• Orange County’s Tributes to KKK Members and the Confederacy Must Go
    The images of mostly young white men chanting nazi slogans while carrying torches through the University of Virginia, and the violent Unite the Right display that resulted in the death of a young woman and injury of many others are hard to watch. They are shocking, and at the same time not at all shocking in a country that has refused to meaningfully confront its legacy of slavery and legalized racism. Less so when we realize that that legacy has not only not been confronted but is still downright celebrated in the forms of Confederate monuments like the statue of Robert E. Lee that served as this weekend’s point of convergence for White Supremacists. There were many takeaways from the events in Charlottesville along with difficult questions to grapple with. Watching from Orange County I couldn’t help but focus on that statue of Robert E. Lee that the Nazis of Unite the Right sought to defend from a growing consensus to remove tributes to the Confederacy, and I couldn’t help but think of the various streets, buildings, and landmarks in our County named after KKK members. Landmarks like Fanning Elementary, named after William E. Fanning, a Brea pioneer, teacher and Klan member. As well as Lowell Street in Santa Ana, named after Joseph Lowell, a Santa Ana farmer and Klan member. For more thorough list of these check out Gustavo Arellano’s award winning series, “OC Pioneers Who Were Klan Members” and his 2013 feature, “Welcome to Ku Klux Kounty!”. For decades Orange County’s leaders and residents have refused to own up to the Klan’s legacy and influence in county politics. Rather than acknowledge this side of history, and take appropriate steps to address it they have responded with collective denial and anger at those exposing our county’s dark roots. But as communities across the South undergo another confrontation with their history, and take further steps to stop romanticizing their racist forefathers, it is important that Orange County not stay behind and wallow in a sea of denial. Lexington’s mayor, residents in Durham, North Carolina, and other cities across the country have made the move to acknowledge the vileness of the Confederacy and the racist symbols by removing the landmarks built to honor them and put in their place something that upholds our greater values. The country is in a moment of reeling after watching civil rights protesters run down by nazis. Orange County residents shouldn’t also have to face the symbols those white supremacists rallied to celebrate. We should replace them. Reference Links: 1. Welcome to Ku Klux Kounty!: http://www.ocweekly.com/news/welcome-to-ku-klux-kounty-6425325 2. OC Pioneers Who Were Klan Members: http://www.ocweekly.com/news/announcing-the-which-oc-pioneers-were-kkk-members-series-6444018 3. Lexington Mayor Announces All Confederate Statues Are Coming Down: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/8/13/1689254/-Lexington-KY-mayor-announces-all-Confederate-statues-are-coming-down-because-of-Charlottesville 4. Demonstrators Pull Down Confederate Monument in Durham: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/demonstrators-durham-confederate-statue_us_59923254e4b08a247276c9bf?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009
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  • HBO, please release the remaining episodes of Game of Thrones before Trump gets us all killed!
    We've been watching Game of Thrones for over 6 seasons and have waited patiently for season 7. For many of us, Game of Thrones is the only escape from this miserable administration that we have- one hour each Sunday. Please don't punish the world for 45's pendejismo. Unleash the dragons and release the remaining episodes ASAP!!
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  • Tell Mayor Ron Button to Defy Trump, Defend Sparta, & Protect our Community
    Donald Trump just announced executive action that threatens any city that seeks to protect immigrant residents from his deportation machine. What he’s trying to do is roll back the leaps forward we’ve made in recent years but we won’t let him. In 2017, it’s the efforts to defend Black lives and protect migrant rights that make our cities safer, not Trump’s extra enforcement promises. To keep us safe, we need to evolve our local policies to make our cities real sanctuaries for all residents, not cancel them because of the illegitimate President's latest actions. That means a commitment to separating police from federal immigration enforcement AND addressing the policing that funnels Black and other residents to jail and places criminal charges on immigrant residents, making them a target for ICE agents. Tell our mayor and city council to stand up to Trump and take action that doesn't just symbolically defend immigrants, but transforms our city's policies to stop targeting us for imprisonment, risk of removal, and state violence at the hands of police and aggressive immigration agents. The illegitimate President's threats should be cause to embolden our city leaders, not an excuse to abandon our potential progress.
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  • Tell the Student Loan Collectors to Lose the Paperwork!
