Haunted paseo Boricua - La Voz del Paseo Boricua



Haunted paseo Boricua - La Voz del Paseo Boricua
Join us Saturday, October 31st at Division, Ashland & Milwaukee [3pm]
34 Women X Oscar Chicago
¡Hasta Su Regreso!
Oct. 2015 • Vol. 12 No. 23
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smart phone & visit our website.
Ald. Maldonado Promotes
Economic Development
Through Ordinance
Legalizing Food Vendors P.2
Cong. Gutiérrez Initiates Tour
of District Schools at
Clemente High School P.4
Durante visita al Barrio, Presidenta Concejo Municipal NY
Melissa Mark Viverito entrega
pintura hecha por OLR al
Papa Francisco P.13
Rep. Cynthia Soto Says:
“¡Gracias Amigos!” for
the Success of
22nd Fiesta Boricua P.16
HeAlthy Treats
Painted Faces
Haunted Houses
arts & Crafts
Back Page
Leaders Demand U.S. Government Assume Responsibility
over Economic Crisis on the Island
Nat’l Puerto Rican Leadership Gathering
Flexes Muscle of the Diaspora
Historic event in Orlando FL, Oct 14, 2015
Haunted paseo Boricua
Sat. Oct 31, 12-4
paseo Boricua
Ald. Maldonado Promotes Economic Development
La Voz del Paseo Boricua
Through Ordinance Legalizing Food Vendors
La Voz del Paseo Boricua reserves the right
to publish at its discretion.
Contact us at: [email protected]
STAFF: PRCC Volunteers
About La Voz:
The most recent manifestation of Puerto Rican journalism in Chicago, La Voz del Paseo Boricua proudly continues in the legacy of our community’s previous newspapers. Founded in 2004, La Voz del Paseo Boricua, or
simply ‘La Voz’ as affectionately called by our readers,
is a grassroots bilingual periodical published by the Juan
Antonio Corretjer Puerto Rican Cultural Center. We report on stories relevant to our community on a monthly
basis, disseminating news about local events, programs,
resources, and developments. As an alternative source
of media, we seek to acknowledge the achievements of
the Puerto Rican community at large and advocate for
the preservation of the heart of our barrio in Humboldt
Park - our “pedacito de patria” in Chicago.
By PRCC staff
On Sept. 24, 2015, at the Chicago City Council, Ald.
Maldonado introduced an ordinance which was adopted
unanimously. Ald. Maldonado’s address to the Council follows:
Thank you Chairman Mitts for your leadership and for
your skillful guidance of the Food Cart Ordinance through
committee hearing and passage. I also want to thank
Mayor Emanuel and the members of this committee for
their contribution and support. And, finally, my deepest
gratitude for the dedicated efforts of the Institute for
Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship at the University of
Chicago Law School, the Illinois Policy Institute, and the
Asociacion de Vendedores Ambulantes, the three major
advocacy groups that made this ordinance a reality.
Legalizing food carts will have a powerful long-term
impact on the city’s economy. According to the Illinois
Policy Institute, it could result in more than 6,000 new
jobs and generate as much as $8.5 million annually in new
local sales-tax revenue.
With over 1,500 food cart vendors already operating in
Chicago, the day has come for us to embrace this growing
class of entrepreneurs and grant them legitimate business
status. They will provide affordable, safe, healthy food
choices prepared in licensed kitchens for Chicago’s neighborhoods. Every person in this great city deserves the
opportunity to be a productive citizen participating in
the American dream.
During Speech in Harlem
President Maduro Reiterates
Support for “Latin America’s Mandela,”
Sobre La Voz:
La más reciente manifestación del periodismo puertorriqueño en Chicago, La Voz del Paseo Boricua continúa
orgullosa del legado de nuestros primeros periódicos. Fundado en 2004, La Voz del Paseo Boricua, o ‘La Voz’ según
se le conoce cariñosamente por nuestros lectores, es un
periódico de pueblo, publicado de manera bilingüe por
el Centro Cultural Puertorriqueño Juan Antonio Corretjer.
Mensualmente, divulga historias relevantes de nuestra
comunidad, diseminando noticias sobre acontecimientos,
programas, recursos, y progresos locales. Como fuente
alternativa de medios, intentamos reconocer los logros
de la comunidad puertorriqueña al igual que abogar por la
preservación del corazón de nuestro barrio en el parque
de Humboldt – nuestro “pedacito de patria” en Chicago.
By PRCC staff
President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela,
once again, manifested his unconditional
support for the release of Puerto Rican patriot Oscar López Rivera during a keynote
address to the Afro-Descendant Peoples
of African Descent Leadership Summit
held in Harlem’s National Black theater on
Monday, September 28, 2015. The event
was sponsored by Transafrica and 1199SEIU
and included such African American luminaries as Dr. Ron
Daniels, President, Institute of the Black World, 21st Century, NY State Senator Bill Perkins, Opal Tometi, Co-founder,
#BlackLivesMatter, and actor Danny Glover, among others.
Before a completely filled auditorium, President Maduro
publicly acknowledged the presence of José E. López, brother of Oscar López Rivera, and also called for the patriot’s release, once again referring to him as the Nelson Mandela of
Latin America. At the end of the program President Maduro
personally told López that he wanted to send Oscar a personal abrazo, and that he was totally committed to his release.
“Buscando a Oscar”
desde la “Imalabra” de Martorell
Cayey – A partir
del 2 de septiembre,
el Museo Las Américas del Cuartel de
Ballajá abre sus puertas a la exposición
Martorell, Imalabra.
Imalabra, palabra inventada por el artista que surge de la
imagen y la palabra, se exhiben más de un centenar de obras
realizadas a lo largo de medio siglo de trayectoria del artista
residente de la Universidad de Puerto Rico (UPR) en Cayey. Una
de estas es Buscando a Oscar.
“Buscando a Oscar es una nueva versión de letras que hice
grabadas en madera e impresas sobre tela, parte de las cuales
cuelgan como mural en una escuela en Washington Heights
en Nueva York”, cuenta Martorell acerca de cómo recreó su
propuesta. Esta versión, explica el maestro, es una sopa de letras que provoca buscar oraciones. “Es una cita del prisionero
político puertorriqueño en cárceles estadounidenses Oscar
López”, adelanta Martorell de la muestra restrospectiva que se
extiende a galerías y museos alrededor de Puerto Rico, como el
Museo de Arte,t doctor Pío López Martínez en el recinto universitario de Cayey. Siga leyendo: http://bit.ly/martorell-oscar
During Press Conference
Ald. Rosa, State Rep. Soto, ReFund America, CTU and PRCC Call
on Federal Reserve Bank to Act on Puerto Rico’s Fiscal Crisis
On Thursday morning, October 1, 2015, civic, labor,
community leaders gathered in front of Chicago’s Federal Reserve Bank to bring attention to Puerto Rico’s fiscal
crisis. Leaders gathered in support of Puerto Rico’s Archbishop, Roberto Gonzalez Nieves’ call in Washington DC
to refinance Puerto Rico’s debt. Concerned Puerto Rican
leaders and allies spoke to press with different perspectives and addressed the crisis from ethical, as well as political, positions. Among those leaders were Ald. Carlos
Ramirez-Rosa, State Rep. Cynthia Soto, José E. López,
Executive Director, Puerto Rican Cultural Center, Sara
Echevarria, Chicago Teachers’ Union, Saqib Bhatti, ReFund
America Project at the Roosevelt Institute and the Jubi-
lee Interfaith Organization.
