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NUESTRA VOZ OF NORTH TEXAS


From the Editor

One election has ended and another begins

A couple of things that we should know about elections is that elections matter and elections have consequences.  Trump went to Florida to undo an executive order of Obama.  Trump did not do this because of his animosity towards Cuba or Cubans.  Republican Cuban Americans were opposed to Obama’s decision and wanted to go back to punishing Castro.  In Florida, Cuban Americans wield considerable power because 1) they vote in big numbers, 2) they vote Republican.  Another example of powerful groups is African Americans, 1) they vote in big numbers, 2) they vote Democrat.  When it comes to Latinos there is an anomaly.  Latinos in Texas have long been considered loyal Democrats. 

In reality, a large percentage of Latinos vote Republican.  We may be the largest minority group in Texas but being big and having political power do not go hand in hand.  What makes us weak then is, 1) we don’t vote in large numbers, 2) we are not loyal to a party.  Not voting for a particular party can easily be overcome by voting in large numbers. 

There is a group of mostly young people that have organized and created an organization called United Fort Worth.  The organization is very much opposed to SB4 the anti-Sanctuary Cities billed passed by the Texas legislature.  When you get pulled over for any reason by a law enforcement officer, they can demand that you prove your immigration status and turn you over to ICE if you appear to be undocumented.  This bill affects all immigrants but if you look Mexican it is going to apply to you more.  There is no rational reason for this bill.  Supporters have concocted all sorts of excuses for the law.  There is only one reality about this law.  You are not going to change the law, you can only change politicians.  This poses a problem for Republicans because incumbent Republicans are safe.  Incumbent Republicans get challenged by Republicans that are more right wing and more ideological. 

The Democratic Party is still around and manages to get a good number of voters but it still does not have a message that resonates with the 10% of voters that it needs to win elections.  It also suffers from “loser’s mentality”.  Financial support is hard to obtain when it is perceived that you cannot win.  Latinos out there need to stand up and run for office. You will never get elected if you do not run.  No tengas miedo.  Learn from Victor Morales.  Maybe all you need to win an election is a white pickup truck and a gas can.  You cannot beat Republicans with money.  You can by being creative.

To my Latino Republican friends. This is your fight too.

The next round of elections has begun.  Most seats above state representative will be in play.  Learn to play ball.  Find out what people have to say.  Do your homework.  Learn what questions to ask candidates.  Listen to their answers.  Then decide if you really want that person making laws that affect you.

SB4 is a political issue.  Remember, elections matter, elections have consequences.  Don’t take your liberty and freedom for granted.  They can be taken away.

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Decisions remain inlocal elections

Election season is almost over for this cycle.  In Dallas voters will decide between Monica Alonzo and Omar Narvaez, in Arlington between Marvin Sutton and Roxanne Thalman and in Fort Worth between Carlos Flores and Steve Thornton.  There is something special about each election.  In Dallas, there was a lot of hullaballoo in West Dallas.  In Arlington, there was no incumbent.  Marvin did exceptionally well.  I have known Marvin for years and I know that he will represent his district well.  In Fort Worth, you have two different personalities vying for the vacant seat.  Carlos Flores is the preferred establishment candidate and Steve Thornton is the populist candidate.  It is clear that the power brokers of Fort Worth do not like Steve Thornton.  The power brokers did not want Dr. Brian Byrd in District 3 either.  He beat out the preferred establishment candidate.  To give you an idea how poorly we vote, the incumbent that lost in District 3 got more votes in losing (3674) than the combined total four all candidates in District 2 (2915).

Again, I saw negative advertising, commonly referred to as fake news, saturating the northside trying to sway the election.  How can our elected politicians stand in front of students and claim to be role models?  Yet these same politicians do not have the guts to stand up at the city council and propose that a street in Fort Worth be named for Cesar Chavez.  Cesar Chavez is one of the Four Horsemen of the Chicano Movement .  He was a strong advocate for agricultural workers but his effect went much further than that.

There have been Mexican Americans that have tried to make things better for us in Fort Worth.  There is Sam Garcia, Manuel Jara, Rufino Mendoza to name three, there are more.  Has the city honored anyone of them by naming a building, street, bridge or anything in t heir honor?

There is an issue that all Latinos need to understand.  We are all different.  Having a Spanish last name does not make us homogenous.  What distinguishes us is the degree of assimilation.  The earliest Mexican Americans were those that came here from the mines to the west and northwest of us.  When the coal mines started shutting down these miners went to West Dallas and to the meat packing and steel mills of Fort Worth.  That occurred in the very early 1900’s.  These early Mexican Americans had everything to do with the economic development of Fort Worth.  We must keep in mind that these Mexicans were recruited to come work here.  The descendants of these Mexicans have long disappeared into the woodwork.  They brought Mexico to North Texas.  These are the Mexican Americans that challenged the establishment in what we call the Chicano Movement.

