Anthem Blue To Feed Families, Support Local Restaurants

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and its Foundation have partnered with the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Council 337 to support families and businesses that have been impacted by the COVD-19 pandemic.

Anthem will be providing over 300 free dinners and/or lunches to individuals and families through La Salsa Mexican Restaurant and Sabor Tropical. Families will be able to get up to 6 free dinners or lunch plates.

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and its Foundation are proud to partner with LULAC Council 337 to provide our local communities with fresh, healthy, hot meals during such an uncertain time,” said Anthony Woods, Medicaid plan president at Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

 

“Anthem recognizes the importance of working with community partners to further our commitment to improved lives and communities. These efforts are part of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s coordinated response to COVID-19 for members, local community organizations, healthcare workers, and frontline responders.”

To reserve free dinners and/or lunches and to schedule pick up times, call La Salsa Mexican Restaurant between 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. at 414-483-0522 or call Sabor Tropical at 414-988-8030 between 11:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.

 

This Anthem offer ends June 11. Callers must mention “Anthem Feeding Families” to be eligible. Meals are limited and are on a first-come basis.

“We are delighted to once again partner with Anthem in a way that benefits the community, especially during this stressful time,” says Lupe Martinez, President, LULAC Council 337 and President/CEO, UMOS. “COVID-19 has taken a heavy toll on small businesses, particularly restaurants, and on those that support them.

 

Anthem has been a great partner in supporting both,” Martinez concluded.

For more information on Anthem’s “Feeding Families,” call Carmen Lerma at 414-389-6002.

A Passion Para La Gente: Primitivo Torres Martinez

By Juan Miguel Martinez

 

The south side of Milwaukee in the 1980s was not a state of mind, but a state of being. Being present, always with your head on a swivel, was engrained in your everyday attitude. It was before ceaseless updating of buildings and revamping of public schools, some of which had fallen through the cracks and not yet recovered.

Primitivo Torres Martinez saw this firsthand as a Kagel alumnus. It is a menacing building in a neighborhood that had the rumble to match. It is in this neighborhood where he was raised by his mother, Elisa, and was aided by her other 12 siblings who saw him more like the youngest brother instead of a nephew since his father passed away three months before he was born. Raised in the same house that all his uncles were, a modest structure in San Jose de Buenavista, Jalisco. He was no stranger to the plight of the immigrants, the long processes of becoming a citizen, and the unfamiliarity of traversing a completely different culture. His path was clear, as leadership abilities were innate for him, and he knew what work needed to be done.

In 2007, when he was the Mitchell St. branch manager at U.S. Bank, he was the target of white nationalist hate groups who viewed him as a threat to their narrow, pathetic existence. Through Voces de la Frontera, Primitivo helped to organize all the “May Day” marches between 2006 and 2016. Up to 65,000 Latino/a/x are in attendance, so he drew the ire of people who see us a threat instead of fellow Americans working toward a common goal.

He has been working since with Voces de la Frontera officially since 2007, where he has worked in many different capacities. Most recently, the COVID-19 fund was established, a brainchild of Voces. It is a program to help families whose breadwinners are out of work.

 

Their focus is providing benefits for undocumented people who are ineligible for federal funds, having served 305 families as of 05/24/20. Filling out an application, including contact info for funds to be distributed, is simple, and no one has been turned away. Individuals can receive up to $250, with a current effort to increase.

 

They rely mostly on donations - many have given, and more are always needed. Apart from this, the group works with food pantries around the city to assist with providing groceries and toiletries. It is in the true spirit of stewardship and humanity.

Primitivo works in a representative role with Voces de la Frontera. Another role he plays is working with the Wisconsin Coalition for Safe Roads, a bipartisan coalition. The focus of his work here is to have the bill passed to give undocumented folks the ability to have driver’s licenses.

 

He works tirelessly with local groups and politicians. The goal is to have the bill passed, and working with republicans is something that has to be done. It is no easy task in a climate where the general republican sentiment towards immigrants is a truly reprehensible one. Its something that must be done, and is gaining a lot of traction.

 

He has gained support, touring the state of Wisconsin, but it was stopped by Wisconsin senate republicans, the same ones who have tried to pass a lot of anti-immigrant legislation.

The most important work for 2020 is focusing on the election as Latino/a/x people could be the deciding votes to do away with the current administration. “You have to work with what you have to make the system work for you,” he states. A message that resonates within us all.

