Thursday, June 26, 2014

Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, Commissioner Frank Avila, David St. Pierre, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, Antonio Lopez, Kim Wasserman, Virginia Martinez, Illinois Latino Family Commission, Calendar of Events

Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago
          L to R: Commissioner Frank Avila, MWRD; MWRD Executive Director David St. Pierre, LVEJO Executive Director Antonio Lopez and Kim Wasserman, LVEJO Project Coordinator.

          LVEJO HUDDLES: Frank Avila, Commissioner Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago [MWRD], and MWRD Executive Director David St. Pierre met on Thursday, June 19, 2014 with Little Village Environmental Justice Organization [LVEJO] Executive Director Antonio Lopez and Project Coordinator Kim Wasserman. The meeting’s agenda was to discuss an environmental clean-up project at the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal – Collateral Channel near 31st St. between Kedzie Ave. and California St. in Little Village. This property around the Collateral Channel is owned by MWRD.
          THE LITTLE Village Community Council and the Chicago Boy Scouts of America are supporting this clean-up project by LVEJO. The meeting promoted ideas that were shared on how to best clean up the Collateral Channel area by both parties. Officials of Metropolitan Water Reclamation District expressed their interest in the clean-up project and offered technical support; LVEJO wants to re-vitalize the severely contaminated riverfront properties adjacent to the Chicago Sanitation and Shipping Canal.
          “DURING THE summer months neighbors in the area complain a lot about the strong odor from the Collateral Channel. At LVEJO we are concerned that the waterway poses a public health threat to the community. We are excited to work with our community partners and the MWRD to resolve this important environmental injustice,” said Executive Director Antonio Lopez.
           LVEJO IS focusing on the stretch of waterway between Bubby Creek and the Collateral Channel in Little Village. Local and regional partners have come together to ensure that the public is aware of the environmental conditions of the waterway. There is also a need for access to riverfront public spaces for healthy recreation and leisure activities.
          TO LEARN more about this project contact LVEJO, 2445 S. Spaulding Ave., Chicago, IL 60623. Telephone: 773/762-6991.
           EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR PIERRE suggested filling up the Collateral Channel with rocks and making the area into a small park. “This can easily be done since we can provide the rocks,” said Pierre. The Corp of Engineers wants the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District to clean up the entire Sanitation & Shipping Canal, which is a very costly undertaking the District cannot afford to do.
Attorney Virginia Martinez
          INTRODUCTION: Attorney Virginia Martinez, Esq. is the Senior Policy Analyst for the newly created Illinois Latino Family Commission [ILFC]. GOV. PAT QUINN officially launch the Illinois Latino Family Commission on Nov. 1, 2013.
           THE ILLINOIS Latino Family Commission is a non-partisan, independent state commission established by P.A. 95-619 to improve the opportunities and resources available to Latino families throughout the state.
            THE ILFC advises the Governor and General Assembly and works directly with State agencies to ensure that policies, services and programs are responsive to the Latino community. Martinez with her colleagues, focuses on legislation, policy analysis, program development to promote social and economic well-being of Latino families.
            VIRGINIA MARTINEZ is a 1975 graduate of DePaul University College of Law and has spent most of her career working in non-profit organizations. She is a strong advocate for Latinos, women and children. From 1992 to 1997, she was Executive Director of Mujeres Latinas en Accion. For the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund [MALDEF], Virginia served as the Legislative Staff Attorney where she was responsible for monitoring regional, state and local legislation and policy issues affecting Latinos in the 11-state Midwest region.
          VIRGINIA has received numerous awards and has volunteered to serve with many organizations and boards over the years. She had the life-changing opportunity of participating in the 1995 UN Conference on Women in Beijing and is a frequent speaker on issues affecting Latinos. She is also the proud mother of Miguel and Natalia.
          MEMBERS appointed to serve on the Illinois Latino Family Commission are:
          Chairman Henry Martinez, Founder & Director Latino Resources Institute; Elba Aranda-Suh, Executive Director, National Latino Education Institute; Joseph Antolin, Principal, Antolin & Associates Consulting Assets Funders Network; Msgr. Michael Boland, Administrator/
President/CEO of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago; Dr. Wanda Figueroa, Chief Executive Officer, ASPIRA of Illinois; Angel Garcia, Attorney at Law, Office of Angel Garcia; Raul Garza, Chief Executive Officer, Aunt Martha's Youth Services Center and Health Center; Lucy Gomez-Feliciano, Health Outreach Director, Logan Square Neighborhood Association; Hon. Elizabeth Hernandez, State Representative - 24th District; Rene Hernandez, Jr., Republican National Hispanic Assembly of Illinois; Maria Esther Lopez, Director of Institutional Advancement, El Valor; Roberto Ramirez, President, The Jesus Guadalupe Foundation; Dr. Derrick Wallery, Chief Executive Officer, Marque Medicos.
           ILFC STAFF: Executive Director Dr. Layla Suleiman Gonzalez, J.D., Senior Policy Analyst Virginia Martinez, Esq., Policy Associate Veronica Reyes, Community Engage ment and Media Ray Rubio and Executive Assiciate Grace Leon.
           THE ILLINOIS Latino Family Commission [ILFC] is committed to promoting the health, wealth, opportunity, and equality for Latinos across the State of Illinois. The commission will work hand-in-hand with state government agencies, community organizations, and legislators to strengthen current language access policies, develop new policies, and create best-practice models that will ensure meaningful access for Latinos.
           FOR MORE information contact the Illinois Latino Family Commission, 542 S. Dearborn St., Suite 750, Chicago, IL 60605.

