Another Victory for Families Everywhere!

We had a HUGE victory today! Isaide Serrano -a mother of 6- was granted Cancellation of Removal in immigration court today! This means that she will be getting a green card and will be able to stay with her children in the USA.

Several months ago, Action NC and the Latin American Coalition decided to join forces and created a new project in Charlotte called Familias Unidas. The purpose of the group was to empower immigrants to take up the fight to stop the separation of families caused by misguided programs like 287(g) and Secure Communities.

We came to know Isaide when she attended the 3rd meeting. Since then, as a member of Familias Unidas, she has been a vocal advocate for keeping families together. Isaide has been featured in several articles and has been on several radio shows talking about the need to stop the separation of families in our community.

This morning she went in for her final immigration court hearing, where she was told that she would be allowed to stay in the country and will be receiving a green card in the next few months.

But, the more astounding news is that she gave birth to a healthy 12 pound baby at 5am this morning and still made it to court by 10am. This is an example of a strong woman who wanted to see this process through to the very end. The judge already wanted to allow her to stay in the country. We believe that Isaide taking her responsibility this seriously really put her case over the top.

CONGRATULATIONS ISAIDE SERRANO! We at Action NC love you and are happy that your hard work paid off!

Now, let us work together to fix this broken immigration system and help more families stay together! FAMILIAS UNIDAS JAMAS SERAN VENCIDAS!

CEO's and Your Retirement

rich-ceo.jpgWhen you think of “grass roots” activism, corporate CEO’s don’t usually come to mind, do they?

There’s a good reason for that.

A group of Fortune 500 CEOS, each of whom has massive retirement assets averaging more than $9.1 million, is leading a campaign to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid as a way of responding to the federal deficit. In a new report, the Institute for Policy Studies outlines how these CEOs have bloated their personal golden parachutes with millions of dollars while underfunding their employees’ retirement plans – all while taking aim at programs that benefit the sick and elderly.

Operating under the name “Fix the Debt,” this group of more than 90 CEOs is pushing an austerity agenda aimed at middle class programs while shielding millionaires, billionaires and big corporations from necessary tax increases. Of the more than 90 CEOs involved in Fix the Debt, 41 lead companies with pension programs, but only two of those plans are fully funded, IPS said.

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Big problems, small solutions

00_small_vs_big.jpgFor a man who is generally known for his deliberate and restrained speech, it was surprising (and quite frankly frightening) to hear Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speak of the “a massive fiscal cliff of large spending cuts and tax increases”  in testimony to Congress back in February. Of course, it now quite possibly the most famous two words he has ever uttered.

I bet he is regretting those words right about now.

Many commentators have pointed out that a cliff is not the most accurate analogy to this particular situation, with many in favor of “fiscal slope” or “fiscal hill”. I prefer to call it the “Giant Money Knoll of Death”, but maybe that’s just me. Whatever you call the combination of fiscal mismanagement and political intransigence, it looks pretty bad. And that, my friends is no accident. The folks on the far right seized upon the “fiscal cliff” comment as soon as it was made, and haven’t let it go since. It seems calling this problem “reasonable difference in fiscal policy between two rational actors” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

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Excuse me NC, but your votes are showing

voting.jpgThe votes are in, speeches have been made, and Fox New notwithstanding, it looks like America broke for progress and hope instead of regression and fear. North Carolina, unfortunately, didn’t quite get there.

Of the battleground states, North Carolina was the sole state to go for Romney (excluding Florida), albeit by a slim margin of less than 100,000 votes.  In fact, North Carolina had the third smallest margin between Obama and Romney at 2.2% (topped only by Florida and Ohio). The State’s traditional liberal counties went blue, with the majority of the state going red. It was close, and a performance that will likely keep North Carolina in the swing state category for the foreseeable future in national elections.

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Quick thoughts

With the election almost 24 hours behind us, it's high time we start to analyze what happened. What follows are a few of my initial thoughts, in no particular order.

  • Those who favor healthcare reform and an adequate safety net that supports women, families and those in need; sane and humane immigration reform; more rather than less regulation of Wall Street and other corporate conduct; an expansion rather than a contraction of voting rights and real electoral reform; adequate public investments in education and infrastructure that produces good jobs and economic growth; and politics which are more inclusive and reconciling than divisive and polarizing on issues like GLBT rights—among many issues to choose from—had a good night.
  • Doorknocking and phone calls, when smartly targeted, still matter a lot, in spite of unlimited amounts of anonymous cash that fuels ugliness and rancor and gets a lot more media attention.
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