The property tax season is just about over in Denton County. Did you protest your taxes? If you protested your taxes where you satisfied with the results? Protesting your taxes along with having your homestead exception can reduce your tax burden substantially. Many individuals who decide to protest their property taxes show up with little to no information to offer the appraiser for consideration on their property to help reduce the value of their property taxes. Then many protestors become angry with the appraiser for not reducing the value of their home to what they believe it is worth.
When you decided to protest your taxes and you filled out the protest form your options were: either mail the application or deliver it personally to the appraisal district’s office. If you decide to deliver your application personally to the appraisal office, in most cases, you visit with an appraiser immediately. In that case you had no information to present in defense of why your taxes should be reduced. You were at the mercy of the appraiser as to how much HE/SHE decided to reduce the value of the house if to reduce it at all.
Before showing up at the appraisal office consider all the flaws your house has and make a list. For example, is the house located across the street from a school, close to a busy intersection or street, close to the railroad track etc. Structural issues with your property may need to be corrected. For example, does the foundation need repair, roof repair, crack in the walls, termite damage, rooting wood, etc. Getting estimates on these repairs and presenting them to the appraiser can help reduce the value of your home and thus your taxes. Anyone who does these types of repairs can give you an estimate. Provide pictures along with estimate of repairs to the appraiser. These are some things that may contribute to a lower value of your home and therefore, lower taxes owed.
Protesting your taxes based on equity rather than sales is also a good way to protest your taxes. When you fill out the form check the box that states “value is unequal compared with other properties”. To view property values in your neighborhood or addition, type on your search engine, “Denton Central Appraisal District”. Hit search to bring you to “Denton Central Appraisal District”. On the find property line type the I.D. property number and hit enter. This will bring you to your property screen, click on “details”. On the next window click on the middle lower right on blue highlighted lettering next to “acres addition”. On the next window on the top of the window click “export results” and click “open”.
The excel spread sheet will appear that contains all the information of the properties in your neighborhood or addition. Use this spread sheet to see the values of other properties in your neighborhood. You will find that there is a big difference between many properties with the same square footage and acreage. Use this information to argue the value of your property. Here, we are talking about other properties in your neighborhood or subdivision so you have plenty of properties to compare.
Using the latest sales in your neighborhood to determine the value of your home does not make much sense. People that put their property up for sale also spend thousands of dollars in improvements to maximize the what their property will sell for. Sales are not a true reflection of what a current occupied property is worth.
It is important that you as a property owner do your homework before you walk into the appraisal district office so that when you walk out you feel that you are paying an equitable tax amount based upon the agreed value of your home.
It is actually “Do you know the way to San Jose” a 1968 Dionne Warwick song, however a quick google search will prove I am not the only to make that mistake. Either way song or no song Santa Fe is more than worth your visit. Originally inhabited by the Tewa Indians and known by them as OghaPo’oge for several thousand years before the first Spanish settlement. This came much later in 1610 and is recognized as the oldest Capital city in the US. Santa Fe translates into (Holy Faith) it’s full name is Santa Fe de Francisco de Assis.
Don Juan de Onate led the first European effort to colonize this area in 1598, then came the Pueblo Indian revolution in 1680 that drove out the settlers. This area went through the Mexican revolution and at one point even had a confederate flag flew there. There is no doubt that this part of the US has to be one of the most history rich regions in our country. And if you visit this area you will find evidence of that in all parts of this area. Whether it is in architecture or the people itself, it is still there.
Before I get into the visual sites, I want to acknowledge the people and my perception of the areas vibe. Austin, has keep “Austin weird” as a often used slogan. If I was giving Santa Fe a slogan it might be “Keep Santa Fe Chill” or maybe “No hurry, no worries” I never saw the kind of aggressive driving that is normal, sorry to say in the D/FW metroplex. And of course, it would be easy to point out that Santa Fe does not began to have the traffic that D/FW has. That is true but believe me I have had that experience in say Lubbock for one. So, it goes further than mere numbers to explain this laid-back feeling, people were friendly, heck even pets were welcomed to its shops and stores, even Walmart. So, to the people of Santa Fe I say Stay Chill and don’t go changing (Wait I think that’s a title to another song).
Now let’s visit Old Town, this area is full of shopping opportunities for all that includes handmade Indian jewelry, drums and much more. As for restaurants and adult beverages you can find those aplenty as well, as for me I found the food at the El Palalcio café to my liking. However, there is no shortages of choices for any age group or taste. In addition, you will likely run into to live music and dance depending on the day and time you visit. And while some may say, sounds like other tourist cities I have visited, I say not so much, this area has that little something extra.
A large part of the extra is the Loretto Chapel that has been the subject of many articles, TV shows including Unsolved Mysteries and a made for TV movie titled The Staircase. The chapel dates to 1878 and according to legend it all started with a need to access the choir loft. The choir loft was 22 feet above the floor with very limited space. The dilemma was how to reach that area without eating up valuable space for the worshipers. Many area carpenters were called in for help, but none could figure a way to save the space without using a ladder.
Well as the saying goes “Where there is a will there is a way” however this way would have to come through divine intervention. So, the church nuns decided that they would turn to the patron Saint of Carpenters St. Joseph for help. So, they prayed a Novena to St. Joseph for help and on the 9th and final day their prayers were answered. A man riding in on a donkey with a tool box walked in, unlike the others he was up for the job. According to the legend, he completed the job in a few months and then left without pay or a thank you. He built a spiral staircase with was very different for that time, it had 360-degree angles and no visible means of support. In fact, many experts today are still perplexed at how he could have done that. After making an all-out effort to find this a head of his time carpenters, even running an Ad in local newspaper, the nuns concluded it must have been St. Joseph himself. You decide for yourself but if you are in this area this is for sure a Can’t’ miss stop. As for me I look forward to making my next visit to Santa Fe AKA “No hurries, No worries”
By A. Govea
United Fort Worth wants to derail implementation of SB4 the “Show me your papers” law passed by the Texas Legislature this session. Fort Worth is the largest city in the State of Texas to not join in the lawsuit to fight the law. Mindia has a personal issue with the law. She teaches at UTA and has seen personally the traumatic effect the law has on students, the fear of being picked up and separated from the family, that would frighten anybody.