           EVERY WEDNESDAY—LVEJO Community Pot Luck dinner from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at 2727 S. Troy Ave. at Las Semillas de Justicia Garden. You can bring your favorite dish. Open to the public.
           FRIDAY, JULY 11TH—Rooftop Outing, Wrigley Field, 2:00 p.m. Cubs vs. Braves. Hosted by Rel-Elect Ariel Reboyras Committee. Single Ticket: $250. Call 773/407-4732.
          JUNE 27-SEPTEMBER 14, 2014—Chicago Summer Dance, Spirit of Music Garden, 601 S. Michigan Ave., between Harrison St. & Balbo Drive from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Dance to 35 different live bands and DJ's. Food and refreshment are available for purchase. FREE TO EVERYONE. For band schedule log on:

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Rooftop Outing, Ald. Ariel Reboyras, Wrigley Field, Host Committee, ACLU, American Civil Liberties Union, Colleen K. Connell, ACLU Executive Director of Illinois

Ald. Ariel Reboyras
          ROOFTOP OUTING: Ald. Ariel Reboyras, 30th Ward and Chairman, Committee on Human Relations, Re-election committee is hosting a Rooftop outing fund-raiser at 2 p.m. on Friday, July 11, 2014 at Wrigley Field, Home of the Chicago Clubs. The game Cubs Vs. Braves. Single ticket: $250.
          ALDERMAN Reboyras has been a strong advocate for businesses and residents of the City. He has worked tirelessly on issues regarding human rights and for our veterans. “Let's show Alderman Reboyras our support by joining him to cheer on the Chicago Cubs as they take on the Atlanta Braves”, a supporter said.
          HOST COMMITTEE: Honorable Pat Quinn, Governor of Illinois; Honorable Rahm Emanuel, Mayor City of Chicago; Honorable Joseph Berrios, Cook County Assessor; Honorable Luis Guitierrez, Congressman 4th District; Honorable Mike Quigley, Congressman 5th District; Honorable Iris Martinez, Illinois State Senator 20th District; Honorable Luis Arroyo, Illinois State Rep. 3rd District; Maritza Martinez, Candidate for Judge; Richard C. Cooke, Candidate for Judge; Frank Spula, President Polish National Alliance; Ed Kelly, Former 47th Ward Committeeman.
          ALD. REBOYRAS is one of the most popular, energetic and active alderman in the city. He learned to speak the Polish language to relate with his Polish constituency; he deserves to be re-elected.
          TO PURCHASE online tickets visit
          FOR MORE information or to RSVP please email or call 773/407-4732 or 773/853-2073. Make check payable to “Citizens for Reboyras”, P.O. Box 411951, Chicago, IL 60641.
          ACLU SAYS: The American Civil Liberties Union [ACLU] has produced a small brochure in English and Spanish with information on your rights. This information is not intended as legal advice. The following information is being reprinted from the brochure.
          HERE IS what to do if police, immigration agents or the FBI stops you:
  • You have the right to remain silent. If you wish to exercise that right, say so out loud.
  • You have the right to refuse to consent to a search of yourself, your car or your home.
  • If you are not under arrest, you have the right to calmly leave.
  • You have the right to a lawyer if you are arrested. Ask for one immediately.
  • Regardless of your immigration or citizenship status, you have constitutional rights.
  • Do stay calm and be polite
  • Do not interfere with or obstruct the police
  • Do not lie or give false documents
  • Do prepare yourself and your family in case you are arrested
  • Do remember the details of the encounter
  • Do file a written complaint or call your local ACLU if you feel your rights have been violated
          THE ACLU is our nation's guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.
          THESE RIGHTS include: Your First Amendment rights—freedom of speech, association and assembly; freedom of the press and freedom of religion.
          YOUR right to equal protection under the law—protection against unlawful discrimination.
          YOUR right to due process—fair treatment by the government whenever the loss of your liberty or property is at stake.
          YOUR right to privacy—freedom from unwarranted government intrusion into your personal and private affairs.
          THE ACLU also works to extend rights to segments of our population who have traditionally been denied their rights. These include people of color, women, lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people, prisoners and people with disabilities. “If the rights of society's most vulnerable members are denied, everybody's rights are imperiled,” says ACLU.
           FOR MORE INFORMATION, contact ACLU of Illinois. Colleen K. Connell, Executive Director, 180 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 2300, Chicago, IL 60601. Phone: 312/201-9740.

           AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES web page is

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Little Village Rotary Club New Officers: Ernest Espinoza, Mike Jimenz, Manuel Martinez, Sheila Ryan-Henry, Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez, Rotary Meetings, In Memory Les Orear, James Deanes, Happy Father's Day

LITTLE VILLAGE ROTARY                                CLUB NEW OFFICERS
                 L. to R.: Ernest Espinoza, Club President; Mike 
              Jimenez,President-Elect; Manuel Martinez, Treasurer
                and Sheila Ryan-Henry, Executive Secretary.

           GALA EVENT: Officers and members of the Rotary Club Chicago Little Village celebrated their 1st Inaugural Gala Event on Thursday, June 5, 2014 at Mi Tierra Restaurant. More than 150 Rotary members, guests and friends of the Rotary attended the celebration. Special guest was Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez. Mistress of ceremony was Karla Leal, Anchor, WSNS-TV Telemundo Chicago.
          FATHER James Gallagher gave the meal invocation and Rotary President Rosa Ibarra welcomed members and guests. Invocation of ceremony was by Rev. Shando Valdez, Pledge of Allegiance was lead by J. N. Settles Sr., and Mike Jimenez presented the reciting of Rotary Four Way Test. Rotarian’s' Four Way Test of the Things We Think, Say or do: [1] Is it the Truth [2] Is it fair to all concerned [3] Will it build good will and better friendships [4] Will it be beneficial to all concerned.
Ernesto Espinoza, Anita Alvarez, August Sallas
           AFTER DINNER
speaker of the night was Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez whose topic was “Sex Trafficking”. Ernest Espinoza presented special gifts to guests, followed by the installation of new officers and members. Rosa E. Ibarra, Past President; Ernest Espinoza, Club President; Mike Jimenez, President-Elect; Sheila Ryan-Henry, Executive Secretary; Manuel Martinez, Treasurer; Leonardo Rios, Membership Director; Abelardo Rodriguez, Club Service Director; Diane Casas, Foundation Director; Bonifacio Iniguez, Sergeant at Arms; Christian Montes-Scott, Public Relations Director; Martin Perez, International Service Director and Lydia Pecina, New Business Sponsors Director.
          NEW ROTARY MEMBERS: Richelle Moreno, Robert Rentaria, Nivram Espinosa, Pilar Tejeda Fabelo, Charles Hernandez, Blanca Sepulveda, Eugene Jao, Leonardo Morales, Luis Mendoza and Joe Garcia.
          BACK-OF-the-Yards Folkorico dancers and Oro Y Plata Mariachi provided entertainment. Many gifts were raffled. The next social event by the Little Village Rotary Club will be held at Fedora's, 712 N. Clark St., in Chicago. The event will begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 26, 2014. For more information call 772/851-4813 or 214/907-9759.
            ROTARY MEETINGS: The Chicago Little Village Rotary Club meets every second Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. at Second Federal Savings Bank on 26th St. & Pulaski Road. “We are looking to enrich Little Village through service, education and empowerment,” said President Espinoza.
