S.O.B.’s Presents: Spanish Guitar Virtuoso Javier Ruibal - Nov. 12th

A highly regarded singer-songwriter from Cádiz, Spain, Javier Ruibal has created a new type of modern music that blends North African sounds with flamenco and other diverse influences. His music gathers in its compositions echoes and sonorous formulas of today and the cultures of past times.

With the richest rhythms and harmony of Flamenco forming the basis of his sound, Ruibal draws his inspiration from his love of life and beautiful women, resulting in lyrics dripping with fantastic tales and evocative Spanish poems of love.

Javier Ruibal is much loved and revered by musicians and fans alike in his native Spain. The singer and guitarist from Cadiz is best known for his vocal talents and songwriting, whilst his arrangements mix flamenco music with the rhythms and harmonies of world and contemporary sounds.

Although firmly rooted in flamenco, the arrangements encompass a wider musical world, from classical to jazz, bittersweet Portuguese to upbeat calypso. African and Arabic percussion give most of the numbers a North African tinge.

Where: S.O.B.'s, 204 Varick Street, New York, NY 10014

When: Wednesday, November 12th at 8pm

Ticket info: $12 in advance, $15 Day of show; Available on Ticketmaster and the S.O.B.’s Box Office 212-243-4940.

Endorsement: Graham Long for Congress (NY-3)

Long Island's middle class families have been devastated by the misguided policies of George W. Bush of the last eight years. Long Islanders of all stripes are demanding fundamental change in Washington in this election cycle.

And it's why after 31 years in elective office Congressman Peter T. King should be retired.

In Washington 14 terms, Peter King has been an eager foot-soldier for George W. Bush's failed presidency.

A bitterly partisan politician, Peter King relishes his role as a Bush bitbull on immigration, the economy, the environment, energy and the Iraq War.

On issues of major importance, Peter King has sided with George W. Bush and against Long Island families. On immigration, the economy, the Iraq War, the environment -- King offers more of the same.

Long Island and the people of 3rd Congressional District deserve a representative that is independent and unaligned with retrograde political and economic interests.

Long Island's future rests on engaging bright, optimistic new leaders with new ideas, unencumbered by the failed policies of the past. Graham Long is such a person.

Graham Long seeks to work with the new Congress and the new administration on behalf of the people of the 3rd Congressional District to: enact tax cuts for middle class families, fix the broken immigration system, promote smarter energy policies, and create millions of U.S. green jobs. And he will work to end the Iraq War, while promoting more effective policies in the fight against terrorism.

Latino Long Island asks the voters of NY's 3rd Congressional District to send Graham Long to Washington as their representative.


The Dramatic Growth of New York's Suburban/Exurban Latino Population

Top 10 Counties by Percentage of Latinos
#1 - Bronx 51%
#2 - Queens 26%
#3 - New York 25%
#4 - Kings 20%
#5 - Westchester 19%
#6 - Orange 16%
#7 - Richmond 15%
#8 - Rockland & Suffolk 13%
#9 - Nassau & Sullivan 12%
#10 - Putnam 10%

Top 10 Counties by Number of Latinos
#1 - Bronx 702,073
#2 - Queens 600,467
#3 - Kings 493,961
#4 - New York 400,498
#5 - Suffolk 193,605
#6 - Westchester 180,819
#7 - Nassau 162,564
#8 - Richmond 72,972
#9 - Orange 59,791
#10 - Monroe 42,181

Counties w/Highest Latino Pop. Rates of Growth (2000-2007)
Top 5 large counties (pop. > 450k)
#1 - Richmond 36%
#2 - Suffolk 30%
#3 - Westchester 25%
#4 - Nassau 22%
#5 - Onondaga 17%

Top 5 mid-size counties (pop. 100K - 449K)
#1 - Saratoga 54%
#2 - Orange 50%
#3 - Dutchess 44%
#4 - Schenectady 41%
#5 - Ontario 38%

Top 5 small counties (pop. 5K - 99.9K)
#1 - Putnam & Yates 71%
#2 - Warren 61%
#3 - Seneca & Herkimer 53%
#4 - Lewis 44%
#5 - Fulton 42%

Source: Pew Hispanic Center: Latinos by Geography

Half of New York's Latinos Live on Long Island
Immigrants: Huge Boon to New York
Latino Surge in Orange County (NY)
Children of immigrants reshaping America: Booming ‘second generation’ becoming the mainstream
U.S. Latinos by the Numbers '08
U.S. "Minority" Population Surpasses 100MM
127MM U.S. Latinos by 2050
Latinos: Next Great Source of Intellectual Capital
Latino Surnames Break into U.S. Top 10
U.S. Latinos by the Numbers '07
Mexican Immigration and U.S. Culture


NYC Council Disses Voters: Extends Term Limits for Members and Bloomberg

New York City voters twice voted for term limits against the wishes of the politicians--and today a majority are against undoing the hard fought reform--at least not without the people's input.

So what did the City Council do today at the behest of Mayor Michael Bloomberg? It effectively said to the citizens of New York City to piss-off -- and voted to extend to the terms anyway by a vote of 29 to 22. (btw: 23 of the 29 yes votes came from members barred from seeking re-election under the voter approved law.)

Additionally, with little voter support for this unprecedented and undemocratic power-grab, the Council acted to deny the public a say in the whole matter by squashing an attempt to put the controversial amendment to a public vote.

It seems that the super-rich and powerful--and the politicians that do their bidding--just don't get it.

Nydia Velazquez (and others) believes that the power-grab violates minority voting rights, so we should see a challenge in federal court.