Any immigrant that arrived after this historic event cannot relate to anyone of us that lived through it.  We did not read about the disparities in our society from a book and no one told us how bad it was.  We lived it.  What made the movement more difficult for us is that within the ranks of the Mexican Americans you had the “mancitos” Mexican Americans that were willing to acquiesce to maintain their status.  The most notable Mexican American that refused to participate in the Chicano Movement was Henry B. Gonzalez.

Yet, it is hard to predict what life would be like today without the Chicano Movement and the Civil Rights Movement, they went hand in hand.  Of course, many immigrants got here by escaping disparate economic and politic conditions in their native country.  Difference is that America is now the land of opportunity so that everyone that arrive really has a chance at success.  Such was not the case for many of us.    The job is not done.  We still have work to do.  Especially when it comes to voting.  We need to in a matter of a couple of years change our voting behavior.  There are folks that we need to vote out of office.  Elections are the best term limits tool that there is.  But we need to vote. 

Felix Alvarado
Editor

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Local elections should be fair and impartial

These local elections are very personable.  They should be based on issues that affect citizens in everyday life.  These citizens are the ones in the best position to express what their needs are.  The expression comes at the ballot box.  Unfortunately, we Latinos have not done a good job of expressing ourselves.  We get run over, stepped on and used as floor mats.  We are used to the prostrate position.  We did not learn well from Emiliano Zapata who is quoted as saying, “It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.”  It is never too late to stand up.  I say this as someone of Mexican heritage as most of us are.  Everyone will have a chance to make up on May 6, 2017 when we have city elections.

During the last presidential election, we failed at our most important civic responsibility, voting.  Now we have in office a man that is held in power by the lower base of society.  Not really affiliated with either party but the man in Washington is their man.  Now that he is in office Republicans have to come to his side or be twitted to death, his weapon of mass destruction.  As long as these people support him, the Republican Party is afraid of him.   Simple.  Republicans need him more than  he needs them.

So, let me be clear.  I am not Mexican.  My Mexican heritage goes back to before the Mexican Revolution, my grandfather was a “traquero” one of the Mexicans that came to build the railroad.  I am also of Texas Mexican heritage.  One of those Tejanos that was here before the American colonists.  One of my uncles was a WWI veteran.  He could have returned to Mexico to avoid the war.  Being an American was much more powerful.  My own father was one of those that was repatriated back to Mexico even if he was an American citizen.  When notified that he had a draft notice he returned to fight for “his” country.  Three of my brothers and I served in the Vietnam War.  We vote.  We paid the price for our freedom.  Something not everyone has done.  Especially those that could afford college to avoid the draft.  Many of this right wing talk people talk as if they all had a Medal of Honor.  Something I learned in the Army, you can train a man to fight, but you don’t have to train him to run.

We at Nuestra Voz like to express our thoughts.  We do that.  We also do not endorse candidates.  In local elections candidates should be knocking on your door.  We also believe that local elections should be non-partisan.  This puts local elections at an even keel so that the resources of a powerful party cannot be used to influence voters to vote for a particular candidate.  As is the case in this election where Mayor Price has endorsed a particular District 2 candidate for the council.  She has stated that she is a Republican and a Trump supporter. African Americans had a demonstration against her because supposedly she made a comment that when the black community gets together, all they do is – B*****. 

I was personally insulted when Trump denigrated Mexicans.  Even though I am not Mexican my heritage is.  He insulted all Mexicans.  Mayor Price has stated that Fort Worth is not going to be a sanctuary city.  That means only one thing – mass deportation of undocumented immigrants.  It means breaking up families.  I would say that there are not many undocumented immigrants that have family that are American.

Another issue is the Trinity River Vision.  Trinity River Vision is that a “Vision”, it is not a fact just something that may or may not be someday.  We hope that 100 years from today people can look back and say “it was a great investment”.  This vision is possible only if we take tax money from the city to pay for the vision.  Another issue is education.  Our children go to schools some that were built in the 1930’s.  To some they are of great historical value.  If they are truly historical these school can be sold to groups that are interested in preserving history and new schools built to today’s standards.  Many of our school’s temporary buildings to hold classes.  All these buildings need to be replaced with real buildings.  Safe neighborhoods.  

I also understand that there are some Latino politicians that have tried to manipulate the election by controlling, by asking for candidates to drop out of the race.  The Democratic Party has been on a losing streak for a long time.  The reason is that it has manipulated the primary so that the party favorite would win the primary. The party has been very successful in running losers.  The District 2 election is so important that only voters of the district should decide who represents them without persuasion from any political party.  This is a non-partisan election.  It is also very confusing to have both parties endorse the same candidate. 

