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Hey brothers and sisters,
No one, not one person, showed up to the last meeting. That tells me motivation in Provo is dead. Again, showing up is the real way to show support, and there are some horrible things happening where our voices could be valuable and loud! Arizona’s 1070 and Utah’s similar proposals are evidence that 1) there is so much work to do, and 2) we’ve been idle too long.
However, there are some bright lights! Josh Jones up in Logan has organized Aggies for Compassion toward immigrants. They have been alive and well and continue to be an influence for good. Some of our friends in Los Angeles led by Scott Giles have been VERY active with Missionaries for Compassion Los Angeles. I have made them admins for the Facebook group, the Google Group, and the weblog. We should concentrate where motivation is strong, and I will be working with both of them to make sure they know our collaborators and are ready to take the reigns.
As always, you are welcome to contact me directly using the contact information you all have.
Stay strong, and go and do something!
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Dear Brothers and Sisters,
You should all know that Missionaries for Compassion toward Immigrants is still alive! We are going to have a meeting in March to talk about what we want to do for the foreseeable future with the organization and organize some service projects.
This meeting is of great importance. I have been mentioning to a few people that if we don’t see more than 20 people there, the group will only stay alive in Los Angeles (they report doing some amazing things there) and Logan (“Aggies for Compassion toward Immigrants” is a local chapter centered around Utah State University). We hope to establish a precedent for meeting at least every month. Again, if there is not a decent turnout, it makes no sense to continue. Make this a priority if you really care about what is happening to your own communities and the well-being of people who you care for. “Helping” or “supporting” means showing up, not offering advice on the philosophy of the group or posting, “I support you guys,” on the Internet, Facebook or otherwise.
We’re about being a help to people, not congratulating ourselves on our less-than-barbaric approach to associating with our sisters and brothers. Please come. If you need more information, my contact information is available on the Facebook page or the blog. The date/time/place:
Thursday, March 18
606 West 1720 North, Apartment 236
Click here for a map from the I-15 exit
Again, set your priorities. Some awful things are happening to our brothers and sisters, as well as some potentially wonderful changes in US immigration policy, and we need to be there to influence it all for the better.
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Hey, Sisters and Brothers,
This is your happy organizer reporting in, and making some invitations… This Tuesday, at 5:30 PM, at Mountain View Elementary (1380 S Navajo, approximately 1350 W, in Salt Lake City), we’re meeting for training in the program, “Every Parent Cares,” which deals in empowering parents for involvement in their student’s school work. It is especially targeted toward immigrant families, and so Spanish and other language skills are welcomed as assets! Send a message either to me or to Raquel to let us know if you’re coming. Facebook events are hard to rely on, so a simple message is better.
The Sutherland Institute is putting it on, and they have shown to be allies in our causes on repeated occasions (see their report on immigration at http://senatesite.com/blog/2009/07/sutherland-institute-response-to-rep.html). Apart from all of that, they are also well respected in the conservative community!
Also, some of us have decided that a phone/texting tree would make a lot of sense when we need to get people together quickly or just let people know of things that are going on. Any volunteers for this, contact me. It would also help if those willing to be included in the phone/texting tree send an e-mail with their phone number as well, specifying if they’d rather be called or texted.
Remember also that T-shirts are still being ordered! If you want a cool group T-shirt, just e-mail me your size and color preference, and I’ll send you back information on getting one. We can’t print them until we get a few more orders, so hurry it up!
Anyhow, stay strong, and think about why you joined this group when trying to know how to contribute or when deciding to come to an event.
Abrazos y besitos,
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Dear Sisters and Brothers,
It looks like the last weekend of this month, Democracy Schools will be training us on community organization, and showing us how to access their great resources targeted toward informing the public. This supports our primary aim, to show people that we and our friends are indeed human beings, worthy of the respect that all human beings merit at birth! They not only teach activists like us, but those in the community at large, especially the migrant community. Democracy Schools, along with Comunidades Unidas and us, are part of the Utah Immigrant and Refugee Integration Coalition. As you may have heard, they have a network that continues to form and get bigger, and will be able to distribute our information and calls to action rather instantaneously. Contact Isabel Rojas for more information on that. Please e-mail me if you want to participate in Democracy Schools, specifically. My e-mail’s on this page.
So here’s an outline of our progress:
- Utah State University chapter – Aggies for Compassion toward Immigrants: These folks up in Cache County are doing great work. They already have tons of signatures for the petition (see point below), and have a few programs of their own. They are truly a model for any grouping of people acting on behalf of Missionaries for Compassion:
- Service Projects (I suggest you talk to Josh Jones about that and other things!)
- Media exposure with television, radio, and newspaper outlets
- Documentary: We are in both the production and post-production phases. Anybody with connections to the television media in Utah and otherwise should please contact me (Aaron) or Raquel Zarco. Our information is on the Facebook.com page.
- This is an informative mini-documentary that outlines the legal reality and the latent effects of SB81 through interviews with legal professionals, interviews of community figures, and stories of migrant folks.