As a final option, voters will get a year from now to cast their votes for or against the people that just blew them off.

These are the 27 politicians on the City Council that voted for extending their terms and against a public vote on the amendment:

Bronx (7 of 8 or 88% voted with Bloomberg and against the voters)
Maria del Carmen Arroyo
Maria Baez*
Helen D. Foster*
G. Oliver Koppell*
Joel Rivera*
Larry B. Seabrook*
James Vacca

Brooklyn (11 of 16 or 69% voted with Bloomberg and against the voters)
Erik Martin Dilan*
Simcha Felder*
Lewis A. Fidler*
Sara M. Gonzalez
Darlene Mealy
Michael C. Nelson*
Domenic M. Recchia Jr.*
Diana Reyna*
Kendall Stewart*
Albert Vann*
David Yassky*

Manhattan (4 of 10 or 40% voted with Bloomberg and against the voters)
Inez E. Dickens
Robert Jackson*
Miguel Martinez*
Christine C. Quinn*

Queens (5 of 14 or 36% voted with Bloomberg and against the voters)
Leroy G. Comrie Jr.*
Melinda R. Katz*
Helen Sears*
Peter F. Vallone Jr.*
Thomas White Jr.

Staten Island (0 of 3 or 0% voted with Bloomberg and against the voters)

Additionally, Manhattan's Alan J. Gerson* voted for extending terms limits as well as for a public referendum. And Sanders Jr.* of Queens voted for extending terms limits but abstained on the question of a public referendum.

*term-limited under the public's term limits law


Working Families Against Bloomy's Power Grab
Public Forum - Term Limits: Their Impact and Who Decides
Bloomberg's Power Grab Headlines
Video Message from Billionaires for Bloomberg on Term Limits
Growing Opposition To Bloomberg Power Grab
U.S. Rep. Velázquez: Changing Term Limits for Bloomberg Violates Voting Rights

Hispanic Appreciation Day @ SUNY College at Old Westbury

The Long Island Latino Teachers Association presents Hispanic Appreciation Day, Thursday, October 30th, 2008, 9:30 - 1:00pm, at SUNY College at Old Westbury.

The event will be held in the Student Union's Multi-Purpose room and features a day of learning, art, music, and fun hosted by the college's Hispanic Latino Cultural Center. Special guests include:

Antonio Martinez - Council Member, Town of Babylon

Maria Neira - Vice President, New York State United Teachers

Hector Sepulveda, MD - Dean of Academic Affairs, Suffolk County Community College

Elizabeth Custodio - First Vice President, HSBC Bank & Trustee, Old Westbury College Foundation

David Ochoa - Philanthropist

For further information contact Zenaida Madurk, at madurkaz@oldwestbury.edu.



October 27th Symposium - The Economic Contributions of Immigrants to Nassau and Suffolk Counties

The Center for Social Innovation at Adelphi University, Long Island Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Long Island Immigrant Alliance, Suffolk County Office of Minority Affairs and Long Island Wins Present:

Strengthening Long Island:
The Economic Contributions of Immigrants
to Nassau and Suffolk Counties
3:00 - 4:30pm
October 27, 2008

A symposium including a presentation and discussion of the results of a new study by Adelphi University Prof. Mariano Torras, which finds that in 2006, immigrants contributed $10.6 billion to the Long Island economy. Immigrants exercised $7.5 billion in buying power, helped create 82,000 new jobs, and even paid $2 billion more in taxes than they received in services.

Strengthening Long Island: The Economic Contributions of Immigrants to Nassau and Suffolk Counties assesses the positive impact of immigrant Long Islanders on many facets of Long Island’s economy. This report demonstrates the critically important role of the immigrant population on Long Island and details their contributions to the economy.

Adelphi University - Alumni House
154 Cambridge Ave, Garden City, NY 11530

Admission is free
Please RSVP to longislandwins@gmail.com or 516.304.5642

Related: New Study by Adelphi University's Dr. Mariano Torras: Immigrants Contribute $Billions to LI Economy

Launch of www.librerialectorum.com with Mirta Ojita, Esmeralda Santiago & Victor Villaseñor Nov 19 in NYC

New York City's oldest Spanish bookstore, Librería Lectorum, closed last year. Many were saddened by the shuttering of the specialty bookstore -- a long time fixture on 14th Street and symbol of New York City's century plus Latino influence.

However, the good news though is that Librería Lectorum has been reincarnated as the nation's premier Spanish-language online bookstore. Continuing its decades-long commitment to the Latino community, this Fall Lectorum will launch a new Spanish-language website for consumers, offering tens of thousands of adult and children’s Spanish-language titles.


The founders and distinguished Latino authors are celebrating the launch of http://www.liberialectorum.com/ November 19th.

While the launch is an invitation-only, private event, members of the public are encouraged to log on to www.librerialectorum.com starting November 17th to see all that the site has to offer, including a recording of the Café Literario event.

Related: New York City's Oldest Spanish Bookstore to Close


New Study by Adelphi University's Dr. Mariano Torras: Immigrants Contribute $Billions to LI Economy

Immigrants are major contributors to Long Island's economy.

That is the major finding of Strengthening Long Island: The Economic Contributions of Immigrants to Nassau and Suffolk Counties, a new report by Mariano Torras, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Economics at Adelphi University and Fellow at the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

Unveiled Monday, the report follows the release in 2007 of The Economic Impact of The Hispanic Population on Long Island, NY. Both reports were funded by The Hagedorn Foundation in Port Washington.

