Issue 2 June 2011
Dear NACOPRW Members,
As a nonprofit organization, we work with our membership to address issues that may come up and seek to find solutions that are fair and just. Our goal is to be an organization that maintains a high level of ethics and protocol, following to the best of our ability the bylaws by which we were founded.
The information gathered from the 2010 Census proves that the Hispanic/Latino community has grown dramatically. This is indicative and makes it imperative that we need to have representation that includes our voices in our social economic and political realms. We wish to stress the important need to make ourselves as active and successful community leaders that continue to serve as a voice for Puerto Rican, Hispanic, Latino sisters and brothers to be heard by the political leaders and policy makers of this great nation.
Our vote is a right and a privilege that we fought for; our vote gives us a voice! Let’s say “presente” and support the Latino women and men in our communities that will represent us with honor, integrity and service.
I am very excited about our 38th Annual Convention and Training Conference to be held on November 11-13, 2011 at the Conrad San Juan Condado in Puerto Rico. This year’s theme is “Defining our Future: Engaging the Crossroads Between the U.S. and Puerto Rico”. I look forward to our continued work in these areas and to using our National Convention as a place to renew our energies, refine our skills as NACOPRW leaders and members and to focus on our organizational goals and activities for the next few years. We also appreciate any other ways you can help us with the planning and most of all, talk to others about coming so that we can have a significant number to engage in dialogue with our sisters in the Island. Please say “presente” as we plan the event and check out our website for more information as time goes on.
Vivian Ortiz , National President
National Commission Unveils its Report Recommending the Creation of a Smithsonian American Latino Museum
Delivered to the President and the Congress in May by the 23-member Commission, the 108 page report recommends a site on Pennsylvania Avenue near the Mall that would be the 20th museum managed by the Smithsonian.
The Museum would recognize 500 years of contributions by the Latino community and be a “21st Century learning laboratory rooted in the mission that every American should have access to the stories of all Americans.”
Titled “To Illuminate the American Story for All” the report calls for $600 million that would come primarily from the private sector, raising $300 M from non-government sources for its support for the first six years and requesting the balance over 10 years from the Congress.
As examples of the types of exhibits it would cover, the following were cited: the establishment of the first Spanish city in the U.S., St. Augustine, Florida in 1565 and information about notable Latinos to fill the enormous gap that exists, for example, in recognition of Hispanics in the National Portrait Gallery where only 2 of the 470 people feature as “notable Americans” are Latinos.
The Commission envisions a 310,000 square-foot building and would include, besides the Spanish conquistadors, culture, popular music, visual arts, and the work of Latinos in the labor and civil rights movements and traditions of all Hispanic countries.
The President of the Commission is Henry Munoz III of San Antonio and the only Puerto Rican member is Andres W. Lopez, a lawyer from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Other salient members are Eva Longoria, actress, and
Emilio Estefan, musician.
The report can be downloaded from the Museum’s web site.
President’s Task Force on Puerto Rico’s Status Issued in March 2011
The long-awaited report of the Task Force created in 2000 by President Clinton to examine Puerto Rico’s future status and revised by President Obama in 2009 to include recommendations on economic development, released its 122-page report in March.
The Report contains seven recommendations in a section regarding the question of Puerto Rico’s status and has three additional sections on economic development, recommendations for building competitive industries and recommendations on Vieques.
The report can be downloaded at http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/iga/puerto-rico.
The Report recommends that the President, the Congress and other stakeholders act upon its recommendations by the end of 2012.
The Advocacy Corner
The launching by NACOPRW of an Advocacy Corps has energized its efforts in the advocacy field and mobilized two representatives from each chapter to inform and mobilize, in turn, their Chapter members to act on issues of relevance to Puerto Rican women and to the networks and organizations with which NACOPRW collaborates.
A call to action on the protection of Social Security and Medicare brought action from the Chicago Chapter through contacts with Senators Dick Durbin and Kirk and Rep. Luis Gutierrez and the Northern Illinois Chapter through contact with Senator Durbin.
Conference calls with the White House and the Department of Labor elicited participation from our National President and the Metro DC Chapter to discuss the State of Working Women and Equal Pay.
The Maryland Dream Act was approved by the Maryland Legislature in the waning hours of the legislative session and Governor Martin O’Malley signed it into law.
The bill will allow undocumented high school graduates to receive in-state college tuition rates provided they graduate after 3 years in a Maryland high school and prove that taxes were paid by the student, legal guardian or parent while attending college and 3 years before entering college. The legislation also requires them to complete an associate's degree, or 60 credits, from a community college before they qualify for in-state tuition at a 4-year Maryland University; sign an affidavit stating they will apply for legal residency when they are eligible; and enroll with Selective Services, which US male citizens between the ages of 18 and 25 are required to do.