Mindia is not one to stand in the sidelines and do nothing. She gets involved in fighting what she believes is an unjust law. She brings to the group what Jaime Escalante would say “ganas”. She brings passion so badly needed to a new group that is fighting for a cause it truly believes in. Mindia has considered that her activism can have an impact on her professionally. Nevertheless, she has a courageous attitude. These are not times to be afraid.
A Texan by birth, Mindia was born in Amarillo, Texas. She came to Fort Worth to attend TCU. After graduation, there was no more going back to Amarillo. After graduation, she started building her career here got married and started raising a family. She has two children. She got her Bachelor’s from TCU and a Master’s from Seton Hall. She is a teacher at UTA where she teaches Public Relations in the Communication Department. She is also an independent consultant doing marketing and public relations work. Her classes are diversified. Many of her students are Latino; immigrants; refugees; Muslim; LGBT; and DACA.
She has seen firsthand the impact that the law has on split families where you have an undocumented parent with one child undocumented and one an American citizen. The process of filling out the paperwork to attain legal status is so laborious that one student, married to an American citizen, stayed away filling out the paperwork. The task was so draining that he became depressed. It may take up to eighteen months for refugees to attain legal status and during this time a simple misdemeanor can have a person arrested, detained, and deported.
Mindia strongly believes that immigrants bring value that the immigrants bring to the community. She is concerned there may be an increase in racism because of SB4. United Fort Worth brings its on challenges to the table; it is a grassroots organization; it has no budget; not enough manpower; and the tactics are different.
Take an action not a stand
If we stand up others will stand up.
There are more people against SB4 than are speaking out.
United Fort Worth is showing the will of the people, need more to come to the meetings.
There is a Silent Majority out there that needs to become vocal.
TCC Trinity River Campus hosted the Latina Stem Fellowship Camp July 10-20, 2017. Below are pictures of the students fully engaged in learning. In talking to the students, I discovered that most come from local high schools, Arlington Heights, Paschal, Northside, Nolan, even Grand Prairie, Aledo, and others. And they range from Freshmen to recent graduates, they all have one thing in common they want to succeed in their chosen field and know this will give them a step up. Thanks to Dr. Sophie Garcia, Iris Duarte and Dr. Robert Munoz for supporting this knowledge camp. Below are comments from Dr. Sophie Garcia camp facilitator and Instructor.
The young ladies wanted to attend camp to be around other ladies who enjoy science, to travel to the colleges, and to learn from mentors.
Dr. Garcia told me that parents have expressed their gratitude for such a program. They are always saying "thank you" and tell me how much fun their children are having. One parent told me that her daughter comes home so excited to tell them everything she has learned or done that day.
Camp highlights: students seeing college dorms for the first time. Students being amazed by the research happening at universities and realizing they can do research too when they attend university.
While some in our community run away from the lowrider culture/lifestyle it has found fertile ground for growth in of all places, Japan. Much like Levi’s, American Music and American lifestyle in general, a large part of Japanese youth has embraced not only lowriding but the Chicano Onda. And to what extent may surprise you.
It is not just about the cars, but about a shared kinship with their American counterparts about family pride and attention to detail. They even have Chicano Music DJ’s and historian of sorts that explains the origin of the Chicano label as a badge of honor and unity. And if you think that this is all new, you would be wrong. Former Lowrider publisher Alberto Lopez traveled to Japan in 1992 to help organize the first lowrider show in Japan in 1992 that had over 300 car entries. The lifestyle has steadily grown since then to include a Japanese language lowrider magazine, clothing sales and of the export of customized lowriders to the island. And they aint’ cheap, in fact they will pay a premium likely 3 times or more of what you might expect to pay locally.
Even the King of the Brown Sound Little Joe has performed before enthusiastic crowds in Japan in the early 90s and beyond. Some of the most popular rappers in Japan not only perform in Japanese but also in English and Spanish. You may click on https://vimeo.com/200029488 to view a short 7-minute video about the Japanese Chicano lifestyle to find out more. I will close by thanking the young people in Japan for showing Nuestra Raza some love, especially since our country seems to be going in the opposite direction.
By A. Govea
The sun had set over the horizon and as darkness draped the Hemingway Marina an inconvenient truth became abundantly clear; we had lost Roberto. It was strange to describe a 56-year-old man as lost. However, we were in a foreign country and there was really no other way to describe it. We had all left together this morning to Old Havana. We had agreed to meet at 5 at La Floridita. However, I got delayed because my friends, Jill and Dan insisted I help them find shirts like the one I had bought.
It’s not easy buying souvenirs in Havana. Any manufactured good is scarce. Souvenir shops don’t have deep inventories like they do in other countries. For example, I had purchased several small oil paintings. However, after purchase the vendor would remove the wooden frames from the canvas. They had to reuse the wooden frames because they did not have any more. By the time we reached La Floridita at 7pm Roberto was nowhere to be found. We took a cab to the Marina Hemingway and he was not there. It dawned on me that I had assumed he had cab fare. Roberto was a very proud person and he would not have asked to borrow money. I felt terrible.
The one suggestion we heard over and over was to stay out of Havana at night. Now we were walking single file to catch a cab back to the city to look for our mate. I left word with Dan and Jill that we were leaving and to report us to the US and Mexican embassy if we did not return by morning . I should have taken some long-distance walkie talkies. We got dropped off at La Floridita and walked down Obispo street towards Plaza de Armas. Don asked a local if there was free internet anywhere and he gave us directions. Many of the streets were dimly lit. We walked about 10 blocks and came upon an extraordinary sight.
People were sitting on the curbs and the street in the darkness, huddled against one another. People of all ages, shapes and sizes. They all either had their own device they were looking into or sharing. You could not walk without stepping on someone. It was a tranquil and serene settling. A nation thirsty for knowledge from the outside world. We walked around, looking for Roberto with no luck. We thought that maybe he had come here to make contact.
We headed to Avenida Antonio Maceo and followed the Malecon to Hotel Nacional de Cuba. We passed several streets that were bustling with activities. The bars had spilled into the streets in some places and people were dancing to salsa and merenge. I wondered if the patrons were Cuban. At La Floridita, it seemed as it most of the patrons were foreign tourists and the only Cubans were the staff and entertainment. Roberto loved music so we looked in several bars but no luck. We got a cab and asked the cabbie to take a route the pedestrians might be more likely to take. It was past midnight when we got to the marina.
