Archive for September 2009
From the NPT Inbox via El Paso Grassroots:
Last Saturday, I was one of the many volunteers who came to Isela Castanon Williams’ house to phonebank for health insurance reform. All of us did such a great job on Saturday that we cannot stop the momentum!
Just like Isela, I invite you to my house this Saturday, October 3rd from 11am to 2pm as we talk to our neighbors to ask for their support for health insurance reform. We made over 400 calls last Saturday and I know that we can do even more if you come!
From the NPT Inbox:
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL TROOPS FOR FORT BLISS, CONVERSION OF HEAVY BRIGADE TO STRYKER STATUS
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) released the following statement on today’s announcement by the Department of Defense to convert Fort Bliss’ 1st Armored Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team (BCT) to a Stryker BCT when the unit returns from Iraq. The conversion to the new Stryker vehicle will take two years, and this new status will result in an additional 300 – 400 troops for the base.
From the NPT Inbox:
LET’S GO BESCO CAMPAIGN
Contact Person: Oscar Gonzalez, Campaign Manager 915-449-6178 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Tim Besco will have a Press Conference announcing his Candidacy as the Republican Nominee for the U.S. Congress, 16th Congressional District at American Legion Post 36, 3730 Shell, El Paso, TX 79925 (approximately ½ mile east of Hawkins Blvd., just north of Montana Ave.) on Wednesday, September 30, 2005 at 5 p.m.
State Rep. Marisa Marquez is having a fund-raiser, for real this time (last time around, she said that the Republican money she received just sort of happened, and didn’t constitute an official fund-raiser). Tis the season — state Rep. Joe Moody had a fund-raiser last night, and County Commissioner Dan Haggerty had one this week. Other fund-raisers we got wind of but weren’t invited to include one for County Commissioner Veronica Escobar. Here’s the invite for Marquez’s fund-raiser.
Here’s the invite for Marquez:
From the NPT Inbox:
Community Members Lobby Silvestre Reyes for LGBT Rights
Advocates Meet with Reyes’ Staff to Demand “No Excuses”
El PASO, TEX., September 24, 2009: On Friday, September 25, members of the LGBT community in El Paso will be meeting with the staff of Congressman Silvestre Reyes’ office to discuss the stake that El Pasoans have in the advancement of crucial legislation now being reviewed by the Congress and the Obama administration, which will advance the rights of LGBT people in America.
With the support of the Human Rights Campaign, through its national “No Excuses” initiative, hundreds of concerned members of the LGBT community are visiting with their local Congressperson to ask the current legislature to fulfill President Obama’s pledge to recognize the rights of LGBT Americans.
In the last few months, El Paso and its elected representatives have displayed their concern for recognizing the equality of all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Click on the link to read her letter, which draws a sharp policy distinction from the prevailing political winds in EP — for the most part. Winds can shift quickly.
Here are the last two paragraphs of the letter, which can be viewed via the link.
The State of Texas should be adding new lanes to and upgrading Loop 375 (César Chávez Border Highway). I recognize the need to compromise, and I fought to ensure that a comprehensive reconstruction of Loop 375 will not only include two additional toll lanes, but will also include upgrading the existing four lanes. This compromise means that no resident of El Paso will be required to pay a toll on César Chávez Border Highway if they do not want to.
I will continue to oppose toll roads as a permanent funding mechanism to finance the construction of highways and roads, and will continue to work with legislators next session to address this issue.
Click here for the full article. An excerpt: Our politicians, and the bureaucrats who work for them, come and go along the border, making grandiose statements about how we are winning the war on drugs even as the situation deteriorates. The binational community is never asked about what we’re seeing and what we’re experiencing. We know we can defend ourselves—we can patrol the streets, we can take back our communities—but it’s hard to know exactly how to solve our problems when our leaders are misrepresenting their very nature.
UTEP Professor Tony Payan is a member of the organizing committee for the Global Public Policy Forum on the War on Drugs taking place next week.
Payan also had a piece in the New York Times’ “Room for Debate” feature. The question up for debate was, “What Will Mexico’s New Drug Law Do?” Part of his answer: The new policies in conservative Latin America reflect disillusionment with the United States war on drugs.
At 10 a.m. today, Sergio Lewis of Sergio Lewis Body Shop announced that he will run for county commissioner for precinct 2. Click here for video. “After a lot of thought with my family, friends and members of the community, I decided to go ahead and put my name out as a candidate for this commissioners race coming up in March 2, 2010 primary election,” he said.
Lewis referenced his years in the El Paso Independent School District school board, during which he served two years as president. “We have a growing community, we have a growing military community. In the 90s when I was board president, I was part of the preparation for BRAC, as we know it today,” he said. He served from 1993-1997 and 2005-2009 in the EPISD school board, with his presidency running from 1995-1997.
He also listed as priorities health care, preparation for BRAC, and increased support for law enforcement, veterans and the elderly.
“I want to be able to work with our federal and state officials in order to generate the type of funding that El Paso county deserves,” he said. “I feel we as a community can address our state in bigger ways to provide funding for all of those mandates that we have in this county.”
County commissioner Veronica Escobar has not announced if she will run for re-election.
- Elizabeth Ruiz
From the NPT Inbox:
The next critical step in keeping the Mercado Mayapan open is the approval of the EZ funding recommendation by the Empowerment Zone Advisory Board scheduled for discussion and action next Tuesday, September 22nd at the City Council meeting. Please mark your calendars and JOIN US in showing your support for the women workers!!
Attached you will find a call to attend the City Council meeting, as well as, “Hidden Casualties: Trade, Employment Loss and Women Workers”, an informative report on the devastating impacts of free trade on women manufacturing workers and the government programs that have failed to transition them back into the workforce. Additionally, you will find a script in English and Spanish you can send to your friends to get them involved and a letter to send to the Obama Administration and the Department of Treasury to request that the pending NADBank funding request be expedited.
In order to raise awareness of this struggle a Women Workers Rally will be held at UTEP at 10 a.m., tomorrow, Thursday, September 17, 2009 at the corner of Oregon and University Avenue. We ask that you attend and distribute the attached press advisory.
Please circulate this call widely and remember:
* Invite your family, friends, and out-of-town guests to eat and shop at Mercado Mayapan. The price of cooked food, fruits, vegetables, meats, groceries and souvenirs is comparable to the markets in Cd. Juárez.
* Have your meetings at Mercado Mayapan and purchase food, natural juices, and snacks.
* Send a tax-deductible contribution that’s within your budget to the La Mujer Obrera Emergency Fund to support the women who were laid off and are not eligible for unemployment benefits. Checks can be made out to: LMO -Women Forging Our Future and send to 2000 Texas, El Paso, Texas 79901.
* Ask relatives, neighbors, church members, co-workers, and fellow students to support the workers of Mercado Mayapan in whatever way they can.
The Time to Act is Now!! Thank you for all of your support!!
State Rep. Marisa Marquez had a fund-raiser at Pot au Feu in Downtown El Paso on Monday. Familiar faces were there — Dee Margo, Rick Francis, Harold Hahn and other regular political donors. It’s an irony in El Paso that Democrats often get funding from Republicans, who have very few elected officials here (and among those, the Haggerty clan has dominated, and has not always been on board with the big donor Republicans). State Rep. Norma Chavez, for example, has received donations from many of the same figures.
Marquez distanced herself from the event when asked who organized it: “This isn’t my fund raiser. We didn’t organize it, the business community did, and there’s a big difference.”