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Luisa Moreno, Guatemalan Immigrant, Labor Activist, Feminist Pioneer, Poet, before UFW, Deported by US #StanfordLatinoSummit

Luisa Moreno, born Blanca Rosa López Rodríguez in Guatemala City in 1907, moved to the US in 1928. A journalist and poet, she became a leader and organizer for immigrants, laborers, work place reform, and women’s rights. She laid the groundwork for César Chávez, Dolores Huerta, and the United Farm Workers union. The US deported her amid anti-immigrant and anti-red hysteria in 1950, and she returned to Guatemala. In 1954, the US overthrew the democratically elected government of Guatemala. The US supported terrorist military dictatorships that were overwhelmingly responsible for killing or disappearing 200,000 Guatemalan people, and kidnapping and torturing countless more, in the decades to come.

My grandfather Julio was a labor organizer and union leader in Guatemala who immigrated to the US in blowback to the 1954 coup. The rest of our family followed when I was four. My father was deported from the US twice before that.

Moreno became both the first woman and first person of Latin descent appointed to the CIO council, and in the early 1940s journeyed westward to help Californian food processing employees coalesce into unions. . . . Moreno’s commitment to immigrant laborers endured across World War II. But in the postbellum “red scare” that marked the onset of [the US] Cold War with the Soviet Union, Moreno’s workers’ rights campaign was tragically truncated. Increasingly unsympathetic toward activist immigrants, the federal government in 1950 concocted a warrant for Moreno’s immediate deportation, citing her association with the Communist Party as a threat to national security.

Rather than subject herself to the humiliation of forced removal, Moreno left the US that November, returning to Mexico with her daughter Mytyl and her second husband, Nebraskan Navy man Gary Bemis. In time, the family made their way back to . . . Guatemala. When her spouse died in 1960, Moreno relocated temporarily to Castro’s Cuba. But it was Guatemala where the fiery labor leader passed away in November of 1994, the distancia between her and her birthplace finally erased.

“Often, when I think about her departure,” Loza says of Moreno’s expulsion from the U.S., “I think about all the talent and expertise, and all of that dynamic vision, that left with her.” . . .  “Oftentimes, we attribute Dolores Huerta and César Chávez as the beginning of labor activism and civil rights work,” Loza says, “but in fact, there are a lot of folks like Luisa Moreno” who made their successes possible. Moreno is an especially powerful example, Loza adds, in that she, unlike Huerta and Chávez, was not a U.S. citizen. . . .

“Moreno’s story shows us that the Latino civil rights story is not only a Mexican story, but that Central Americans also played a role,” Loza says. “And the aspect that she’s a woman, a woman from a different country, really makes me hope that the Central American community can see how they contributed to Latino civil rights.”

Moreno is the focus of an installation at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, curated by Mireya Loza.

Thank you to Ryan P. Smith and the Smithsonian for shedding light on who we are as a nation. Read the complete story.

Posted from the First National #StanfordLatinoSummit.

Rare Super Full Moon on First Day of Spring over UCLA Royce Hall

Click on image to enlarge. 

Rare Super Full Moon on First Day of Spring over UCLA

Click on the image to enlarge.

Latinos, Blacks Exposed to Disproportionate Pollution National Academies, Dr Bullard, NY Times

Latinos and African-Americans  breathe in far more deadly air pollution than they are responsible for making, while non-Hispanic white people because breathe in less than they make, based on their buying, driving and living practices. It’s because of their wealth and how much they consume and buy, not because they buy different things.

“These findings confirm what most grassroots environmental justice leaders have known for decades, ‘whites are dumping their pollution on poor people and people of color‘,” said Texas Southern University public affairs professor Robert Bullard, who was not part of the research. Bullard, often called the father of environmental justice, is African-American.

Bullard said his and other past research shows that African-Americans are 79 percent more likely than whites to live where industrial pollution is highest, with people of color overrepresented near Superfund sites and oil refineries.

He said there are far more mostly minority schools within 500 feet of major highways than mostly white schools.


Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Read the NY Times reporting on the study.

Read Dr. Robert Bullard and Robert García on transformational change, environmental justice and health equity.

LIfeguards Green Santa Monica Bay Celebrating Immigrants who Fought Bigotry Batalón de San Patricio #NoBorderWall English / Español

English / Español Lifeguards celebrate San Patricio off Santa Mónica Pier, one of the most diverse beaches in California.

Salvavidas celebran San Patricio en el muelle de Santa Mónica, una de las playas más diversas en California.

