Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pawnshop Saga, Elizabeth Alvarez, Jose Gutierrez, Legion Election, Flag Requests and Michael Bloomberg

            THE PAWNSHOP SAGA: The businesspeople of Little Village: Little Village Chamber of Commerce, LV Special Service Area 25 Commissioners and the Little Village Community Council are opposing the opening of another pawnshop in the community. Presently, there are three pawnshops in Little Village and a fourth shop, from Texas, wants to set-up shop.
            BUSINESSMAN Emigdio Gutierrez, owner of Emi Jewelry store for 11 years has been very vocal about his opposition to the fourth pawnshop.  
            “WE DON’T NEED another pawnshop in Little Village. Three pawnshops are enough. Little Village needs to be identified by its culture, family businesses and restaurants-- not pawnshops!” said Emi. “Another pawnshop will jeopardize our neighborhood by bringing down property value, targeting vulnerable families who are struggling economically, and affecting family businesses established for many year,” Emi said.
            THE LITTLE Village Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to Ald. Ricardo Munoz
 three weeks ago to request a meeting. “We have not heard from him yet,” said Emi, “we are waiting patiently to meet with him”.
            A PETITION DRIVE is ongoing in Little Village that reads: “We, the undersigned and community residents oppose to the opening of a pawnshop on 3959 W. 26th St., IL 60623” [Spanish] “Nosotros, los firmantes y residentes de la comunidad, nos oponemos a la apertura de una casa de empeno en el 3959 W. 26th St., Chicago, IL 60623”. The business owners have collected more than 600 signatures in opposition to opening another pawnshop. 
            EMI GUTIERREZ is urging business owners and residents to unite and attend the Zoning Hearing on the proposed zoning change for a another pawnshop on Tuesday, July 12, 2011 at 10 a.m. in City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St. Plans are being made to have a bus for supporters. A letter was sent to Mayor Rahm Emanuel on June 7, 2011, advising him of this issue and concern of Little Village businesses and residents.  Hill Torres and Emi Gutierrez recently spoke to the Epiphany Church congregation about this important issue. “We need the support of the residents to help us,” said Emi. 
            IF ANY Little Village resident would like to sign the petition, they can go to Emi & Sons Joyeria, 4015 W. 26th St. Phone: 773/542-4929. 
            CREW CHIEF: Elizabeth Alvarez is the first Hispanic [Mexican] hired by CleanSlate. CleanSlate has been in existence for six years and is a non-profit vendor that does street cleaning and is hired by the Little Village Special Service Area 25 Commission to clean the streets in Little Village. CleanSlate gives paid internships to people with challenges and is doing Hispanic outreach for these internships. Examples are people who lack a job history, gaps in their work history, criminal records or a lack of skills.
            ELIZABETH graduated from Morton East High School in Cicero and lives in Little Village. She attends both Good Shepherd and Epiphany Catholic Church. She is a single parent who has successfully overcome many hardships and struggles in her life. “I’m not a quitter,” said Elizabeth.
            AS CREW CHIEF, with five crew members, they are responsible for cleaning the streets assigned to them within Little Village. “We clean the streets on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday,” said Elizabeth.  For more information regarding CleanSlate call: 708/515-1428.  

            STRICTLY BUSINESS: Have you wondered what has happened to Jose M. Gutierrez, a former aldermanic candidate in the 22nd Ward? He is now the Hispanic Business Liaison for Advantage Chevrolet in Hodgkins, IL. “My job is a challenge and I enjoy working with Hispanic businesses,” Jose said.
            JOSE IS still involved in the Little Village community. Just recently, he helped the Little Village Mustang baseball team at Piotrowski Park receive a $1,000 donation, plus $1,000 in equipment from Advantage Chevrolet.  
            THE 26TH ST. Chamber hosted a reception Thursday, May 26, 2011 at Advantage Chevrolet with guest speaker Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle.
            “I’D LIKE TO invite all my friends in Little Village to visit Advantage Chevrolet to check us out. It’s a new installation” Jose said. Advantage is open every day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday thru Saturday. The dealership is closed on Sunday. Jose can be reached at 866/417-8405, e-mail:

            LEGION ELECTION: At the monthly meeting Sunday, June 5, 2011 of the Manuel Perez Jr. American Legion Post 1017, members elected new officers. By a vote of 20 to 8, Commander Joe Ramirez was re-elected. Elected by acclamation were Al Gonzalez, Sr. Vice Commander; Crist Gomez, Jr. Vice Commander; Abundio Zaragoza, Adjutant and Carlos Gaona, Finance Officer.
            APPOINTED OFFICRS: Tony Gonzalez, Chaplain & Service Officer; Bill Luna, Judge Advocate and Victor Franco, Sgt. at Arms. Term of office is one year.
            THE POST 1017 sponsors Memorial Day services, Honor Guards for seniors and deceased veterans, Veteran Day Mass, supports MAVA Thanksgiving Dinner, parades, host boxing nights, Poppy Sales and have volunteers at the VA Medical Center, help fraternal organizations with fund-raisers. The Post also gives awards to students at Farragut Career Academy, Benito Juarez High School and Manuel Perez Jr. Elementary School.  Post 1017 monthly meetings are held the first Sunday of every month at 3 p.m. I salute the new officers and wish them success in their position.

            FLAG REQUESTS: U.S Representative Luis V. Gutierrez [4th District] office can arrange to  give a United States flag flown over the US Capitol on behalf of a constituent.   You can choose to honor a loved one, commemorate achievements or acknowledge the exemplary work of an individual or group. To place an order, please contact Kate Johnson in Gutierrez’s Washington office at (202) 225-8203. Send your
mailing address and any message that you would like to have inscribed on the certificate of authenticity.  

            HISPANICALLY SPEAKING NEWS reports New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the US risks “national suicide” if  it doesn’t implement a more welcoming immigration policy. Bloomberg spoke on Wednesday [6-15-11] to the Council on Foreign Relations.
             “WE WILL not remain a global superpower if we continue to close our doors to people who want to come here to work hard, start businesses and pursue the American dream,” Bloomberg said. “The American dream cannot survive if we keep telling the dreamers to go elsewhere,” the mayor adds. “It’s what I call national suicide!”            
            THE REPORT by Partnership for a New American Economy studied the role of immigrants in the Fortune 500 Companies. Results show that immigrants or the children of immigrants founded 40% of the fortune 500 companies. These companies employ more than 10 million people worldwide and generate over 4.2 trillion dollars.
            THE REPORT warns of the potential danger of the US immigration laws forcing the future inception of companies to happen outside our country. “Every day that we fail to fix our broken immigration laws is a day that we inflict a wound on our economy,” Bloomberg says in his speech. “Today, we may have turned away the next Albert Einstein or Sergey Brin. Tomorrow, we may turn away the next Levi Strauss or Jerry Yang.” [Photo Credits: Mike Bloomberg]