 

LOS ANGELES, CA - The Los Angeles Times ran a story on August 15, 2010, discussing an analysis they conducted together with the Rand Corporation about teacher effectiveness in the Los Angeles Unified School District’s (LAUSD).  Using a controversial method of assessing the data, their analysis found a correlation between student individual achievement scores and the effectiveness of teachers.  However, what was most disturbing is that the data they looked at is collected by the LAUSD, but not used.

School administrators are in fact “managers” who need to look at their bottom line to assess if their strategies are creating a good return on the investment.  In this case, the investment is the tens of billions of dollars collected annually from taxpayers to educate California’s children.  The return is for those students to become future productive and tax-paying residents of California.  The bottom line is the successful completion of the minimum educational requirements to graduate from high school by all students. 

To assess if the strategies being implemented by the educational system work, the managers are required to collect data, analyze the data, and fix deficiencies upon their discovery.  Apparently, this basic step of managing an education system is failing since the data is not being analyzed.  Why?  These administrators are afraid to create conflicts with the teacher’s union.  The result: a poor education system.

The Times analysis looked at math and English test scores of fifth graders in the LAUSD, which totaled more than 6,000 teachers. It found that students who scored high in math and English, were being taught by teachers who ranked in the top 10 percent of effectiveness.  In fact, student scores were 17 percent higher in English and 25 percent higher in math than those students in classrooms with ineffective teachers.  Isn’t this an important piece of data for an effective administrator to look at?

Another important finding is that 8,000 students landed with ineffective teachers two years in a row, creating a major setback for those students.  Knowing this, the district did nothing about it.

Latinos comprise one out of every two students in the LAUSD, and nearly 40 percent of the state’s population with predictions it will be the state’s majority group in less than 10 years.  What this population shift means is that California’s economic future is dependent on the educational development of Latinos.  Studies by the Public Policy Institute of California agree with this assessment and recommend the state take dramatic action to fix the growing wedge in this segment of the population.  However, inaction of data findings by school districts, like that of the LAUSD, is shortsighted and very harmful to the state.

Perhaps what should be frustrating to state officials and parents alike is the reaction by the LA teacher’s union, which immediately called for a boycott of the Times for running the article.

"You're leading people in a dangerous direction, making it seem like you can judge the quality of a teacher by … a test," A.J. Duffy, president of United Teachers Los Angeles, which has more than 40,000 members, told the Times.  Tests are designed to assess individual readiness for a diploma or a job.  What other methods can be used, on the job training?

The analysis used by the Times and the Rand Corporation is a “value added” statistical method that compared each student's prior performance to project his or her future test scores, with the difference between the projection and the student's actual performances being the "value" the teacher added or subtracted. They averaged the results over at least 60 students per teacher to ensure statistical reliability.  The Obama administration and numerous education leaders have adopted this statistical method to assess teacher effectiveness and promote education programs and policy changes. 

"Our attorneys are looking into the legalities of this database," Duffy said in the recorded message and as the Times reported. "This is part of the continuing attack on our profession, and we must continue to fight back on all fronts."

Although the State Department of Education recently announced that student test scores have gone up, the state’s national ranking is still in the bottom percentile.  So, instead of worrying if these methodologies for assessing teacher effectiveness are legal, the teachers’ unions should worry about meeting the people’s bottom line of getting the educational system out of the cellar.  It should work toward ensuring its teachers are giving Californians its expected return on the investment.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Latino Congressman sacrificed to get Dems reelected

Latino Congressman sacrificed to get Dems reelected
By Willie Colon, Special to The Perez Factor

Publisher’s Note:  Willie Colon is a Nuyorican international salsa-recording star who also sings, writes, and acts.  His involvement in New York municipal and state politics is well known.

NY Rep. Charlie Rangel
New York, NY - A special ethics subcommittee charged Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) with 13 counts of violating House rules and federal laws, including conduct reflecting discreditably on the chamber.

Congress, amidst the stigma of having an agonizingly low approval rating has decided to offer one of its elders as an appeasement to the Gods of re-election so that they may end this plague of disappointment and skepticism. "Let’s give ‘em Charlie!"

