Top Secret Immigration Reform Talks

February 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Assertions in this space that Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner is the key to passing immigration reform have been supported/reinforced by the former New York Times Executive Editor, Bill Keller in a New York Times Op-Ed .

This follows an article in the Times by Ashley Parker who reports secret meetings of House members from both parties working on an immigration reform plan that can pass the House.

The Times: “For the last six or seven years, there had been no one to partner with, but since Nov. 6 there’s been a lot of new dance partners, and that’s good,” said Representative Luis V. Gutierrez, (D-IL)…a member of the group. “The table is filling up with people, and people are talking and they’re having conversations.”

“In addition to Mr. Gutierrez, the chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’s immigration task force, those involved in the discussions, aides said, include Representatives Xavier Becerra (Stanford Law) and Zoe Lofgren (Santa Clara Law), both California Democrats; John Yarmuth, (Yale) Democrat of Kentucky; Representatives John Carter (U of Texas Law) and Sam Johnson (SMU), both Texas Republicans; Mario Diaz-Balart (U of South Florida), Republican of Florida; and Raúl R. Labrador (U of Washington Law), Republican of Idaho.”

Lofgren and Labrador were immigration lawyers before entering Congress. Two members are from California, two from Texas, one from Kentucky where Mexican illegal workers dominate the care of the famous horse racing industry. The Florida Congressman is from a family of Cuban immigrants. These are serious, experienced and knowledgeable people.

Here is how one sees their work: “The goal is to fix what’s broken, and it’s pretty clear that a lot is broken,” Representative Diaz-Balart… “Do we recognize that we have a problem with the borders? Yes. Do we recognize that we have a problem with our visa system, where people don’t leave the country? Yes. Do we recognize that we have kids who were brought here by their parents and that’s an issue we have to deal with? Yes. Do we recognize the need for agricultural workers? Yes.”

The group is so leak-proof that trusted-only staff knows what they are deliberating. We all knew beforehand what the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” would propose the day they announced their plan at a standing-room-only press conference.

We do not know if there is collaboration between these House members and Senators but Congressional experts know that a reform bill is most likely in the Senate because the bill (s) need only 7 to 12 Republican votes to pass the Senate. The House on the other hand is problematical because of opposition to legalization and a “path for citizenship. Opposition is vocal but based on emotion, fiction and urban myths to which as many as 60-70 Republican members subscribe.

On immigration reform there is a loud and hysterical cabal of radio/TV voices on the Right. There are some in the House whose basic support is from these voices and their audiences. Additionally they derive support from groups like Minutemen leftovers, the Ku Klux Klan, anti-Catholic and anti-immigrant groups, anti-Mexican and White Nationalist/White Supremacy groups.

Opposition “national” groups include — the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), its off-spring — the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) and NumbersUSA, all founded and directed by one man. He is the most evil, odious bigot in America. His passions: Population Control, abortion and restricted immigration. John Tanton of Michigan led ZERO POPULATION GROWTH and local Planned Parenthood organizations before his anti-immigration/Mexican crusade.

There, then, is the struggle: respectable bi-partisan Senators and Congressmen with real immigration law experience from states heavily affected by people here illegally and a war hero (Johnson) who knows freedom (7 years as a prisoner of war); on the other hand, a faction composed of hysterical population-control freaks, racial and ethnic bigots and fanatics who breathe urban myths, fictions and legends.

For example, the ultra-conservative “American Thinker” magazine claims that this proposed legalization is suicide for the Republican Party. It posits that every single legalized person will take the proposed “path to citizenship” and all become Democrats, thus adding “11 to 20 million” new Democrats. However, Pew Research tells us that as only 40% of 1986 “amnestied” aliens ever became citizens, the numbers are out of whack to begin with.

“American Thinker” three fictions; one, there are “20 million illegal aliens” in-country and, two, that every single one will become Democrats, three, that they will all bring in their nephews/nieces and cousins when they become citizens thus inflating the number to 30-40-50 million people. They will not.

Speaker Boehner says of these House members working on immigration: “Frankly, I think they basically have an agreement.”

Boehner is the key — Bill Keller and I agree. If Speaker Boehner wants the House to pass immigration reform, it will.