Referencing the state of poverty affecting families,
each spoke to the ethical responsibility to Puerto Rico
and its citizens. José E. López cited Balzac vs. Puerto Rico,
a 1922 Supreme Court decision which defined Puerto
Rico as “belonging to but not a part of the United States,”
and that the Federal Reserve Bank had the authority and
obligation to take the initiative to help solve the problem. He also announced that in Orlando, on October 14,
stateside Puerto Rican leadership will convene to discuss
and demand that the US government assume its responsibility in addressing the Puerto Rico fiscal crisis.
Leaders Demand U.S. Government Assume Responsibility over Economic Crisis on the Island
Convening for a National Puerto Rican Agenda
By Unidos por Puerto Rico
The coalition “Unidos Por Puerto Rico,” in conjunction
with leaders of the stateside Puerto Rican community
are calling for a national convening in Orlando, Florida
on October 13-14, 2015 to develop a National Puerto
Rican Agenda in support of Puerto Rico and stateside
Puerto Ricans. This national gathering will bring together government and civic leaders from Florida and
throughout the US, as well as the Island, who lead Puerto Rican movements and networks aimed at providing
solutions for the current crisis issues in Puerto Rico and
in the US.
The objective of the National Convening is to create
a comprehensive National Puerto Rican Agenda which
encompasses the problems affecting Puerto Ricans
both in the island and in the U.S. The Florida event will
focus on the crisis in Puerto Rico. Currently, there are
multiple ongoing local initiatives in the United States
calling for and in support of Congressional and Presidential action to solve the fiscal and economic crisis in
Puerto Rico.
The emergent national coalition will discuss the issues of the Fiscal Crisis, Health Care Crisis, Climate
Change and Infrastructure Support, and Human Rights
and Civic Engagement, all critical to the revitalization of
Puerto Rico. A National Puerto Rican Agenda will serve
as a guide for Puerto Ricans interested in taking an active role in the solutions and for elected officials advocating for the interests of Puerto Rico and the Diaspora.
“Unidos Por Puerto Rico,” is the organizing committee
The following members of the Puerto Rican Agenda will be participating in the Encounter in Orlando: Ada N. López, ex-Trustee , University of Illinois Board of Trustees, Billy Ocasio, Executive Director,
National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture, David Hernández,
President, Board of Directors, National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts
and Culture, Debbie López, President, Chicago Chapter, National Organization of Puerto Rican Women, Eduardo Arocho, Executive Director,
Division Street Business Development Association, Eliud Medina, Executive Director, Near Northwest Neighborhood Network, Fernando
Grillo, Chairman, Board of Directors of ASPIRA of Illinois, Hilda Frontany, Board of Directors, Hipolito Roldan, Executive Director, Hispanic
Housing, Javier Caro, ex-member, Illinois State Commission on Licensing, José E. López, Executive Director, Puerto Rican Cultural Center,
Lourdes Lugo, Luis Alejandro Molina, Luis Rosa, members, National
Boricua Human Rights Network, Mayra Estrella, Program Director,
Puerto Rican Cultural Center, Michael Rodríguez Muñiz, Post-doctoral,
Sociology, University of Chicago, Mike Vargas XXXXXXX, Pablo Medina, ex-member, City of Chicago Human Relations Commission, Ray
Vázquez, ex-Commissioner, Dept of Human Services, Rolando Correa,
Executive Director, El Rincon Community Health Center, Sandra Candelaria, Program Director, Puerto Rican Cultural Center, Veronica Ocasio, Chief of Staff, New Life Convenant Church.
Elected Officials:
Luis V. Gutierrez
Iris Martinez
Luis Arroyo Sr
Roberto Maldonado
Congressman, 4th District (D-IL)
State Sen. 20th Dist.
State Rep. 3rd
Ald. 26th Ward
Joe Berrios (invited)
Ariel Reboyras (invited)
Cook County Assessor
Ald. 30th Ward
which encompasses a broad coalition of Central Florida
groups that includes Iniciativa Acción Puertorriqueña,
Hispanic Federation, Puerto Rican Bar Association of
Florida, PRFAA, Asociación de Puertorriqueños Viviendo en la Florida, and other leaders. Acacia’s El Centro
Borinqueño (formerly Asociación Borinqueña) will host
the event. Support groups for “Unidos Por Puerto Rico”
have been formed in Chicago, New York, Philadelphia,
Cleveland, Orlando and New Jersey and it is expected
that delegates from other states will join the event.
The program starts with a Welcome Reception on
Tuesday evening (6pm-9pm), where representatives
from the local “Unidos Por Puerto Rico” will discuss
the impact of the current migratory wave from Puerto
Rico is having in the region, the political and social challenges facing the community, and the multiple ongoing
initiatives addressing these problems. On Wednesday
the program begins with a Congressional Briefing Panel,
where Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), Rep. Luis Gutiérrez
(D-IL), and Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY) will discuss pending legislation in Congress and other ongoing national
After the Congressional Briefing Panel concludes, the
deliberations proceed in breakout sessions as follows.
The expected outcome of these breakout sessions is
the action agenda for each of the topics.
Topic 1. – Fiscal Crisis
Anchor: Puerto Rican Bar Association of Florida
Puerto Rico is in a prolonged recession that has resulted in massive migration to the U.S. and declining population in the island, as well as crushing debt obligations.
These factors in turn have resulted in a sizeable decline
in tax revenues and wide-ranging austerity measures.
Continued on page 15
El Rescate Program
participated in the
downtown rally coordinated by the Chicago Coalition for the
Homeless, attended by
nearly 130 homeless
youths, service providers, advocates, and
community members outside the Thompson Center
on September 23, 2015 . We called on IL Gov. Rauner
to work with the General Assembly to end the state
budget stalemate and resume funding vital to human
service programs, including shelters and services to
homeless youth in Illinois. “Please support this initiative
by contacting Gov. Rauner and your state legislators to
ask for a fair budget.”
“We are very pleased to announce this appointment,”
reported Mr. Juan Calderon, Chief Operating Officer
(COO) of the PRCC. “Mayra will bring leadership and
a deep sense of commitment to our HIV prevention
efforts. She joined the PRCC in 2013 as the Director of
Quality Management and Evaluation, and also served as
the Director of our Affordable Care Act Program.”
By Michael Kurshan-Emmer
The 2015-2016 school year has begun and, with it, the
staff of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center’s Safe Passage
Program is once again prepared to make sure students
in the area have a safe and secure walk to school. This
year, the Puerto Rican Cultural Center is the CPS Safe
Passage vendor for five schools which fall within the
Saturday, Sept.
26, Vida/SIDA participated in The
2015 Chicago AIDS
Run & Walk. The
event was held at
Soldier Field, and
was organized by
the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.
The AIDS Run & Walk Chicago stands firmly against the
stigma associated with HIV/AIDS, allowing progress to
continue toward ending the epidemic. The Run & Walk
invigorates the sector by increasing awareness for the
cause, growing our passionate community and allowing
new leaders to emerge. This year, Vida/SIDA was able
to raise over $2,500 in online & offline donations. Vida/
SIDA is a community direct partner, so 90% of the fundraising efforts will directly come back to the Organization. Online donations will continue to be open until
October 31st.
The PRCC has named Mayra L. Estrella, PhD, MPH, as Interim Director of
Vida/SIDA. With more than 10 years
of experience in public health, she has
a breadth of public health knowledge
and experience in program management, implementation, and evaluation.
network of Community As A Campus. Roberto Clemente Community Academy, José De Diego Community
Academy, Wells Community Academy High School,
Chicago High School for the Arts, and Frederic Chopin
are all staffed by Safe Passage Community Watchers
employed by the PRCC. These selfless individuals work
together as a team and, in addition to looking out for
the children in the neighborhood as they make their
way to and from school, they also interactively represent the communities of Humboldt Park/West Town
that they work and live in. Going above and beyond, the
Safe Passage Community Watchers not only do what
is expected of them from CPS, but also take the community into their own hands, getting to know students
and fostering and strengthening positive relationships
in Humboldt Park.
