Volume XXXIII Number 04 January 23, 2009

FrontPage Stories

Latinos fight for political recognition

By Gebe Martinez

Puffed with pride after casting 10 million votes in November that were vital to President Barack Obama’s election, Hispanics are feeling empowered to make great demands on the new president.

But as Hispanics look to Obama to help realize their agenda, and as they take seats in the new president’s Cabinet and on congressional leadership teams, they also are facing an annoying reality: There remains a gap between the power they have earned and the Washington elite’s perception of their power.


Chairwoman Nydia M. Velazquez (D-N.Y.)

One reason for the lag in perception may be that Latino policy leaders as well as individual members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus have matured politically at a faster speed than has the caucus as a whole.

As the civil rights groups, political organizers and lawmakers have steered Latinos toward unprecedented levels of activism, the congressional caucus — haunted by past internal fighting and disorganization — is still being challenged to show that the sum of its parts makes it as strong as it should be.

The result is a continuing — albeit lessening — struggle for acknowledgment and places at key leadership tables.

During a recent ceremony for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, its new head, House Small Business Committee Chairwoman Nydia M. Velazquez (D-N.Y.), pledged to her Latino colleagues, “I will work my heart out to make this Congressional Hispanic Caucus a force and a relevant institution.”

That anyone needs to be reminded of Latinos’ influence and the caucus’s relevance is almost mind-boggling to Latino civil rights and policy leaders. They often find themselves reciting the recent history: Hispanics have reached the highest levels of political leadership on Capitol Hill, and the exponential growth of the Hispanic population and voters during the past decade has made them a force to be reckoned with.

Just ask Republicans, whose dramatic loss of Hispanic support in the last election sent them into soul-searching political rehab.

Nonetheless, the fight for recognition continues.

For the rest of the story, please follow this link:



Everyone’s Feeling Economic Pain, But It’s Hitting Minorities Worst of All
By Valeria Fernández
As soon as he told her they wouldn’t be able to pay the mortgage, Ruben Loera’s wife’s heart clenched. She started packing away the angels and pulling down the paintings. Five months later and one step away from foreclosure, half-empty boxes are piled in a corner of the living room in their home in Maryvale, a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona.

Inauguration Inspires Hopes and Dreams
By Anthony D. Advincula
Editor’s Note: More than a million people gathered in the nation’s capital to witness the historic swearing in of the 44th President of the United States. New York-based NAM editor Anthony Advincula spoke with people in the crowd, including several day laborers who took the day off to hear the speech.

Los deseos de la frontera para Obama
Por Mariana Martínez
“Yo le diría al presidente que arreglara la emigración”, dice James López, de 43 años, mientras hace fila en la garita de San Isidro para ingresar a Estados Unidos.


Stories


Controversial Mega-Project on Hold
Frontera NorteSur
A massive port planned for Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula could be among the latest casualties of the world financial crisis. Luis Tellez, Mexico’s head of the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (SCT), announced last week that authorities decided to postpone contract bidding for the construction of the Punta Colonet terminal slated for a remote section of the Baja Peninsula about 150 miles south of San Diego.

Immigrant Worker at Latino Inaugural Ball Shares Hopes for Obama Era
By Anthony D. Advincula
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Maria Perez speaks little English. For more than 20 years now, she has worked as a cleaner at Union Station here, six days a week, earning slightly more than the minimum wage. She is proud to be among the millions of Latinos who voted for Barack Obama and helped to make him the 44th U.S. president.

México del Norte
Por Jorge Mújica Murias
La Última Mentada
Ya de salida, después de 8 de los más nefastos años de presidencia en Estados Unidos, George W. Bush se lamentó de que “su partido ahuyente a los inmigrantes”. Así dice el texto de una última entrevista, pero yo más bien digo que de salida Bush se la mentó a la comunidad latina, especialmente la mexicana, y justificó completamente la idea de que su partido ahuyenta a los inmigrantes.

Victory for National City Boxing Gym in Eminent Domain Bout:
California Court of Appeals Unanimously Reverses Lower Court
Arlington, Va.—There will be no technical knock out on the issue of eminent domain against a Southern California gym that serves at-risk kids.