    According to a recent New York Times article, "tens of thousands of people who took out private loans to pay for college but have not been able to keep up payments may get their debts wiped away because critical paperwork is missing." This is a fantastic idea! The article goes on to report that "many people with private student loans end up shouldering debt that they never earn enough to repay... private loans lack that flexibility, and they often carry interest rates that can reach double digits. Because of those steep rates, the size of the loans can quickly balloon, leaving borrowers to pay hundreds and, in some cases, thousands of dollars each month." However, someone at National Collegiate has the opportunity to make it all go away. In 2014, Chilean artist Papas Fritas burned the paperwork for thousands of dollars of student debt in that country. This is an opportunity to do the same. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKkmY-DKI78 Education should be a right, not an opportunity for predatory lenders to make a fortune. It is time for increased protections for borrowers and more regulation of private lenders to avoid the exploitation of people seeking access to higher education.
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  • Tell pinche Spotify that Justin Beiber is most definitely NOT Latino!
    We can not tolerate the commodification of our culture. Recording a song in Spanish does not make you a Latino and referring to Justin Bieber as a Latin King is just plain ignorant. Even worse, Gabe Bergado recently wrote an article for Teen Vogue calling Spotify out for making a Pulse playlist with almost no Latinx artists. To Spotify's credit, they eventually responded to the backlash by adding Latinx artists to the list. We hope they take this petition into consideration, pull the Justin Beiber add, and think twice before their next ad.
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  • Amazon, Drop the Hate- Ban Your Anti-Latinx Costumes
    The Latinx community will not sit idly by as companies like Amazon help to further normalize white supremacy. Attacks on our culture and our families will not be tolerated and we demand that Amazon remove this "costume" from its website immediately.
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  • Chicago Parents Want this CPS Principal Removed After He Threatened Them with the Police
    I am a parent of three children at Orozco Academy and proud to be have been a mentor and volunteer at the school. On February 7th, at 3 pm I went to the school to address a matter of bullying against my 5 year-old daughter with her teacher. When I arrived, the teacher told me to speak to the principal. Instead of helping, Principal Martinez began yelling at me and accusing me of spreading gossip. I asked for an appointment to meet with the teacher, and the principal demanded that one not be given to me. He threatened to call the police to try to intimidate me and since I had done nothing wrong, I told him to call them. Minutes later, 7 police officers surrounded me in the office in front of my children who are 5, 6, and 11 years old. They told me to get my hands out of my pocket because they thought I had a gun. I told them that I did not have a gun. My son, who is 11, had overheard the Principal tell the police that I had a gun. The police asked me to leave and I thought that the situation had been resolved. The next day I received a letter saying that I was banned from entering the school building. I could only enter with permission from the principal. A couple days later I received a court order to appear in court because the principal, Mr. Martinez, had filed a restraint order against me. I am not a criminal. I have volunteered at the school since my children transferred there 3 years ago. I was a parent mentor for one year giving my time and talents to the school. This situation is not only happening to me. Many parents have come forward to say that the principal has tried to silence them by calling police or threatening them or their children. We don't believe that Principal Martinez is acting professionally or ethically. Many times the Chicago Board of Education has tried to assure immigrant families that our schools are sanctuary and safe spaces. How can our school be a safe space if we are constantly threatened by the principal and if he calls the police on parents? We're calling on the Chicago Board of Education to remove Mr. Martinez from his post immediately. This is an emergency. Please help. Watch the video of our press conference outside Orozco here: https://www.facebook.com/thepilsenalliance/videos/1602069419822688/
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  • Phoenix Might Pay More for Police in Schools than Teachers, Sign to Stop It
    We are urging you to take a position against SB1099, a terrible anti-youth legislative proposal that is currently being considered by the Arizona State Legislature. Bill SB1099, the School Safety Program Bill, directs the Arizona Department of Education to prioritize grants for school resource officers (SROs) and juvenile probation officers in schools within communities with “high crime rates.” This will result in more police officers being placed in black/brown schools, which will increase the arrests of Black and Latino students on campus—feeding the school-to-prison pipeline. The past two weeks of Trump’s presidency has shown us that many of the communities represented by our school youth population are at risk of being further discriminated, criminalized and even deported. It is your political and moral responsibility as a school board to ensure that the students you service are safe instead of making school environments more hostile by heightened police presence. Currently we have a crisis in education. In 2016, our state systematically chose to cut education by $21 million while allocating $17 million for a project to increase beds at Eloy private detention center. A safe school is a school that has enough teachers, enough books, school programs like art, music, and other character building activities that will create whole and healthy adults which in turn creates safe communities. A safe school cannot be defined by over-policing. Phoenix Union High School District does not need police officers. Advocating for more SRO's on campuses is the wrong answer to solving disciplinary issues with young people that need intervention based on love and guidance. We must go beyond solutions that are about police. Studies have shown that even accounting for all other variables, that the mere placement of an SRO on campus increases the arrests made on that campus five times more probable. Sign this petition, and say YES to safe schools that promote creativity and so NO to incarceration.
