"For me, the most important lesson
[of the Freedom Movement] is that by respecting the fact that fellow activists could passionately disagree over strategy and tactics—yet remain allies—they strengthened SNCC and the Movement as a whole."
From Bruce Hartford's article in the current issue of Urban Habitat.
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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Latino Vote--Media, GOTV, and SEIU

From the NEW YORK TIMES today:
For Latino Groups, Grass-Roots Efforts Paid Off in Higher Number of Voters

MIAMI — On Election Day, President Obama got 71 percent of the Latino vote nationally....

....Hispanic television and grass-roots groups working together generated a civic campaign they called Ya Es Hora. Now Is the Time.

In countless households, Latinos tuned their television sets to Univision and heard Jorge Ramos, the host of “Al Punto,” the Spanish version of “Meet the Press,” discuss the candidates’ positions on issues critical to them. They switched on Spanish-language radio and heard myriad reasons their vote could spur change.

And if voters in some battleground areas needed a ride to the polls, television and radio stations owned by Entravision Communications, Univision’s largest affiliate, offered those, too.

The drumbeat lasted months.

Univision, which reaches 96 percent of all Hispanic households; Telemundo, the second-largest network; and their affiliates ran information about the election and the issues regularly. And not just on newscasts, but also on their most popular news programs. They sponsored hundreds of public service announcements, giving Latinos local information on where to register and vote. The effort, by and large, was nonpartisan.

“I invite you to join me, so they can’t say Latinos don’t care what happens to this country,” Natalie Perez, a Univision news anchor for WVEA-TV in the Tampa Bay area, said in a public service announcement, as she asked viewers to join her at a local voter registration drive.

The television stations even staffed phone banks so people could inquire about finding their precincts or taking the correct form of identification.
..... Ben Monterroso, the executive director of Mi Familia Vota, a large nonpartisan voter education group that worked closely this year with the networks. “The Spanish media became one of the most informative instruments in our community.”

....Beginning in 2006, the networks and advocacy groups rolled out similar smaller efforts to encourage citizenship and explain the importance of the census.

..... An estimated 12.5 million Latinos voted in 2012, 1.8 million more than in 2008.

....Aggressive fund-raising also played a role, elevating Latino influence in the corridors of power. Prominent Latinos like Eva Longoria, the actress; Henry R. Muñoz III, a Texas architect; and Andrés W. López, a Puerto Rican lawyer, led the national effort to raise money for Mr. Obama. The Futuro Fund, the Hispanic outreach and fund-raising committee for Mr. Obama’s campaign, raised $30 million, significantly more than in 2008.

“All this earns us not just respect from the highest levels of the campaign, but also a seat at the table going forward,” said Mr. López, the national chairman of the Futuro Fund and an Obama campaign adviser.

.....Entravision took the television spotlight one step further, moving out of the studio and onto the street, by working with Mi Familia Vota and giving viewers rides to the polls during early voting and on Election Day.

......Latino leaders said their power in the voting booth was already being felt in Washington. The Dream Act, which would provide a path to citizenship for young immigrants, and immigration changes are now high priorities.

If lawmakers need additional prodding, Latinos like to remind them that in the next 20 years, 50,000 Latinos will turn 18 — voting age — every single month.

“The way we describe it is we are getting ready for 2014 so we can start rewarding our friends and punishing those that get in the way,” Mr. Monterroso said.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Buy Nothing Day

Adbusters, the people who financed the first Occupy Wall Street, has been promoting "Buy Nothing Day" since 1992. Below their ad are excerpts from today's NY Times article indicating that momentum is picking up for a change in our hyper consumer culture/economy. The tensions are clear, in both the video and in the article, between (1) the understanding that over-consumption is bad for the environment, community and individual health and (2) that our economy depends on over-consumption.