Contreras’ books are available at amzon.com <http://amzon.com>

MAOF Celebra 50 Años de Servicio a la Comunidad

February 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Un hito especial en la misión para proveer oportunidades para los México-Americanos se celebró la semana pasada, cuando un grupo de funcionarios electos, miembros de la comunidad, empresarios locales y antiguos clientes se reunieron para marcar los 50 años de la Fundación de Oportunidades para los México Americanos (MAOF por sus siglas en inglés) y honrar el legado de su fundador Dionicio Morales.

Durante una recepción el pasado 7 de febrero en la sede de MAOF en Montebello, el presidente de MAOF Martín Castro recordó la lucha de Morales por el grupo étnico cuyas necesidades se habían ignorado antes de la fundación de su organización sin fines de lucro, que se dedica a la creación de oportunidades en la comunidad hispana mediante servicios, como el cuidado de niños a bajo costo o sin cobro, la capacitación laboral y programas para jóvenes y jubilados.

Read this story IN ENGLISH: MAOF Celebrates 50 Years of Service

“Esta noche es un homenaje al legado que se ha dejado atrás”, dijo Castro a la multitud. “Es un legado de esperanza para miles de niños y familias, para nuestros jóvenes y para nuestros jubilados”.

Foto de EGP por Nancy Martínez

Según Castro, la organización proporciona educación infantil para 3.000 niños el año, de la edad preescolar, y ayuda a otros 5.000 niños y sus familias a través de servicios de guarderías subsidiadas. MAOF opera 53 instalaciones en 7 condados y emplea a más de 650 empleados.

“MAOF opera el programa head-start más grande en el país basado en domicilios”, dijo Castro a la multitud.

Pero no siempre ha sido así, llegar a donde están hoy fue un reto. Castro y otros oradores recordaron la voluntad de Morales a tomar riesgos, para crear oportunidades donde algunas personas pensaban que no había posibilidad.

Risas y aplausos llenaron el salón cuando Castro recordó que Morales decidió llamarle al presidente de Estados Unidos, en un esfuerzo para evitar la clausura de la agencia en sus principios cuando la organización enfrentó a una falta de fondos. Morales no logró una reunión con el Presidente Kennedy, pero sí logró una reunión con el vicepresidente Lyndon B. Johnson y el Secretario del Trabajo. Esta reunión resultó en el primer contrato de trabajo para MAOF en 1964, recibieron $37.000.

Castro dijo a EGP que el 50 aniversario de la organización es un indicador importante de lo que han sido capaces de lograr.

“Poder estar aquí por tantos años significa que tienes personas que están gestionando una organización de calidad y programas de calidad para la comunidad”, él dijo.

Los servicios que ofrece MAOF han crecido desde que obtuvieron su primer contrato hace casi 50 años.

Hoy, MAOF provee servicios a personas mayores de habla española, así como bancos de alimentos que proporcionan comidas para más de 400 familias de bajos ingresos, y programas de capacitación laboral para jóvenes y adultos en el Este de Los Ángeles y el Condado de Kern, además de sus programas de capacitación laboral y de cuidado infantil.

La vicepresidenta de MAOF Vicky Santos dijo a EGP que el 50º aniversario se traduce a 50 años de ayudar a la comunidad.

Ella dijo que la existencia de MAOF durante 50 años se traduce a un número incontable de personas capaces de obtener puestos de trabajo o de mantenerse con trabajo. MAOF ha proporcionado cuidado de niños para las familias de bajos ingresos que no pueden pagar para que sus hijos estén bajo el cuidado de alguien que brinda atención de calidad, dijo Santos.

Desde la recesión, sin embargo, MAOF ha recibido $10 millones menos en fondos estatales, dijo Santos.

“Eso significa que 300 niños no recibirán los servicios que ofrecemos”, ella dijo.

Ella espera que MAOF eventualmente recuperará parte de los fondos perdidos en los últimos años para que puedan proporcionar más servicios que beneficien a la comunidad.

Presidente de la Junta de MAOF Carlos Viramontes dijo a EGP que aunque no tienen muchos fondos, él espera que la organización—que comenzó como un programa de información y programa pequeño de capacitación de trabajo que se ha convertido en un jugador importante en el cuidado de los hijos y en los programas para personas de la tercera edad—continuará a hacer correr la voz en la comunidad de que su apoyo es necesario.

“Ha sido un esfuerzo constante”, dijo Viramontes. “Pero hagamos lo que hagamos, el objetivo que tenemos en mente es de alguna manera ayudar a la comunidad”.