Here are some press reactions:

Study: Immigrant economic impact $10.6 billion on LI
Long Island Business News

A study released Monday by Adelphi University shows that Long Island immigrants contributed $10.6 billion to the Long Island economy in 2006 and generated about 82,000 jobs as a result of their consumer spending. The study added that Long Island would have lost rather than gained population since 1980 without the immigrant population.

Long Islanders take opposing views on immigrants

"We lost a labor pool but gained a new wealthier population that demands services, and the Latinos jumped in and filled the gap," said Kappel, a real estate broker and the former mayor of Greenport. "It's been very beneficial."

Adelphi Study Says Immigrants No Drain on Long Island Economy
Associated Content

The breakdown of financial contribution by culture was $3,249.00 by Asian immigrants, $4,029.00 by non-Hispanic white immigrants, $842.00 by Hispanic immigrants and $789.00 by black immigrants.


El Diario La Prensa Endorses Barack Obama for President

En Español

Our country is perched on the edge of a cliff. We are staring down a growing economic crisis. Our soldiers are fighting two separate wars—in Iraq and Afghanistan—with no end in sight. Over the last eight years, families have been hit hard by stagnant wages, and the rising costs of everything from gasoline to food to health care. Today, there are more children living in poverty in this country than there were a decade ago. And on principles of fairness and humanity, we have gone backwards.

The arrogance and lies of the George W. Bush Administration drove us to war. The anti-government hysteria of the Republican-controlled Congress paved the way for the financial bust. The economy and the credibility of this nation have been deeply damaged.

Our next president must have the capacity, judgment and vision to restore confidence, both here and abroad. El Diario/La Prensa endorses Senator Barack Obama as the leader ready to redirect the United States of America towards its promise.
Senator Obama wisely opposed Bush’s misguided and immoral charge into Iraq. From Corona to Washington Heights, Latinos have suffered the devastating effects of this war. Senator Obama has pledged to bring the sons and daughters who are serving in Iraq back home by 2010.

Senator Obama has correctly identified that trickle-down economics are not addressing the inequities Americans face. As our economy continues to unravel, Latinos and African Americans are disproportionately affected by foreclosures. Senator Obama has proposed a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures so that some lenders and homeowners can renegotiate terms.

Other problems demand attention. Graduation rates in the United States lag behind that of most other wealthy nations. Senator Obama has committed to investing in schools and to making higher education more accessible.

The nation also needs a humane and sensible immigration policy. While Senator John McCain once appeared as a reasonable interlocutor on immigration reform, he gradually pandered to Republican ultra conservatives by promoting a two-step process emphasizing border enforcement. Senator Obama clearly outlines a far superior plan that will take a smarter approach to immigration, including bringing undocumented immigrants out of the shadows.

Two defining moments of this election cycle have been Senator Obama’s declaration that health care is a right and his speech in Philadelphia on race relations. With both, we saw a leader willing to respond to real-life problems and a visionary who can see beyond who we are now, to who we can become.

We were also impressed by Senator Obama’s advocacy for women. He defended a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body and he challenged McCain for blocking pay equity for women.

Senator McCain has sacrificed for this nation as a captured Navy pilot during the Vietnam War. But he remains far too close to Bush’s economic policies to lead a nation out of this economic hole. As the current financial crisis emerged, he argued that the fundamentals of the economy were strong, that we needed a commission to study the issue and pointed to a few greedy executives—not an unregulated market—as the problem. On Iraq and Afghanistan, he is far too wedded to a single tactic – the surge – to present a coherent vision of these damaging wars. He can’t see the forest for the trees. And sadly, McCain has run an angry and divisive campaign.

Our nation needs leadership that is strong, steady and focused on the common good. On November 4, cast your ballot for Senator Barack Obama.


David Crosby and Graham Nash @ Obama Rally -- Eisenhower Park

Relentless of 100 Years is Enough sent me this video he took from last night's David Crosby and Graham Nash set at the Obama Rally at Eisenhower Park (Hempstead, New York) -- a production of Yes We Can Long Island.

Crosby and Nash performed This Is My Country, a powerful call to take our country back, and the classic, Teach Your Children Well.

These guys bring back all sorts of memories from my college days at Albany State. Of course, back then it was CSNY. Southern Man, anyone?

Very nicely done.

Free Financial Counseling in Hempstead

eNews from our friends at the Long Island Council of Churches...

Free financial counseling and information sessions will be held on October 17th, 18th, and 19th to assist area residents with mortgage-related questions and concerns.

English and Spanish speaking counselors from Family & Children’s Association; Village of Hempstead’s Community Development Agency; Nassau County District Attorney’s Office; Nassau County Office of Housing & Homeless Services; and Community Development Corp. of L.I. will be on hand to disseminate information.

The sessions will be held at Family & Children’s Hagedorn Family Resource Center located at 124 Greenwich Street – The Annex Building, Hempstead, NY on the following schedule:

Friday, October 17th – 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Saturday, October 18th – Noon to 3:00 p.m.

Sunday, October 19th – Noon to 3:00 p.m.

Questions may be directed to Family & Children’s Association (516) 292-1300.


Working Families Against Bloomy's Power Grab

Interesting that it's the small and scrappy Working Families Party (WFP), and not the majority Democratic Party controlling the City Council, taking on Republican Bloomberg and his Wall Street allies in their naked quest to extend the billionaire's reign. Actually, Bloomy flipped City Council Speaker Christine Quinn into ignoring the voters after a "private" chat.

A plan that was hatched...billionaires and business moguls. NYTimes

Never has the city been so nakedly for sale. Newsday
Watch the latest WFP volley in this modern version of David vs Goliath.