We are a non-partisan publication. We do not endorse candidates.  But We feel candidates should address these issues:

Do they support the mayor in labeling Fort Worth a non-sanctuary city?
Are they willing to disavow racism as bad for Fort Worth for all minorities?
Are they going to allow the Mayor to separate families?

Trump got elected on a theme of “Draining the swamp in Washington”.  To drain the swamp in Washington you must pull the plug in Fort Worth.

There is no place for Trumpism in Fort Worth.  Those people protesting against him are exercising their constitutional right.  Every voter has a civic responsibility to vote.  Those of  you that have never voted it is time for your start.  If you need training come, see me.  I will teach you how to vote.  Don’t be afraid, no tengas miedo.  In the words of Emiliano Zapata, The enemies of the country and of freedom of the people have always denounced as bandits those who sacrifice themselves for the noble causes of the people.

Those of us that are multi-generational American have a responsibility to lead and help those that are recent immigrants.  That is the right thing to do.  Keep in mind that the first Mexicans came to a totally different and had no social network to protect them.  The consequences are still being felt today in the education of our children and our political participation.  We have run out of excuses.  Contact us and we show you what needs to be done.  And help you.

Felix Alvarado

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Nothing is more upsetting than travelling 
to the Lower Rio Grande Valley

I think that we would all agree that once in a while when something gets repeated over and over it becomes redundant and we become immune to the content of the message regardless of how important the message is. 

Take for instance immigration.  Nothing gets me upset more than traveling to the Rio Grande Valley on vacation and on the return trip deep inside Texas territory I get stopped by the Border Patrol and I have to prove my nationality.  Folks, when you are asked to prove who you are when you are inside your own country, your nation of birth, it bothers me. 

I am also bothered when we as a people are taken for granted.  When you look at the ethnic makeup of Fort Worth and Tarrant County, In the City of Fort Worth It is a close 40-40-18-2. Whites, Mexican Americans Blacks and others.  All figures come from the census.

Demographic percentages:

Tarrant County              Fort Worth
White             56.6              61.10 (Includes Latinos)
Black             13.9              18.91
Latino            22.9              34.06
Other             6.59              20

In the county, the only non-judicial elected official is Mary Louise Garcia, County Clerk.  There are three elected county wide judges.   In the city of Fort Worth, we have one elected city council one, justice of the peace and one constable.  We publish an article, “¿Dónde estás?”, “Where are you?”  We Mexican Americans have to take responsibility for what we are and what we are not.  Figures don’t lie.  Liars figure.  The numbers above tell the tale.  We don’t run for office and we don’t vote.  Parece que le tenemos miedo a halgo.  ¿Que sera?  ¿El boogie man?

A lady speaks out about the education of her children and what she has experienced.  Silence is deafening.  Especially the silence of all parents that give up on the education of their children and trust them to a system that is more concerned with test scores than education.  If every parent took a personal interest in the education of their child there would be no need for mentors.  The school to prison pipeline would be broken and more and more children would aspire to get a higher-level education.  It is possible.  But it takes parents.  But it takes more than parents.  It takes parents that vote.  In voting parents will be teaching their children the value of an education and the value of voting.  But the best education is going to start at home. 

Why don’t we have a street named after Cesar Chavez?  Because we are too busy satisfying our selfish ego instead of looking at the needs of our children and the importance of a role model.  Because we don’t have strong leaders.  We should not have to fight; the city of Fort Worth should take it upon itself to name a street after Cesar Chavez

Elections are in May.  I have always maintained that to drain the swamp in Washington, you have to pull the plug here.  Yes, it is redundant.  But it is time for everyone to get off their duff and vote.

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Fort Worth City Council will have a new member

The English have a saying, “The King is dead, long live the King.”  You can say that about elections.  Just had one, now we have one more, a local one.  The Fort Worth City Council will have a new representative for District 2.  The incumbent decided not to test the waters again having barely won the last election.  District 2 needs a strong advocate one that will stand up for the neighborhood.  For voters of District 2, look around and see if you are satisfied with what you see.  Make a list of what you think needs improvement.  Let us know.

We continue seeing evidence of deception and misinformation coming from Trump Washington.  The latest the number of people that watched the parade.  I saw glimpses of the inauguration on TV and the first question that came to my mind was “Where are the people?”  In football, some games are won where you wonder “How?”.  And players and commentators all say the same thing, “Who cares!”  A W is a W and that is all that counts.  Sounds like that is good advice for Trump.  Get over Hillary getting more votes than you and go on.  At this point you are not embarrassing yourself, you are embarrassing America.

We have a large congressional delegation in Washington.  They are responsible for what happens to the country.  They can stand by and watch Trump flush us down the toilet or they can stand up and fight for us like they should. There will be congressional elections in two years.  Keep that in mind.  This is where you drain the swamp.

