Monday, November 16, 2009

Reform Immigration for America Event in Columbus

On November 18 at 8:00 p.m. EST all across the country people are hosting house parties with their families, friends, neighbors, churches, classmates and anyone else who supports comprehensive immigration reform for America.

We will be hosting a virtual town hall with Rep. Luis Gutierrez to discuss the principles of progressive immigration reform, and you can be a part of it!

There will be a conference call event here:

Ohio Democratic Party 
340 E. Fulton St.
Columbus, Ohio

Beginning at 7:30 p.m. EST
With the strong possibility of food and drinks.

For event information you can also visit:

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Biography of A Candidate for School Board - Ramona Reyes

Selected from a field of eight finalists, Ramona Reyes was appointed to the Columbus Public Schools Board of Education in January 2009 by her fellow members of the school board who saw her as an advocate for a quality education for all children. She is the first Hispanic member of the board overseeing a increasingly diverse population of 55,000 students.

Currently, Ramona is a human resources specialist at Nationwide Insurance Company where she has been employed for 18 years. She is the immediate past president of the Hispanic Chamber of Columbus and a bilingual trainer with Working Partners. She also serves as the Associate Publisher for Latino Achievers.

Ramona originally came to Columbus when she was awarded the Campbell Soup Scholarship, a scholarship for children of migrant farm working families, to attend the Ohio State University. While at Ohio State, she was a member and president of Alpha Psi Lambda fraternity and cabinet member of the Undergraduate Student Government. She graduated from the Ohio State University with a double major in Marketing and Transportation Logistics. She is an alumnus of the National Hispana Leadership Institute, a Grass Roots Leadership program.

Over the last several years she has committed herself to volunteerism and community service. Prior to joining the school board, she served a full term as a commissioner of the Ohio Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs, and helped organize the first Dia de los Ninos (Children's Day) event in Columbus, which now draws more than 3,500 visitors a year. She has helped organize a fund-raiser to rebuild the burned Ohio Hispanic Coalition offices, coordinated the first annual Hispanic Scholarship Fund walk-a-thon, is a member of the Columbus Association of the Performing Arts (CAPA), a big sister in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, a United Way and Mid-Ohio Food Bank volunteer, and a U10 youth girls soccer coach.

Featured in the inaugural edition of Women's Book, she has been named a Columbus Hispanic Hero by the City of Columbus and the Columbus Crew. She has also been named a Distinguished Hispanic Ohioan by the Ohio Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs and the Governor.

Ramona is known by her peers for her passion to achieve her goals. "First and foremost she has a no-nonsense, results-driven attitude. Ever since I've known her from student leadership roles (at OSU) to her work experiences and the time we served together here at the Ohio Commission on Hispanic Affairs and Latino Affairs, she's (been) most interested in results and getting things done," said Ezra Escudero, executive director of the Hispanic and Latino Affairs Commission.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Latin@s Have a Stake in Health Care Reform

This article was passed along to me via the Facebook group LATINOS FOR HEALTH CARE REFORM.

Latinos Have a Stake in Health Care Reform
New America Media, Commentary, David Pacheco, Posted: Jul 25, 2009 

By David Pacheco 

Editor’s Note: Lack of health insurance is a growing problem for older Americans, and for Latinos it is especially serious. By 2050, Latinos will make up a quarter of all Americans aged 50 to 69, a reason for them to become more vocal and active participants in the health care reform debate now occurring in Congress, says AARP’s David Pacheco. 

The nation’s broken health care system has finally reached the top of the federal agenda. There is a flurry of activity on Capitol Hill as lawmakers tackle the problem in earnest to meet President Barack Obama’s request to have a bill from Congress before the end of the year.

Public actions show that Obama is committed to appointing Latinos to important positions. For secretary of labor, he appointed Hilda Solis, a staunch supporter of workers’ rights and health care reform. And recently, Obama tapped Sonia Sotomayor for a Supreme Court seat, making her the first Latino in history to be nominated.