Q: How is it that the very people that have worked with Bush/Cheney/McCain to ravage the nation's economy, devastate working families, and squandered lives and treasure on the Iraq War, now get to buy protection? Isn't that what this whole grab for power gambit really about? And who cares if wealth trumps the public good, right?

For more information: http://www.itsourdecision.org/

No Debate: Hempstead is Struggling

Today a horde of journalists descends on the Hempstead Village (Long Island NY), to cover the third and final presidential debate.

But Steven Greenstreet of the American News Project left the pack to hear from people outside of the media spotlight, people hit hard by our nation's crises at home and abroad.

While Hempstead Village is known an African American enclave, it also has a large and growing immigrant Latino community. For example, local public school enrollment is now approximately half Latino and half African American.

New York's Governor David Paterson spent part of his youth as a resident of Hempstead.

Click here for the 6 minute documentary.

Photo: Gov Paterson greeting Latino students at Hempstead High.

Break the Silence of the Candidates on Immigration

Given the domestic war against immigrant workers -- a war that's devastating families, communities as well as the nation's economy -- candidates for president owe voters a serious discussion of their proposals to fix our broken immigration system.

Unfortunately, the candidates' silence on immigration is deafening.

Demanding a discussion of the issue at tonight's debate at Hofstra University, dozens of immigration advocacy groups (including ACORN, New York Immigration Coalition, Long Island Immigrant Alliance, Workplace Project and the Central American Refugee Center) are gathering at the debate site to press their cause.

Also challenging the candidates to speak up are the editors of EL Diario-La Prensa (Silence of the candidates.) and DailyNews Columnist Juan Gonzlez (Bob, keep'em honest at debate).

Immigration is as important a local, national, regional and global issue as any other -- and Americans (and the world) should know how the next leader of the free world chooses to address it's complexities, challenges and opportunities.

McCain and Obama: Fuzzy On Immigration
Obama Pitches Immigration Policy
Some want presidential debate to take up immigration
Local Latino activists: Obama, McCain should stop dodging immigration
Mayor: Feds turned my town 'topsy turvy'
New Report Shows the Vast Economic Contributions of Immigrants to Long Island: $10.6 Billion
Latinos Breaking Heavily for Obama
McCain’s immigration zigzag
McCain's Delicate Immigration Dance
Barack Obama on Immigration

John McCain on Immigration

Obama Rally in Eisenhower Park Today: Latest Update

The following is the latest on today's Obama Rally in Esienhower Park from Mark X. Cronin, Obama-Biden's LI Grassroots Coordinator.

If anyone knows of anything comparable schedule by the McCain-Palin campaign, please add as a comment or send as an email to latinolongisland@gmail.com. Thanks.

Here’s the latest on the Free Rally and Concert for Obama. The musical acts now include Graham Nash and David Crosby as well as Bruce Hornsby (“The Way It Is”). We are expecting a large crowd, but we cannot have enough people. The national media will be watching: let’s show the nation the support that Barack Obama and Joe Biden have on Long Island. We promise to have a great day.

Time: 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. – leaving you plenty of time to get home to watch the debate

Place: Eisenhower Park in East Meadow at the Harry Chapin Theater

Nearest Parking: Lots 6 and 6A offer the closest parking. You may need to park further away.

Nearest Train Station: LIRR Westbury station. No shuttle buses, but there will be taxis and it is almost exactly a one mile walk.

Volunteer Opportunities: We may need help staffing volunteer sign-u[p stations and a “Call a Swing State” station. Please ask for me upon arrival if you can help out.

Please bring your cell phone: We will ask all rally goers to make calls to swing states in support of Barack Obama during the rally.

Show Your Support: Bring your Obama signs or make them up. Wear your Obama shirts and buttons. We will have some signs and campaign material available.

This promises to be an amazing event. The entertainment currently includes: Graham Nash and David Crosby, Bruce Hornsby, Barefoot Truth, Ryan Star, Francis Dunnery, The Sleeping and John Hampson (from Nine Days). We will hear many inspiration speakers (though Barack cannot attend – he will be prepping for his debate). Come out and show your support, enjoy the day and have some fun.

Debate Watching Parties After the rally, share your enthusiasm by attending a debate watching party. You can find debate watching parties all across Long Island, including these:

Huntington for Obama Debate Watch Party
Babylon Debate Watch Party at Babylon Dem HQ
Brentwood Debate Watch Party
National Jewish Democratic Council Debate Watch Party at Bar Social (fundraiser)
Young Democratic Debate Watch Party (fundraiser)
Rockville Centre Democratic Club Debate Watch party


Angel Rojas Wins Westhampton Beach Hurricane 5K; Jorge Flores Captures Triple Crown

Hampton Bays’ Angel Rojas, 22, won Saturday's Hurricane 5K in Westhampton Beach in 17 minutes, 23 seconds.

Other Latinos with terrific outings, include: Water Mill’s Doroteo Soledad, 33, who won the Quogue Hudsy 5K a week earlier, netting fourth place in 18:23; and 37 year old Jorge Flores (East Hampton) with a 7th place showing at 18:33.

Flores won the Hamptons Triple Crown with the best overall performance in the season's 5K competitions: 7th at the Hurricane, 4th at the Hudsy, and a 16th at the Koziarz. (Rojas did not compete in the Koziarz - a race won by NYC/Mexico's Antonio Blas, 23, with a time of 16:34.)

Twelve-year-old Isabella Torres of Westhampton was first across the line in the 12-and-under group (24:26).

Photos: top - Angel Rojas (L) in the red top and blue shorts at the start of the Hurricane 5K (by Brett Mauser); bottom - Antonio Blas at the 18th annual Joe Koziarz Memorial 5K (See photo series on 27East).