Enrique Murguia Announces Candidacy For 8th District State Assembly

Enrique Murguia announced his candidacy to serve as State Representative for Wisconsin’s 8th Assembly District.

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“Growing up in this community, I know  rsthand what makes this district so special – the diversity, ingenuity, perseverance, and grit of the people who live here. I also know, from experience, the challenges we face and the most effective methods to address those challenges,” said Enrique Murguia.

“I have spent the past several years advocating for this community and I could not be more excited to formally announce my candidacy for 8th District State Representative. The individuals that comprise this district have so much to offer and there is so much potential here, but we continue to be held down by cyclical poverty, lack of equal opportunity, discrimination, and voter disenfranchisement. I have seen this, I have experienced this, and I am dedicated to  gating this to improve the welfare and well being of my community.”

“Through increased access to quality education, access to resources for small businesses, access to jobs that pay a living wage, and greater political representation, I believe that together we can build an excellent district that re ects the value our residents bring to the State of Wisconsin. This community needs a leader that understands how to build on our strengths and how to reconcile our challenges. I am that leader and I am eager to ght for the community that I love!”

The primary election will be held on August 11th, 2020 and the general election will be held on November 3rd, 2020.

More information can be found on the web at http://enriqueforthepeople.com/ and on https://www.facebook.com/EnriqueForThePeople/

Ortiz-Velez: From County Supervisor To State Representative Candidate

By Mrinal Gokhale

 

This past April, Milwaukee County Supervisor Sylvia Ortiz-Velez announced her campaign for 8th Assembly State Representative, the district where former State Representative JoCastaZamarripa recently was elected to Alderwoman.

“I was born and raised in the south side of Milwaukee and grew up in the 8th Assembly District my whole life. I currently represent 23 of 28 wards in the district. I know the community’s needs,” she said. “County Supervisors deliver services from the state right here on the ground, which gives me a unique perspective.”

Having graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, Ortiz-Velez strived to work in politics since childhood. She ran for County Supervisor in 2012, and again in 2018 when she won.

“At age 10 or 11, I took a field trip to the state capitol, which a lot of kids do, and I sat in an assembly room and thought that when I grow up, this is what I want to do.”

Once called the “queen of hemp,” Ortiz-Velez considers herself an expert on the plant and aims to legalize medical marijuana. She feels that pushing the bill from Senate would be a challenge compared to the House. “Understanding the process of this plant is very important when dropping legislation because this plant is not like others,” she said. “I was a key person that put it on the ballot when we voted for governor. I worked with Madison to make sure they were doing it at the same time.”

Ortiz-Velez is looking forward to electoral map redistricting, a process that is done every ten years, in 2021. She said that her main goal is to help make a Hispanic majority district. 

“At a state level, I would like to first create a second Hispanic majority seat; State Assembly 9 is not a Hispanic majority,” she said. “Ten years ago, I was at the forefront of sight lobbying and crunching numbers to help create the 8th Aldermanic District and 4th County Board District.” She credits her ability to read complex data when drawing a map to her college education.

“My political science degree helps me to read the data. It’s a complex process, but I have a wealth of knowledge, and this is my train of education.”

As the daughter of a business owner, Ortiz-Velez also supports small businesses, particularly Latino owned. She feels that lack of resources, as well as immigration difficulties, hinder aspiring Latino business owners of mom and pop shops, bakeries, and restaurants, for example.

“I’ve been a small business owner for 17 years before being elected. When they talk about creating jobs in our state, the biggest untapped resource is the Latino community,” she said. “My father owns a small business but didn’t have help. More resources need to be coming from the state to our community. I’m well known in the Hispanic business community, and I’ll continue to bring resources.”

JoAnna Bautch Goes From Political Organizer To Political Candidate

By Mrinal Gokhale

 

JoAnna Bautch, Movement Politics Director at Citizens Action of Wisconsin (CAW), has worked in political organizing for many years. The COVID-19 pandemic has not stopped her from doing her job remotely.

“I spend the majority of my time working with members and partners to put together training materials for candidates, and I work with our team to push bold proposals on creating access to affordable healthcare, expanding voting rights, and many other issues,” she said.

Bautch is the sister of former State Representative JoCasta Zamarripa, who was elected to Alderwoman in April 2020. In November 2020, the two sisters may share the title “politician,” depending on the election results.

