Friday, February 25, 2011

Az politicians quieting Latinos, using them as pawns

Arizona’s Population Collision With Latinos Leads To Silencing Of Critics
by Sara Ines Calderon and Christina Saenz

Publisher's Note:  This point of view was first published on Taconews and Pa'Lante Latinos.

Carlos Galindo
PHOENIX, AZ -- Carlos Galindo, a 51-year-old Latino in Arizona, was at the state senate building Wednesday when he was escorted from the building by Capitol police officials, told he would be arrested or cited, and let go eventually with a citation. The next day he was informed by two DPS officers dressed in suits that he would be banned “forever” from the building, as per Senate President Russell Pearce. Such an order prevents Galindo from giving his civic dissension on any future anti-Latino bills in Arizona, despite the fact that Pearce does not have the power to ban anyone from anything “forever.”

The Galindo incident gives us an interesting glimpse into not only the future of Arizona, but that of this nation. Census numbers across the country are pointing to a tidal wave of Latino growth. In Arizona the resulting friction between the incoming majority and the current power establishment has resulted in legislation targeted exclusive at Latinos, something Galindo tells us was integral to his recent brush with Arizona’s Capitol police forces.

Ready and Pearce, known AZ neo-nazis
There’s a racist, and even a white supremacist, tinge to Arizona’s legislative goals that are led by Pearce, Galindo says. It is a well-documented fact that Pearce is connected to a variety of anti-immigrant, hate groups. For example, Russell Pearce sponsored J.T. Ready — a known member of the Neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement and formerly of the Minutemeninto the Mormon Church, Galindo says. Ready is often found at the Senate building whenever the Pearce-headed legislature is in process. Galindo suggested that Ready’s mere presence can be intimidating to pro-immigrant demonstrators at the Capitol.

Galindo shared his recent experience with us to illustrate this point: The clash between the incoming majority and those currently in power has a distinct racial element. He fears the outcome could become (even more) violent. Thursday, another Latino activist, Sal Reza, was escorted from the Senate building and arrested, for trespassing, the same charges that Galindo was nearly given on Wednesday. Reza was attempting to apply for a permit for an event.

Galindo is a small business owner, commercial and private property owner, and a bilingual radio talk show host in Arizona, broadcasting in both Phoenix and Tucson. He said he was initially lied to by Capitol police authorities Wednesday that Democratic State Senator Krysten Sinema would not be holding a press conference regarding her anti-immigrant bill, SB 1225. When he found out the press conference was on and showed up, then voiced his discontent, he was escorted out by authorities and later told he might be arrested.

SB 1225 purports to be an “anti-drop house” measure that would step up penalties for those who engage in stashing smuggled immigrants in these houses, but Galindo maintains that it’s just another anti-Latino bill in “safe” clothing.

“You’re not just affecting immigrants, you’re affecting Latinos in general," says Galindo. "People are getting hot under the collar. It’s going to escalate, it’s going to get crazy, I think you’re going to start seeing more movement,” 
Galindo even fears that many of his young activists will start to riot—which he strongly discourages.

The underlying issue is that, since Arizona is gaining a Congressional seat, Galindo says SB 1225 is Sinema’s ticket to running for Congress. She wants to use her Democratic standing to lure Latinos, simultaneously lure whites with her anti-immigrant bills with universal Republican support, and throw Latinos under the bus once elected. In writing the bill Sinema uses laws she’s previously criticized, goes after immigrants while saying she’s protecting children, and had her own minority supporters escorted out of her press conference after trying to hide it from them.

The biggest tragedy in all of this is that the politicians of Arizona are setting the State of Arizona up to fail. Arizona’s future hinges upon the success of its Latino population, and if politicos like Pearce and Sinema insist on either profiling Latinos, lying to them or preventing them from exercising their civil rights, Arizona itself will be the biggest casualty.

[Photos Courtesy Carlos Galindo and SPLC]

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Actions speak louder than words

Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported 779,000 illegal immigrants in the last two years. By Ruben Navarrette, Columnist, Washington Post Writer's Group
Ruben Navarrette
SAN DIEGO, Ca. -- In the last presidential election, Barack Obama marketed himself to Latino voters as a kinder and gentler response to the immigration policies of George W. Bush.

For example, Obama was on his high horse in July 2008 when he schmoozed the National Council of La Raza at its annual conference. He told the group that things had gone astray under Bush "when communities are terrorized by ICE immigration raids, when nursing mothers are torn from their babies, when children come home from school to find their parents missing."

Latinos fell for the sales pitch, handing over two-thirds of their votes to Obama even though he had a history of showing little interest in their concerns.

Now many Latinos feel suckered. An Associated Press-Univision poll of more than 1,500 Hispanics in July found that only 43 percent said Obama was adequately addressing issues that matter to them, including immigration reform.  MORE... 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Green jobs at what cost?

Rate increases and green jobs don't mix.

Publisher's Note:  California Manufacturers & Technology Association president, Jack M. Stewart, made the following statement today in response to the "Clean Energy Jobs Initiative" proposed by Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Assembly Speaker John Perez.
Senator Steinberg and Speaker Perez want the state to grow millions of new green manufacturing jobs. But requiring hard-hit industrial ratepayers to pay for expensive energy projects will discourage green manufacturing jobs in California, and hurt other manufacturers in the bargain.

California must develop a comprehensive job creation strategy that protects existing jobs and plans for the creation of new jobs. California shouldn't subsidize one sector of the economy by imposing higher costs on others.

A focus on growth of jobs in the green economy won’t bring California back from the brink – there are not enough of them to go around.

A recent UC Berkeley report pegs the state's green job growth at 211,000 over ten years and a recent Next Ten report -- Many Shades of Green -- pegs the state's existing green collar growth at 174,000. In both cases it's less than 1.3% of our current job base.

And that doesn't event account for the losses that will occur in other sectors.

A recent study by California Lutheran University's Center for Economic Research and Forecasting -- The Truth About Green Jobs and the Economy -- said that wind and solar power is subsidized more than $23 per unit of energy, while natural gas and coal energy units cost the government and taxpayers less than $1. The report also concluded that green jobs will be counterproductive if California becomes economically inefficient -- creating green jobs, but raising costs or reducing output.

Until we send the message that we welcome all types of investment and jobs, the state will not recover from the recession.

Click on the name for more information about the California Manufacturers and Technology Association.