Public Forum - Term Limits: Their Impact and Who Decides

Citizens Union, Common Cause/NY,
and the New York Public Interest Research Group present

A Panel Discussion and Public Forum

Term Limits: Their Impact and Who Decides

Richard Briffault
Professor, Columbia Law School; Vice Chair, Citizens Union
The Honorable Lew Fidler
Assistant Majority Leader and Member, New York City Council
Randy M. Mastro
Attorney, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher; Deputy Mayor, New York City, '96 - '98
Esmeralda Simmons
Executive Director, Center for Law and Social JusticeMedgar Evers College; former member of the NYC Redistricting Commission

6:00 - 9:00 PM

Baruch College
The William and Anita Newman Vertical Campus
55 Lexington Avenue at 24th Street
14th Floor

Please RSVP at 212.227.0342 ext.39
or events@citizensunion.org

Bloomberg's Power Grab Headlines

Velazquez Ups The Term Limits Ante - The Daily Politics
"And we are going to deny the ability for those minorities to be elected to office. So, I will tell you if they pass term limits legislation I will get a letter to the (U.S.) Department of Justice (invoking) the Voting Rights Act, Section 2, that because they need to be reviewed and they need to apply (it) in this case.”

Bloomberg will spend at least $100 Million on campaign. Ethics Violations? No Problem. - Washington Square Park
If Mayor Mike is so sure of his popularity and so convinced that he is the only one who can do the “job” in these tough times, why the need to bulldoze over his competition? Clearly, he will do whatever it takes to keep himself in City Hall.

Where They Stand? - It's Our Decision Campaign
Where does your City Council member stand on term limits? Are they for letting voters decide? Or do they think politicians should ignore the will of the people?

Ethics Complaint Filed Over Bloomberg-Lauder Pact - CityRoom
New York Public Interest Research Group and Common Cause filed a complaint with the City's Conflict of Interest Board that Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg had violated the city’s ethics laws when he pledged to put Ronald S. Lauder on a charter revision commission to ensure that the billionaire cosmetics heir supports the mayor’s bid for a third term.

Unearthed: Lauder's 2006 Opposition to Council Changing Limits - CityHall
"Yes, problems remain. Term limits never promised to make local politicians pure. Term limits just promised to limit their lease. And the new term limits shenanigans afoot in the current City Council amply demonstrate the need to enforce reasonable restrictions on incumbency."

Ministers Speak Against Bloomberg Plan - CityRoom
City Comptroller William C. Thompson Jr. said that a number of clergy leader plan to speak to their congregations against the plan to change term limits without a public vote in what he called the “100 pulpits for voters’ rights” initiative.

One More Vote Against Term-Limits Change - NYObserver
Councilwoman Darlene Mealy of Brooklyn, according to a line buried in this NY1 story, has now said she supports putting the issue up for a referendum.

Lauder and Bloomberg Strike a Deal - NYTimes
The billionaire who threatened to block Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s path to a third term has backed down.

Mayor Gives $20M in Discretionary Funding - NYSun
Over the past six years, Mr. Bloomberg has doled out about $20 million to council members for their member items, spending the most money in fiscal year 2006, when he gave out $5.6 million. That was the year Mr. Bloomberg was running for re-election.

Podcast: And for Dessert, a Mayoral Election- CityRoom
In fact, the biggest travesty of the political season so far was watching New York’s power brokers unabashedly go on bended knee to beg indulgence from a businessman and philanthropist for whom they share little respect as a statesman.

Bloomberg Accused of Power Abuse in Term-Limit Deal - 1010Wins
Opponents of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's campaign to change the city's term-limits law so he can run again filed a complaint Thursday alleging he abused his power when he made a deal to win over a potential foe.

Bloomberg Third-Term Rumors Were Met With Disbelief - NYObserver
One of the reasons that Michael Bloomberg’s recent public efforts to change the term-limits law has been fairly successful is that it's been in the works for a long time.

State Bill Would Require Term Limit Referendum - CityRoom
Assemblyman Hakeem S. Jeffries (D-Brooklyn) plans to introduce a bill that would block Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in his attempt to seek another term as mayor without first winning a public referendum.

Term Limits: It’s Our Decision - The Working Families Party
Mayor Bloomberg tells the NY Daily News (in 2002), “I would oppose any change in the law that a legislative body tries to make. I do think after you’ve asked the public to express their views twice, you don’t try to circumvent the will of the people.”

The Bloomberg Syndrome - Salon
Banana republic fever: It's catching! Another word for it might be Bloombergism or the Bloomberg syndrome. Where a figure in public life suddenly decides he's above the law or above ethical considerations just because of his own greatness. Perhaps El Comandante syndrome might capture it.

Quinn Supports Bloomberg's Reign, Wishes She Could be a Billionaire, Too - NYPress
The rest of the billionaires who control the city's newspapers and power structure have fallen in lockstep with Billionaire Bloomberg's idea.

Quinn and Majority of Council to Support Permanent Extension of Term Limits - CityHall
Lauder jolted the city’s political world last week by announcing his support for a one-time extension of term limits in order to allow the mayor to run for reelection.

Let the Voters Decide - Henry Stern
Most of the city knows that the basis of the Mayor’s decision to seek a third term is based, in part, on his continuing personal desire for relevance and attention. The more such wishes are gratified, the more they grow. The quest for fame, recognition and approval is as addictive as the craving for drugs, alcohol, and inappropriate sex. These feelings do not fade with time. This mayor is far from the worst in this area, it is simply that his ambition plays out on a grander and more public scale.