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  • Tell Mayor Pauline Cutter to Defy Trump, Defend San Leandro, & Expand Sanctuary
    Donald Trump just announced executive action that threatens any city that seeks to protect immigrant residents from his deportation machine. What he’s trying to do is roll back the leaps forward we’ve made in recent years but we won’t let him. In 2017, it’s the efforts to defend Black lives and protect migrant rights that make our cities safer, not Trump’s extra enforcement promises. To keep us safe, we need to evolve our local policies to make our cities real sanctuaries for all residents, not cancel them because of the illegitimate President's latest actions. That means a commitment to separating police from federal immigration enforcement AND addressing the policing that funnels Black and other residents to jail and places criminal charges on immigrant residents, making them a target for ICE agents. Tell our mayor and city council to stand up to Trump and take action that doesn't just symbolically defend immigrants, but transforms our city's policies to stop targeting us for imprisonment, risk of removal, and state violence at the hands of police and aggressive immigration agents. The illegitimate President's threats should be cause to embolden our city leaders, not an excuse to abandon our potential progress.
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  • Tell Arlington County to Defy Trump, Defend Arlington, & support Arlington as a Sanctuary
    Donald Trump just announced executive action that threatens any city that seeks to protect immigrant residents from deportation. What he’s trying to do is roll back the progress that has been made in recent years, but we won’t let him. In 2017, there needs to be a concentrated effort behind protecting the lives of immigrants and people of color. To keep our communities safe, we need to evolve local policies in order to make our cities real sanctuaries for all residents. We must not give in to hate, fear, or the potential loss of federal funds. That means a commitment to separating police from federal immigration enforcement, and addressing arbitrary policing policies that rely on racial profiling. We must stand up to policing policies that rely heavily on criminal charges of immigrant residents, and make them a target for ICE agents. Tell our county board to stand up to Trump and take action that doesn't just symbolically defend immigrants, but transforms our city's policies to stop targeting us for imprisonment, risk of removal, and state violence at the hands of police and aggressive immigration agents. Trump's threats should be cause to embolden our city leaders, not an excuse to abandon our potential progress. The leaders of Arlington should stand up, and join the other leaders who are committed to moving forward. The list of cities refusing to give in to Trump's anti-immigrant stance is growing. Join New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, New Haven, CT, Syracuse, Austin, Tex., Washington, DC and Philadelphia in resisting .
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  • Declare Vanderbilt University a Sanctuary Campus
    We support our friends, co-workers, and neighbors who have been attacked and scapegoated by Trump. We will defend the Muslim, Black, Latinx, LGBTQ, undocumented, women, Jewish, and immigrant members of our community, and we will not let Trump or his white Supremacist appointees separate us.
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  • Call for Urgent Release of Sergio Ledezma, His Sick Wife and Children Need Him
    Sergio Ledezma Caballero migrated to the US in 2003 to offer a better life for his family. After being racially profiled and stopped by the police in 2015, the better life Sergio was building for his family came to an abrupt halt. Sergio was separated from his family and sent to Eloy Detention Center, where he has been held for over a year. His wife, Adela, is extremely sick with a pulmonary embolism, which is causing blood clots, and his two sons need him desperately. We are asking for Sergio to be released based on humanitarian parole. Not knowing how to deal with Sergio’s case, Adela tried many things, she asked help from an attorney and was defrauded they gave her wrong information and asked her to sign fake documents at her home. It’s been one thing after another with this family, and now Adela’s illness is becoming more severe. Sergio and German are their sons. The oldest son Sergio plays football and is a sophomore in high school. He says it’s not fair to see such a hard working parent like his father be taken away; he can’t understand how these injustices happen. German, the youngest, says he misses playing basketball with his dad and wants his family reunited. Throughout all of this, the boys have felt alone not knowing how to best help their mother and are having to figure out how to take on parental roles at such a young age. The two boys really need a father right now, during their teenage years is one of the most important developmental years of a boy’s life. Although Adela is doing everything she can, she is suffering from deep vein thrombosis and was told by doctors to be in bed rest. Unfortunately she cannot rest as she is the sole provider for her family at this time and finds her health suffering and can not prioritize her needs. Knowing the stress of not having their father and the toll that it has taking on the family has made Adela become very stressed, which affects her health. Sergio should not be kept in Eloy any longer. Forcing Adela to be the sole income earner for the family puts not only her own life but her family’s on the line as well. Having her husband in detention is putting Adela at risk for heart and lung failure or death. This is a crisis. They need their father back home. We are asking people to please sign the petition to support the Ladezma family and tell the Enrique Lucero, ICE Director of Phoenix Arizona to release Sergio. He needs humanitarian parole now, his family depends upon it.
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