“Any luck with Roberto?” asked Dan as we walked by his boat.
“No,” I said.
“You going to the embassy tonight?”
“No, we are going to stand watch for him and go in the morning,” I answered. We were all tired. We sat at the back of the boat and waited. At about 2:30 am we saw a figure making its way through the shadows towards the boat.
“Roberto!” yelled Don. We all walked towards him. He was barefoot and carrying his shoes.
“Me vine caminando desde Havana!” yelled Roberto. His eyes were bloodshot. He looked drained and dehydrated. I was so happy to see him.
“Roberto!,” Dan yelled as he swayed his way to the boat. Dan was a party animal and was three sheets to the wind. He also gave Roberto a big hug. Everybody liked Roberto.
We spent the next three days enjoying Cuba. We went to Hemingway’s Hacienda. We also participated in a Regatta into Havana Harbor. All 19 yachts in our group were part of the parade. First each boat stopped at the customs office, then went out of the marina and single file towards the Havana Harbor. We were told that it was the first time since the revolution that American private yachts were allowed into the Havana Harbor. I didn’t know if that was true or if that was something they told us as tourists.
During the Regatta, we had passed a tiny fishing boat with three Cuban fisherman. One of the fisherman was a young man. His face was covered in soot from their small engine. He didn’t seem very impressed by our festive mood, big yachts and loud music. He looked at me and made a rotating motion with his fingers pointing at me then at himself. Asking if we could trade places. I would have liked to sit with him and learn more about his perspective. It made me think of two young men I had photographed while I was eating at a small restaurant. They were carrying an antique sewing machine and had a very determined look on their faces. It was these types of Cubanos I wish I had spent more time with learning about their way of life and their hopes for the future.
Havana was beautiful and it was an extraordinary trip. The history is in living color. When Castro rolled into Havana on January 8, 1959 he created a time capsule between old, Capitalist Cuba and the new Communist government. Many buildings that housed banks, oil companies and other enterprises were long abandoned. Their beautiful exterior architecture is still visible. The influx of American cars also stopped and created the incredible spectacle of antique cars with Japanese transmissions and Russian engines that zoomed around in Havana. I did not see a single accident while I was there. Don’t know if it was because of minimal cell phone use, lack of tight work schedules or what. I left thirsting for more and hoping to come back some day. I felt a sigh of relief when we cleared Cuban customs and made our way towards Key West. It’s funny how on a typical vacation, you hop on a plane and 2 hours later you are at your door step. In our situation leaving Havana meant another 960 miles back to home port. A storm was brewing to the North. Vacation was over and the mighty sea demanded our full attention.
Author BIOGRAPHY, Gilbert Arrazolo
I was born on April 24, 1968 in Rio Bravo, Tamaulipas Mexico. My family brought me to the United States when I was four years old. When I was 11 my father was deported back to Mexico and was gone for six years. Fortunately, my father had instilled in me a strong work ethic and I obtained my law degree at 24 years of age.
I have handled crashworthiness claims against SUV/light truck manufacturers since 1996 due to my belief that manufacturers did not provide adequate occupant protection in the event of a rollover accident. The federal government finally changed the federal safety standard in 2012 and as a result cars built today do tend to provide more protection in the event of a rollover.
However, the most interesting case I’ve handled was a case in 1995 where I had the pleasure of meeting Alberto Govea. It was a race discrimination case against Conoco in which ultimately the United States Supreme Court swept minority interests under the carpet. I hope to publish my book about this extraordinary case, LEGAL RACISM IN AMERICA. I’d like to congratulate Alberto Govea on this fine magazine. I am truly humbled by the opportunity to be published here. I’d just like to say that I’ve admired your willingness to fight for justice and your efforts are truly appreciated.
As a voter registrar for several years, I have heard every excuse under the sun from Latinos as to why they do not vote.
I don’t have enough information about the candidates.
I don’t know enough about local issues.
There’s not enough news coverage of local elections.
I don’t know when local elections are held.
I don’t have enough time to vote in local elections.
It’s not worth it.
My vote doesn’t matter.
I don’t feel a connection to the city.
Local elections are less important than the national ones.
I don’t know where my polling place is.
I haven’t lived in the city long enough to know who to vote for.
How much does it cost to vote?
Messages from politicians are negative and cynical
Candidates never follow up with their promises.
Instead of looking for an excuse why not to vote, Latinos should look for reasons why they should vote. Voting is not a waste of time and politics does affect you. Government policies whether city, county, state, and federal affect our everyday life. The taxes taken out of our paychecks, the interest rates paid on student loans, the health care benefits received from employers, whether fracking will be allowed in your back yard or city. Police and fire departments, libraries, schools, roads, bike paths and parks all are funded by local government.
These and many more issues are determined by politicians. Voting is a way for Latinos to have some control over the decisions that affect their family and community. If you cannot think of any reason to vote think about those you love and what bad policies can do to them. We are witnessing today very bad policies aimed at Latinos. The reason politicians implement policies aimed at minorities is because minorities do not vote. Those that hate minorities do vote and vote for those politicians that will implement their way of thinking. Voting is one of the most important ways Latinos can express their opinion on what is important to them. As a Latino that votes, you are involved with the future of your country, state and city. You believe in being active in decisions that affect those you love. You cannot stand idle and hope someone else makes things better for those you love. Voting is an important way to show that you belong to a family and community. That you believe in a better tomorrow for those you love and for future generations. You vote because as a Latino you understand that there are some in our America who would like to push us back when Latinos could not eat or get educated in the same places as white Americans. Latinos have fought and died so that Latinos can vote. Latinos today need to take up the torch and vote for a better America for all Latinos. As a Latino I promise, to my family and fellow Latinos, that I will make sure that every family member that is eligible to vote registers and votes.
And the Winner is:
They say if it looks like a duck, if it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck with today’s alternative facts it is hard to know what it is. You can be more certain with the other expression, “Birds of a feather flock together.” Or as we say in Spanish “Dime con quien andas y te dire quien eres.”
