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.