Maryland is the 11th state in the nation to extend in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants.
NOAA Protects Northeast Ecological Corridor of Puerto Rico
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has initiated a process
to evaluate the designation of the coastal waters of the Northeast Ecological Corridor of Puerto Rico as critical habitat for the “tinglar”, a marine turtle that could become extinct.
This action resulted from a petition submitted to the agency by the Sierra Club in response to the elimination of the designation of the area as a natural reserve by Governor Luis Fortuno in 2009.
The “tinglares” spend several weeks in the waters near the Corridor during their nesting period from March to July while they mate and
deposit their eggs three to five times during their mating season. The Corridor is one of the island’s few coastal areas where there is no luminic contamination to disorient the turtles allowing them to return to sea safely. It is estimated that there are already more than 100 nests in the Corridor. It is also estimated that only 1 in 1000 of the hatched turtles reach adulthood.
Clearinghouse on Women’s Issues hosts Panel on Latinas
The Clearinghouse on Women’s Issues hosted a panel organized by Carmen Delgado Votaw during its March 29 monthly meeting in the nation’s Capital to learn more about their Hispanic/Latina sisters. Panelists were Alma Morales Riojas, President of MANA a Latina Organization, Alicia Diaz, Public Policy Director of the Cuban American National Council and Carmen, chairing the panel and speaking on Puerto Rican Women. A capacity crowd listened and asked questions about the
similarities and differences of the policy agendas of women from the main Latino groups and discussed how we can collaborate together to make sisterhood and progress on women’s issues more relevant to all women in the United States.
Make your reservation today!
Attendees can make their own hotel reservations directly with the Conrad Condado Hotel reservation office at phone number: 1-888-722-1273 or (787) 721-1000. It is very important that each person identify herself or himself as part of the National Conference of Puerto Rican Women to receive the group rates.
Also, the reservations can be made on line at the group rate using the following page:
Step 1: www.conradsanjuan.com
Step 2: click on Reservations
Step 3: Select arrival and departure Dates
Step 4: Under Special Accounts and next to Group/Convention Code: Enter ABZG (ABZG is your group code)
Step 5: Click on Continue button
Step 6:Select room rate/room category
Step 7: Click on Continue button
Step 8: Enter your personal information
Step 9: Click on Book Now button
DATES That $129 Rate applies ARE:
NOVEMBER 8th -16th , 2011
The Chicago Chapter celebrated 90 years of the Women's right to vote in order to highlight the importance of exercising our electoral power. The Chapter hosted a brunch at the East Bank Club and the special guest speakers included Honorable Lisa Madigan, Illinois Attorney General, and Anita Alvarez, Cook County Attorney General. The League of Women Voters provided a slide presentation showing women's struggle for the right to vote. The discussion became very interesting as women of all ages shared their experiences in the US mainland and in Puerto Rico.
At the grassroots level the chapter is working with the Humboldt Park Diabetes Empowerment Center established for the prevention and management of diabetes. On May 21, the Chapter will hold a mini conference to disseminate information and discuss the social and medical causes of diabetes. This is critical since diabetes in this area is 14% higher than in other neighborhoods in Chicago, according to Sinai Urban Health Institute.
The installation of new officers was held at La Plena restaurant with great Puerto Rican Food and live music featuring 17- year old Lizbeth Rios who was accompanied by her father. Honored guests included Judge Ramon Ocasio II, 6th Judicial Court, Alderman Rey Colon, 35th Ward Chicago, and Millie Santiago who represented Governor Pat Quinn of Illinois. Deborah Lopez, past president, introduced Evelyn Figueroa as the new president of the Chicago chapter.
The Chicago Chapter 2011 Officers are as follows:
Evelyn Figueroa, President
Hilda Frontany, 1st Vice President
Olga Vasquez, 2nd Vice President
Aida Sanchez-Romano and Gladys Lopez, co -Treasurers
Catalina Cadiz, Secretary
Edith Feliciano, Delegate
Ada Lopez and Deborah Lopez, Advocacy Representatives
DC Metro Chapter
The Chapter hosted a workshop on Financial Concerns Before Retirement with a female
Expert, Grisel Cabero Palssen, from a financial advisors firm.
Information on how to prepare for eventualities on your way to retirement were lucidly described and a financial capability quiz was administered to the members attending.
The Chapter co-sponsored with Dialogue on Diversity, a violence against women conference and a whole day Health Care Symposium, Health Care Reform: The Halting Progress in an Onward March, the latter held at the American Federation of Teachers on May 11.