Media Pave the Way to 3rd Term for Bloomberg - NYTimes
With a fiscal crisis at hand, the business leaders of New York has already held a private referendum and decided who the next mayor should be. So in spite of his rather breathtaking grab for another term, there will be no opprobrium forthcoming from the editorial pages of the city’s newspapers.

Bloomberg Third-Term Rumors Were Met With Disbelief - NYObserver
One of the reasons that Michael Bloomberg’s recent public efforts to change the term-limits law has been fairly successful is that it's been in the works for a long time.

Thompson: Term-Limits Legislation 'Inappropriate' - The Politicker
It is inappropriate for the Mayor and City Council to pass legislation that ignores the will of the voters

No third term for Michael Bloomberg, please - rationallyspeaking.org
Please, Michael, rethink this whole thing over, retire while you are on the upswing, and let democracy run its course. This is the city that never sleeps, surely we can find at least one person as awake and ready to take the helm as you. Right?

Bill to end term limits introduced, paving way for Bloomberg - NYDailyNews
The intention of Council leaders is to move the bill-and competing legislation- swiftly through a process of public hearings and votes by the committee and the full Council.

Battling Mike Bloomberg - Crain's New York Business
Although newspaper editorial boards and the business community have already lined up behind Mr. Bloomberg, public affairs consultant Corey Bearak says, [Democrats] “running against an oligarchy is not a bad thing. A populist campaign can succeed.”

Bloomberg: Anatomy of a deception - SpinCycle
Video of Mayor Michael Bloomberg in June answering a question on his high-paid butlers' stealth polling on term limits

Candidates Forced To Reassess Because of Term Limits Talk - NYSun
Some candidates running for City Council in 2009 are saying that a push to extend term limits has left them in uncomfortable limbo, as they wait to learn if they face an entrenched incumbent instead of competing for an open seat.

Term Limits Talk Spurs Campaign Finance Board - NYSun
The ripple effect of legalizing a third term for elected officials would affect dozens of races and create previously unexplored challenges to campaign finance laws. Council members who have been raising money under the city's public financing program for a citywide office, such as comptroller or public advocate, could suddenly be faced with the prospect of running for re-election and have to comply with lower spending limits than those in place for citywide candidates.

Top Bloomberg Aide Opposes Third Term - NYSun
Deputy Mayor Kevin Sheekey...told The New York Sun that he is opposed to talk of a third term for the mayor.

Not surprisingly, the poll showed little sentiment among voters for overturning the term-limits law that will force Bloomberg and other city officials to leave office on Dec. 31, 2009.

Bloomberg wants to change the rules so he can extend his term as mayor just like Hugo Chavez, who changed the constitution because he was unable to complete his self-serving and ambitious agenda in one term.


YES WE CAN! LI to Host Pre-Debate Obama Rally at Eisenhower Park

Nassau County Executive Thomas R. Suozzi and Suffolk County Legislator Jon Cooper, along with members of YES WE CAN! Long Island are hosting a rally in support of Senator Barack Obama for President.

The rally on October 15th, preceding the final presidential debate at Hofstra University, will be one of the largest presidential campaign events in New York before the November 4th election. It will be held at Eisenhower Park.

Nassau County, one of America's first suburban communities, will host this historic presidential debate and we want to show the rest of the country that there is a massive amount of support across Long Island to make Senator Obama our next president. Tom Suozzi
Senator Obama has inspired so many people to get involved with the political process. With the incredible difficulties our country is facing, it's very important that we all come together over the next three weeks and do all we can to ensure we send Barack Obama to the White House. Jon Cooper
YES WE CAN! Long Island is a grassroots organization working to support Senator Obama from the primaries through the general election.

Jon Cooper is Obama-Biden Long Island Campaign Chairman.


Video Message from Billionaires for Bloomberg on Term Limits

Thurston Howell III of Park Avenue is distressed that sites like this one are exposing Bloomberg's mayor-for-life scheme. He and other members of the registry have formed Billionaires for Bloomberg, a lobbying group to support the efforts by the City Council to extend term limits for Mayor Bloomberg (and themselves, of course)!

Howell and his social equals demand equal time to make their case to the unwashed masses -- so here is their video message.

Growing Opposition To Bloomberg Power Grab

BTW: I do not approve this message, so please contact Sir Howell at billionairesforbloomberg@gmail.com.

Growing Opposition To Bloomberg Power Grab

A growing number of voters, civic groups (e.g., LatinoGreens) and elected officials are alarmed by NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg's attempt to continue in office beyond the two terms presently allowed by law.

They are joining Nydia Velazquez (U.S.Rep-Brooklyn/Queens), Anthony Weiner U.S.Rep-Brooklyn), NYC Comptroller Bill Thompson (Brooklyn), Bill de Blasio (NYC Council-Brooklyn), Letitia James (NYC Council - Brooklyn), John Liu (NYC Council - Queens), Annabel Palma (NYC Council - Bronx) and Mark Green (former Public Advocate) in opposing what they view as an undemocratic scheme: using the current Wall Street crisis as cover to deep-six the mayoral term limits law New Yorkers fought so hard to enact.

