What I appreciated most about this documentary and the way it was presented is its willingness to showcase how one vote does indeed matter. By allowing us to look at the challenges others in our community face, albeit coming from celebrities, it revealed that when it comes to things like immigration, healthcare, and employment we are all equally impacted by the decisions and policies put in place by our government officials and lawmakers. There are 27 million registered Hispanic voters in this country. Could you imagine if you put 27 million people in one room how loud we would be? That’s what your vote does. It allows you to be heard. So the more of us who vote, the louder we are, and the more they cannot ignore us. Continue reading Habla Y Vota: The HBO Documentary On the Power Of Voting in the Latino Community
It’s a wet grey morning in New York City. It’s raining. I’m cold and I’m tired. Despite the dreariness of the day I trudge on and don’t allow these things to stop me from attending Comité Boricua’s call to action against Congress’ decision to impose the Puerto Rico Oversight Management and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA) on the Puerto Rican people. This morning the government … Continue reading #NoALaJunta: Puerto Rico’s Government Appointed Fiscal Control Boards Meets for the First Time in NYC Amid Protests
I have been a staunch advocate against police brutality. Not because I am anti police, but because I am anti injustice. I have written quite extensively about my views whether be it here on my blog or via my social media pages. It is my duty as a writer to use my voice as a change agent. Watching videos of Brown and Black people get murdered by the very individuals entrusted with keeping us safe are becoming as common as an internet meme being shared and re-posted millions of times. Watching the killing of our people is becoming normalized and watching someone get murdered before our eyes should never feel normal. So when people say to me “Well, how about the number of cops who get killed every day in the line of duty? I never see you say anything about them” I get angry. Not because I don’t value the lives of the officers, but because unlike unarmed civilians, cops have made a conscious decision to risk their lives by choosing to be police officers. Moreover, every time I turn on the evening news or every time I log onto Facebook or Twitter I am not being bombarded by images and videos of cops being murdered. Why not? Because it is understood that death is a possible consequence of choosing to be a cop. Therefore, if a cop is killed in the line of duty we know they have made the ultimate sacrifice in performing their job function. This is not an expectation we have for the average American. Continue reading Why Police Officers Need to Be Held to Higher Standards
As I watch the news and read the first eye witness accounts and see the images on the internet, I am horrified and I am afraid of the direction this country is headed. This is all too familiar and very reminiscent to the Civil Rights movement of the 50’s and 60’s. I can sit here and discuss the countless ways our constitutional rights are being violated. I can argue about the lack of accountability in holding these police departments legally responsible for many of these senseless deaths, but the reality is that none of those things matter, at least not when it comes to the targeting and shooting of people of color. If it did there would not be such a brazen abuse of power amongst police officers not only in large cities like New York and Los Angeles, but all over the country. The fact is these officers hide behind their badge and use their shield as an excuse to be above the law. Continue reading Policing the Police: Who Do You Call When Cops Murder?
You are growing up so differently than your father and me. Your experiences are going to be different and I can only pray and wish that you always know just how beautiful and strong you are. Always know that you come from good stock. You have a family who loves you, protects you, and will always defend you…no matter what. Know that when it feels like the entire world is against you home is where you can always return to feel loved and be safe. Always trust your instincts. Treat others with the same kindness and respect that you expect for yourself and those you love. Never be afraid to stand up for yourself or for injustices. Mommy and daddy will always, ALWAYS have your back. You can bank on that. Continue reading The Mamí Chronicles: A Letter to My Daughter on Her 4th Birthday
If you’re hurting like I am right now, thinking about the recent police violence that is happening across the country, but you have not yet contacted your elected representatives to make your voice heard, it’s time. Below I have compiled a list of resources to assist you in calling and writing to your federal, state, and local officials. The below only includes English language resources. My hope is to have an equivalent list in Spanish in the days to come. Now more than ever it is imperative that we make our voices heard. We can no longer afford to stay silent.
While we mourn and acknowledge the Dallas shootings please let us not forget about #AltonSterling #PhilandoCastile and the many others who have been gunned down by law enforcement who have abused their power. What happened in Dallas speaks volumes about the state of this country. Civilians are getting killed. Cops are getting killed and the solution is not more killing. Killing doesn’t change a thing. All it does is leave an aftermath of grief, sorrow, frustration and anger. Stop killing. Start listening. We must all be a part of the solution. Continue reading My Take on the Dallas Shootings, the Media, & Why Black Lives Matter Too
I am not here criticizing the officers who get it right, the ones who do their job, the ones who serve their communities they way they’re supposed to; with respect and value for human life, for all lives. This is not about them. This is about the blatant disregard of our lives and the lack of accountability of those who get it wrong, the ones who abuse their power, and the ones who have documented patterns of abuse, yet are still allowed to patrol our streets. This is about the Scott Aldridges (Cleveland PD) the Daniel Willises, (Bastrop County PD, Texas), the Phil Atkinses (NYPD), the Daniel Pantaleos (NYPD), the Darren Wilsons (Ferguson PD) and the many others who get it wrong. Continue reading In Cold Blood: Why The Killing of Alton Sterling Requires Us To Stay Woke and Take Action
Considering that wildlife experts estimate that there are 1.3 million alligators in Florida, and that they can be found in all 67 counties it is a reasonable expectation that the place which promotes itself as the “Happiest Place on Earth” exercise all precautions to ensure the safety and well-being of its guests. I’ve never stayed at a Disney resort, but I would expect that any place that caters specifically to children would be safe. I believe that is a reasonable expectation.
Thus far every article I’ve read about this and every news broadcast I’ve seen has failed to ask any of these questions. Why isn’t Disney being held responsible? Why didn’t they take measures to make sure an incident like this didn’t occur? I bet now they will. But it’s too little too late. A boy lost his life and a family lost their son. Continue reading A Boy Is Dead, Who Is To Blame?
Being a parent is simultaneously rewarding and scary. I never thought it was possible to feel so much love, joy, happiness, and fear at the same time. When I heard the news of the Sandy Hook massacre and that a gunman had killed 20 children my heart could not grasp the enormity of the hole left in the hearts and lives of the parents of those murdered children. It is something I struggle with every time I hear of a murdered child. It was what I felt when I first heard the news of the Orlando mass shooting at Pulse nightclub and the same feeling I had when I heard of the young boy snatched by the alligator at the Disney Resort. Continue reading On Losing a Child: Every Parent’s Worst Nightmare