Otros oradores fueron el Ex Congresista Esteban E. Torres, el Cónsul General de México en Los Ángeles David Figueroa Ortega y la Supervisora del Condado de Los Ángeles Gloria Molina.

Cada uno habló sobre el trabajo y el legado de Morales, recordando sus encuentros con él.

“Es muy asombroso lo lejos que hemos llegado”, dijo Molina. “Esto es por lo que trabajó todos los días de su vida… Él puso ladrillo por ladrillo el camino para que alguien como yo, tenga las oportunidades que tengo hoy”.

Castro dijo a la multitud que el trabajo no se ha terminado y que siguen comprometidos a ofrecer oportunidades a todos los hispanos que los buscan.

Claudia Arreola supervisa los servicios de desarrollo infantil de MAOF y dice que ve una brecha en la comprensión de la comunidad en general sobre la importancia de los servicios ofrecidos por MAOF.

“Queremos asegurarnos de que nuestros niños reciban la atención de calidad que muy pocos niños en la comunidad consiguen”, dijo Arreola. “A nivel local saben que es MAOF, pero cuando se aventura fuera a los otros condados, no saben quién es MAOF”, dijo indicando que el mismo nivel de calidad se debe esperar por todas las personas que utilizan cuidado de niños, y que MAOF ha desarrollado las herramientas necesarias para proporcionar cuidado infantil de alta calidad.

Castro dijo a EGP que él invita a la comunidad a hacer un recorrido por sus instalaciones y repasar los servicios que la organización ofrece.

“Deben de llamar a nuestro número, tienen que venir aquí para que puedan obtener una comprensión de lo que hacemos porque si no pueden beneficiarse de nuestros servicios, tal vez conozcan a un vecino o alguien que sí pueda,” dijo Castro.

Para obtener más información acerca de los servicios ofrecidos por MAOF visite www.maof.org o llame al (323) 890-9600.

Candidate Forum Will Air on Commerce TV Channels

February 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The Commerce Industrial Council and the League of Woman Voters on Monday night held a forum for candidates running for three city council seats up for grabs in the March 5 election.

The forum was filmed, and will be televised on the city’s public access television channel in the run up to the election.

Incumbents Lilia R. Leon, Tina Baca Del Rio and Ivan Altamirano and challengers Joanna Flores, Jaime Valencia and Art Gonzalez faced off on a series of topics. The incumbents are running as a slate, while Valencia and Gonzalez are also running together. Flores is running solo.

League of Woman Voters’ Margo Reeg moderated the event that featuring six council candidates vying for three seats. (EGP photo by Gloria Angelina Castillo)

League of Woman Voters’ Margo Reeg, who moderated the event, took questions from the public for the forum that lasted well over an hour. The candidates were given time for opening and closing statements and one minute to answer most of the questions.

Candidates were quizzed on how they would stimulate the economy and create jobs, whether they can make difficult decisions, their priorities for spending voter approved Measure AA funds and their willingness to adjust the salaries of city employees who took pay-cuts last year.

Incumbents were asked to give an accounting of what they accomplished while in office, while their challengers were asked to detail what they hope to achieve if elected and how they would go about accomplishing their goals.

A broad range of topics, from whether the city should pay for Ms. Commerce’s attire for public events to whether city employees should be allowed to endorse candidates, and whether contracting a “motivational speaker” to address city staff was a wise decision given the city’s tight budget, were addressed during the forum.

Candidates also answered questions on public safety, sports programs and projects such as the Washington Blvd Project and the stalled Urban Entertainment Center.

The forum will be broadcast continuously on Commerce’s Cable Channels 3 and 6 until Election Day, according to Commerce Industrial Council Executive Director Eddie Tafoya.

To find your ballot and voting place, visit http://smartvoter.org

Concluye Búsqueda de Ex Policía Acusado de Asesinatos

February 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Se cree que esta muerto el ex policía Christopher Dorner, que fue formalmente acusado de homicidio en primer grado por el asesinato del agente Michael Crain el 7 de febrero, sin embargo, a partir de ayer los restos humanos encontrados en Big Bear no han sido oficialmente confirmadas como de él.

La caza por Dorner, que también se sospechaba como el asesino de una pareja en Irvine, duro seis días y llegó a un fin en llamas ayer después de un tiroteo con la policía en Big Bear.