While the St. Patrick’s Battalion included Irish immigrants who fought against the US in the US Mexico War, the San Patricios in fact included several nationalities of immigrants who remain heroes in Mexico, the US, and beyond.

In the US, the war was driven by racial, ethnic, economic, religious bigotry, and the imperialist Manifest Destiny doctrine.  Immigrant people sought economic opportunity, equality, and religious freedom in the US, motivated by conditions in their home nations. Many Irish people, for example, fled the Irish potato famine.

Violence in the US manifested religious bigotry in the years leading up to the war. For example, mobs destroyed churches in the Bible Riots of 1844 in Philadelphia, and an angry mob burned down a convent in Boston.

The US Mexico War portended the Civil Warand racial divides In the US.

Ulysses S. Grant wrote later, “I was bitterly opposed to the measure, and to this day regard the war . . . as one of the most unjust ever waged by a stronger nation against a weaker nation. It was an instance of a republic following the bad example of European monarchies, in not considering justice in their desire to acquire additional territories.” Grant later led the Union as commanding general against the confederate states, and as president to implement Reconstruction and remove vestiges of slavery.
Read the story of the Saint Patrick’s Battalion at the Smithsonian.
The bogus and unconstitutional national emergency declaration to fund and build the border wall manifests racial, ethnic, economic, religious, and imperialist bigotry by this president, this administration, and their enablers. No Emergency, No Wall.
* * *

El Batallón de San Patricio incluyó a inmigrantes irlandeses que lucharon en la Guerra de México de los Estados Unidos, los San Patricios de hecho incluyeron varias nacionalidades de inmigrantes que siguen siendo héroes en México, los EE.UU. y más lejos.

En los EE.UU., la guerra fue impulsada por el fanatismo racial, étnico, económico, religioso y la doctrina imperialista del Destino Manifiesto. Las personas inmigrantes buscaban oportunidades económicas, igualdad y libertad religiosa en los EE.UU., motivadas por condiciones en sus países de origen. Muchos irlandeses, por ejemplo, huyeron de la hambruna irlandesa de papas.

La violencia en los EE.UU. también manifestó intolerancia religiosa en los años previos a la guerra. Por ejemplo, unas turbas destruyeron iglesias en los disturbios de la Biblia de 1844 en Filadelfia, y una multitud enojada incendió un convento en Boston.

La guerra presagio la Guerra Civil y divisiónes raciales en los EE.UU.

Ulises S. Grant escribió más tarde: “Me opuse amargamente a la medida y, hasta el día de hoy, considero la guerra … como uno de las más injustas libradas por una nación más fuerte contra una nación más débil. Era un ejemplo de una república siguiendo el mal ejemplo de las monarquías europeas, al no considerar a la justicia en su deseo de adquirir territorios adicionales.” Grant dirigió a la Unión como comandante general contra los estados confederados, y como presidente para implementar la Reconstrucción y eliminar vestigios de esclavitud.

Lea la historia de el batallón de San Patricio en el Smithsonian.

La declaración de emergencia nacional falsa e inconstitucional para financiar y construir el muro fronterizo manifiesta fanatismo racial, étnico, económico, religioso e imperialista de este presidente, esta administración y sus facilitadores. Sin emergencia, no hay muro.

Photo The City Project Proyecto del Pueblo CC BY SA
Satirical photoshop courtesy Photoshop satírico cortesía Samuel David García, Stanford ’18


Abolish the Death Penalty as Fundamentally Wrong Morally, Legally, Inefficient and Unnecessary Gov. Newsom NY Times Editorial

Gov. Gavin Newsom of California announced Wednesday that no executions will occur on his watch, granting temporary reprieves to all 737 inmates on the state’s death row. . . .

“I do not believe that a civilized society can claim to be a leader in the world as long as its government continues to sanction the premeditated and discriminatory execution of its people,” Mr. Newsom said. “In short, the death penalty is inconsistent with our bedrock values and strikes at the very heart of what it means to be a Californian.”

[T]his act of executive mercy recognizes the extreme failures of the death penalty. In announcing his order, Mr. Newsom noted a National Academy of Sciences report estimating that one out of every 25 people on death row is innocent. “If that’s the case, that means if we move forward executing 737 people in California, we will have executed roughly 30 people that are innocent,” he said. Other research suggests that it also does not deter crime.