¡No Se Deje!
Cambios En Las Reglas De Beneficios Medicos Perjudican A Los Trabajadores
Por Lic. Jess J. Araujo
En 1993, el Presidente Clinton apoyó y luego firmó al Decreto Federal de Permisos De Ausencia Laboral por Razones Médicas (en ingles Federal Medical Leave Act -FMLA). Esta nueva ley le dió importantes derechos a los trabajadores en este país. La ley solamente aplica a los patrones con más de 50 empleados y a trabajadores que han trabajado para los patrones por al menos 12 meses y al menos 1,250 horas durante los 12 meses previos. Los trabajadores y trabajadoras elegibles pueden tomar hasta 12 semanas de permiso de trabajo SIN PAGO para tener un bebé, cuidar a un hijo, o cuidar a un padre, esposa, o hijo con un “Problema Médico Grave”. Un doctor debe certificar que el trabajador o el miembro cubierto de la familia tiene un “Problema Médico Grave”.

LA COLUMNA VERTEBRAL
Por Luisa Fernanda Montero
¡Todo a su tiempo!
La maternidad es una de las experiencias más gratificantes que una mujer puede vivir, tener el don de dar vida y la capacidad de participar así en el proceso evolutivo de la raza humana, no tiene precio.

Tenants of Foreclosed Homes Often Short-Changed by New Owners
By Marc Whitham and Dolores Calderón López
Many tenants are renting houses, condominiums or apartments they suspect or know are in danger of being taken back by the bank because the owners have not been making their payments. This process is known as foreclosure. Banks would not loan money to enable people to buy homes if the law did not make it simple for the bank to get the home back when the borrower stopped paying. Even though the law favors the bank, tenants caught in this situation have legal rights.


Se Aprovechan de Inquilinos en Casas Reposeidas Por La Ejecución de Una Hipoteca
Escrito de Marc Whitham y Dolores Calderón López
Muchos inquilinos rentan casas que están en peligro de ser reposeídas por prestamistas porque los arrendadores no han hecho los pagos de la hipoteca. Después de varios meses de no recibir los pagos del dueño de la casa, el prestamista tiene derecho a ejercer un embargo en contra de la propiedad, y esforzar la venta de la casa en una subasta. En inglés, este proceso se llama “foreclosure.” Algunos de estos inquilinos desconocen sus derechos legales. Específicamente, los inquilinos que viven en propiedades reposeídas no pueden ser desalojados de la casa al menos que la entidad o persona que la recuperó del dueño original (normalmente será un banco) ha cumplido con el proceso legal. El proceso de desalojo en California se llama “unlawful detainer.” Unlawful detainer es un procedimiento de la ley civil, y no tiene relación con los procesos migratorios. Es decir, un inquilino que confronta un desalojo injusto tiene derecho a defenderse en la corte aunque esté aquí sin documentos. En los siguientes párrafos explicamos como avanza un caso típico después de que un arrendador ha perdido la casa debido al proceso de “foreclosure”, y como un inquilino que vive en una de estas casa puede protegerse de un desalojo no previsto.

HUD Approves Chula Vista $2.8 Million Neighborhood Stabilization Plan Aimed at Foreclosed Properties
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) this week approved the City of Chula Vista’s $2.8 million plan aimed at reviving neighborhoods hit hard by foreclosures. Across the country, HUD’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) is pumping federal dollars into those communities experiencing exceptionally high foreclosure problems and risk of property abandonment. Local governments have developed plans for spending the HUD dollars. This week nine California communities, including Chula Vista, were given the green light to move forward with their plans.


Five Steps to Becoming Physically Active
By Felice Chavez
The first step to becoming physically active is to find a physical activity that you will enjoy. Choose a physical activity that meets your skill level - walking, jogging, or climbing stairs are examples of activities that do not require new skills. Doing more of them will have an amazing impact on your health! If you do not like the first physical activity you try, then just try another one.


Improve Job Skills -- Complete A Certificate Program Locally A t Cesar Chavez Campus
San Diego Continuing Education offers four certificate programs locally at the Continuing Education Cesar Chavez campus, located at 1960 National Avenue. The classes needed to complete the certificate programs are free, and students may enroll anytime.


Editorial and Commentary

Guest Editorial:
National City Council Appoints new Councilman!
South Africa Apartheid Type Politics?

By Herman Baca
On Tuesday Mayor Ron Morrison and the National City (NC) coun-cil appointed Jess Van Deventer to fill Louie Natividad’s vacant council seat on a 3-1 vote. In a city where the minority population is Anglo (12%) and the majority (88%) is comprised of, Mexican (62%), Filipinos (16%), Afro-American (5%) and other ethnic groups, the vote (to me) was reminiscent of what existed from 1948 to1993 under South Africa’s apartheid system. Under apartheid, 10% of the white population (assisted by sellout paid blacks) governed 90% of the majority black population.