Long before this election for Fort Worth City Council District 2, it was widely acknowledged that there were no Latino leaders in the Northside. This time there were four well-credentialed candidates with lots of potential to be great leaders. I was impressed with three. That was my personal observation. I interviewed all four candidates and walked away with the impression that none had the broad knowledge of public policy that I expected for someone seeking such an important office.
Two candidates made it to the runoff, Steve Thornton and Carlos Flores. Thornton was the populist candidate and Flores the establishment candidate. By establishment we should understand that Mayor Betsy Price endorsed Flores hence he had the support of the establishment or more accurately the Republican Party. This was a power play of a local election with national implications.
This was the ugliest election I have witnessed in all my time in politics. It was ugly. Garbage was hurled by both candidates. There were no saints, or good guys only bad guys. The Flores Campaign fit the Trump playbook perfectly. There was disinformation, fake news, lies and surrogates to distribute the propaganda.
At first, I followed a surrogate claiming that Thornton was a Republican, had voted for Trump and from then on it was just adding to the carnage by other surrogates. It started with social media and was followed up by mailouts. All these claims were just fabrications. Then there was the mysterious half-way house that it too got a lot of mileage. This was a campaign of “good” versus “evil”. Flores represented “good” and Thornton represented “evil”. The Flores Campaign followed the Trump model. Trump chants were “locker her up” here it was liar, liar, troll, troll, really sickening.
What disappointed me the most about Flores was when I was told that he had gone to the Righteous Branch Ministry and told the staff there to immediately remove a Thornton sign at the church or he would have the 501c3 cancelled. Perhaps he did not realize that such tactics are used in other Latin American countries and they do work. These threats intimidate and frighten people. His threat showed a great degree of ignorance and arrogance.
So, what is the difference between the local election and Trump? It was about showing the national audience that the Republican Party was still in power in Tarrant County. We know that the mayor is for the Sanctuary City law. The question now is this, “Will Flores have the courage to stand up for the Latino population of Fort Worth or will he be like the generations of other Mexican American politicians that have rolled over and played dead?” “Will he allow the mayor to separate children from their parents?” “Will he be the one to stand up and make a motion to have Northside Drive named after Cesar Chavez?” The position carries a lot of responsibility, will he be up to the task? Thornton is keeping his option open to run again. Maybe we need this type of competition in the Northside. Minus the Republican Party unless Flores declares himself a Republican so the voters of District 2 will know his true party affiliation.
Dallas and San Antonio have shown that the best term limits are elections. Dallas voted three incumbents out of office and San Antonio the mayor. It is time for Fort Worth to follow suit. What is at stake here is the future of our children.
And the winner is: The Republican Party.
Editor’s Note: My observations are based on my experience as a candidate for public office, leader in the Naval Reserve, Army, Air Force, Teacher, Principal and one extremely knowledgeable of his Tejano and Mexican American culture. I learned in the military that race, a degree or a title does not make you a leader.
This was my farewell to Spain trip. This trip was kind of sentimental given the number of years I spent in Spain. It is hard to turn your back and say I will never return especially when I spent so many years there and Spanish blood runs in the veins of my children.
The journey back did not seem as long as going there. Although it actually was longer. The Trade Winds push you going there and hold you coming back. Adding to the flight time was a computer malfunction. The airplane had a “check engine” light. As the captain explained it was not a necessity to flyt but they wanted the airplane to be 100% to we waited until the airplane was fixed.
The country has been through enormous social political and economic change. With the death of Generalisimo Francisco Franco the path was open for a new direction for the country. Having lived under a dictatorship for 36 years, Spaniards were ready for a change, albeit leery of what the future would be like. It was reading El Pais the most popular paper in Spain that I got my leftist leaning.
The Air Force had a housing area called Encinar de los Reyes, Royal Oaks to us. It was on the edge of Madrid. It was a community of Americans. We celebrated 4th of July with a carnival and fireworks visible to all Madrid. There was a highway that I would take to go to Torrejon AB. Royal Oaks is gone razed to the ground replaced by much fancier houses. The highway to the base has been replaced by 3 or 4 major highways. A lot of fond memorized have been bulldozed to the ground.
For those of us that were stationed in Zaragoza and Torrejon Air Bases all we have are pictures and fond memories of what it used to be. Zaragoza was a training base. Fighter aircraft would fly in from other parts of Europe to use the Bardenas Reales Range. Torrejon was a fighter base. From here we would deploy to Incirlik AB, Turkey to use the Konya Bombing Range.
We can dwell on those fond memories and recall what we did to make the world safe for democracy. We brought American culture to Spain much visible today and American commerce. We took back parts of Spain that were unknown to many Americans. Except maybe for Hemmingway. There are a few remaining American military retires living in Spain although their numbers are shrinking.
Change is real. It cannot be stopped. We have to prepare our children to take charge of their future. But we must do it with education. Every politician needs to be held accountable for the education of our children. Everyone.
When you can help a youth, who found that high school was not the path for them, and give them the opportunity to earn their GED and or learn a trade that will be financially rewarding to them in the immediate future, you have created a great program. But, when you add the mentorship, and community service to the agenda it makes for a program that enhances the youth and the community around them. That is what makes YouthBuild unique, they can see the benefit of helping young people take care of a community that will take care of them in return.
The young folks with YouthBuild, has completed several construction services for Trinity Habitat for Humanity. This services include painting, fencing, roofing, building walls, and siding. The students have completed two garage for Trinity Habitat for Humanity. The garage are built on concrete slab and could be seen as small houses. The garages provide a wide range of work experience to all young people. They have also participated with other organizations like The Hope Center, City of Forest Hill, Tarrant County Food Bank, and Cornerstone Assistance Network. Helping them with various projects, while learning valuable life lessons.
These motivated young adults have made massive efforts for their future. In fact Jamar Bowers, Andre Malone, Johnny Ngo, Clayton Morton, Tarik McWhorter, Alton Brazier, Gabriel Murray, Shianne Osman, and Isaiah Garcia will be receiving honors with their National Center for Construction Education & Research Certification, Alternative High school diploma or Texas Certificate of High School Equivalency (GED) and increased literacy/numeracy levels. Their graduation is scheduled on June 23, 2017 at Tarrant County College Opportunity Center in Fort Worth, Texas at 4:30 pm. It is exciting to see where these bright young graduates will go.