El tiroteo del martes le cobró la vida a un agente del departamento de alguacil de San Bernardino—haciendo el número de víctimas de Dorner cuatro en total.

Restos humanos carbonizados se han encontrado dentro de una cabaña donde se creía estaba atrincherado Dorner después del tiroteo. La cabina se incendió poco antes de las 4:30 pm y ardió durante varias horas. El fuego se cree que comenzó cuando gases lacrimógenos fueron lanzados en el edificio de la policía.

Varios informes indican que un solo disparo se escuchó desde el interior de la cabina antes de que se quemó. Y mientras que ardía el fuego, el sonido de la explosión de munición en el interior se podía escuchar.

Una recompensa de un millón de dólares se había anunciado por información que resultara en la detención de Dorner. Detectives estaban ocupados con más de 1.045 pistas.

La búsqueda del expolicía comenzó cuando Dorner se vio involucrado en un primer altercado en la localidad de Corona, donde el sospechoso abrió fuego contra dos agentes mientras estos esperaban en su vehículo a que el semáforo en rojo cambiara.

El tiroteo acabó con la muerte de Crain, de 34 años. Su compañero de patrulla, que fue herido, permanece ingresado en un hospital aunque se espera que sobreviva.

Este mismo día, dos mujeres hispanas recibieron impactos de bala disparadas por agentes de Torrance, que confundieron su vehículo con el que se suponía que conducía Dorner.

El sospechoso previamente había amenazado con “emplear armamento inusual” contra distintos policías de LAPD en un manifiesto publicado en su página de Facebook. En ese escrito, Dorner amenazaba a más de dos docenas de personas.

Se cree que Dorner, despedido del cuerpo de Policía de Los Ángeles en 2009, asesinó también a la hija de Randy Quan, un agente involucrado en su despido por perjurio, y su pareja sentimental.

En el manifiesto, Dorner sostuvo que Quan y otros agentes no le representaron de forma justa en dicho proceso.

Más de 50 familias con personal del cuerpo de Policía estaban bajo vigilancia especial.

Obama Destacó la Reforma Migratoria en su Discurso Estado de la Unión

February 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Las asociaciones de líderes hispanos y sindicatos aplaudieron de manera casi unánime el discurso del Estado de la Unión pronunciado el martes por el presidente, Barack Obama, en el que destacó su alusión a la reforma migratoria que está promoviendo la Casa Blanca.

Pese al papel preponderante del asunto migratorio, el Consejo Nacional de la Raza (NCLR, en inglés) subrayó hoy el compromiso mostrado por el presidente de cara a la recuperación completa del país, y remarcó el interés del mandatario “por proteger a las familias”.

Janet Murguía, presidenta del NCLR, elogió a Obama por su postura firme para detener el recorte automático de los presupuestos federales que se prevé entre en vigor el 1 de marzo de 2013.

“Prevenir más recortes a los subsidios de desempleo, a la atención infantil y a la educación, es algo fundamental”, insistió en un comunicado Murguía, quien precisó que los recortes no pueden afectar más a las familias latinas de clase media.

“Los empleos y la economía siguen siendo el problema número uno para los latinos”, explicó en el mismo comunicado Leticia Miranda, asesora principal de la política económica en el NLCR.

Antes de las elecciones de noviembre, el empleo y la economía se colocaron por encima de la inmigración entre las principales preocupaciones de los votantes hispanos, según una encuesta realizada por el Pew Hispanic Research Center.

El director ejecutivo de la asociación America’s Voice, Frank Sharry, se mostró optimista ante la predisposición del Partido Republicano, e incluso del Tea Party, de llegar a un acuerdo en materia migratoria.

“Cuando un recién electo y reenergizado presidente demócrata, una estrella ascendente del movimiento conservador y un abanderado del Tea Party coinciden en una reforma migratoria con un camino a la ciudadanía, las posibilidades de lograr una reforma humana y viable este año son buenas”, dijo.

“De hecho, una de las pocas ovaciones de pie de parte de legisladores de ambos partidos fue en respuesta al llamado del presidente a una reforma migratoria”, enfatizó Sharry.

La presidenta del Sindicato Internacional de Empleados de Servicio (SEIU, por sus siglas en inglés), Mary Kay Henry, consideró que Obama mostró durante su discurso “una visión y un liderazgo increíbles” al solicitar un aumento del salario mínimo como una ayuda hacia la gente trabajadora.