Where Pilgrims Landed, Thanksgiving Is Kept at Table, Not Mall
FLOAT TITLE: "America is still the land of plenty."
PLYMOUTH, Mass. — Here in the birthplace of Thanksgiving, where the Pilgrims first gave thanks in 1621 for their harvest and their survival, some residents are giving thanks this year for something else: the Colonial-era blue laws that prevent retailers from opening their doors on the fourth Thursday of November.....

Some of the nation’s biggest retailers — Sears, Target and Toys “R” Us among them — announced this month that they would be moving up their predawn Black Friday door-buster sales to Thanksgiving Day or moving up their existing Thanksgiving sales even earlier on Thursday. Walmart, which has already been open on Thanksgiving for many years, is advancing its bargain specials to 8 p.m. Thursday from 10 p.m. But in Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the stores will sit dark until the wee hours of Friday. Even Walmart will not open in Maine until just after midnight Friday or in Massachusetts or Rhode Island until 1 a.m.

Nationwide, a protest is developing against Thanksgiving Day sales. Workers at some stores have threatened to strike, saying the holiday openings were disrupting their family time. Online petitions have drawn hundreds of thousands of signatures protesting the move. The stores say that many of their workers have volunteered to work on the holiday, when they will get extra pay, and that consumers wanted to shop early. It is not yet clear what effect the protests might have.....

“Leave the holidays alone,” said Carole A. Maiona, 72, a retired medical records worker, as her husband wheeled a shopping cart out of the store the other day. “The family should be together and not out shopping and supplying Walmart or whoever with more money.”

William Lorenzo, 35, who serves in the Coast Guard, said Thanksgiving sales were unfair to employees. “It’s not very American to make these people work on a holiday,” he said, packing his groceries into his van. His wife, Nicole, 33, agreed — to a point. She confessed that she went shopping last year at 5 a.m. on Black Friday. “I don’t go just to go,” she said. “But if I can get a better deal — we’re a family of five, one income — if I can get a deal, I’ll get the deal.”

Monday, November 19, 2012

Protesting Walmart

Unionizing Walmart workers has been impossible so far because of the company's effective retaliatory tactics and weak labor laws. But past efforts appear to not have been made in vain. During the last ten years of retaliation and poor conditions, Walmart has angered and alienated enough people who are willing, in this new era of occupy, to join a coalition of groups inside and outside of Walmart that obviates Walmart's tactics of retaliation.

From the New York Times today:
The food and commercial workers union has made Wal-Mart a target because the company has helped put many unionized supermarkets out of business and helped push down wages at many competitors. Wal-Mart...has vigorously resisted unionization drives, closing a store in Canada after workers there voted to unionize and arranging to have outside suppliers provide prepackaged meat after the butchers at a store in Texas voted to unionize in 2000.

The food workers union has been spending heavily on this push, paying more than $50,000 for hotel rooms near Wal-Mart’s headquarters last year when it sent employees and representatives to company events, according to a filing with the Labor Department.
In this week’s planned events, OUR Walmart, which stands for Organization United for Respect at Walmart, is enlisting a broad range of allies, arranging fliers and letters that community, church and civil rights groups can use to publicize the Black Friday protest. OUR Walmart has even prepared remarks that it is suggesting members of the clergy might use in prayer, “to call upon the world’s largest corporation to treats its workers with justice and fairness.”

Friday, November 2, 2012

School Counselor Conference at Stanford

I will be giving a workshop at this conference (described below)
You Can Fight City Hall: How Everyday People, Acting Together, Change Society. Kathy Emery, San Francisco State University.