The YouthBuild program also includes a Mentor program, this gives students additional support when setting goals and helps them stay on track. This program is seeking individuals to become mentors to their students. If you are interested you can contact Fennell Seilenga, Mentoring Coordinator at 580-230-9654.
It is also orientation and enrollment time again! The next two week Mental Toughness orientation for enrollment is scheduled for June 5, 2017. After the orientation is completed, the program will start on June 19, 2017. Interested individuals for enrollment can complete an application and intake, Monday through Thursday from 8:30 am – 2:00 pm. Individuals must provide picture identification, birth certificate, and social security card. The physical address is 6220 Anglin Drive, Fort Worth, Texas 76119. For assistance with program requirements or any questions can contact Tamara Gisclair at 817-851-4667. Good Luck to the graduates, and future graduates!
As a candidate for elective office I used to tell my fellow candidates that campaigns were like gladiator events, if you can’t stand the sight of blood you don’t belong in the arena. Another lesson I learned was that politics is gender neutral as Trump well proved.
I previously wrote about my integration into White American society as a member of the military. As a young boy, I was raised in the cotton fields of West Texas from what I can remember until about 1955 when we landed in San Antonio.
From there it was the US Army when I was 18. My first assignment was to a staff directorate at the corps level where I was the only Mexican American. In my section I was also the only enlisted man, a private and of course the only Mexican American.
I learned a lesson that would remain with me the rest of my life. I met two types of Whites in the Army, those from the North that were more accepting of my Mexican race and those from the South who told me to my face the race that I was and it was not Mexican, it was N****. These young Southerners taught me about racism and discrimination. At that time, there was no escape from these people. It was take it or get kicked out of the Army. I learned how to fight back with their own hateful words. Apparently, the Army liked the way I handled myself, they promoted me. Then I found out that rank had more than privileges, it had power the one thing the young southerners understood well. Witnessing the Trump campaign brought back memories except I wondered where did this man come from? I noticed like everyone else that he had followers. In the secure environment of his rallies they could act like him. Outside the rallies his supporters had to be more constrained either that or provoke a confrontation which some did.
While in the military I took advantage of conferences for Latinos where I learned about my race and what it meant to be a Mexican American. I learned from distinguished professors and other luminaries like Archbishop Flores and Father Virgil Elizondo, founder of the Mexican American Cultural Center in San Antonio. I attended these conferences on my own because I wanted to learn. This training that was available to all but that few took.
Later I went through mandatory race relations training. Everyone wore civilian clothes so no one would be stifled by the presence of high ranking officers and NCO’s. These classes were heated and close to being violent. Combination of my own initiative and military mandated training, I learned about race. As a leader in the Air Force I had to be observant to prevent racism in my shops. Being a minority in the military prior to the Civil Right Act was no cakewalk.
After the military I settled in Fort Worth. I was not born here but I have lived here long enough to consider myself a part of Fort Worth. Fast forward to today. It took over 50 years for all these dormant racist episodes to come back to life in the form of Donald Trump who has painted all Mexicans negatively with the same wide paint brush. The saddest part is that there are many people here in Fort Worth and Tarrant County that support him.
Because of my experience in a mostly White military environment and my longevity in Fort Worth I feel I have the right to express my opinion regarding the District 2 City Council race.
It is in this capacity, as an Army Vietnam War veteran, and retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant that I direct my comments at the District 2 race.
There are four well credentialed candidates vying to replace the outgoing councilmember that barely won reelection. We should be proud that after being in Fort Worth for over 100 years only one Mexican American has been elected to a county wide non-judicial office. That we Mexican Americans are finally coming out of the woodwork should be a sense of pride.
That sense of pride is taken away with the knowledge that the mayor has decided which candidate she wants in the city council. She has personalized this election. Although this is supposed to be a non-partisan election the mayor has revealed her political leaning as Republican. With the Republican establishment supporting one candidate there is an uneven distribution of resources and the election is hardly fair.
On top of an already unfair advantage local elected politicians have taken sides with the same candidate. One of them went so far as to ask a question designed to envelop the candidate in an unwinnable discussion. Obviously, this Democrat is taking sides. I wonder why local elected Latinos have not been able to get a street named after Cesar Chavez.
It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that the playing field is not level. The people of District 2 should be the ones to decide whom they want to represent them. It is time for Democracy to come to Fort Worth. You drain the swamp in Washington by pulling the plug in Fort Worth. I am confident that District 2 voters can make a good decision on their own without any outside interference.
The majority of people from Hispanic backgrounds highly values higher education. According to pewsearch.org, 83% of Hispanics living in the United States indicated education was an important part of deciding their vote in the past presidential election. Although Latinos wish to obtain a higher level of education many don’t have the ability to pay for school after high school. In 2014 66% of Latinos decided not to attend college after completing high school due to a lack of money.
However times are changing. In 2014 Latino students accounted for 35% of the college population, an increase of 13% from 1993, the largest rise in enrollment of all other ethnicities. According to the Huffington Post, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) estimates this percentage to rise to 42% by 2021, a growth of ten times more than whites with a growth of 4%. Additionally, pewsearch.org reported the index of Latino students that dropped out of high school dropped drastically from 2% in 2000 to 12% in 2014, the largest drop compared to all other ethnicities.
These statistics are reflected at the University of North Texas in Denton, their webpage indicates the percentage of Latino student rose from 10.83% in 2006 to 22.12% in the Fall of 2016. Once UNT reaches a 25% population of Latino students the U.S will recognize it as an institution that serves the Hispanic community. As a result the government would grant it more funding for Hispanic students with financial need.
Even though Hispanics are the largest minority in the U.S, the percentage of Latinos attending college is still lower than some other ethnicities. However, statistical trends indicate this will change in upcoming years giving many more Latinos an opportunity to obtain a higher education which would result in jobs of higher caliber and better opportunities for this ethnic group.
While the Chicano Movement was gathering steam in the US different kind of Chicano movement was occurring in the military in Europe. Latino Clubs were born in the 1970’s in many major military installations in Europe mainly in Germany. These private clubs were formed by military members that shared common cultural interests and values. Out of these individual clubs a larger organization was created that served as an umbrella. the Federation of Latin American Clubs (FLAC). In a way, FLAC was the military equivalent of LULAC.