            IN MEMORY: Two of my good friends have passed away this month of May and June 2014. Les Orear, 103, founder of the Illinois Labor History Society and James Deanes, 66, activist and educator with the Chicago Public Schools.
Les Orear
           LES OREAR,
President of the Illinois Labor History Society, helped me obtain a small grant from the Illinois Art Council to paint a mural in 1974 in Blue Island, IL. At that time, I was President of the Blue Island Latin American Advisory Council [LAAC] and I secured a building wall for the mural at Broadway Ave. & Western Ave. in the city of Blue Island. I hired three muralists, Ray Patlan, Vincente Mendoza and Jose Nario, to paint a mural on the evolution of the Mexican people from farm workers, steel workers, meat packing house workers to professionals doctors and lawyers.
           BLUE ISLAND City officials did not want us the paint the mural; and so I called it the “Forbidden Mexican Mural of Blue Island.” The Blue Island Building Commissioner said the mural was an “advertisement” because we had the UFW black eagle depicted in the mural. If we painted the mural city officials threatened to arrest us. Muralist Patlan, asked me,”Augie what do you want us to do?” I replied, “Start painting the mural.” The Blue Island police never did arrest me or the muralists.
          “THE CITY Council of Blue Island voted to deny permission to plaintiffs [LAAC] to paint the mural. The City Building Inspector originally told Blue Island police to arrest anyone working on the mural and sent notice to the building's owner that the proposed mural would be a violation of local zoning ordinances” the lawsuit said. The mural was painted; and it was a beautiful and a colorful Mexican mural. This was a victory for the Mexican community that rally behind it.
          LES OREAR's leadership and the Illinois Labor History Society's backing helped the Mexican community of Blue Island in this struggle. I was grateful for their support. Les Orear will always be in my memory. Farewell my friend.
James Deanes
            MY FRIEND, James Deanes [1948-2014] died in his sleep on June 4, 2014. Jim represented the Chicago Public School Local School Council office. His leadership helped Farragut Career Academy Local School Council [LSC] in the selection of a new principal Tonya Hammaker on May 8, 2012. I served on Farragut Career Academy Local School Council [three two-year terms], and I relied on Deanes' guidance and advice in following LSC guidelines in the selection of a new principal.
            DEANES was a skillful negotiator and mediator; and we became good friends during the process, and months it took to select a new principal at Farragut. Deanes attended many LSC meetings at Farragut and shared his experience and knowledge to us as an educator.
            WAKE: James Deanes' wake was held Monday, June 9, 2014. I paid my respect, and attended the wake to express my condolence to Deans' family. He will be missed in LSC circles and as my friend.


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Ed Kelly, 40th Annual Giant Awards Dinner, Honorees: Joel Quenneville, Dominic DiFrisco, Mike Brey, Tom Fitzgibbon, Sr., Luis A. Toledo, John Cullerton, Marc Schulman, "Fighting 47", Calendar of Events