This April, Bautch announced her candidacy for Wisconsin State Assembly in the 8th District. Zamarripa represented this District from 2010 until this April when she became Alderwoman. Contrary to what one may believe, Bautch didn’t plan to run until recently.

“We are in the middle of a critically important moment in our collective future, and we need bold action to make real progress,” Bautch said. “Big corporations and the wealthiest Wisconsinites have been driving the state legislature for too long, and I want to bring the voice of the people to our state government.”

If elected, Bautch stated that her top priorities would include “health, education, safety, and opportunity.” She said that her political organizing background makes her stand out as a candidate.

“I have identified these issues as my top priorities through conversations with neighbors throughout the district,” she said. “I differ from many members of Assembly in that I bring the background of a community organizer, and that is how I would represent us in the Assembly.” 

Voter turnout is another issue that Bautch cares about.

“I want to continue increasing the overall political involvement of the Latino community. The more we can improve voter engagement and turnout, the greater impact we can have on policymaking at the local, state, and federal level.”

Bautch has been heavily involved with the residents of Milwaukee’s Near South Side neighborhood and takes pride in advocating for marginalized communities.

“As a community organizer with Reproductive Justice Collective, I advocated for women of color and worked to strengthen the grassroots voting power of Milwaukee’s Near South Side,” she said.

“I then continued my community-centered work at the United Community Center, where I led communications efforts on uplifting the education, economic development, and health of our neighbors.”

During the state lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bautch has been working remotely. By evening, she dedicates her time to her campaign, collecting nomination signatures and talking about issues that impact the district residents. Her phone and social media are her lifelines to do so.“I am thrilled by the enthusiastic response I have seen so far. It means the world to me to have earned the support of so many of our neighbors on the near south side.”

You can visit Bautch’s campaign website cat https://www.joannaforwi.com/

The Tragic Loss Of Ahmaud Arbery

By Juan Miguel Martinez

 

About two weeks ago, social media was lit up with photos of a young man wearing a tuxedo in front of a professional blue backdrop, not unlike a school photo. He has a genuine smile, slightly larger than average ears and a new lining.

 

The man is 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery, the latest black male to meet his end at the hands of crazed vigilantes in America.

The video itself is from 02/23/2020, and the video surfaced only two months later in April, and his killers were arrested 74 days after the act. Dashcam footage showed Ahmaud jogging along an unnamed road in Satilla Shores, GA, a small community about 70 miles south of Savannah.

 

The footage is coming from the dashboard of a vehicle that belongs to William Roddy Bryan, and it films a truck on the road in front of him. He is being antagonized by a former investigator for the DA office Gregory McMichael, 64 and Travis McMichael, 34.

 

There is a brief struggle before several shots ring out, causing Ahmaud to collapse and die. He is shot at point-blank range, another unarmed black man falling casualty to thoroughly evil murderers bent on acting out racist fantasies.

 

The father and son pursued him in their truck after spotting him, believing him to be the perpetrator of a string of burglaries that had been recently committed in the area. There is still no information as to what evidence they had to make them believe he was an actual burglar, or to why simply going on a hunch that someone had done wrong merits a death sentence.

 

Apart from all of this, no break-ins were reported in the area recently. They are now in league with George Zimmerman, subhuman murderer of Trayvon Martin, the boy who was murdered for wearing a hoodie and walking by himself. Hours after the footage was released, the backlash from the black community as well as anyone who has a strong will for human rights began.

 

The main question was why it took 74 days for an arrest to be made, only after a third district attorney was added to the case. Civil rights activist Shaun King led a successful campaign of justice, with calls for arrests to be made.

 

He remained close to Wanda Cooper Jones, mother of Ahmaud Arbery, who assisted in rallying people for the cause. Sadly, despicably, this is not the first time something like this has been filmed in this country. In 1991, police officers were filmed beating an unarmed black man and when it went to court, the officers were acquitted which led to the Los Angeles uprising on April 29th, 1992.

 

This was a cowardly act, and even though Rodney King lived, he was dehumanized by the very people who are paid to protect us with our taxes. Sadly, this is starting to become a common occurrence in America, as racism allows fully armed people to claim self-defense in the cold-blooded murder of an unarmed person. It is a national tragedy, and the treatment of black folk in America should be considered a state of emergency.

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