2019 The Year of the Farmers’ Market Controversy

This fall, the Purple Shirt Brigade handed out postcards at the Farmers’ Market for people to write about how white supremacy in the market makes them feel. The cards would be sent to Mayor John Hamilton. This card was signed by ‘Peter E Diezel.’ In April, the Chicago Sun-Times website reported an Indiana man identified as Peter Diezel was associated with Identity Evropa and posted tweets defending Adolf Hitler. | Courtesy photo

Looking back, the antiracist and antifascist activists who have worked to air this issue have been stunningly successful. Besides the City of Bloomington, other entities have held multiple community forums to wrestle with it. Countless exchanges among area residents have taken place online and offline, in the open and behind closed doors. Local media — Indiana Public Media, Indiana Daily Student, WFHB, The Bloomingtonian, B Square Beacon, The Herald-Times — have followed this upheaval. It has even appeared on the national radar, ranging from the progressive left (The Nation) to the extreme right (National Vanguard) to the middle-of-the-road (Newsweek) — including the front page of the New York Times, arguably the most influential mainstream U.S. newspaper.

Scattered across the conversations and coverage are the experiences of people of color. What would it mean to place their perspectives at the center of our reflection and think outward from there? To acknowledge them seriously and meaningfully? Might we come away with a fresh understanding of the stakes involved that could prove useful for moving the city past this deadlock?

[more]

Commissions offer opportunity to make citizens’ voices heard

The City of Bloomington has more than 33 boards and commissions with more than 250 members that help advise the mayor, the city council and varying legislative bodies in the community. They range from topics such as a commission that covers environmental issues to a group that oversee the status of women, Hispanic and Latino affairs and children.

Of all the groups, 19 currently have vacancies. Mary Catherine Carmichael, director of public engagement, said residents can apply any time, but there are many spots that open up Dec. 31 and Jan. 31 because of the two year term limits. The applications for each board are on their page on the city website

[more]

Mike Pence’s Nephew: Meet Trump’s Latino Outreach Team

When the Trump reelection campaign kicked off its “Latinos for Trump” outreach effort in Miami this summer, it didn’t have the benefit of any Latino Cabinet members who might appeal to the large number of Spanish-speaking voters in the state. So it turned to the next best thing: Vice President Mike Pence.

It’s hard to imagine someone less suited to rally Latino voters than Pence, a non-Spanish-speaking white guy from Indiana, a state whose Latino population clocks in at a mere 7 percent. Yet there he was, walking on to the stage to Free’s “All Right Now” in a hotel ballroom full of cheering Latinos. “Hola Miami!” he cried, giving a big thumbs up. Speaking for 40 minutes, Pence hammered home Trump’s biggest selling points with Latino voters: the roaring economy, the low Latino unemployment rate, and the president’s robust opposition to socialism, especially in places like Venezuela.

[more]

Christina Hale Statement on Red for Ed Action Day

As one of the only members of the Indiana General Assembly of Latino descent at the time, Christina, who is Cuban-American, gave Hoosiers a new voice in Indianapolis. She most recently served as executive director of Kiwanis Youth Programs at Kiwanis International, where she has led programs locally and globally to improve the lives of children by expanding access to health care, education, and leadership opportunities.

[more]

Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates with live music at the public library

Dagoberto Eliseo Toledo Bermudez sings in the band Mariachi Zelaya on Oct. 13 at Monroe County Public Library on East Kirkwood Avenue. Mariachi Zelaya performed as part of the library’s Hispanic Heritage Day event. JOY BURTON

Hearing the echoes of live music at a library is unusual. However, it draws a curious crowd.

This Sunday, the Monroe County Public Library celebrated Hispanic Heritage Day with performances by the Mariachi Band Zelaya, El Ballet Folklórico de IU and other dance companies.

The audience consisted of Bloomington families, IU students and library visitors of all ages.

A caricature artist drew sketches of families and couples. Young children were read to in Spanish, and completed crafts inspired by traditional forms of Latin American art.

[more]

IU signs amicus brief sent to Supreme Court in support of DACA

IU expressed its support for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients in an amicus brief, which urged the Supreme Court stand in support of DACA recipients.

President Donald Trump decided to terminate DACA, a program created during the Obama Administration designed to give work permits to undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children, in September 2017.

[more]

Trump administration on immigrant suffers three legal defeats in one day

In a third defeat in less than a day for the Trump administration, a federal judge blocked it from vastly extending the authority of immigration officers to deport people without first allowing them to appear before judges.

The decision late Friday came before the policy, which was announced in July, was even enforced. The move would have applied to anyone in the country less than two years.

[more]

Need for Pork Industry to Improve Relations with U.S. Latino Community

Mexico is the largest importer of U.S. pork, and a new report from the National Pork Board (NPB) shows there is an opportunity to capitalize on the U.S. Latino market.

The report called Time to Tango: Latinos are Pork’s Future, is the largest Insight to Action research from the Pork Checkoff. According to Bill Even, CEO of the NPB, Latinos have $1.7 billion in buying power, spending $95 billion each year on consumer-packaged goods, like groceries.

[more]

Bloomington leaders gather for Latinx Awards Ceremony

In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, the City of Bloomington Commission on Hispanic and Latino Affairs hosted an awards ceremony Monday night. It recognized the achievements of business owners, Monroe County Community School Corporation educators and students and other community advocates.

“This awards ceremony acknowledges the contributions of Latino and non-Latino alike to the community” Josefa Luce, Latino Programs director for the City of Bloomington said.

[more]