“Obama demostró una vez más su compromiso con una reforma (migratoria) basada en el sentido común que implica que 12 millones de ciudadanos aspiran a salir de las sombras con plena voz para aportar a nuestra economía”, dijo Henry respecto al impulso de una nueva legislación migratoria.

“No debemos dejar pasar la oportunidad de una reforma migratoria que refleje nuestros valores, ofrezca un camino a la ciudadanía, y arregle nuestro roto sistema de una vez por todas”, insistió.

La Red de Liderazgo Hispana (HNL), de línea conservadora, no fue tan condescendientes con el presidente y aseguró que el discurso estuvo carente de convicción.

“Para un presidente que en 2008 hizo campaña duramente por la reforma migratoria y no la ejecutó en los pasados cinco años, su discurso fue escaso de liderazgo y convicción sobre una solución para nuestro quebrado sistema migratorio”, consideró la presidenta de la HLN, Jennifer Korn.

Además Korn aseguró que dada la complejidad del asunto, el presidente Obama no solo debe indicar, sino que debe liderar al Congreso sobre esta materia.

L.A. Sales Tax Hike Battle Heats Up

February 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Los Angeles city officials made another push Wednesday for a half-cent sales tax measure on the March 5 ballot, saying its passage would bridge a projected $216 million deficit and prevent further blows to municipal services.

The looming vote on Proposition A continues to drive discussion of what needs to be done about the city’s budget shortfall, which officials say remains a challenge as expenditures — mostly in the form of better-managed, but still rising pension costs — are expected to outpace city revenue.

“I think the question before most voters is, is the status quo acceptable?” Chief Administrative Officer Miguel Santana said in during a status report to the City Council.

Earlier this week, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa endorsed the proposition after staying quiet for weeks, even as top mayoral candidates came out against it.

In a series of jabs at recent statements made by several of the candidates, Councilman Paul Krekorian, who chairs the Budget and Finance Committee, said most of the solutions the mayoral hopefuls have offered up as alternatives to the tax “don’t add up” in light of the numbers in Santana’s report.

“There are those who would say we can solve this problem by addressing “waste, fraud and abuse,’ and that’s clearly nonsense,” said Krekorian, who added that a campaign promise to increase the number of police officers is also unfeasible.

“There are those who say we can solve this problem by doing pension reform,” he said. “It’s mathematically untrue to say that … There are some who say we need to attract more business …  we need to do more of it of course, but it’s not enough in and of itself,”

City Council candidate Matt Szabo, who served at one time as Villaraigosa’s budget adviser, criticized his former boss’ endorsement, saying the deficit figures are overstated and that the city’s financial situation is not so dire, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Such attacks from candidates on the sales tax measure and the media’s focus on them proved irksome to some council members.

“I’m getting fed up with the media misunderstanding or confusing this whole (half-cent) sales tax,” said Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who sits on the Budget and Finance Committee. “We have to do it if we want to be able to maintain police and fire. Would you give us a little more credibility … especially when you hear these pandering mayor candidates … This is a good deal for my folks.”

Krekorian said “tremendous progress” has been made in recent years through cuts and pension reforms.

According to Santana, the city also socked away $80 million in a one-time budget stabilization fund, and expects to see another $18 million set aside for a “rainy day,” after city employees union discovered unused money left over from previous years.

He explained that a healthy reserve fund and the budget stabilization improves the city’s bond rating and increases its chances of landing loans.

But even with the positive steps, Santana expressed concern that without sufficient revenue sources, the cuts would soon have a “significant impact on the city’s ability to meet basic services.”

He said the city “engaged in a long-term strategy” four years ago that resulted in cutting the upcoming year’s projected $1 billion deficit to $216 million, mostly through employee and service reductions, as well as having employees pay a percentage of their retiree health care costs.

In the last four years, city officials approved cuts in staffing levels for more than 5,000 employees. But according to Santana, still more is expected of administrators, including coming up with a way to address an additional $144 million that the police and fire departments have requested just to maintain staffing levels next year.

“The challenge becomes, what else do we cut?,” he said.

There is not much left to cut, according to Santana, who explained that 95 percent of the city’s budget is made up of either restricted funding – such as sewer fees, grants and the gas tax, that are designated for specific uses – or funding that goes to keeping essential services such as public safety, recreation and parks and public works, leaving only 5 percent of the city’s budget, $360 million, to work with when addressing budget shortfalls.