Of course, none of this would be possible without the
amazing support the Safe Passage Program has received
from the principals and staff of all five schools who
have been consistently engaged and supportive of the
Safe Passage Program and its participants.
As the PRCC returns for a second year as a Safe Passage Program vendor, we look forward to a safe and successful year for all the students, and a motivating, safe,
and supportive year for the Safe Passage Community
Cong. Gutiérrez
Initiates Tour of District
Schools at Clemente HS
As the first
stop on a tour
of schools in his
Congressman Luis V.
Gutiérrez visited
Roberto Clemente Community Academy on
September 22. He
engaged a group
of 35 student leaders in discussing issues related to
personal histories, global citizenship, civil rights and
relationships with the police. Congressman Gutiérrez
promoted open dialogue on these topics by introducing himself through personal narrative, focusing on the
story of his parents migrating to Chicago from Puerto
Rico at the height of the civil rights movement. He
shared how the experiences of his youth, and hearing
his mother’s pride in Rosa Parks and other civil rights
leaders, shaped the issues he works on today in the political arena. Students also mentioned their concerns
regarding relationships with the police, and learned
that these are widespread issues that the congressman
hopes to address through re-envisioning the mission, vision and practices of the police academy.
After the small group discussion, Congressman Gutiérrez addressed a larger body of students from all
grade-levels in Clemente’s Auditorium. He recapped
his personal narrative to provide context for his interest
in immigration and civil rights issues, and fielded questions from students around undocumented immigrants,
his response to Donald Trump’s recent statements, and
the importance of native identities in Latin American
communities. To close the event, Congressman Gutiérrez raffled off and signed five copies of his memoir, to
further students’ education on these topics.
Community as a Campus:
Promoting Deep Learning for 21st Century Citizens
Who Will Shape the Greater Humboldt Park Community
The Humboldt Park “Community as a Campus” (CAAC)
plan is a comprehensive education initiative adopted by
the Community Action Council of Humboldt Park Chicago and endorsed by the Chicago Public Schools. The
CAAC seeks to create a community-wide educational
pipeline from Pre-K to 16 that will be framed within the
precepts of the International Baccalaureate (IB) academic standards and will be supplemented with community wrap-around services.
The centerpiece of the CAAC initiative is the revitalization of Roberto Clemente Community Academy and
the enhancement of the elementary feeder schools.
Of the original 17 elementary Clemente feeder schools
designated to be in the CAAC plan, three were closed
after the 2012-2013 school year. In all, 8,700 students
from preschool to high school will be impacted.
As a resource for school improvement, three education institutes (Teacher/Administrator, Parent Popular
and Youth Leadership) will be created to work collaboratively across the CAAC. The institutes will enhance
educational offerings and outcomes, increase parent
engagement and continuing education opportunities,
and provide youth opportunities to participate in civic
leadership initiatives, as well as pathways to educational success.
The CAAC, which is seven years in the making, has garnered the support of the community and a wide variety
of institutional partners. The CAAC will respond to the
academic and workforce needs of all learners, preparing 21st century citizens who will shape the future of
the greater Humboldt Park community.
An Exciting Summer and Kick-Off to Clemente’s School Year
When Roberto Clemente Community Academy opened its doors to students on September 8, a variety of partnerships and academic
preparations were already well underway. As a
newly authorized International Baccalaureate
World School, Clemente sent a team of 15 educators to the IB Conference of the Americas in
July. There, they not only learned from global
leaders in education but also shared experiences
with representatives from fellow Community as
a Campus schools Jose De Diego and Bernhard
Moos – both of which are now candidates for
the IB Middle Years Programme. Collaborating
with these elementary schools will provide two
pathways for a seamless grade 6-12 International
Baccalaureate education within the Community
as a Campus model.
In addition, the Clemente Instructional Leadership Team spent their annual retreat delving
into the core components of creating an academically and socio-emotionally supportive environment for students. Teacher leaders disaggregated data, made informed decisions on how
to best lead teams during the upcoming year,
and reflected on their challenges and successes as leaders of the school. They also planned
several weeks of staff development for teachers,
focused on writing curriculum and designing student supports for the upcoming year. From exploring achievement standards to discussing the
concept and implications of privilege, Clemente
staff members worked tirelessly to prepare for
the opening of school.
Students took advantage of summer opportunities as well. Seven rising juniors attended the
rigorous College Connect program at DePaul University, where they learned more about college
admissions and took college-level coursework
to prepare them for the IB Diploma Programme
that started this fall. Coursework topics ranged
from bioethics to 3D bioprinting to social justice.
Two students also attended the Congressional
Hispanic Caucus Institute in Washington D.C.,
and another pair was selected for the “Focus on
Tomorrow” summer program at the Illinois Center for Broadcasting. Returning to school, these
students buzzed with how interesting their experiences were.
With school now underway, all students have
an array of opportunities for enrichment at Clemente, both within the classroom and through
extra-curricular activities. This past week, over
200 students had a chance to meet with Congressman Luis V. Gutiérrez and learn how personal history and experiences shaped his current
political work. Another group participated in a
Saturday field trip to the Chinese Cultural Festival, while seniors are preparing to attend a large
College Fair on October 1. All students were invited to attend Clemente’s Activities Fair, also
on October 1, to sign up for the wide variety of
sports and clubs that will be offered this school
year. They are also encouraged to find an activity
at school, to support their development outside
of the classroom and to build a sense of community among all members of the Clemente family.
¡WEPA!: Another Historical Night at
The National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture
Gilberto Santa Rosa and Oscar Luis Martinez receive the first ever National Puerto Rican Awards
Celebrating their 2nd annual Raices: A Celebration of Our Roots gala on Sept. 24, The
National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture (NMPRAC) pulled out all the stops.
The atmosphere was electrifying, full of Trio music, Bomba and Plena, salsa dancers, and
a fashion show. The night was capped off with one of the best salsa bands in Chicago.
A list of who’s who was present and enjoyed some of the best Caribbean food this
side of Puerto Rico, coffee and quesitos. This was the backdrop for what proved to be a
memorable evening celebrating our vibrant culture.
If that wasn’t enough, Ana Belaval from WGN’s Around Town set the stage for the presentation of the first ever National Puerto Rican Awards called THE CEIBA. Celebrating
his birthday, the first recipient had the original vision to create a museum out of a dilapidated horse stables building, world-renowned artist Oscar Luis Martinez. NMPRAC also
opened his long awaited long awaited exhibit, “Metamorphosis of Divine Entanglement”.
The second Ceiba Award recipient flew in from Puerto Rico to receive his award, “El
Caballero de la Salsa”, Gilberto Santa Rosa. Gilberto humbled by the award, surprised the
audience when he did an acapella rendition of “Mi Viejo San Juan”.
The Ceiba award will be given out annually to individuals who have demonstrated
their deep roots in preserving Puerto Rican arts and culture.
The National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture is open Tuesday- Friday 10am4pm and Saturday 10am-1pm. Information: 773.486.8345, www.nmprac.org
Veronica Ocasio, Billy Ocasio, and José E. López present THE CEIBA Award to
Gilberto Santa Rosa, accompanied by his wife.