While the state hasn’t executed anyone since 2006, it has the largest death row in the Western Hemisphere, a quarter of America’s death row population. Six in 10 prisoners on California’s death row are people of color, a disparity Mr. Newsom cited in his rationale for the moratorium.

What’s more, the death penalty system is so dysfunctional and costs so much to run that Justice Stephen Breyer of the Supreme Court wondered in 2016 whether these “fundamental defects” warrant a deeper look at the constitutionality of letting inmates languish on death row for decades.

[…] In due time, this growing chorus against a system of punishment that has been shown to be discriminatory, prone to error and ineffective as a crime-fighting tool should spell its demise once and for all.

Read the full New York Times editorial.

The City Project applauds Gov. Newsom for recognizing the value of human life, dignity, and freedom from discrimination. The Death Penalty is morally wrong, cruel and unusual, prone to error, unnecessary, inefficient, expensive to administer, and fundamentally unfair.

Source: DPIC

GreenLatinos presenta demanda contra declaración discriminatoria de emergencia nacional. Sin emergencia, no hay muro.

English. GreenLatinos presentó una demanda contra la declaración de emergencia nacional discriminatoria en la corte federal el 14 de marzo de 2019. Earthjustice representa a GreenLatinos, así como a otros grupos e individuos en comunidades fronterizas.

“Rechazamos la crisis nacional fabricada por el presidente Trump que desplaza a las familias fronterizas, destruye el hábitat y el refugio de la vida silvestre y desatiende las leyes de protección ambiental en las comunidades fronterizas”, dijo Mark Magaña, presidente y CEO de GreenLatinos. “La declaración de emergencia es parte de la estrategia discriminatoria de esta administración para desalentar la inmigración y evitar que las personas busquen asilo en los EE. UU.”

Lea el texto completo de la demanda.

GreenLatinos, una ONG nacional, reúne una amplia coalición de líderes latinos comprometidos a luchar contra problemas del medio ambiente, recursos naturales y conservación a niveles nacional, regional y local que afectan significativamente la salud y el bienestar de la comunidad latina en los EE. UU. Las prioridades básicas de GreenLatinos incluyen: (1) Justicia ambiental, derechos civiles y participación público; (2) Derechos y soberanía indígena; (3) Clima y aire Limpio; (4) Tóxicos y pesticidas; y (5) Agua limpia.

Los miembros de GreenLatinos incluyen personas que han sido ciudadanos de los EE.UU., residentes documentados, o ambos, por generaciones, así como inmigrantes de primera generación que son ciudadanos de los EE.UU. o residentes documentados. Los miembros tienen familiares que residen en México, Centroamérica, y otros paices americanos.

Como resultado de la declaración, GreenLatinos y sus miembros están sujetos a discriminación por motivos de raza, color, origen nacional y ascendencia.

Otros demandantes incluyen la familia Ramírez de San Juan, Texas, quien por generaciones ha sido propietaria de tierras, una iglesia y un cementerio a lo largo de la frontera; la Nación Carrizo / Comecrudo de Texas, cuyos ancestros habitaron el Valle del Río Grande durante siglos y cuyos lugares sagrados, culturales y de enterramiento serían amenazados por nuevas secciones del muro; Elsa Hull, terrateniente en la frontera; el Centro Internacional de Estudios Rio Grande (RGISC); el Consejo Laboral para el Avance Latinoamericano (LCLAA); y la Coalición del Desierto de California.

El cementerio Eli Jackson. Foto cortesía de Sylvia Ramirez / Earthjustice.

Contacto: Mark Magaña (GreenLatinos), markmagana [@], (202) 230-2070.

Robert García, un miembro orgulloso de la Junta de Directores de GreenLatinos, es el Consejero-Fundador de The City Project / Proyecto del Pueblo.

Sin emergencia, no hay muro.


GreenLatinos Joins Earthjustice Suit against President Trump’s Discriminatory National Emergency Declaration No Emergency, #NoBorderWall Español

Espanol. GreenLatinos filed suit against the discriminatory emergency declaration in federal court today, March 14, 2019. Earthjustice represents GreenLatinos, as well as other groups and individuals along border communities.

“We reject President Trump’s manufactured national crisis that displaces border families, destroys wildlife habitat and refuge, and disregards environmental protection laws along border communities,” said Mark Magaña, President and CEO of GreenLatinos. “The emergency declaration is part of this administration’s discriminatory strategy to discourage immigration and prevent people from seeking asylum in the U.S.”

Read the full text of the complaint.