Alternative facts, fake news, propaganda and such are neutralized with the truth.  Or as the say goes “Truth to power.”  You are responsible for making sure that you keep current of what is going on and speak up and be heard.  The Women’s March is a good example of people joining to fight power. 

Our Mexican-American children need to know that we had heroes.  People that stood up when it was not chic for Mexicans to stand up and be heard.  The fight is not over.  And the fight may be against our own selves.  We cannot allow selfish egos to dominate what is best for the community. 

This is democracy in America:  1.  Register to vote.  2.  Vote.  3.  Demonstrate.

It works.

Felix Alvarado
Editor

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It is numbers that count

By Felix Alvarado

We continue following the presidential election. This is the way it looks. Trump is going to milk Clinton’s email issue to the end. The reason is simple. He has no inspirational message to the American people. As an example in an outreach to African-American voters he lambasted the Democratic Party for not doing enough to Blacks. Basically, according to his message all Blacks live in poverty and the Democratic Party is to blame. His question to Blacks is “What do you have to lose?” Of course, the answer he wants to hear is “Nothing”. My answer even though I am Mexican-American is “A lot.”

I do not believe anyone of us wants to retreat back to the segregation of the 1950’s. Clinton is dogged by the email issue. Now the Trump campaign is expanded its world view of Clinton by citing her health. She cannot walk away from it. All Trump surrogates are delivering the same message several times a day. Email - health. They will dog her to the end. This is the danger for the Clinton campaign staying focused on the issues and debunking health issues. John Kerry found out the hard way how damaging rumors can be when you ignore them. What I see is that the meaning of so many things has been expanded so that a non-issue can be attached to person as if it was a real issue.

To Reagan national security was the military. It was the Soviet Union. It was the Warsaw Pact. It was the Cold War. It was our mortal enemy – Communism. All of these issues presented a clear and present danger to our national security or survival. These issues are not there today. Terrorism is a law enforcement issue. Yet the definition has been expanded to make it a national security issue. Likewise, immigration is not a national security issue. It is a congressional issue. Our mortal enemies now are the economy and education. We are competing in a global economy and we must know how to compete. To compete we need good schools. To get good schools we need every person that is registered to vote – to vote. It is okay to follow the presidential election but it is just as important to get involved in local elections they affect your quality of life more than presidential elections. Why do we need every Latino to vote? It is numbers that count.
Felix Alvarado Editor

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Orlando Massacre

We stand in solidarity with the families of the victims of the Orlando massacre. When a crime this horrific is committed, much like Sandy Hook, you cannot stand in support of any part of the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment was adopted when America was still a young country and people needed weapons to defend themselves against other colonists, Indians and dangerous animals. Things have changed since. The threats have changed. So have the power of the weapons. America needs a dialogue as to how to prevent events such as Orlando from happening. Perhaps all that is needed to allow lawsuits against those that pass such laws. I attended the Dump the Trump (AKA The Whiner) protest march in Dallas. Conspicuously present were open carry people. I really thought you had to have common sense when you got a concealed or open carry license. Those people there with arms were not exercising good common sense and judgment. Another example of a legislature that passes what they think are sensible laws with grossly simplistic by-passes. It is so easy to disarm a person with a weapon whether side arm or rifle. Easy. And you don’t even need a gun or be a martial arts expert. It was part of my Army training. If you want to learn how, join the Army. When someone gets disarmed and the person doing the disarming kills several people who is going to get the blame, the victims??? I saw Trump supporters openly taunt the protestors. As we say “Cruising for a bruising”. Bully behavior. The Republican Party is in a pickle. Dump the Trump pickle. Of course, Trump’s trump card is a riot at the Republican Convention. The RNC should call his bluff. Please prepare you family to learn the history of Mexican North Texas. It is fascinating. Mexicans arrived in North Texas before 1900. Since then politically we have not progressed much. We started the Hispanic Caucus of North Texas. Our aim is to increase voter turnout. To do so is going to require the involvement of everyone in the family. Whether Republican or Democrat. Talk to your family why you are voting the way you are. Encourage them to vote. It does not matter what party you vote for, what person you vote for, the only thing that matters is that you vote. We cannot accept typical excuses for low voter turnout. To get elected sometimes all you have to do is put your name on the ballot. The more people that vote the better representation that you get. I am also forming a North Texas Genealogical Society. We have a rich history and you might be surprised how your family got here. North Texas roots are Mexican. Nowhere is Hispanic a part of our heritage. I will accept Latino since it only conveys a message that you are from a country where a Latin language is spoken. Hispanic is not a language spoken anywhere. Academia was fast to latch on to Hispanic because of the shame associated with being called Mexican. We no longer have to be ashamed and we cannot allow anybody else to define who we are. Please support our sponsors.

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