Stop Mike Bloomberg's power grab - Daily News
Term limit power grab would mar Mayor Mike Bloomberg's legacy - Daily News
Bloomberg Makes Power Grab - Amsterdam News
Bloomberg Expected to Seek Third Term as Mayor - NYTimes
Early Opposition to Bloomberg Power Grab - Village Voice
Bloomy: I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough and Doggone It, People Like Me So Much They'll Let Me Overturn Our Democracy - Room8
Bloomberg Archives: Was a Lauder Deal even legal?; Anatomy of a deception; Unanswered questions, dark suspicions; Bloomberg's saddest moment- SpinCycle
Bloomberg once called change to term limits a 'disgrace' - Newsday
U.S. Rep. Velázquez: Changing Term Limits for Bloomberg Violates Voting Rights - Latino LI

Additionally, people like Velazquez are concerned that such a ploy by a sitting incumbent, a billionaire able to use his personal wealth and the power of the public purse, to "persuade" willing council members, is both a corruption of the democratic process and undermines people's voting rights--especially of minority voters.

What follows is an Open Letter To all N.Y.C. Residents To Act To STOP Bloomberg High jack of City Hall by concerned citizens:

In the midst of the Global financial crisis, Mayor Bloomberg has decided to remain as the Mayor of New York in spite of the existing term limits.

Preying on the fear felt and the uncertainty faced by New Yorkers, Bloomberg has decided that he is the only one able to lead in these dark times ahead. In order to bypass the term limit laws put in place by the New York City electorate on two occasions Bloomberg has resorted to attempting to override the law via his back room dealings with many self serving Council people.

Together they are working to push a bill in the City Council that will, if they prevail, give Bloomberg a third illegal term. This scheme is one that if successful can be repeated again and again as long as people are facing the uncertainty of the world-wide financial crisis.


Brooklyn City Council Members

Charles Barron
718 Pennsylvania Ave.
Brooklyn, New York 11207
718-649-9495/9496 tel.
718-649-3111 fax

Bill de Blasio
2907 Fort Hamilton Pkwy
Brooklyn, New York 11218

Erik Martin Dilan
387 Arlington Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11208
718-642-8664 tel.
718-642-8639 fax

Mathieu Eugene
123 Linden Boulevard
Brooklyn, New York 11226
718-287-8762 tel
718-287-8917 fax

Simcha Felder
4424 16th Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11204
718-853-2704 tel.
718-853-3858 fax

Lewis A. Fidler
1402 East 64th Street
Brooklyn, New York 11234
718-241-9330 tel.
718-241-9316 fax

Vincent J. Gentile
8703 3rd Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11209
718-748-5200 tel.
718-748-5222 fax

Sara M. Gonzalez
5601 5th Ave S-2
Brooklyn, NY 11220
718-439-9012 tel.
718-439-9042 fax

Letitia James
67 Hanson Place
Brooklyn, NY 11217
718-260-9191 tel.
718-260-9099 fax

Darlene Mealy
1757 Union Street, 2nd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11213
718-953-3097 tel.
718-953-3276 fax

Michael C. Nelson
3810-A Nostrand Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11235
718-368-9176 tel.
718-368-9160 fax

Domenic M. Recchia, Jr.
445 Neptune Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11224
718-373-9673 tel.
718-373-0195 fax

Diana Reyna
444 South 5th St.
Brooklyn, New York 11211
718-963-3141 tel.
718-963-4527 fax

Kendall Stewart
1694 Flatbush Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11210
718-951-8177 tel.
718-951-8191 fax

Albert Vann
613-619 Throop Ave.
Brooklyn, New York 11216
718-919-0740 tel.
718-919-0744 fax

David Yassky
114 Court Street
Brooklyn, New York 11201
718-875-5200 tel.
718-643-6620 fax

Queens City Council Members

Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.
159-53 102 Street
Howard Beach, New York 11414
718-738-1111 tel.
718-322-5760 fax

Tony Avella
38-50 Bell Blvd., Suite C
Bayside, New York 11361
718-747-2137 tel.
718-747-3105 fax

Anthony Como
78-25 Metropolitan Avenue
Middle Village, NY 11379
718-366-3900 tel.
718-326-3549 fax

Leroy G. Comrie, Jr.
113-43 Farmers Boulevard
St. Albans, NY 11412
718-776-3700 tel.
718-776-3798 fax

James F. Gennaro
185-10 Union Turnpike
Fresh Meadows, New York 11366
718-217-4969 tel.
718-217-4968 fax

Eric N. Gioia
47-01 Queens Boulevard
Suite 205
Sunnyside, New York 11104
718-383-9566 tel.
718-383-9076 fax

Melinda R. Katz
104-01 Metropolitan Ave.
Forest Hills, New York 11375
718-544-8800 tel.
718-544-4452 fax

John C. Liu
135-27 38th Avenue
Suite 388
Flushing, New York 11354
718-888-8747 tel.
718-888-0331 fax

Hiram Monserrate
32-37 Junction Boulevard
East Elmhurst, New York 11369
718-205-3881 tel.
718-205-4145 fax

James Sanders, Jr.
226-18 Merrick Blvd.
Laurelton, New York 11413
718-527-4356 tel.
718-527-4402 fax

Helen Sears
37-32 75th St.
Jackson Heights, New York 11372
718-803-6373 tel.
718-803-9832 fax

Peter F. Vallone, Jr.
22-45 31st Street.
Astoria, New York 11105
718-274-4500 tel.
718-726-0357 fax

David I. Weprin
205-07 Hillside Ave.
Suite 16
Hollis, New York 11423
718-465-8202 tel.
718-776-2302 fax

Thomas White, Jr.
145- 40 Rockaway Blvd
South Ozone Park, New York 11436
718-843-0792 tel.
718-845-0817 fax


U.S. Rep. Velázquez: Changing Term Limits for Bloomberg Violates Voting Rights

Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he wants the City Council to change the NYC's term-limits law and allow him another four years. A looming City fiscal crisis is the justification of the moment.