- Replacement bill (repeal of SB81)/petition: With more petition signatures, we gain power to push for a law which effectively undoes SB81 and introduces further humanitarian protections as well as an emphasis on identity theft. Contact Bethany Crandall if you want to know how to print out the petition and to get signatures.
We’re looking to do a video night, perhaps at University of Utah, perhaps at BYU, depending on interest. If you have a story you want to share in the documentary (every story helps!), contact Raquel Zarco. We have until January to formulate our bill and get petition signatures to support its introduction. Let’s get off our bums. Any ideas? Feel free to contribute, either commenting here, or contacting me directly.
Hey, Sisters and Brothers!
Some great things have appeared on the horizon and continue to do so the more we move forward.
This weekend, we’ve scheduled the training workshop, where we’ll:
- Have a brief seminar on the history of immigration/migration/borders/immigration law in the USA (15 minutes)
- Have a religious discussion on immigration (hopefully Alma wants to do it!) for 15 minutes
- 30-minute Question and Answer session on how to organize and what to do as a group member; we’ll also decide on new ideas and get people to suggest actions they’ve cooked up.
- 15-minute speech thingy giving quick tips and outlining upcoming actions (closing remarks, basically)…
Day/Time: Saturday, 11 July, 3:00-4:15 PM
That’s very cool, but what’s especially exciting is a coalition that we can join that includes the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the Latin American Chamber of Commerce, Democracy Schools, and Comunidades Unidas. It’s called the Utah Immigrant and Refugee Integration Coalition. They want us to offer both our identity and our talents, and they want to help us be successful as an individual organization.
They have all sorts of great work we can get into, and will help us reach more folks to share what we know about our brothers and sisters. There is a hotline they’re putting up for people going through immigration-related difficulties, as well as a network we can maintain to inform people as to voting and other civic participation, which we will be able to volunteer for, there is greater access to media outlets, and a TON of other opportunities. I think getting our bill together and a petition to accompany it will be much easier as well.
This can get big, and awesome, and stick right to our original principles of staying out of liberal/conservative muck, representing ourselves and not the Church, and of course, actually DOING something.
Tell me what you think! If you have something great to contribute, or useful advice or criticism, it’s all welcome. This weekend, we’ll brief everybody on the upcoming excitement.
So when I went to the Interfaith Lament on the eve of SB 81′s effective date, I realized I really needed business cards, so I made some and got them printed out in black and white at Fedex-Kinko’s. There are probably other/better options, but in case you are curious, I’ve included a neat design with this message. You need to install Inkscape to put in your own information. The card is linked here as both a PDF and a Scalable Vector Graphic (what you edit in Inkscape). These are great for putting the word out. The mere name of our group has served to peak people’s attention, and at the very least, we can get some sort of exposure.
Hello, Brothers and Sisters!
I apologize profusely for filling up your inboxes last weekend. Happily I discovered my very basic error of HTML that only showed up in Internet Explorer, and fixed it. If you go to http://aaronrp.freeshell.org/joinmci.html the problem should be finally solved. Until I get more of you joining the mailing list, we’ll use Facebook for messaging for now.
I encourage everybody to show up tonight to the interfaith service being held tonight at 7:30 PM, at the Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1070 S. Foothill Drive, Salt Lake City. Catholics, Protestants, and Muslims are coming, and I anticipate a few LDS folk, too! It is basically a “community lament” of SB 81, officially implemented tomorrow.
Tomorrow, from 9 to 9:30 AM, Victor Rodriguez of our group is going on Utah Public Radio. They broadcast statewide, but if you don’t know the station, you can go to http://www.upr.org/access.html and click on the “Listen now” link at the upper right-hand corner of the page. It will also be podcasted for later listening. They have quite a diverse grouping of opinions represented, but Victor can hold his own!
1) I am talking to the United Way of Utah (one of our group members’ cousin works for United Way, along with one of our group members!) so that we can do some community service. We’re not a bunch of organized complainers, but rather we have definite goals and I think service could help support them.
2) A couple of our group members are working on a bill to override SB 81′s changes to the Utah Code. There are also a couple of attorneys that have said they’ll offer us a little help in drafting a bill. Let me know if you want to participate in that. If you’re a law student, this could be useful on a resume.
3) Raquel Zarco now has all the video clips necessary to do the documentary, and we only lack filling in the story board with interviews. If any of you know of people who want to tell their story, about how it applies to the immigrant situation, contact me or post a reply on the blog’s home page entry (http://missionariesforcompassion.wordpress.com/).
4) Saturday, 11 July, is our training workshop. It should be a coming together of all sorts of things we’ve been working on, and a great place to start for those just getting involved with the group.
I just want to reiterate that each of you represent our group, and can feel free to do what you want in getting the truth out about our brothers and sisters, or perhaps ourselves, that migrant peoples really are people, and that they ought to be treated as such. I am more organizer than leader! Remember there are a lot of myths out there. For reference to the most basic ones, and how to refute them, here is a PDF that’s more concise than me in explaining it:
Laters everyone, and keep up the good work.