November 8, 2002

Commentary

A WOMEN’S CONFERENCE AND
THE RIGHT TO VOTE

So Close to Disneyland and so far from the American Dream

By Ben Garza

Why do we continue to insist on the Right to Vote? Why is this Women’s Conference so important to the Mexican Community residing in the United States? Why are we asking the Mexican community, in particular the Mexican woman, to come and stand with us in the fight for Mexican democracy?

There is a Chicana Movement and this movement has been around for over thirty years but to speak about a movement of Mexican Immigrant Women carrying on political work for democracy and for empowering their lot, it does not exist.

We are organizing the first Mexican Women’s Conference related to the Right to Vote from abroad in the Huntington Park, California on November 16th, 2002. We want you to come and be with the grassroot movement that has been advocating the Mexican Right to Vote. We want the Mexican woman to win because all of us will win.

This Mexican Women’s Conference has not been given any monies by any government agency or political party to make it a reality. It is being constructed by immigrant working men and women who have pulled their talent and pennies together because something has to be done. For this reason we want to make it very clear that this is not just another political conference. It is the start of an emerging Immigrant Women’s Political Movement where the women will have the floor to say what is on their mind. You will see how our women conduct politics when all of the time many of us thought that the only thing our women were good for was making tortillas and praying for a better day. This is a conference about Political Power, the Right to Self-Determination of the Mexican Women and the fact that without the participation of the Mexican Women in Politics, there will be no real progress for the Mexican Community Residing Abroad.

As common workers we want the respect and treatment that comes from a hard days work. We also deserve the benefits and, instead of the government sending ‘La Migra’ against us. We want our children to learn and have an opportunity to succeed. We want our families to have the same rights as everyone else. That is why we are calling for this Women’s Conference.

We must form a strong movement in support of Mexican Social Democracy. We must call for a government in Mexico that will respect our Democratic rights. This is the purpose of the Mexican Right to Vote Movement. For many reasons the Mexican Women’s Conference becomes a real political challenge in itself. This Conference must bring about the real issues and discussions that are so dearly needed in the Mexican community.

The Women’s conference will take place at the Family Community Center, 3355 E. Gage Ave., Huntington Park, CA., 10 am - 5 pm. Ph. 323-562-5252. You can also view their web page at: www.prdcalifornia.org

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