However, not everyone agrees that tampering with term limits is a good idea. Mayoral wannabes Congressman Anthony Weiner and Comptroller Bill Thompson--both Brooklynites--are, of course, opposed.

But so is LI's sole Latino Congressional Rep. - Nydia Velazquez (D-Brooklyn/Queens).

“It is totally wrong. It is totally un-American. It is totally undemocratic to overturn the people’s will that has been expressed clearly in two different referendums.

I reject the notion that, because of the fiscal crisis, we should use this as an opportunity to overturn the people’s will. New York City is one of the most resilient cities in the nation. It was shown after 9/11, when Giuliani wanted to use the attack as an argument to turn back the people’s will. This would be wrong. It’s morally wrong. And I will pose the question: Is it legal?”
More specifically, Ms. Velázquez said that any changes enacted by the City Council after the two referendums would have to be approved by the United States Department of Justice’s civil rights division, since three of New York’s boroughs — Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx — are protected under the federal Voting Rights Act.

Term Limit Plan Called ‘Totally Un-American’
Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez

NYC Mayor Bloomberg to seek 3rd term

Shakira Hearts Obama for U.S. President

Latina recording artist Shakira expressed support this weekend for Barack Obama's candidacy for President of the United States. The Grammy-winning pop artist and humanitarian believes that Obama is best prepared to lead United States -- a place of "profound importance to me".

"I feel in my heart that he would be able to reconstruct peace and confidence in the United States."
Shakira encourages all U.S. Latinos to vote in November. Amen!

Si, Se Puede!

Shakira - wikipedia
Shakira anuncia respaldo a Obama

Shakira Lauds Obama's 'True American Message'
La Fundación Pies Descalzos
(The Barefoot Foundation)


What Can Brown Do for You? @ Esperanza Leon's Solar Gallery in East Hampton

What Can Brown Do for You?

That's the name of the show at Solar, a lively exhibition venue in East Hampton directed by Esperanza Leon.

No, it's not about the company with the ubiquitous brown delivery trucks. Instead, it's an examination of the underside of the American economy: the exploitation of immigrant workers.

The show continues a theme that included Solar's 2004 show “Spanglish”.

Incongruity marks many of the works in Solar Gallery's present show; simply put, the effects are delicious and daunting. And risk-taking. It's not that these examples are necessarily surreal, yet in a way they cannot deny their surreal roots. More to the point, the pieces make social and political statements, some more subtle than others, that reflect the sensibilities of the current times. And that give dignity to the working class. Marion Wolberg Weiss, Arts Commentator, Dan's Hamptons - 9.19.08
Esperanza Leon, an immigrant from Venezuela, founded Solar in 2001 to showcase little known Latin American and U.S. Latino artists, as well as nonLatino artists investigating Latino themes.

For example, Brown includes:

Sheila Breck's Shadow Economy is a collection of the portraits of day laborers at the 7-Eleven in Farmingville.

Dulce Pinzon’s photographs document Mexican immigrant workers in New York City who withstand “extreme conditions of labor” in order to help their families to survive and prosper.

Aurelio Torres' work portrays the figure of the gardener or landscaper.

Also included are works by Santiago Garza, Christa Maiwald, Esperanza Mayobre and Michael Pribich.

The show can be seen through November 3, 2008.

"What Brown Can Do For You?" At Solar Gallery
Leon Delivers At Solar Gallery
Solar Gallery


Minerva Perez Scelza on OLA Latino Film Festival

“Sometimes we see that there is not a great message being put out there about the Latino community, but this film festival is a real prime way to celebrate the positive aspects. I hope that the celebration won’t just end with watching a film, but with really building a positive image within the rest of the community.”

Executive Director Minerva Perez Scelza on OLA Latino Film Festival

The first installment of the fifth annual OLA Latino Film Festival will be held at the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton on Friday, October 3, followed by a second evening with two new films at Guild Hall in East Hampton on Saturday, October 25.

Link: 'Journeys' is theme of this year's Ola Film Festival - 27east.com
Related: OLA's 5th Latino Film Festival
OLA's Children's Art Project Features Hector de Cordova


LI's Working Class Economically Distressed

More than one-quarter of Long Island households are economically distressed, as are 22.9 million families across America representing over 60 million people; and one million homeowners across the United States face foreclosure in the next six months.

The report notes that those most distressed include people without college degress, single-parent households, African Americans, Lations and immigrants, i.e., a large percentage of today's American working class.

Economic Stimulus and Economically Distressed Workers, in a new study from the Center for Study of Working Class Life at Stony Brook University using data culled from the most recent American Community Survey of U.S. Census Bureau.

The study's authors recommend a $220 billion "stimulus" package to address the issue -- to be paid for by tax increases and budget reductions.

Related: Commentary: Bailing out distressed workers, for a change
The War and the Working Class
Time for a Taxpayer Revolt

Broken Identities: A Teatro Yerbabruja Production @ Suffolk Community College

El Teatro Experimental Yerbabruja presents Broken Identities, a physical theatre performance piece that explores issues of borders and identities within our community.

The work is inspired by personal experiences collected by artist Margarita Espada and her daughter Mariana Lima. What does it mean to be Latino/a, Hispanic, or Spanish? What borders are there to identity? These and other questions run throughout this multimedia production that includes music, acting, video, singing, and dance.

The performance is being sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Suffolk County Community College .

Actors Margarita Espada and Mariana Lima, who are mother and daughter, will perform the work.

Original music is by Salvadoran musician Jorge Renderos, and Arturo Vilá, Dragoney, Christopher Bunce y Obdulio de León are artistic collaborators for the work.

Thursday, October 2, 7:00 pm