Domingo Quiñones Captivates 22nd Fiesta Boricua
as Orlando’s Ambassador
By Luis Rosa Pérez, Fiesta Boricua Music Team
The first night of the 22nd Annual Fiesta Boricua 2015,
concluded on Saturday, September 5th, with a powerful
and spectacular performance from one of Salsa music’s
legends, Domingo Quiñones.
Known in the music industry as “El Más Que Canta,”
Domingo proved to the thousands who gathered front
stage that he deserved the name given to him by his
peers decades ago. Representing Orlando, Florida, this
year’s recipient of Fiesta Boricua’s “Lo Mejor de Nues-
tros Barrios”, Domingo delighted fans with a repertoire
that counted numerous classics, like: “No voy a dejarte
ir”, “Exclusivamente tuyo”, “Poeta y guerrero” and others.
Also included were songs from his most recent releases, like: “Salsumba”, “Tu Como Estas”, “Una Historia.” He
ended his performance with a dramatic five song tribute
to salsa great, Hector Lavoe: Domingo will soon register
a Guinness World Record with his 1000th recording.
The Orlando cultural ambassador alluded to social
justices issues affecting our communities in the diaspora and in Puerto Rico. Capturing the essence of the
Humboldt Park community’s struggle against gentrification, Domingo reminded us of the importance of
this community, this space. “You have roots here. You
have built this community with its programs, with its
life and you have to protect it, you have to make sure
it remains yours, for your children and grandchildren,”
to the cheering of the thousands gathered. Delivering
his poetic “soneos” with a clear and precise agility, he
was backed by the rich and powerful sound of Chicago’s
own, Edwin Sánchez Project, who stated, “It was amazing playing songs made famous by a legendary singer
like Domingo Quiñones. He is truly one of the last real
soneros of our time. Domingo masterfully colored and
created story lines within his soneos…truly incredible,”
A dramatic and emotional moment occurred when
Domingo was presented with the “Flag of Paseo Boricua Award, “ by José E. López, community leader and
brother of Oscar López Rivera, Puerto Rico’s longest
held political prisoner. A sustained embrace captured
Domingo’s commitment to Oscars’ release as he called
on everyone to struggle to bring him home.
Mayor Rolando Ortiz Velázquez presents gifts during Noche Jíbara, from the Cayey delegation, to José E. López and Hilda Frontany.
n Friday, September 4, 2015, the Puerto Rican Cultural Center hosted Noche
Jíbara/Guayabera Gala at the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and
Culture in Humboldt Park. The gala was the official kick off for the 22nd Fiesta Boricua on Saturday, September 5 thru Sunday September 6, 2015 at Paseo Boricua. The Gala not only celebrated the launch of Fiesta Boricua but it also served
as the official welcome of the City of Cayey, Puerto Rico; as well as its’ Mayor, the
Honorable Rolando Ortiz Velázquez. This year Fiesta Boricua was dedicated to
Cayey and its’ cultural legacy.
Sandra Candelaria, Women for PASEO Program Director and her staff members (Daisy Jiménez, Sylvia Correa, and Maya Lozano) organized the Gala. Women
for PASEO appreciates the hard work and commitment from the following staff
members for helping make the Noche Jibara/Guayabera Gala a successful event.
We acknowledge the excellent work and volunteer efforts from: Geniz Hernández,
Viola Salgado, Lourdes Lugo, Shirley Payton and Raúl Maldonado (PRCC), Joshua
Stern, Carlos Ruiz Jr, and Virginia Boyle (PACHS), Jonathan Contreras and Gregory
Rueda (Integrated PASEO), Leo Lavender, Gustavo Varela, Pedro Mercado (Vida/
SIDA), Luz Ramos, Digna Gerena, M Echevarria and various El Rescate residents
(El Rescate), Alma Moreno (Centro Infantil), and Tatiana Vidal. We are also grateful to the staff from the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture for
their much-appreciated assistance. The PRCC is extremely happy to recognize
and thank the following sponsors for their generous food/beverage donations:
Eddie’s Café, Roeser’s Bakery, La Bomba Restaurant, Jaffa Bakery, Nellie’s Restaurant and Revolution Brewery. We want to acknowledge our sponsors and volunteers
for your continual support!
Noche Jíbara Sponsors: Cermak Produce •
Central Park Produce Windy City Transportation
Roesers Bakery • L & MC Investments LLC
By PRCC staff
n Friday, Sept. 4, more than
300 gathered at the National
Museum of Puerto Rican Arts
and Culture to honor the municipality of Cayey representing el “Mejor
de Nuestros Pueblos” as well as to
honor the memory of Josefina Rodríguez, recently deceased PRCC
Board member.
The evening event included a
by PRCC Executive DirecCarlos Quiles, Puerto Rico Fiesta Boricua Coordinator, reads
poem dedicated to Josefina “Fifo” Rodríguez.
tor José E. López, and presentation
of the Cayey delegation, which was headed by Mayor Rolando Ortiz Velázquez.
Gifts were exchanged and the Mayor gave a brief but powerful message of the
importance of the memorable community celebration. This was followed by
an engaging and dramatic presentation by the Municipal Band of Cayey which
captivated the audience.
The program ended with the homage to Josefina led by the poet Carlos
Quiles and the musical group from Cayey, Alambre Dulce. Everyone was treated to a succulent and delicious dinner provided by Nellie’s Restaurant.
Misa Jíbara once again brings
unique cultural display to
Fiesta Boricua
By Militza Págan
his year marked the 6th Misa Jibara hosted at Fiesta
Boricua. Misa Jibara is a Catholic mass infused with
cultural elements of Puerto Rico. A celebration of
faith, inspiration and culture, Misa Jíbara combines the
Spanish language, folk music and deeply rooted Puerto
Rican traditions to produce a beautiful Catholic liturgy.
At a Misa Jibara, those who convey the church’s message
are not the priests but rather a traditional “jíbaro” musical group.
Despite breaking his leg just a few days before, the ceremony was officiated by Rev. Father Raúl Morales Berrios with the help of St. Mark’s Parish newly
appointed parish leader. The musical group of the diocese of Cayey, Puerto
Rico, performed this year’s music.
By Sandra Candelaria, PRCC Program Director
Noche Jíbara celebrates
Cayey and Honors “Fifo”
Thanks Volunteers &
Sponsors for Noche Jíbara
/Guayabera Gala
More than 300 in attendance
Women for PASEO
2 Partial views of the thousands who were thrilled by Fiesta Boricua.
Representative Cynthia Soto, NY Assemblyman José Rivera on main stage, with cabezudos of Julia de Burgos,
Segundo Ruiz Belvis, Oscar López Rivera and Josefina “Fifo” Rodríguez.
Papa’s Cache and his wife, Nancy, in front of their business
sponsored second stage of 22nd Fiesta Boricua.
A partial view of the crowd at Fiesta Boricua with placards demanding freedom for Oscar López Rivera.
©Elias Carmona
Fernandito’s “giant” performance at Fiesta Boricua
©Elias Carmona
A new generation, a new dimension for
Bomba at Fiesta Boricua
Aida Maisonet Giachello:
A career transforming health for Puerto Ricans in Chicago
García, Centro
PR Voices
three year old
Aida Maisonet
arrived in New
York City in the
her three other
never imagined
would become
one of the
leading Latino
Chicago. Her
parents, Ramon Maisonet Seise and Hortensia Gonzalez
Cordero, moved the entire family seeking better economic
opportunities. When her family first arrived to NYC with
three other siblings in the late 1950s, they experienced
economic hardship and lived off welfare for about a year
until her parents found factory jobs to support the family.
