Hope everyone had a wonderful Semana Santa and is enjoying this weekend with familiares y amigos. I’m still stunned by the beautiful images from Monday’s march. Please join us for a recap of the events at our meetup on Tuesday, April 19 at Little Mexico in Austin at 7 pm.
Chris Warshaw, of Democracy for America, has been in SA for the final week before Ciro puts the big hurt on Henry Cuellar. This is what he says.
Here’s the best part:
Half a dozen Latinos for Texas volunteers made the trip down from Austin on Saturday afternoon and they knocked on over 400 doors over the course of the day.
Any comments from folks who were there?
This is the first in a series of interviews I’m hoping to do with Texas Latino activists, community leaders and elected officials.
Margie Medrano lives in Austin. She is a Catholic, a nurse, a wife, a mother, and a Democrat. Here’s why:
What is your background?
I am a 2 & 3rd generation Hispanic (Mexican-American). I’m originally from El Paso, Texas. My parents, neither of whom graduated from high school were/are intelligent, honest, working class people. My father is now deceased. I am the 2nd of 7 children. I have a BSN from UTEP. I moved to Austin to go to graduate school in 1984. I have a MSN in High-Risk Perinatal Nursing & am a Clinical Nurse Specialist. I was the first Clinical Nurse Specialist In the NICU (Newborn/Neonatal ICU) at LA County USC Women’s Hospital & at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital where I helped open the NICU. I moved back to Texas in 1989 & went back to school at San Antonio Health Science Center Nursing School Graduate program to become a Nurse Practitioner. I was the 1st Nurse Practitioner in an NICU here in Austin. Now it is a well established position. I decided to be a full time stay at home mom when my only child was born. Right now I am expanding from being a PTA mom to a more politically active & socially aware citizen. I’ve been happily married for 18 years.
Why are you a Progressive?
I consider myself a progressive because the causes & themes of progressives mesh so closely with my religious & family values. I am a fiscal conservative, in that I believe in balanced budgets & the prosperity & jobs it can bring. President Clinton helped me see the light on that issue & that was my #1 issue during the past presidential election.
How have you been involved in grassroots politics?
I hadn’t been politically active since Jimmy Carter. Last year GW motivated me to get involved. All the Democratic candidates were great but I always leaned toward John Kerry. I went on the web & found the Kerry Meet-ups. I joined the NW Austin for Kerry group. The Williamson Cty Dems. taught us how to block walk. We were a fun, active & very committed group. From the time of the huge Lance Armstrong event, I became a daily volunteer in the Kerry office. I’ve been involved ever since. Right now I’m trying to sort out what activities & organizations best fit my needs & where I might do the most good.
How have you been involved in the Catholic Church?
I am a cradle Catholic, many would consider me catholic “light”. I don’t hold myself out as the most knowledgeable or the most holy Catholic. For many years I was a “Sunday Catholic”. 9 years ago when my daughter was born, I became more active in relearning my Catholic traditions to pass on to her. Although I consider my life as truly blessed, my faith has sustained me in some of my darkest hours & helped me come out better at the end.
The ministries I have been involved in have been mostly in service to the liturgy. Now, I am immersing myself in finding or establishing justice ministries if need be. I have found that Catholics are good in providing charity & charity ministries abound, but at least at my church, social justice ministries are lacking. In the 60’s just after Vatican II, Catholics really heard the call to justice ministries & it was not unusual to see priests, nuns & lay Catholics protesting injustice & even being hauled off to jail.
In part II, Margie addresses the connection between her faith and politics, and explore how she sees the Catholic Church changing.
Another great job by State Rep Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin) to do something for ordinary citizens, rather than for companies. Are Texans less worthy than Californians of getting word that the mis-steps of a big corporations will affect you quite personally — as in right in the pocketbook? As a person whose checkbook was stolen, i know the hassle. But whats most bothersome is NOT KNOWING what else is the thieves are doing, trying to do or have done that i dont know.
(official press release follows…)
House Bill 1527 Gives Consumers Right to Know When Security is Breached
(Austin, Texas) On the heels of the revelation of a major security breach at data broker Choicepoint, a State Representative Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin) has introduced a measure to give Texas consumers the right to know when crooks infringe on their financial DNA.
“We only know about the Choicepoint fiasco because security breach legislation enacted in California requires notification when consumer data are compromised,” said Representative Eddie Rodriguez. “Texans should have the same right to know, so they can take steps to protect themselves.”
The bill, HB 1527, would require companies to alert their customers if a breach of security has put them at risk of identity theft. Recent reports that a fraud ring gained access to the personal and financial information of an estimated 11,081 Texans from computer databases maintained by ChoicePoint, Inc. This incidence underscores the need for tougher safeguards to protect Texas consumers against identity theft. The ChoicePoint files that were compromised contained such sensitive information as Social Security numbers linked to names and addresses. Already, an estimated 750 people were reportedly targets of an identity theft scheme as a result of the ChoicePoint security breach.
“Creditors and identity thieves alike are routinely given the key to the database vaults,” said Luke Metzger, an Advocate with the Texas Public Interest Research Group (TexPIRG). “When businesses mess up, they need to own up, and they need to alert consumers that they may be at risk”
Contact: Gerardo Castillo (512) 463-0674
In an op-ed published in a Spanish-language newspaper, Democrat Caucus Chairman Bob Menendez of New Jersey wrote, “A nation that wants to take away the retirement money of its seniors to give it away to large corporations on ‘Wall Street’ is not a nation of justice.”
Menendez said Democrats “continue fighting…to protect today’s seniors and future retirees from a scheme that threatens Social Security and puts it at risk in the stock market.”
He said Democrats would stop President Bush “from playing the lottery with our grandparents’ retirement money.”
The National Republican Congressional Committee said Menendez’ comments show why Democrats are struggling to connect with Hispanic voters.
I’d say that whenever the Republicans get shrill like this, they know they are on weak ground. Adelante, Bob!