The allegations were outlined in a 40-page report, the product of a two-year probe by an investigative subcommittee of the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct.

Let the pontifications begin!

"The public office is a public trust," said ethics Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), who also leads the adjudicatory panel. "Our task is to determine whether Rep. Rangel’s conduct met that standard."

Rangel will have "violated multiple provisions of House rules and federal statutes."

Let’s look at the egregious crimes Charlie Rangel is accused of:

Rangel is accused of violating House rules by soliciting foundations and corporations with business before the Ways and Means Committee for which he then served as chairman and for soliciting donations to the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at City College of New York.  Rangel is also alleged to have misused his staff and official House resources for these solicitations. Soliciting funds for a Center for Public Service at a city college bearing his name?  Hmmm…that’s sounds really corrupt doesn’t it?

The evidence in the record, assembled by the Investigative Subcommittee over its nearly two-year investigation, is that Congressman Rangel did not dispense any political favors, that he did not intentionally violate any law, rule or regulation, and that he did not misuse his public office for private gain.

Using an apartment illegally?
The investigative report revealed that while a certain landlord took legal action against other tenants for using their apartments for nonresidential purposes, Rangel was on a "special handling list" because of his status as a Member of Congress and was not sued. Rangel was wrongly allowed to use a rent-stabilized apartment in New York as a campaign office.

With all of the growth, development, opportunities and resources that Charlie Rangel has bought to New York and specifically Harlem, should he now be prosecuted for accepting an apartment from a grateful landlord?  OK, it could be a campaign donation violation; but hardly worthy of 2 years of Congressional Committee proceedings.

What Foreign Real Estate?
There are also allegations that Rangel failed to report rental income from his Dominican Republic villa on both his financial disclosure report and personal taxes.  Rangel is also accused of failing to report $600,000 worth of assets on his annual financial disclosure forms.

Many people have vacation homes.  It sounds like a very nice place but $600k is not the Kennedy Compound or the Playboy Mansion.  So he pays the taxes!  IRS is not going to put him in prison if he pays up.  We hear about people who owe millions who are allowed to make a deal.

Misusing a Parking Space:
Rangel misused a House parking space for long-term vehicle storage.

Oh come on now!  Aren’t we reaching a little on this one?  Oh!  It’s Rangel that Brings Discredit.

"Mr. Rangel may have broken the rules of the House and brought discredit to this body."

During the brief meeting, Members of the adjudicatory panel referred repeatedly to public skepticism toward Congress and a desire to shore up the institution’s reputation.

"We have an obligation to the American people to protect the integrity and credibility of the House," McCaul said. "It is certainly not lost on any member of this subcommittee the approval ratings of this body. … The pressure is even greater to ensure these proceedings are fair, open and conducted in a strictly nonpartisan manner. In the minds of the American people Congress has become completely self-serving and so tone-deaf that Members somehow feel the rules don’t apply to them. We must regain the people’s trust."

None of these allegations are criminal offenses.  After a lifetime of outstanding service that’s all they have?  In corporate America someone with Charlie’s skills will make more in one year than Charlie has made in his whole life.  Moving his car and paying his personal back taxes does NOTHING to change the peoples’ minds about the job congress is doing Sir!

These are not evil deeds.  It’s not like Rangel absconded with funds, was money laundering, got caught taking kickbacks or broke a glass on his girlfriend’s face.

Yes, Charlie is arrogant, sometimes, but he is effective. He is a skilled negotiator who can sit with the most powerful elected officials and businessmen and extract assets for the people of his district and state, which is why the people have kept him there!  You can see where Charlie Rangel’s district begins and ends by the development and the prosperity he has brought to the area, especially when you look at the Bronx where you enter the abyss of "do nothing Jose" Serrano’s district.

In the end, it’s up to the people of his District whether he stays their Congressman. Congress can censure him, sanction him and even expel him; but in the end he will be right back in Washington if the people of District 15 say so. I wouldn’t count Charlie Rangel out just yet.