While living in Spanish Harlem, Maisonet experienced
both childhood poverty first-hand while observing the
serious problems of drug abuse and gang activities and
violence in the neighborhood.
Today Giachello is a respected educator and researcher
on Hispanic/Latino health who has long been involved
in community mobilization and action. She founded
several organizations including the Midwest Hispanic
AIDS Coalition and the Midwest Latino Health Research,
Training and Policy Center at the University of IllinoisChicago (UIC). She has served on numerous local and
national boards, and is involved in countless grassroots
efforts to address health and human services issues
of racial and ethnic minorities, the elderly, women as a
group, and other vulnerable populations. Currently, she
is a research professor in the Department of Preventive
Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern
University, Chicago. She has received over 44 awards
and recognitions throughout the years, including being
honored in 2005 by Time Magazine’s as One of 25 Most
Influential Hispanics in America, in 2010 being named
as One of Ten Persons Who Inspire by the American
Association of Retired Persons (AARP). She has also
been published in and recognized by various Latino
and Hispanic publications, including National Hispanic
Magazine, and People En Español.
This Puerto Rican powerhouse is a frequent speaker in
local, national and international health and human services
conferences, she provides consultation in healthcare to
hospitals and clinics and academic institutions, teach
health policy courses at Northwestern University and
conducts research on Latino health, including being an
investigator of the largest cardiovascular study among
Hispanics in the US sponsored by the National Institutes
of Health and being conducted in Chicago, Miami, Bronx,
and San Diego. While in December of 2010, she retired
from UIC where she held the position of Associate
Professor at the Jane Addams College of Social Work
(JACSW) for 25 years and Center Director of the Midwest
Latino Health Research, Training & Policy Center, Aida
does not show signs of slowing down on her quest to
disseminate the importance of healthcare and wellness to
her community.
Such commitment may have started early on her life as
she watched her parents work seven-days a week to save
some money. When Aida was 10 years old, her family came
back to the island and opened a restaurant. Her childhood
experiences in NYC and in PR led Maisonet to commit
to an agenda of social justice, addressing income and
racial inequalities, particularly as they related to health
care. She was also equally commited to breaking the
cycle of poverty by getting a college education. She first
earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and psychology
from the University of Puerto Rico, a master’s degree
from the School of Social Services Administration (SSA),
University of Chicago and a PhD in Medical Sociology also
at the University of Chicago.
Critical events led her down this path. In Puerto Rico,
after conducting follow up interviews for a longitudinal
study about social change in the island, the study
investigators offered her a position to assist in data analysis
at Northwestern University- Evanston campus, IL. With
her husband, Stelvio O. Giachello Pesqueira, she relocated
to Chicago in December of 1968. Almost immediately,
she met Silvia Herrera, then Director of ASPIRA, Inc.—
one of the earliest community-based organizations
encouraging Puerto Ricans and other Latino groups
to complete high school and to get a college education.
Herrera informed her of the availability of scholarships in
social work and encouraged her to apply to the University
of Chicago School of Social Services Administration. At
first, Maisonet Giachello was hesitant to apply as she
was expecting her first child. Trepidation aside, She
applied to SSA and received the letter of acceptance with
full scholarship the same day she came home from the
hospital with her newborn. After completing her MA in
1971, the family returned to Puerto Rico.
While in Puerto Rico she first worked as director of a
juvenile delinquency prevention program for the City of
San Juan, and later on she joined the faculty Department
of Social Sciences, Psychology and Social Work at the
Interamerican University, Hato Rey.
In 1976, the family returned to Chicago, much as her
parents once did in New York, seeking better employment
opportunities for her husband. By then, Maisonet
Giachello had three small children and was convinced that
she wanted to get a PhD and do research. She jumped at
the chance to apply to the PhD program at the University
of Chicago Sociology Department. While working toward
her PhD, she started simultaneously working full time
as a Medical Social Worker for the Chicago Department
of Public Health, who was opening a new clinic at a
community that served as point of entry to Mexican
Working there, she discovered her second passion:
health care. Maisonet Giachello became aware of the
financial (cost, lack of health insurance), linguistic,
cultural and institutional barriers of Latinos, the poor
and other vulnerable populations in getting access to
quality medical care. That’s when she decided to specialize
in Sociology of Health and Illness, addressing social
justice issues in the area of health through research and
policy work. Working as a social worker at the clinic,
she also discovered that the health delivery system
in the U.S. was not responsive to the need of the poor,
racial, and ethnic minorities and women as a group and
people who have different languages, health beliefs
and behaviors. Patients often did not receive quality of
care when exhibiting signs of serious health concerns.
Diabetes, asthma and other acute or chronic conditions
were dismissed and redirected to social workers. As a
result of her increased awareness of these dynamics and
her recognition of the role of social policies to change
them, she was instrumental in developing organizations
such as the Chicago Hispanic Health Alliance in 1980, and
became involved in numerous political campaigns where
Hispanics/Latinos African Americans and/or women
were running for public offices.
One of these campaigns was working as a volunteer
during the primaries and the general elections of Harold
Washington, the first Chicago Black Mayor who got elected
in 1983. She assisted in organizing minority and women
groups; developed speech remarks in the areas of health
and human services, and assisted in the development of
concept papers to establish the Mayor Office for Latino
Affairs and the Mayor Office for Women Affairs.
After the Mayor was elected, the new Health
Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public
Continued on page 11
U of C Students Learn about Paseo Boricua
& Perform Community Service
By Trenton Crawford, University of Chicago
“When I began my visit to Pedro Albizu High School in
Humboldt Park, I did not realize how many services were
offered by them. I was a part of a group from the University
of Chicago, which helped clean up and organize a facility
that will soon be turned into new classrooms and learning
centers. After offering what little help I and a group of 20
people could give to the center, I had a discussion with
Marvin about programs that he and other community
members had started over the years to help Puerto Rican
families in Chicago receive a quality education and to pay
special attention to single mothers or children who have
fallen behind in reading and comprehension. Marvin even
told me his personal story which mimicked that of my own:
having been raised by a single mother in a low-income
household. His work and dedication to the young Puerto
Rican learners in Chicago has inspired me and given me
hope as I prepare to begin my first year of college, and it has
reminded me of the good that can result from a community
coming together to support a common cause.”
Twenty-three students began their day in Humboldt
Park, where they learned about the community struggles
with a short lecture and Q&A with José E. López. Then,
they took a guided tour of Paseo Boricua led by Eduardo
Arocho, Executive Director of the Division Street Business
Development Association (DSBDA). From there, they
enjoyed a Puerto Rican lunch at Nellie’s Restaurant, where
Continued from page 11
Health (Dr. Lonnie Edwards) offered her the position of
Special Assistant for Hispanic Affairs, after listening to
her testimony about the needs of Chicago Latinos during
city wide public hearings. In that position, she conducted
health assessments and launched a comprehensive
Hispanic Health policies agenda to address the health
needs of Latinos and to improve the delivery of medical
care to this population through the Chicago Department of
Public Health’s 44 neighborhood health centers and clinics.
In 1986, Maisonet Giachello decided to return to
academia and accepted an appointment as Assistant
Professor at the JACSW at UIC. She applied for federal CDC
funding during the HIV/AIDS epidemic and established in
the 1980s the Midwest Hispanic AIDS Coalition-a six state
partnership of community, professional and academic
institutions engaging in community mobilization around
HIV/AIDS, research, training and community awareness
and education. In 1993, also through CDC federal funding,
she established the Midwest Latino Health Research,
Training and Policy Center at UIC. Her center focuses on
chronic diseases (diabetes, asthma, hypertension, cancer)
and maternal and child health issues building upon the
work of Jane Adams and other great women of Hull House
during the US Progressive Era (1890-1910).