Latino military personnel were often like fish out of water, their culture and language did not match that of their Anglo cohorts. This was especially true for young enlistees from the barrio. In the fish pond, you had to sink or swim. Young enlistees could not look up and see role models. There were few Latino leaders, officer or enlisted. There was no haven for Latinos. When off-duty some would cluster together. There was a need for a place for Latinos to assemble without fear of harassment and just enjoy the company of other Latinos. Even in 1970’s racism would rise and show its ugly face. In the courtyard of officer housing in Heidelberg, where the president of the FLAC lived one evening a huge burning cross appeared. Of course, there were no witnesses.
Our Latino Club at Rhein Main was very much involved in bringing awareness of the Latino experience to the installation. During holidays when there was a carnival or some festive event we would set up a Taco Tent. For three days, we would sell tacos. We would sell a lot of tacos. Lots and Lots of tacos. People would buy not one taco but many tacos. At 50 cents, a taco on a three-day weekend we would sell $20,000 worth of tacos. The proceeds were used to help other families, for the children and reunions. Later a second club was formed and sold burritos. Burritos would not sell as well as tacos. It was fun watching these guys come in and feast on the salsa. There were two containers, one for HOT and one for VERY VERY HOT. We used more of the VVH. Guys could not stay away. With sweat pouring down their forehead they would bravely swear that the salsa was not hot at all.
We formed a Tejano Conjunto also. We rented space at the Zeppelinheim city hall and had our dances there. Somehow people from all over the Frankfurt area would find out about our dances and show up on Saturday night to dance to South Texas polkas. We would fill up the place. We brought a little bit of home to the Frankfurt area military community.
But it was the FLAC conferences that we looked forward to. Usually held in Heidelberg. It was at one of these conferences that I met Father Virgil Elizondo, founder of the Mexican American Institute of San Antonio. I even met Bishop Flores of San Antonio. There were college professors, a college president and several generals that came and gave speeches and passed on their knowledge. The lesson was to understand our cultural origin and be proud of it.
It was a college professor of New Mexico that provided the best lesson. If you come from the barrio and speak Spanish, this is who you are. But right now, you are in this environment, no longer the safe barrio that you are used to. The criteria for survival and advancement in his atmosphere is different. The enduring lesson was simple. In Spanish, a watch is said to “Andar”. In English, it “runs”. To the Spanish speaking, time is not that critical. In English, it is critical. You can be late to a meeting in Spain without fear of repercussion. In the military, you will be chastised for holding up the meeting. The old saying goes “timeliness is next to godliness”. In the military, it is a religion.
The significance of the birth of the Latino Clubs is that while the Chicano Movement was going on a more peaceful movement was going on inside the military. We were part of the military bureaucracy that was in place. We were hardly noticeable to many. We were loyal soldiers never demanding much from the hierarchy. As we were noticed and the establishment saw that we were as qualified if not more qualified as our White cohorts we began to get promoted albeit in smaller numbers. We used to say that we had to be two or three times as good as our White cohorts to get promoted. Through FLAC we passed our culture and values on to our White cohorts concurrently learning what it took to be competitive in our WASP culture. It was a time for change in American society. It was a time for change in the military. I am proud to have been part of that change.
"I would like to introduce myself to those who don't personally know me. I am a veteran (USAF) who served honorably for eight years, securing nuclear weapons and controlling our friendly skies as a military air traffic controller.
I swore to defend and protect the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. I continue to uphold that oath as an air traffic controller, serving with over 29 years in the profession. I was one of the few controllers on duty during 9-1-1, securing and defending our National Airspace System.
I'm an election judge and a volunteer deputy voter registrar, serving our communities for over 15 years, supporting stability in our polling stations and registering thousands of Arlington voters
I'm involved in the community and schools, ensuring that our county commissioner followed through on a safety related issue that affected school children and pedestrians crossing from Camp Wisdom to Sublet Road. This resolution required the attention of Arlington, Grand Prairie, Texas Department of Transportation, and Tarrant County.
I welcome and appreciate all the candidates stepping up to serve in District 3. I pray that we stay positive and focus in our journey to becoming the next council member representing our district.
For more information about me or my campaign, you're welcome to call me at (817) 602-0644 or visit my Facebook page, Marvin Sutton for Arlington City Council."
Most candidates running for office spend their time in print touting and sometimes exaggerating their accomplishments. I think however, it important at this time to focus on you the residents of our neighborhood and two important definitions. Two words that are used frequently but sometimes their importance escapes us are Cabal and Grassroots. I would like to share with you their definitions and expand on their meaning in the following paragraphs.
If you look up cabal using Wikipedia here is what you will find: “A cabal is a group of people united in some close design together, usually to promote their private views or interests in an ideology, state, or other community, often by intrigue usually unbeknownst to persons outside their group. The use of this term usually carries strong connotations of shadowy corners, back rooms and insidious influence”
Unfortunately, and this is my opinion this has been the kind of local city government we have been subjected to for too many years. I am tired of our neighborhood being forgotten or passed over. Based on what I have seen in my career responding to emergencies in our community for 28 years, I am appalled at how we are neglected.
In order to change this, let us look at the true meaning of grassroots. Grass roots is the very basic level of our society. It is us the people who work and toil each day who pay the taxes. We are the people who if not for us the government would not exist. Grassroots movements spring up spontaneously due to some pressing need. Well, it is time for us to spring up and elect a city council leader who will address the pressing issues of our community. It is time for us to rise up and face the enemy.
The enemy is apathy. This apathy arises because we are so busy working and dealing with our everyday responsibilities. We are faced with so many demands from work and in caring for our families. It becomes so easy to be pulled away from exercising that precious power. This is the power that is your voice. We must find time to exercise our power to vote! We need a true grass roots movement that will rise up and elect Steve Thornton. I am a man who shares your values. I am an independent man who is not working for or influenced by those outside interests. I am your public servant not a politician. In a runoff election apathy really tries to defeat us. Now more than ever it is up to you to beat this enemy and put in a true servant who only has your best interests at heart and not the Cabals. Show them you are here, have a voice, and aren't going to
take it anymore. Get out and VOTE FOR STEVE THORNTON.
This is a paid advertisement.