Commentary:
Strengthening our Shared Security
By Vince Vasquez
The raging Mexican drug war has churned a devastating toll in the city of Tijuana. As 2008 drew to a close, there had been a record 843 known homicides. As the recent wake of violence and corruption fails to roll back at the border’s edge, our municipal leaders are compelled to seek solutions to both protect the interests of San Diegans and help our neighbors in need.


Comentario:
Éste no es un país de leyes
Por Jorge A. Bustamante Fernández
Una encuesta realizada por Reforma entre el 20 y 21 de diciembre, en la que 522 migrantes fueron entrevistados en diferentes puntos de la frontera norte, confirmó que no hay tal éxodo masivo de migrantes de retorno desde Estados Unidos. Esta creencia partió de cierta lógica. Si nuestros migrantes se fueron a buscar empleo y éste se está reduciendo dramáticamente en Estados Unidos, es lógico que se tengan que regresar. Sin embargo, en la realidad no es así.

Comentario:
No pierda su casa
Por José R Uzal
Hay mas de 2 millones de viviendas bajo ejecución hipotecaria (foreclosure) a causa de las hipotecas sub-estándar. Todas y cada una de estas ejecuciones tiene una familia detrás en estado caótico. Los hispanos tienen solo un 10% del patrimonio que tienen los americanos blancos. La mayoría de los hispanos tenían una baja probabilidad de calificar para las tasas de préstamos estándar por falta de historial de crédito y por tener ingresos mucho más bajos que los blancos. Los préstamos hipotecarios que obtuvieron los hispanos eran principalmente en el mercado sub-estándar. Los bancos, prestamistas y corredores otorgaron hipotecas que no tenían justificación por el riesgo y los términos. Por lo tanto un alto porcentaje de esas ejecuciones son contra hispanos.

TEZOZOMOC SPEAKS
Alcalde de National City, Ron Morrison didn’t give any weight to the recent election numbers where Mona Rios received the THIRD most votes. Morrison said weeks ago he wanted someone with experience when it comes to the appointment of filling Natividad’s vacant seat. Pregunta: Where does one go to get city council experience??? Morrison stacking the deck to get his man in: Jess Van Deventer



Etc. Etc. Etc.
Entertainment,
Reviews, Sporting news, and other tid bits


¡ASK A MEXICAN!
By Gustavo Arellano
Dear Mexican: I am a naturalized (legal) hispano in the U.S. and I just realized what the “illegal” craze is about. What immigrant-bashing citizens are trying to protect here are people like…me. Consider what this concerned a woman said to John McCain during a public meeting in New Hampshire last year. “I just think it’s not fair to all the people who came here legally and went through the process and now all the illegals, you’re just gonna give ‘em citizenship?” she said. “That’s not fair.” I have to say, I was moved. I came here legally, I went through the process and, you know what, I never cared whether the neighbor I buy my tamales from has his papers in order or not. Now I see why this woman wants to deport millions of people just like me. Because not doing so would be “unfair” for me. See, Mexican (I would say, Chicano), this concerns you, too. Anti-immigrant campaigns are made so people like you—rigorously legal immigrants—are treated fairly. Any words of gratitude?


Entrevista:
Triunfa en Venezuela el Pianista Tijuanense Miguel Rivera
“Apoteosica recepción a su arribo a tierras venezolanas”

Por: Paco Zavala
El joven pianista tijuanense Miguel Rivera ha obtenido en su carrera como pianista un resonado triunfo en tierras venezolanas.


On the Roadshow with Che
Soderbergh’s epic biopic recounts the life of one of the twentieth century’s most controversial figures
By Gabriel San Roman
The eternal revolutionary nomad Ernesto “Che” Guevara is back on the road once more. The immense historical figure returns not on a motorcycle, nor a small, undersized yacht headed for the shores of an oversized history, but on the silver screen.

Hernández stars in family film “Hotel for Dogs”
By Kiko Martinez
He may have only started taking acting lessons to get out of going to detention back in high school, but actor Maximiliano Hernández soon found himself attending the same theatrical classes even when he wasn’t getting in trouble.

Pianist Cecil Lytle to Perform for Preuss to Benefit the Lytle Scholarship Fund at UCSD
A tribute to Ludwig van Beethoven and a celebration of the 10th anniversary of The Preuss School at the University of California, San Diego, will be presented Jan. 25 when pianist Cecil Lytle performs for Preuss, with Ludwig at the Ida and Cecil Green Faculty Club on the UC San Diego campus.


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