What can one individual do to make change? Quite a lot, actually. The first step towards empowerment is realizing that there are many roles from which to choose in order to contribute to building a movement for social justice -- and that you must choose the role that suits you. The second step is to understand where we are in history. This session will allow participants to explore the Civil Rights Movement as a model of activism, evaluate the Occupy Movement and discuss the implications for individual action today

The H.B. McDaniel Foundation, Inc. and The California Association of School Counselors, Inc. have partnered to provide a day of professional development opportunities at Stanford University

November 10, 2012, 9 - 4 pm

Spend a day on the spectacular campus of famed Stanford University in Palo Alto where presenters from UC Berkeley, San Francisco State, University of San Diego, Saint Mary's College of California, as well as school counselors and community organizations within the greater East Bay will provide information on the following topics:
  • Job-Seeking Strategies
  • Working With Homeless Youth
  • School Reform and Social Justice
  • Tips for Counseling Male Students
  • Study Abroad
  • Addressing Teen Dating Violence from a Strengths-Based Approach
  • Fostering Leadership Roles for Students
  • Access to Higher Education
  • Support for Undocumented Students
  • Cross-Cultural Counseling Literacy
  • Effective Communication
  • Prevention/Intervention Strategies for At-Risk Students
  • Self-Care for Counselors
  • Substance Abuse
And more!



SESSION 1: 9:00 AM – 10:15 AM
SESSION 2: 10:30 AM – 11:45 AM
LUNCH ON YOUR OWN: 11:45 AM – 1:15 PM
SESSION 3: 1:15 PM – 2:30 PM
SESSION 4: 2:45 PM – 4:00 PM


Thursday, November 1, 2012

FILM SCREENING: The Untold Story of Latino in America

Monday, November 12 and Tuesday, November 13:

Harvest of Empire – the film: The Untold Story of Latino in America

The new feature-length documentary made from the recent book by Juan González.
Hosted by Wendy Thompson-Marquez, Miguel Gavilan Molina & Davey D
Monday, November 12 2012 – 2 screenings: 7:00 pm and 9:30 pm
Brava Theater
2781 24th St, San Francisco
or Modern Times Books, Marcus Books, Global Exchange Store ($12 door)
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 – 3 screenings: 4:15 pm, 7:00 pm, 9:30 pm
Grand Lake Theater
3200 Grand Avenue, Oakland
or Pegasus Books (3 locations), Marcus Books, Mrs. Dalloway’s, Moe’s Books, Walden Pond, DIESEL a Bookstore ($12 door)  
Information:    KPFA benefit
While immigration is one of America’s most fiercely controversial issues, little is understood about the growing Latino presence in the U.S. This excellent new documentary reveals the direct correlation between centuries of U.S. armed intervention in Latin America and the Caribbean and today’s immigration crisis. Adapted from the popular new book written by award-winning journalist Juan González of radio and television’s Democracy Now!, the film by Wendy Thompson-Marquez and Eduardo López – in conjunction with director Peter Getzels and editor Catherine Shields – vigorously details the social conditions and U.S. government actions (overt and covert) that led inexorably to millions of Latino families to flee their homelands, triggering an unprecedented migration that is transforming America’s cultural and economic landscape.   
In addition to rare archival material, this film features interviews with Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchú, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Junot Diaz, Mexican historian Lorenzo Meyer, ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero, poet Martín Espada, journalists Maria Hinojosa and Geraldo Rivera, historian and broadcast journalist Juan González, and film producer Wendy Thompson-Marquez.
In person:
Wendy Thompson-Marquez is the President and CEO of the Onyx Media Group and EVS Communications, Inc. In 2004 she was honored by the National Conference for Community and Justice with the Media and Community Service Award. Currently she is a board member of Latino Public Broadcasting, the Washington Performing Arts Society, and the Community Foundation in D.C.
Miguel Gavilan Molina, a longtime activist, is the Executive Producer of KPFA Radio’s La Onda Bajita, and Associate Producer of Flashpoints.
Davey D, Popular Hip Hop journalist and media activist, is the Executive Producer of KPFA’s Hard Knock Radio.
Co-Sponsoring Organizations (in alphabetical order): 67 Sueños, Bay Area CISPES, BuildOn, Colectivo Cinema Errante, El Mensajero Newspaper, El Tecolote Newspaper, Global Exchange, Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights (CLUE-CA), La Peña Cultural Center, Mission Cultural Center, Pájaro Latinoamericano – KPOO, Radio Bilingue, Radio Indigena, School of Americas Watch (East Bay + San Francisco)