I am Carlos Flores, the only candidate born and raised in Fort Worth’s Northside in District 2. My family has deep roots in the Northside and Diamond Hill. I am an All Saints Catholic School Alumnus and Nolan High School Alumnus. We are longtime All Saints Catholic Church parishioners. Along with my wife and two children, we live in the Northside and are active in our community. I am an Aerospace Engineer and studied at the University of Texas at Arlington and a graduate of the Leadership Fort Worth Program Class of 2008. In my career, I worked on major national defense projects like the P-3 Orion, F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-35 Lightening II fighter aircraft.
I believe I am the best qualified candidate for City Council because of my comprehensive knowledge of District 2, its communities, and city governance. Currently, I chair the city Zoning Commission, responsible for orderly residential and commercial development. I am former Chairman of the Building Standards Commission, former board member of the Crime Control and Prevention District (CCPD), Fort Worth ISD Advisory Committee, Library Foundation, Stockyards Design Standards and Guidelines Task Force, Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. This combined experience would all be a valuable asset as a city council member. My top three priorities are: 1) Public Safety, 2) Roads/Transportation, 3) Smarter Development.
I am the only candidate endorsed by a broad coalition of supporters, including Mayor Price, fmr. Mayor Mike Moncrief, Councilman Sal Espino, and School Board President Jacinto Ramos, Jr., and the Fort Worth Police Officers Association. While serving on the Crime Control and Prevention District, I reviewed and maintained budgets for Police resources. As the only candidate born and raised in the district, I possess the historical, present-day, and future perspectives required for a rapidly growing city. I have the longest volunteer community service record and the deepest roots in the communities and city I love and wish to serve.
I humbly ask for your support and vote.
Michelle Obama said it best. When they take the low road, we take the high road. She said this in reference to the negativity of the Trump Campaign. I can recall my campaign days when I would advise other candidates that politics was like a gladiator event, if you can’t stand the blood you don’t belong in the arena. What I was referring to was that when you enter a debate you have to be totally prepared otherwise the other candidates are going to make mincemeat out of you.
That sage advice could have well been given to some local Latino politicians. This is the second election that I have seen disgusting literature from some politicians. In these small elections knowledge of issues is very important. I would hope that we have reached a level of political sophistication that we vote based on our knowledge of issues and not on “chisme” originated by some candidate desperate to get elected and void of knowledge of the issues. Question is “Why are local politicians taking the low road?” Because they cannot discuss issues?
Chisme is what is called “fake news” or simply propaganda. Like propaganda, it works. Our Latino politicians should be more concerned on educating our voters on the importance of voting. You the voter need to know that if you get chisme literature, to throw it in the trash and go to the ballot box and vote against the person that sent it. There are issues that they should be able to discuss with voters. My mother was ever vigilant and the worse thing we could do was get caught passing chisme. She hated chismoleros.
There are issues that are very important to the citizens of Fort Worth. For instance, there is the Trinity River Vision, is it really a good deal for voters? Then there is the demolishment of the Northside little by little to make room for economic development. Slowly but surely, the Latino is being squeezed out of the Northside. As a precursor to economic development we should first make sure that all our children are getting a world class education and that all are graduating for high school and obtaining an employable skill. If that does not happen people from other parts are going to move in to take the jobs. High school graduations should be more than photo ops for politicians.
The Mexican American experience in Fort Worth is way over 100 years old. Politically, we do not have much to show for it. You can tell by the names of streets named after Mexican Americans. One, maybe? Our local Latino leaders have not even managed to name a street after Cesar Chavez. I read a report that stated that there were no leaders in the Northside. Could it be true. Perhaps it is time for a candidate for office to stand up and say; “I am that leader!” Or shall we continue to be mancitos? We have a lot of work to do to catch up. This is no time for mancitos.
The article indicates that "post-traumatic stress disorder" (PTSD) is a clinical label is the modern day term "Mal de Susto – (Fear-Sickness)” or just plain “Susto”. Thus the phrase “The Mexican male is the bravest in the world and the only one they cure of “Susto”. Fear can be manifested in the form of mental illness due to a traumatic experience, I’m not so sure about physical. And, yes some rituals are still practiced today by Latinos, Native Americans, and so forth, but are simple and were passed over time. The ritual we used was to lay a person in bed, cover them with a sheet, and sweep them in the form of a cross with a broom saying some sort of prayer. The other ritual was the use of an egg placed under a bed to cure an unknown sickness or “Mal de Ojo”, thus if you like my eyes, please touch them with your hand to prevent that occurrence.
We have combat veterans of all nationalities from WWII through the current Middle East including North Texas that suffer from traumatic experiences due to combat, but are affected in different ways. Some are heroes like Audie Murphy and Roy Benavidez (RIP) both Medal of Honor Recipients. They lived with PTSD but could deal with it. Others are devastated caused by the terror they experienced and need psychological counseling. Historical native cures are not sufficient to cure PTSD. It is much more in-depth than just “I’m afraid”!
Marshall (Marcelo) Araujo is uncle to my wife Rita Herrera via Rita’s mother Christine Araujo Herrera. Marshall was a 17-year-old Hispanic male in the prime of his life, vibrant, athletic, and a very good guitar player when he enlisted in the Army for the Korean War (Conflict). In combat he suffered near death experiences and one in particular where he saw his best friend blown to pieces as he stood next to him; Marcelo was untouched. Marcelo was discharged 100% disabled (mental) and sent home to Fort Worth. He was well-known in the south side of Fort Worth. Family relatives Asencion Carrillo and Albert Carrillo cared for him ending with Bertha Mojica. We bought him a guitar to play. He had to be told when to eat, when to bathe, when to change clothes, and when to go to bed. Many times his caretakers had to bathe him. Marcelo would have his shirt sleeve rolled up. When someone came in the room or close to him, he would roll it down and say “Top Secret”. It is true that he used to chase kids but was playing, meant no harm, never touched them. When he was told to stop he understood and never did it again. He was often seen in bars throwing money into the air and people diving for it only to be told to return it because he did not know what he was doing, and they did. Other times he would frequent restaurants in the south side and would pay with rocks, which were accepted because they knew he had returned from the war completed disabled mentally. His grandmother and his cousins took, turns caring for him but eventually Bertha Mojica was the final caretaker. My wife, Bertha and I would take him to the Veteran’s Hospital in Dallas for checkups. Many times we had to trick him into going otherwise he would not go. Marcelo Araujo was not whisked away and never seen again. He was in good hands and received excellent care.