We know health care is a cause for concern for Latinos. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 34 percent of Latinos are uninsured. AARP studies indicate that less than half of employed Latinos aged 50 to 69 receive health benefits from their employers. 

Skyrocketing health care costs are hurting families, stifling job growth and hurting small businesses’ ability to grow. America spends twice as much on health care as any average developed nation. Yet we don’t get a good return on our investment. We need common-sense solutions that ensure access to affordable, quality health care for all generations. 

AARP is very involved in the fight to improve access to quality, affordable health care for all Americans. We believe comprehensive reform should include measures that prevent insurers from denying coverage; provide access to coverage for those without employer-sponsored insurance; and provide adequate subsidies so total premiums and out-of-pocket costs do not exceed 10 percent of income and no more than 5 percent for low-income families.

Americans aged 50 to 64 are taking a hard hit in these times of shrinking employer-sponsored health coverage. They have become the fastest growing group of uninsured. The problem is greater among Latinos who are losing jobs at a faster rate than the general population. And to compound the problem, as working men and women in this age group are losing jobs and, consequently, employer-sponsored health care, they are finding it more and more difficult to get affordable individual coverage. 

As funds dwindle for critical state programs and services, all eyes are turning to the federal government for leadership and action to improve health care for all Americans.

For example, the current patchwork of programs that serve the most vulnerable people is so cumbersome that millions are not getting the help they need. Four million people who need help paying for their prescriptions can’t get it. And two thirds of those who are eligible for assistance with preventive care go without because the process is too complicated. 

At this crucial moment, we have the opportunity of a lifetime to fix our broken health care system. Obama has promised health reform before the end of the year, but we need to make sure that Congress follows through. 

We will see no benefit if we are silent about health care reform. We pay taxes, we move the economy, and we keep the wheels of commerce turning, which means we have power and influence. 

Latinos will make up a quarter of all Americans aged 50 to 69 by 2050. In 2007, Latino workers age 50 to 69 earned a total of $126 billion. Our contributions will more than double between 2007 and 2020 to $303 billion in inflation-adjusted dollars and then nearly triple again – to $892 billion by 2050.

With those numbers, you can be sure that when we pick up the phone, send an e-mail or walk into a legislator’s office, we will be heard. With five minutes to spare, we can be involved in one of the most important discussions of the 21st Century – one that could decide the course of our health care for decades.

The fight for health care reform is not one that can be done by one organization, or one group of people. We all share responsibility to be part of the solution. Our elected officials must hear from us. 

David Pacheco is an executive council member of AARP California

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Limbaugh's TonterĂ­as

This ad circulating in Florida draws parallels to lo que pasa en Ohio. We cannot sit by and allow the Limbaughs, the Dobbses, the Sheriff Joneses, and the Courtney Combses of the world to own the conversation on immigration or any other issue that should otherwise be steered by Latin@s.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

la falta de youth in the brown-black alliance

A great article from La Prensa about efforts to forge a brown-black alliance in Cleveland
An excerpt (emphasis added):
"It’s time for us old dogs to step aside and trust the new generation to take more responsibilities,” Danforth said. Her comment prompted an “amen” from eighty-year old Pearl Thompson, who noticed the lack of youth present at the forum and said they have to be engaged in these conversations as children.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Hispanic Fanatic hits the nail on the head

Last night after the Ohio Democratic Party State Dinner, Chris and I were talking about the vast differences that exist in the level of political clout in Ohio between Latin@s and African Americans. (For instance, in the room filled with hundreds of political personalities from around the state, I could count on one hand the number of Latin@s there--and one was busing tables for the caterer.)  As The Hispanic Fanatic points out, Latin@s around the country are experiencing this too.   I offer one comment. The author attributes this struggle in part to an "insecurity complex." He's right. Many Latin@s feel the need to assimilate and are self-conscious, etc... On the flip side, I would say that there also exists a segment of Latin@s who have been raised in White American culture and are struggling to un-assimilate; to shake off the sterile, suburban existence of their youth.