The Indiana chapter will be collaborating with the area nursing homes by presenting “Day of Sunshine” where the members get together with the elderly and engage in conversation, play games or simply make their day a little brighter. The members paid a special visit to one of their own, Isabelita Mendez, who has been a faithful senior member but due to health issues had been unable to participate. A dollar day Yard Sale fundraiser will be held on June 4th for our Scholarship Award Fund. Congratulations to Xiomara Vega Rivera who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Purdue University on May 21st. She is the daughter of Enoelia Vega, President of the Indiana Chapter.
Northern Illinois Chapter
The Northern Illinois chapter of the National Conference of Puerto Rican Women is joining in partnership with the Chicago chapter of the Girls on the Run program. This has been done through the efforts of Reina Otero, one of our chapter members who teaches at Galileo Elementary School. This event, which is a Run/Walk Fundraiser, will take place on Saturday, June 4, 2011. Chapter members will be wearing our chapter shirts in unity at the event. Our chapter promotes a similar agenda as the Girls on the Run; therefore as a group we decided to participate in this annual event.
The program combines training for a 3.1 mile running event with self-esteem enhancing, uplifting workouts. The goals of the programs are to encourage positive emotional, social, mental, spiritual and physical. The objective of Girls on the Run is to educate and empower girls at an early age in order to prevent the display of at-risk activities in the future. At risk activities include substance/alcohol use, eating disorders, early onset of sexual activity, sedentary lifestyle, depression, suicide attempts and confrontations with the juvenile justice. Positive youth development programs
combined with an interactive curriculum and running to inspire self-respect and healthy lifestyles in pre-teen girls. Our core curriculum addresses many aspects of girls’ development - their physical, emotional, mental and social well-being. Lessons provide girls with the tools to make positive decisions and to avoid risky adolescent behaviors. We welcome everyone to join us and bring your family to promote their efforts. The organization provides its program through several cities and states via local schools.
◊ Collaborated and volunteered with Susan G.Komen and the American Cancer Society
for the Annual Latinas Unidas Para La Cura Community Event
◊ Hosted an informal mixer for local community members to Meet and Greet candidates running
For office in the city of Philadelphia.
◊ Participated with Vision 2020 as the Women’s Equality Group Held a Rally at Constitution Center.
◊ Vivian Ortiz participated in Philadelphia’s local television program Puerto Rican Panorama
with host Diego Castellanos. The show’s topic and discussion was on Breast Cancer Health.
◊ Participated in Women Working TogetherWriting the Next Chapter Of Her Story in collaboration
with the U.S.Department of Labor Women’s Bureau – Philadelphia at Moore College of
Art and Design.
◊ Donated to Drexel University College of Medicine Woman One Scholarship program.
Woman One 2011 Sara Manzano-Diaz who was honored. Proceeds provide scholarships to deserving
young women committed to becoming physicians and practicing medicine in underserved
◊ NACOPRW “Workshop Series- First Time Home Buyer Workshop”
Congratulations to our very own . . .
Iris Violeta Colon-Torres –
Was elected to Philadelphia’s W P V I 6ABC-TV Community Advisory Board with tenure of three
Iris was also recognized for her Service to Philadelphia as a respected writer, lecturer and actress by the Isla Verde Community Association
Amaris Hernandez –
Participated as a panelist for Women Working Together- Writing the Next Chapter of Her Story in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau-Philadelphia at Moore College of Art and Design.
On April 1st , the Executive Board and members Tony Lugo, María Vizcarrondo and guest Jorge Solé attended Puerto Rican author Miluka Rivera’s presentation “Legado Puertorriqueño en Hollywood” at Irvine Valley College. It was a very interesting and wonderful opportunity to network with other Puerto Ricans including the BoriDivas from Los Angeles.
¡Pueblo! No seas pasivo
© ivct Iris Violeta Torres
Cuando se ejerce el voto
Se aprende a demandar
El pueblo echa a volar
La fuerza que en él está
Cuando el pueblo ejerce el voto
Deja de ser pequeño
El voto le da voz
Unida a un par de alas
El pueblo que ejerce el voto
Vuela hasta los salones prohibidos
En donde reposa el PODER
Y en donde se reparte el dólar
Cuando el pueblo ejerce el voto
Logra visas sin problemas
Las reparte entre su gente
Para mitigar sus penas
¡Pueblo!, ejerce tu voto
¡Pueblo!, no seas pasivo
¡Pueblo!, vuela a los salones prohibidos
¡Pueblo!, no cambies este poder por nada.