The approval of the tax measure would set the stage for the city to bounce back, proponents say.

Gone: Famed Co-Owner of El Tepeyac Succumbs to Cancer

February 14, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Manuel Rojas with his daughter, Elena, outside El Tepeyac restaurant in Boyle Heights in May 2010. (Erik Sarni Exclusive to EGP)

“Is it true? Did Manny Rojas die?”  a woman called EGP to ask on Wednesday morning.

She was upset to learn that the news circulating via word of mouth and on social media sites was in fact true: the popular co-owner of famed Boyle Heights eatery El Tepeyac lost his battle with cancer and died Tuesday at White Memorial Medical Center. He was 79.

Manuel Rojas, better known as Manny, was the face and many say the vision for El Tepeyac Café, opened in 1952 by the Rojas family, and still standing at it’s location on Evergreen Avenue in Boyle Heights. A second location was opened years later in the City of Industry.

Rojas was an icon of sorts in the community, both for his restaurant’s great food, and for his support of local activities in the community.

People near and far were remembering Manny Wednesday, sharing stories about their encounters with him at the restaurant known for its Manny Special, a five pound burrito that would earn you a free El Tepeyac t-shirt if you could eat the whole thing, or the tasty Hollenbeck and Okie burritos that were the food of choice following the famed East L.A. Classic or any number of special events.

“He would stand there grinning while you tried to eat the whole Manuel’s Special, kinda like he was daring you to fail,” Jaime Morales told EGP by email. “It’s funny, I hate waiting in line, but it never bothered me to wait, sometimes for an hour, outside El Tepeyac. It was like that’s what I have to do, like paying dues or earning the right to a spot in the restaurant,” he said. “The reward was the food.”

Under Rojas’ direction, the restaurant won praise from a number of food critics and earned spots on several “Best Of” food rankings, including the Travel Channel’s 101 Best Chowdowns in America in 2009 and Yelp.com, CitySearch.com, Wherethelocalseat.com, AOLCityBest.com, and write-ups in “Los Angeles” and “Sunset” magazines, usually earning four stars for his Mexican food and friendly service.

According to the El Tepeyac website, four generations of the Rojas family have been a part of El Tepeyac’s success, but Manny until fairly recently could be seen at the restaurant on most days.

As of press time, funeral arrangements were still pending. Check www.EGPNews.com for details when they become available.

Garcia Holds Swearing-In Ceremony for the Public

February 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Local politicians and representatives out of Sacramento joined newly elected Assemblymember Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) in Montebello for her local swearing-in ceremony held last week.

During the ceremony, Garcia, elected to represent the 58th District, spoke about her three top priorities: Helping to elect more women to Congress; increasing math literacy and reminding the community how great they are on a regular basis.

Assemblymember Cristina Garcia held her local swearing-in ceremony in Montebello on Feb.9. (EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

“This community took care of me for 18 years,” Garcia said. “Just like everyone invested in me…it’s time to invest in the community.”

MUSD Superintendent Susan Contreras Smith told EGP she was happy to hear that Garcia has priorities that reflect the community’s needs.

“I’m very impressed that we have a woman that is very dedicated to education,” Contreras-Smith said. “When she mentioned her passion for mathematics, I couldn’t agree more about making certain that our students are competitive in this global economy.”

Speakers at the function included Assembly Speaker John Perez, Assemblyman Anthony Rendon and City of Bell Mayor Ali Saleh, who officiated over the swearing-in ceremony.

Garcia told EGP the local ceremony was a way to thank the community she hopes will continue to work with her.

“I don’t expect to do it alone,” and I expect the community to be with me every step of the way, during the hard work as well as the celebrations, she said.

Several speakers described the assemblywoman as unconventional, someone who always speaks her mind, and acknowledged her work during the campaign to end corruption in the city of Bell.

Bell Gardens resident Martha Cabral told EGP she attended the event to support Garcia who had worked to bring positive changes to the southeast city.

We have common interests “as residents of Bell Gardens and I feel proud to have an assemblywoman who has been a resident of our community,” said Cabral, speaking in Spanish.

Saleh told EGP it meant a lot to be part of the local ceremony and to show his support for Garcia, who was involved in his city and helped with his election.

“A lot of people are not fortunate enough to go out to Sacramento so [residents] have the opportunity to be with her and she gets to be with the community that she advocates for in Sacramento,” Saleh said.