GreenLatinos, a national non-profit organization, convenes a broad coalition of Latino leaders committed to addressing national, regional and local environmental, natural resources and conservation issues that significantly affect the health and welfare of the Latino community in the United States. The GreenLatinos Core Policy Priorities include: (1) Environmental Justice, Civil Rights & Public Engagement; (2) Indigenous Rights and Sovereignty; (3) Climate and Clean Air; (4) Toxics and Pesticide; and (5) Clean Water.

GreenLatinos members include people who have been U.S. citizens, documented residents, or both for generations, as well as first generation immigrants who are U.S. citizens or documented residents. Members have family who reside in Mexico, Central America, other Latin American nations.

GreenLatinos and its members are subject to discrimination based on race, color, national origin, and ancestry as a result of the declaration.

Other plaintiffs include the Ramirez family of San Juan, Texas, who for generations have owned land, a church, and a cemetery along the border; the Carrizo / Comecrudo Nation of Texas, whose ancestors inhabited the Rio Grande Valley for centuries and whose sacred cultural and burial sites would be threatened by new sections of the wall; Elsa Hull, a landowner on the border; the Rio Grande International Study Center (RGISC); the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA); and the California Wilderness Coalition.

A banner near the Eli Jackson Cemetery. Photo courtesy of Sylvia Ramirez / Earthjustice.

Contact: Mark Magaña (GreenLatinos), markmagana [@], (202) 230-2070.

Robert García, a proud member of the GreenLatinos Board of Directors, is Founding Director Counsel of The City Project.

No Emergency, No Wall


Senate Overturns Discriminatory Declaration to Fund and Build Wall UPDATE GreenLatinos Files Suit No Emergency, #NoBorderWal

UPDATE GreenLatinos Joins Earthjustice Suit against Discriminatory Declaration

The Senate on Thursday easily voted to overturn President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the southwestern border, delivering a bipartisan rebuke to what lawmakers in both parties deemed executive overreach by a president determined to build his border wall over Congress’s objections.

The 59-41 vote on the House-passed measures set up the first veto of Mr. Trump’s presidency. It was not overwhelming enough to override Mr. Trump’s promised veto, but Congress has now voted to block a presidential emergency declaration for the first time — and on one of the core promises that animated Mr. Trump’s political rise, the vow to build a wall between the United States and Mexico.

New York Times.

No Emergency, No Wall

Click on the image to see the testimony.

Celebrate Bruce’s Beach and Black L.A. CA Coastal Commission #EnvironmentalJustice

Dear Chair Bocho, Honorable Commissioners, Director Ainsworth, and Esteemed Staff Members:

Congratulations and thank you again for adopting the Environmental Justice Policy on March 8. We are delighted to be part of the diverse allies who stand behind you.

We were glad to hear Commissioner Mary Luevano ask about Bruce’s Beach. We are eager to work with the Commission, the community, and Prof. Allison Rose Jefferson to faithfully, completely, and accurately celebrate the proud legacy of Bruce’s Beach and African-American Los Angeles. Here’s why.

The City Project proudly worked with Bernard Bruce, the Bruce’s grandson, to rename the park as Bruce’s Beach in 2007. Signs and public art should commemorate the story of Bruce’s Beach. The site should be an official national, state, county, and local monument.

“When I told people that my family owned the beach here, they would laugh at me. They didn’t believe black people owned beaches. Now, they won’t laugh anymore.” Bernard Bruce at park renaming 2007. Click on the image to hear Mr. Bruce on video.

When Mr. Bruce first met with us, he brought his trunk full of pictures, the family papers from the lawsuit, and more. The City Project created a public art poster telling the complete story of Bruce’s Beach with SPARC (Social & Public Art Research Center) for the dedication.  We were happy to see some of those pictures on display at the Commission’s March 8 hearing, pictures that are now in the collection of the California African American Museum.

In response to our work, Manhattan Beach did rename the park with a plaque at the site. The plaque says only this about the destruction of Bruce’s Beach by the city and the KKK: “The two-block neighborhood was home to several minority families and was condemned through eminent domain proceedings commenced in 1924. Those tragic circumstances reflected the views of a different time.”

That information is not good enough. If people don’t know the history, that plaque won’t tell them. If people know the history, whitewashing the history that way only angers them.

As Commissioner Luevano suggested, the Commission can act with Manhattan Beach, public education curricula, and other programs and activities. (See Environmental Justice Policy, p. 9.)

We look forward to working with the Commission to celebrate the history of Bruce’s Beach and Black L.A.!