Ed Kelly and Augie Sallas
          IN SPORTS: Ed Kelly loves sports. Now, as semi-retiree, he heads the Ed Kelly Sports Program, Inc. and is sponsoring its 40th Annual Giant Awards Dinner. This event will be held on Monday, June 30, 2014 at the White Eagle Banquet Hall, 6839 N. Milwaukee Ave., Niles, IL. Cocktails at 6:30 p.m. Dinner at 7:15 p.m. Ticket donation: $100 each. If you are interested in attending this gala event make checks payable to The Ed Kelly Sports Program, 2224 West Lawrence Ave., Chicago, IL 60625. “This going to be our biggest Awards Dinner. It's will be a 'Who's Who”, said Kelly.
          HONOREES will be: Joel Quenneville, Chicago Blackhawks – Head Coach [Muhammad Ali Athlete Award]; Dominic DiFrisco, Edelman P.R. Firm – Sr. Consultant [Irv Kupcinet Media Award]; Mike Brey, Notre Dame Men's Basketball – Head Coach [Ray Meyer Coach Award]; Tom Fitzgibbon, Sr., Twentieth Century Services, Inc.-President [Bill Hogan's Sr. Labor Award]; Luis A. Toledo, Midwest Moving and Storage, Inc.-President [Harry Kempf Business Award]; John Cullerton, Illinois State Senate – President [Jerry Gleason Achievement Award]; Marc Schulman, Eli's Cheesecake – Owner [ Marshall H. Smulson Humanitarian Award].
Joel Quenneville
          FOR MORE information on the 40
th Annual Giant Awards Dinner, call Ed Kelly at 773/728-6300.
          A POWERHOUSE: Ed Kelly,
89, former Democratic Committeeman of the north side 47th Ward organization, is one of Chicago’s astute politicians. He still continues to be connected in both sports and in political circles. For years, Kelly's ward were known as the “Fighting 47” because of Eddie's strong leadership within the Cook County Democratic Organization.
          DURING HIS HEYDAY, because of Kelly’s strong leadership skills combined with the close alliance with Mayor Richard J. Daley; Eddie was appointed Superintendent of the Chicago Park District. As the Park Superintendent, he took great pride in caring for Chicago's parks. Eddie was passionate about promoting sports and had an outstanding boxing program for the kids.
          I’VE KNOWN EDDIE for a long time and I am honored to be a long-time friend of Ed Kelly. Eddie has always been a friend of our Hispanic community. As the Park Superintendent, Eddie was involved with both the Puerto Rican and Mexican communities. “I created the Mexican Museum in Harrison Park and the Puerto Rican Museum in Humboldt Park. In 1967, Kelly formed the first Hispanic Umpire Association at Lincoln Park and created soccer fields. Eddie is proud to let people know that he has four grandchildren that are half Mexican and two great-grandchildren. “Great kids,” said Kelly.
          IN 1982, I asked Ed Kelly to do two things; [1] create a small park on an empty lot at the corner of 28th St. & Trumbull Ave. in Little Village. Eddie said, OK, but a passive park. He said the corner lot was too small, but he could install some hobbyhorses and a couple of slides at that location. Today, the passive park is named “Miami Park” and kids are enjoying it. And, [2] to repair the chain link fence around Limas Park, 24th & Trumbull Ave. and to make other improvements. Again, Kelly got the job done.
          TWO YEARS later in 1984, I asked Park Supt. Ed Kelly for a swimming pool, with a dome, for Piotrowski Park in Little Village. Eddie said to me, “Augie, I can give you a pool but without a dome because a lack of money in our park budget. Do you still want it?” Of course, I said yes! Within the same year, Kelly had a pool built at Piotrowski Park. Years later, the Park District put a vinyl top over the pool. I had also asked Eddie to paint the park benches and remove graffiti at Piotrowski Park. Kelly had this work done immediately.
          TODAY, Ed Kelly is still busy helping people and giving recognition to individuals at his Annual Giant Awards Dinners who made a contribution in our society. Ed Kelly cared about our parks in Little Village, and I thanked him for it.

               THURSDAY, JUNE 5th—Little Village Rotary Club, 1st Inaugural Gala Event at Mi Tierra Restaurant, 2528 S. Kedzie Ave., Chicago. Fun starts at 6 p.m.: cocktails, dinner reception and installation of officers. Guest speaker: Anita Alvarez, Cook County State's Attorney. Donation $50. For more info purchasing of tickets online:
          SATURDAY, JUNE 7th—Joseph E. Gary Elementary, 3740 W. 31st St. Rummage Sale, 8 a.m. To 1 p.m. Vendor’s fee: $10. Questions, call 773/534-1455.
          MONDAY, JUNE 16th—Chinatown Business Luncheon Series featuring Gov. Pat Quinn, Phoenix Restaurant, 2131 S. Archer Ave., Chicago Chinatown. Ticket Price: Non-Members: $20. For more info call 312/328-0848. Purchase tickets at: HTTP://BPT.ME/702514.
          TUESDAY, JULY 15th—[Save the Date] 4th Annual Birthday Golf Outing, State Rep. “Lisa” Hernandez, 24th District.