Struggling to hold back tears, Garcia’s mother told EGP she hopes the community continues to embrace her daughter; I know she will be great, Maria Cristina Garcia said in Spanish.

The 58th Assembly District includes the cities of Montebello, Pico Rivera, Commerce, Bell Gardens, Downey and Norwalk.

Montebello Mayor Christina Cortez told EGP that holding the ceremony at Montebello’s Armenian Cultural Center brought together different groups from the community.

“We couldn’t be more integrated today in this celebration in our community as we are now.”

Breves de la Comunidad

February 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Centro de Los Ángeles

Hoy, día de San Valentín, el Centro de Salud APAIT distribuirá frutas y verduras gratis para personas que se sometan a un chequeo de corazón, los exámenes de sangre y colesterol serán gratis. La Asociación Americana del Corazón proporcionará educación para la comunidad sobre los riesgos de la hipertensión. El evento es de 2 a 6 p.m. en 1730 West Olympic, localizada en la vecindad Pico-Union/Westlake del Centro de Los Ángeles. Estacionamiento sin cobro esta disponible. Para obtener mas información llame al (213) 553-1830 o visite www.apaitonline.org.

Boyle Heights

Ayer, miércoles de ceniza, la iglesia Dolores Mission marcó la inicia de la Cuaresma con una misa centrándose en lograr la ciudadanía para todos en EE.UU. De acuerdo con el pastor de la iglesia Fraile Scout Santarosa, durante los 40 días la iglesia y sus feligreses se prepararán para trabajar por la ciudadanía para todos. Dolores Misión esta ubicada en 170 S Gless St, Los Ángeles.

Boyle Heights

Una mujer murió el 9 de febrero en un accidente automovilístico en Boyle Heights y la policía buscaba un hombre que huyó a pie de la escena, dijeron las autoridades. La fallecida ha sido identificada como Stethanie Palacios, de 21 años de edad y residente de Los Ángeles. El accidente cerca de la calle East Seventh Street y la entrada a la autopista 5 en dirección al sur, se reportó a las 12:30 a.m. el sábado. Policías de la División Central de Tráfico de LAPD están a cargo de la investigación.

Commerce

Daniel Villaseñor, de 55 años de edad, se declaró no culpable de un cargo de crueldad hacia un niño y un cargo de asalto en propiedad de un parque—ambos son cargos menores. Villaseñor, un trabajador postal, esta acusado de corretear a una niña de 11 años de edad a un baño del Parque Bristow y tratar de asfixiarla después de que ella se burló de él por entrar al baño de mujeres en vez del de hombres. Varias personas fueron testigos del acontecimiento, de acuerdo al Sargento Rich Pena, del Departamento del Alguacil del Condado de Los Ángeles. Villaseñor esta encarcelado bajo una fianza de $15.000 y tiene una audiencia judicial programada para el 5 de marzo. Villaseñor enfrenta hasta un año en la cárcel del condado si es declarado culpable durante un juicio, según la Oficina del Fiscal del Distrito.

Molina Pushes for Sale of Federal Site to East LA Charter School

February 14, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a plan to sell unused county administrative buildings in East Los Angeles to a charter school for kindergarten through eighth-grade students.

KIPP Charter Schools is expected to sign a two-year lease and purchase agreement for the 2.6-acre property at 4800 E. Cesar Chavez Ave., subject to approval by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The facilities had been used by Housing Authority personnel, but those staffers have been relocated to Alhambra.

Supervisor Gloria Molina, who recommended the sale, said the disposition of the property was in line with the 2011 White House Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative.

“The NRI states that neighborhoods of opportunity are neighborhoods that contain high-quality schools, stable businesses, safe streets, affordable housing, cultural amenities, parks and recreational spaces,” Molina said. “It is my goal to realize this principle.”

KIPP LA Schools is a nonprofit organization that operates elementary and middle charter schools in South and East Los Angeles, preparing students in low-income communities for educational and lifetime success. Part of a national network, KIPP stands for Knowledge Is Power Program.

The nonprofit may reconfigure the existing buildings and construct a new building to accommodate additional classrooms.

About 24 percent of residents in the community surrounding the East Los Angeles site are under the age of 14, according to Molina.

If approved, the sales proceeds will be used to fund improvements at the Nueva Maravilla public housing development.

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