Michael Rodríguez, community activist co-founder of the
Batey Urbanot spoke to the students about his involvement
and participation in the development of Paseo Boricua.
Marvin Garcia, Community as a Campus Director, then
directed a short community service clean up project, that
the students enthusiastically finished early.
Many thanks to Amy Chan, Director of the University
Community Service Center (UCSC), and the University of
Chicago students who participated in this project for their
willingness to learn and participate in this project.
Thanks also to Ricardo Jiménez, Manager of Linkage
to Care & Treatment, Vida/SIDA and Marvin Garcia,
Community as a Campus Coordinator, Eduardo Arocho,
Executive Director, DSBDA and José E. López, Executive
Director, Puerto Rican Cultural Center for coordinating
their efforts for a successful community service project.
Dr. Margaret Power
The Puerto Rican Cultural Center and National Boricua Human
Rights Network would like to congratulate Dr. Margaret Power,
President of the PRCC Board of Directors, on her appointment
to the position of Chair of the Department of Humanities at the
Illinois Institute of Technology.
“When I came in, I was finishing my dissertation on right wing
women in Chile. I transformed that into a book, and for quite a
few years I continued working on the right in Latin America,” she
says. “My current research examines the Puerto Rican Nationalist
Party, which supported independence for Puerto Rico.”
While the work will never truly be complete, much has
been done as a result of her community organizing and
capacity building through training; research, and policy
work, and the development of innovative community
interventions such as the use of community health
workers (health promoters) as diabetes education,
the use of meditation techiques to reduce high blood
pressure, the development of diabetes Self-care Centers
in selected Latino communities, and addressing the lack
of access to medical care and to affordable food in food
Miami. El cantante de la
popular banda puertorriqueña
Calle 13 pidió al papa Francisco
que abogue ante Barack
Obama por la liberación del
independentista puertorriqueño
Óscar López Rivera, preso desde
hace 34 años en Estados Unidos
por conspiración sediciosa.
En un video en su página de
Facebook, René Pérez, Residente, pidió al pontífice que
interceda ante Obama para lograr la liberación de López
Rivera, considerado por sectores de Puerto Rico preso
político. "Le pido al Papa y a toda la gente que nos dé al
apoyo, para que hable con Obama sobre la excarcelación
de López Rivera, afirmó Pérez en el video grabado antes de
una reunión que sostuvieron el miércoles en Washington
el mandatario y el Papa, quien visita esta semana Estados
Unidos." "Quizá lo escuchen a él (a Francisco) más que a
nosotros", señaló el cantante, quien vestía una camiseta
negra con letras blancas que leían ¡Liberen a Óscar López
Rivera ahora! Todos queremos la libertad para Óscar, si
pueden ayudarnos por el Twitter para recordárselo, pidió
a sus seguidores Pérez desde China, donde graba un disco
como solista.
deserts communities. Maisonet Giachelo has developed
intervention programs that are currently being used in
US-Mexico Borders, Puerto Rico and selected countries in
South America. Many of her work has been published in
professional research journals.
Through her research, policy and advocacy work,
Maisonet Giachello has gained the respect of appointed and
elected officials, and the public health community. She has
become a national leader and an expert on Latino health.
She is a strong advocate for increasing cultural proficiency
and competency in health services delivery, and reducing
cross cultural communications at the patient-doctor levels,
and at the health care delivery system levels by changing
organizational & cultural norms and policies. One of the
things that she is working on, aligned with this mission, is
ensuring that there is a greater number of Hispanic health
care professionals and researchers. She is determined to
change the research paradigm from research on minorities
to research with, for and by minority groups. Doing this,
Maisonet Giachello is paving the way for others in the
community to greatly contribute to society.
©Center for Puerto Rican Studies. Published in Centro
Voices on 25 September 2015.
• us navy out of vieques
• freedom for all puerto rican political prisoners
• defend civil liberties and stop political repression
• build a national latino agenda
• fuera la marina de vieques
• libertad para los presos políticos boricuas
• a defender los derechos civiles y alto a la represión
• a construir una agenda nacional latina
MISSION/MISIÓN: The National Boricua
Human Rights Network is an organization
dedicated to defending the human rights of
the Puerto Rican community in the US.
La Red Nacional Boricua Pro-Derechos
Humanos es una organización dedicada
a defender los derechos humanos de la
comunidad puertorriqueña en los EEUU.
National Boricua Human Rights Network (NBHRN) 2739-41 W. Division Street, Chicago IL 60622
October 2015/octobre de 2015 • [email protected] • www.boricuahumanrights.org • #free_olr • facebook.com/chi.nbhrn
Por Rebecca Banuchi, El Nuevo Día
Presidenta del Concejo Municipal de Nueva York, Melissa Mark-Viverito, le dio el obsequio al sumo pontífice durante el paso de este por el sector El Barrio.
NUEVA YORK - La lucha por la excarcelación de
Oscar López Rivera cobró una nueva forma durante
el viaje del papa Francisco a Estados Unidos cuando
la presidenta del Concejo Municipal de Nueva York,
Melissa Mark-Viverito, le entregó al sumo pontífice
un retrato inspirado en él y dibujado por el prisionero
político puertorriqueño.
Mark-Viverito aprovechó la visita del papa Francisco
a El Barrio, distrito que ella representa, para entregarle el regalo de López Rivera, acompañado de una carta
en la que expuso que el militante nacionalista ha permanecido 34 años encarcelado en Estados Unidos, y
en la que indicó que esperaba que pudiera “alentar” al
presidente estadounidense Barack Obama para que
conmute su sentencia de 70 años de prisión.
Además, en la misiva, de la que El Nuevo Día obtuvo
copia, resaltó el movimiento civil que desde hace años
reclama la liberación inmediata de López Rivera, y precisó que la causa cuenta con el apoyo “de mucha gente
de fe, oficiales electos, sindicatos laborales, académicos
y activistas de derechos humanos en los Estados Unidos y a través del mundo”.
Aún emocionada por el breve encuentro que sostuvo
con el papa el viernes, la concejal de origétn puertorriqueño narró este sábado a este diario que, durante la
visita al colegio Our Lady Queen of Angels, tuvo ocasión de acercarse al máximo líder de la Iglesia Católica
con el cuadro, y le dijo que su autor lo había pintado en
la cárcel, lo que según dijo, llamó la atención del papa.
“Me preguntó si lo estaba visitando a la cárcel, le dije
que sí, y dijo ‘por favor, exprésale las gracias’”, indicó
Comentó que, al ver su imagen plasmada en la pintura, el papa comentó que lucía “un poquito preocupado”. “No es preocupado, es pensativo”, le ripostó la
líder política.
Mark-Viverito desconoce hasta qué punto su iniciativa pueda generar alguna acción del sumo pontífice,
pero se mostró confiada en que, luego de su intercambio, prestará atención al tema. “No sé a dónde va a llegar, pero es parte de que estamos utilizando cualquier
avenida que exista para expresar esa preocupación por
Oscar López y hablar sobre la campaña de excarcelación. Estamos ampliando esa solidaridad, era el momento de hacer mi parte, sabía que lo tenía que hacer
y tenía que encontrar la manera de hacerlo”, dijo al resaltar que, en medio de las actividades oficiales, resultó
sumamente difícil acceder al papa.