Marcello (Marshall) Araujo was born in January 1931 and died in June 27, 2002 in Fort Worth hospital. His obituary was published on June on June 30, 2002. He received the Rosary and was given a Roman Catholic Mass for burial. He was buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Fort Worth.
So why don’t Latinos/Latinas vote as a bloc? During the 2016 election cycle the media was fixated on portraying the Latino Community as a monolithic voting bloc very similar to the Black Community. It turned out that they were not this monolithic voting group. So why don’t Latinos/Latinas vote as a bloc like the Black Community is said to? The Black American Community has a unique history that is unique to them which binds them much closer together as a voting bloc. The Black American Community is made up of individuals who can trace their ancestry to those Africans brought to the United States as slaves. These descendants of slaves comprised the majority of the Black Community. The Black Community shares a common history and therefore a common interest.
The Black Community knows their history and it has not been white washed like the history of the Latino community. The reason for the civil war is taught in school so new generations are familiar with their history. The Black Community, those that are descendants of the civil war, is still the majority in the Black Community. Their history has not been diluted by new black immigrants. This community has a very intense history and that is why no other group can ever be convinced to vote as a voting bloc like the Black Community. The Black Community knows who Martin Luther King is. Most Latinos could not tell you who Cesar Chavez or Reis Trijerina were and what they fought for. Latino history is not taught in school so no history is passed on to our children. Many recent Latino immigrants have no clue about discrimination against Hispanics prior to the 1960s. Or the impact Martin Luther King had on Latino’s civil rights.
After Trump’s attacks on the Mexican Community, the media assumed that the Latino Community would be outraged and vote Democrat. What the media discovered was that many in the Latino Community were not offended and were not voting Democrat. As a result, the media ignored the impact of the Latino vote and stopped reporting on the influence of the Latino vote. The media had no clue why the Latino response did not include abandoning Trump for his comments. Why were many of the Latinos not offended by Trumps comments? What the media and many non-Latinos and even many Latinos don’t understand is that today’s Latinos are a very diverse community. The Latino community of today mirrors the American White community. While the White community is primarily made up of people of European decent, the Latino Community is primarily composed of people of American indigenous decent but are separated based on: economic status, time in history when they immigrated, some never immigrated because they were here before the United States existed; country from where they immigrated, status of immigration, reason for immigration (Cubans fleeing Castro), people from the Caribbean etc.
The Latino community is made up of Native Americans, Mestizos, people who can trace their ancestry to the Spanish conquistadores, Mexicans that arrived here prior to and after the American border was established after the Mexican American war, Mexicans who arrived in this country to work the railroads and coal mines in the late 1800’s, Mexicans who arrived in the 1950’s to work agriculture, those who arrived here as a result of the Cuban Revolution, those who became citizens as a result of President Reagan’s amnesty, and -more recently, those large numbers of immigrants who have arrived after President Reagan’s Amnesty that have included immigrants from Mexico and Central and South America. So, in the United States if our common history does not bring Latinos together, what is it then that brings Latinos together? What brings Latinos together is our common ties with Spain and the blood of the indigenous Americans that first called the Americas their home.
In the past twenty years I’ve noticed two once low income areas, go to what are now two of the most coveted parts of town. The current site of the Tandy headquarters and TCC Trinity Campus was once government assisted public housing. The streets running perpendicular to Magnolia, were dilapidated houses and poor roads. Now, prime real estate, with mix of condos and posh restaurants and bars. This is not to say the city is wrong for promoting development, but in these cases the residents of the areas did not have representation to either save their property, or get a more than decent buy out of their homes.
And so, on the east side of Hemphill St. between Biddison and Bolt, there is a federally designated brownfield that will have more than 10 years in cleanup. There is activity on the sites, which may be evidence of wanting to return the area to development. In fact the southern corner at Bolt and Hemphill has been cleared, presumably for commercial development. A group that could have profound influence to the development of the area, is the Hemphill Corridor Task force. They can comment on issues involving Hemphill St, from Vickery to I-20. The members of the task force are primarily from interests North of Berry Street and especially from the Mongolia St area.
East Rosemont and Worth Heights areas simply don’t vote in local elections. Voting trends for the last 10 years in city council races show 4-5% turnout for the neighborhoods south of Berry St to I-20. This will be very necessary to get city hall and developers to hear their voice. Their neighborhood associations are grossly underserving their residents, forming clicks rather than maintaining broad appeal. The neighborhoods are old and in some cases suffer from blight, yet properties that are turned around and resold are bought quickly. Unfortunately when it comes to local issues, these residents tend to either be uninformed or simply don’t care.
People of the area need to know what is going on and how the area is planned to be developed. It is right that they participate in the process. Property owners and residents need to know what to expect from development of those properties. Informed, perhaps the neighborhood could be inspired to participate in local, May, elections, and civic groups, as to get political clout with the politicians and stakeholders.
If I was to give advice to anyone today it would be brief, Milton Berle once said “If opportunity doesn’t knock build a door.”
When I was growing up a high school diploma was all that you needed to get a good job. In the cotton fields of West Texas I would hear, “you do not need an education to pick cotton.” Or “an education is not going to make you a better cotton picker.” All these people were right. By the time I turned 12 there was no more cotton to pick. That meant, no income. Even in the early 1950’s, a skill was valuable.
In today’s complex world a skill is even more valuable. A high school diploma is important if you intend to pursue a higher education. For those that have no intention of pursuing a higher education a practical skill is a must have. Fortunately, there are ways to learn a lifelong skill. There are community colleges and technical schools. The first question student face is financing. Many students must balance career training and personal employment.
Imagine enrolling in a program to learn a skill where the employer is going to pay for all the costs associated with learning a specific skill. Such is program in the Job Corps run by the Department of Labor. The Job Corps is open to individuals age 16 to 24. The local office and training center is in McKinney.
The obtain more information about the Job Corps go to www.jobcorps.gov or call 800 733 5627. Locally you can call 817-625-3993. The Job Corps is a door. All you have to do is knock. If you contact them please refer to our article.