“Espero que esto lo motive, que tome el tiempo de
leer la carta, y ver de qué manera se expresa. Ya ver-
emos. Esto, para mí, ha sido sumamente emocional”,
Mark-Viverito señaló que López Rivera pintó el
cuadro a principios de este año, inspirado por las cualidades que ha percibido del papa a través de sus mensajes y acciones. “(López Rivera) estaba empezando a
tener el respeto al mensaje que él traía, ese mensaje de
reconciliación, de crear puentes a través del diálogo”,
Mark-Viverito envió temprano este sábado un
correo electrónico a López Rivera confirmándole que
había podido entregarle al papa su obsequio. En lo que
va de año, la presidenta del Concejo Municipal de Nueva York ha visitado al prisionero político en tres ocasiones en la institución penal en la que se encuentra
confinado, en el estado de Indiana, y espera volver a
hacerlo durante los próximos meses.
Más voces claman al papa. A la iniciativa de Mark-Viverito, se sumó una carta abierta publicada en medios
neoyorquinos en la que una coalición de ministros, laicos e iglesias, en su mayoría protestantes, le reclamaron al pontífice que se uniera a la lucha a favor de la
excarcelación de López Rivera.
“Estamos convencidos de que este es un momento
transformacional para nuestra nación. La lucha por la
libertad y la justicia importa. Es por eso que nos proponemos levantar la cruz del encarcelamiento de Oscar
que ha abarcado más de tres décadas”, reza el escrito
que recoge la voluntad de sobre 34 iglesias. “Pedimos
a su santidad que se nos una en este movimiento de
transformación. El peso de su voz podrá, sin duda alguna, captar la atención del presidente Obama y llamar a los más nobles instintos de su corazón”, agrega.
Puerto Rico's Bar
Association Dedicates
its 175th Anniversary to
Oscar López Rivera
Clarisa López, with
President of the Puerto
Rican Bar Association
Mark Bimbela, Cong.
Luis Gutiérrez and José
E. López.
On the occasion of the 175th anniversary of the
Colegio de Abogados y Abogadas de Puerto Rico, its
president, Mark Anthony Bimbela, and first vice-president, Alejandro Torres Rivera, made sure that Oscar
figured prominently. President Bimbela created a special presidential award for Oscar, presented at the plenary session, received by Oscar’s brother José López
and Oscar’s daughter Clarisa López Ramos. “Libertad
para Oscar,” the title of the page in the President’s Report, included a letter from Oscar to Bimbela, along
with photos from their legal visit, and “Same Thing:
a visit with Oscar López Rivera on Holy Saturday,” a
bilingual publication of notes from the visit, was distributed to every participant. Marco A. Sagastume,
president of the Bar Association of Guatemala, invited guest, declared his support for Oscar’s release
during his address to the plenary session, and representatives from the Dominican Republic were similarly supportive. President Bimbela not only invited
Oscar’s attorney Jan Susler and Comité Pro Derechos
Humanos spokesperson Eduardo Villanueva to present at a forum about Oscar’s defense, but also introduced a resolution calling for Oscar’s release, which
passed unanimously.
Saturday, September 26th, was the second month
that 34 Mujeres x Oscar CHI held a vigil at the triangleMilwaukee, Division and Ashland in Chicago. The
tradition began in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in the Puente
Dos Hermanos, on the last Sunday of April 2013 in to call
for greater support for Oscar’s release and has expanded
to New York City and Chicago. Cars honked, showed
peace signs as close to 50 women and their supporters
gathered at Division, Ashland and Milwaukee on
Saturday afternoon. Women chanted in English and in
Spanish calling out for Oscar’s freedom from 3:00-3:34
PM. Oscar called during the vigil and was able to speak
to at least 7 of the women, most for the very first time.
Among the participants were Barbara Ransby, Prof.,
Author and Activist, Ada N. López, Author, and Johanny
Vázquez, Poet, Educator, and Maritxa Vidal, Executive
Women and their supporters will gather again on
Sat., Oct. 31, to pass out information and chants from
3 to 3:34pm. For more information, please contact
[email protected]ahumanrights.org
Therese Coupez ¡PRESENTE!
by Rose Maria Arrieta
(Editor's Note: The below was written by Therese's good
friend and journalist/activist in the Bay Area. It has been
edited for space consideration.)
Therese Coupez, 62, was a bright spirit who gave
everything she had to make this world more just. She
slipped away from us during the dawn hours of Tuesday,
September 8.
Therese was a healer, an acupuncturist who found her
way to the Mission district where she lived for 31 years.
Therese came here after being paroled from the federal
penitentiary in 1984. She served almost 7 years for
political activities in the late 60s and early 70s as part of
the George Jackson Brigade.
"And then I was lucky enough to have done time with
Haydee Torres from the Puerto Rican movement, and
with Judy Siff, who was one of the Weather Underground
related groups and with Carmen Valentin and Dylcia
Págan from the Puerto Rican independence Movement,
and all of these people
- whether it was the
civil disobedience or
more direct illegal
acts, they were just
They all had so much
"There are still
close to 100 political
prisoners in the United States today either part of or
related to the Black Panther Party; and Leonard Peltierthe American Indian Movement; Oscar Lopez-the Puerto
Rican independence Movement. People still to this day
are locked up for, in most cases, nothing more than a
conviction to conspire - not even for actual acts. We must
not forget them."
Therese Coupez. ¡PRESENTE!
Far from the mountainous town of Lares, the National
Boricua Human Rights Network and the Paseo Boricua
community commemorated the 147th anniversary of
“El Grito de Lares,” the site of the first major uprising
against Spanish rule and slavery in Puerto Rico. The
commemoration was fittingly held at the Casita de Don
Pedro, the sacred home of a bronze statue of the nationalist
leader Pedro Albizu Campos. In the 1930s, Albizu Campos,
widely known as “El Maestro,” revived the memory of that
historic event. The Casita was filled with many young people,
students, families, and other members of the community,
who ate delicious food donated from Nellie’s Puerto Rican
Restaurant on Paseo Boricua. The program began with
the showing of “Blood Dries Black,” a powerful new, short
video dedicated to the Puerto Rican revolutionary, Filiberto
Ojeda Ríos. Ten years ago, on September 23—the date of El
Grito de Lares—the FBI killed Ojeda Ríos in Hormigueros,
Puerto Rico. Hauntingly filmed in Ojeda Ríos’ bullet-ridden
home, the video was written and produced by Michael Reyes
and directed by Samuel Vega (visit www.reyespoetry.com
to see the video). Following the video, Jessie Fuentes, the
event’s master of ceremony, read a special message (found
at http://bit.ly/OLR-Grito) from Oscar López Rivera about
the significance of El Grito de Lares for the Puerto Rican
people, wherever they reside. Fuentes then announced the
formation of a new, women-led initiative calling for the
freedom of López Rivera, the longest held political prisoner
in Puerto Rican history. Once a month, women will gather in
a public space for 34 minutes—a minute for each year he has
been imprisoned–to raise awareness and support. The Grito
commemoration concluded with an energetic, percussionfilled performance from Bomba con Buya, a young highly
talented group of bomba musicians, singers, and composers
(for more visit www.facebook.com/bombaconbuya).
treat territories as any other state removing the 50 percent cap. American citizens paying similar Medicaid and
Medicare taxes as other Americans should not be treated
differently because they are residents in a U.S. territory.
We should all recognize the gravity of the situation and
the threat of the Medicaid/Medicare “cliff” to the lives
and welfare of millions of Puerto Ricans, and supports an
urgent call for action from the American people.
Currently, the unemployment rate in Puerto Rico has remained over 11%, and the poverty rate is about 45%; both
indicators are substantially higher than any state.
Any understanding of the structural factors contributing to the current economic crisis in Puerto Rico must
fully consider its territorial status. As a U.S. territory,
Puerto Rico’s currency and monetary policy, commerce,
taxes and other key economic and legal areas are ruled
by federal law, in a fashion similar to any other state. The
Commonwealth government lacks authority to regulate
important economic areas as an independent nation
would, such as: manipulation of its currency to satisfy
debt obligations, or the transport of products to its ports.
Congressional and Presidential action is required to overcome the economic crisis in Puerto Rico.
The discussion of this session will focus deliberations
on: Puerto Rico’s territory status places all responsibility
in establishing an orderly legal process for the restructuring of the debt on the U.S. authorities. An orderly bilateral resolution of the crisis between debtors and creditors
is unlikely and will only come at an unacceptably high
human costs. We shall recognize the gravity of the situation, the threat to the lives and welfare of millions of
Puerto Ricans, and support an urgent call for action from
the American people.
An urgent call upon the United States Congress to pass
and the President to sign legislation allowing an economic hardship exemption for Puerto Rico from the Merchant
Marine Act of 1920, commonly known as the “Jones Act.”
The goal is to allow vessels built outside of the United
States to transport energy supplies, among other bulk
cargo, between ports in Puerto Rico and other ports in
the United States. We should all recognize the gravity of
the situation and that the increase in qualified cargo vessels would lower energy costs and support the economic
recovery of Puerto Rico.
Topic 2. – Health Care Crisis
Anchor: Iniciativa Acción Puertorriqueña
Puerto Ricans pay the same Medicare taxes as other
Americans, yet the federal contribution to territories are
capped at 50 percent. Reimbursement to the poorest
states is as high as 83 percent, while only the wealthiest states receive 50 percent reimbursement. Considering
that “up to 60 percent of the Island’s population receives
their health care through Medicare, Medicare Advantage
or Medicaid,” Puerto Rico would be among the states
with the higher reimbursements if not for the 50 percent
cap to territories. This disparity in treatment represent
billions of dollars annually for the provision of health
The objective of the
National Convening is to
create a comprehensive
National Puerto Rican Agenda
which encompasses the
problems affecting
Puerto Ricans both in the
island and in the U.S. The
Florida event will focus on the
crisis in Puerto Rico.
services to poor Americans who are Puerto Rico residents.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA),
enacted by Congress in 2010, provided $6.4 billion to
close the disparity in funding to Puerto Rico. Though an
improvement when compared to prior transfers to territories, this temporary measures expires in Fiscal Year
2019. ACA funding provides $1.1 to $1.3 billion a year in
federal Medicaid funding. When this provision expires
and the territories receive Medicaid funds under the old
formula, Puerto Rico will receive less than $400 million
a year. In reality, Puerto Rico will run out of funding as
early as late 2016 or early 2017. This situation is known in
the media as the “Medicare/Medicaid cliff.” Hundreds of
thousands of poor families in Puerto Rico will be affected, losing benefits and paying higher premiums. Giving
the fiscal crisis in Puerto Rico, it is difficult to foresee that
any local public program could mitigate the impact of
the upcoming crisis.
The discussion of this session will focus deliberations
A call upon the United States Congress and the President to improve the treatment of the United States territories under the Medicare and Medicaid programs and to
Topic 3. – Human Rights and Civic Engagement
Anchor: Latino Justice PRLDEF
The main goal of this session is the development of an
agenda to empower Puerto Ricans to fully participate
in the civic life of the nation and the island and to take
concrete steps to lower political and other barriers that
impede reconciliation among ourselves and with others,
whether these barriers are based on race or ethnicity,
economic status, gender, age, sexual preference, physical
condition, religious or non-religious beliefs, or immigration status.
The discussion of this session will focus deliberations
• Initiatives to vigorously advocate for urgent civil and
human rights issues that promote national reconciliation
as is the case of Oscar López Rivera, who has become
an emblematic figure of Puerto Rican unity across, party,
religious and civil society lines.
Topic 4. – Climate Change and Infrastructure Support. Anchor: El Puente
This session will start with a discussion of climate
change on how our communities in Puerto Rico and the
U.S. are affected.
Discussion of this session will focus deliberations on:
• Federal support needed to dredge the Caño Martín
• Increase funding to speed up the clean-up efforts in
Vieques and Culebra.
Topic 5. – State and Local Political Strategy
Elected officials only, closed door meeting.
This session will discuss initiatives responding to the
ongoing crisis in Puerto Rico in several cities and states
to help the island.
The discussion of this session will focus deliberations
on: Support local initiatives and legislation calling upon
the United States Congress and the President to enact
and make available to Puerto Rico bankruptcy processes common under federal law, to make improvements
to the treatment of the United States territories under
the Medicare and Medicaid programs, and to allow an
economic hardship exemption for Puerto Rico from the
Merchant Marine Act of 1920, commonly known as the
“Jones Act.”
For more information:Midwest: Cristina Pacione-Zayas
([email protected]) Northeast and Southeast
US: Betsy Franceshini ([email protected])
or visit: unidosporpuertorico.wordpress.com
Rep. Cynthia Soto Says: ¡Gracias Amigos! for Success of 22 Fiesta Boricua
Once again, 22 years in the making, the 22nd Fiesta Boricua was a resounding community success with
thousands of participants- stretching its reach to Cayey, Puerto Rico (with that municipality representing the theme of “Lo Mejor de Nuestros Pueblos”) to Orlando, FL, (representing “Lo Mejor de Nuestros
Barrios”.) During 3 days (Fri. Sept 4, Sat. 5, and Sun. 6,), the 22nd Fiesta Boricua was a total immersion into
the best expressions of Puerto Rican culture. It included a press conference, the Annual Noche Jibara/
Guayabera Gala, the traditional Misa Jibara, as well as 2 days of music, dance, food, artisanry and revelry on 2 stages, a Children’s Zone, Health and Youth Corridor, exhibits of cars, motorcycles and bicycles. A particular
recognition is due to one of our local business owners, Victor and Nancy Garcia, of Papa’s Cache, for sponsoring the 2nd stage of Fiesta
Boricua and DSBDA for organizing the car, motorcycle and bicycle show. I want to thank all who participated, and most importantly the
following volunteers and sponsors:
Nereida Avilés
Nilda Montañez
Zenaida López
Juan M. Calderón
George Herrera
Cynthia Soto
Roberto Maldonado
José E. López
Mary Torres
Hilda Frontany
Jaime Moctezuma
Erika Abad
Militza Pagán
Carlos Quiles
Jonathan Rivera
Luis Alejandro Molina
Geniz Hernández
Michael Rodríguez Muñiz
Luis Rosa
Felix Rosa
Frankie Dávila
Rafael Caro
Rafael de Jesús
Leonilda Calderón
Luis Alejandro Molina
Angel Mélendez
Eduardo Arocho
Nancy Garcia
Victor Garcia
Carmelo Santurce
Lebster Pabón
Luis Rosa
Jonathan Rivera
Elias Carmona
Matt McCanna
Luis Alejandro Molina
Sandra Candelaria
Mayra Estrella
Daisy Jiménez
Sylvia Correa
Maya Lozano
Lourdes Lugo
Josh Stern
Virginia Boyle
Luz Ramos
Shirley Payton
Geniz Hernández
Viola Salgado
Jonathan Contreras
Raúl Maldonado
Gustavo Varela
Jessica Zambrana
Juan Garibay
Gregory Rueda
Anthony De Jesús
Carmen G. Pérez
Tatiana Cusnier Vidal
Alma Moreno
Lourdes Lugo, PRCC
Danette Sokacich, PACHS
Bruce Simon Gabe López

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