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Voces de Casa Maria

Miguel Hidalgo, The Virgen of Guadalupe, and Mexico’s Day of Independence

6 min read September 16th marks the anniversary of Mexico’s declaration of independence from Spain. Although many in the United States might be unfamiliar with this date, the opposite is true across the US-Mexico borderlands. Tucson, itself once a part of Mexico, has a long history of celebrating Mexican Independence Day throughout the decades with fireworks, fiestas, parades, and lots of good food and music. Tucson’s first non-native settlers were Spanish soldiers and Franciscan missionaries. Originally a presidio on the frontier of New Spain, Tucson established itself as a Mexican community before the arrival of Anglo settlers.  Soldiers, farmers, desert-dwellers, northernmost defenders of

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Advent 2021

< 1 min read Dear friends of Casa Maria, Thanks for all your past and current support. Several hundred people, including many families, still come here every morning for life-sustaining food. The soup we make is especially famous on the street. We continue to struggle to defend our barrio, aka The City of South Tucson aka Barrio Libre. Gentrification has morphed into the local and national Housing Crisis. Investors are snapping up every available property turning them into rentals and raising the rents big-time. This is creating massive uncertainty, desperation and suffering for many families already on the brink of being displaced. A house

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Barrio Neighborhood Coalition: Letter to Mayor & Council Addressing Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

3 min read To: City of Tucson Planning Commission Daniel Bursuck, Planning and Development Services Regina Romero, Mayor Lane Santa Cruz, Ward 1 Councilperson Paul Cunningham, Ward 2 Councilperson Karin Uhlich, Ward 3 Councilperson Nikki Lee, Ward 4 Councilperson Richard Fimbres, Ward 5 Councilperson Steve Kozachik, Ward 6 Councilperson Michael Ortega, City Manager   From: Barrio Neighborhood Coalition   The Barrio Neighborhood Coalition (BNC) has been working tirelessly since 2018 to stress to Mayor and Council and City Staff just how important the issues of gentrification, displacement and housing affordability are.  Through our efforts, there is now a Commission on Equitable Housing and

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St Mark in Oro Valley is not only beautiful on the outside, it’s comprised of beautiful servants of God.

< 1 min read Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, St. Mark the Evangelist parish had a “sandwich squad” that met on the fourth Saturday of every month to make 200 bag lunches that they would deliver to Casa Maria for distribution to the needy.  In addition, St. Mark parishioners would also volunteer at Casa Maria on the 4th Tuesday of the month and the Knights of Columbus would do the same every other month. When the pandemic hit, Fr. John Arnold (pastor at St. Mark) and Paul Guertin visited Brian Flagg to assess the situation at Casa Maria and find out how we could

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No Means No!

10 min read by Gene Martinez This is a story that belongs to the women of this community. As men we have a responsibility to use our privilege to show up and support women instead of continuing to dismiss and silence them. I have spoken to several women of the community and have received their consent to present their stories.  I write this in order to provide a voice for the women who are not heard. Since early June, young women in Tucson have been speaking out about sexual violence on Twitter. While some users have been sharing their personal stories, others have

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Voting is Part of the Revolution

4 min read by Citlali Ramirez Within the past four years, and especially within the past month, the United States has experienced a massive wave of political involvement and education. People are engaging in conversations about police and prison abolition, about systems of government oppression, and a large scope of topics that often go unmentioned. This leaves a lot of revolutionary voters questioning their role in the political spectrum if the same government you are a part of is and has always been working exclusively for the elite. In terms of the presidential election, it can feel very disheartening for leftist political revolutionaries.

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The Revolution will not come out of a City Committee

4 min read by Brian Flagg Now is the time for significant change! Something is in the air! People are in the streets demanding resources be re-directed to serving our very basic needs – such as housing! Gentrification perpetuates systemic racism and over policing in cities. We, who are trying to struggle against the gentrification of our barrios, need to seize this moment! It is time that we demand and fight for something substantial and real such as a moratorium on GLPETs (tax payer giveaways that fuel gentrification) by the city of Tucson and the City of South Tucson. I and we have

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RIP Pastora Enma

< 1 min read Last night we lost a spiritual giant, a powerful leader, and a dedicated Casa Maria volunteer, Enma Orellan (La Pastora) due to COVID-19. We are deeply saddened by her passing and would like to commemorate her memory. She was the director of the Salvation Army Youth Center almost next door to Casa Maria for many years. Dedicating her life to the service of others, even in her last days she displayed selflessness and valor by delivering food to those in need. In the words of her daughter Glenda, “My mom has been promoted to the glory of God” We will

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A city’s budget can tell you exactly where the city’s moral compass lies!

4 min read   by Cesar Aguirre    Casa Maria and Catholic Workers have always been anti-war. Some  of my favorite stories to hear Brian talk about are the protests against war and nuclear weapons. Stories of him and others camping at Davis Monthan Air Force Base for more than five months. Or of Dorothy Day and other Catholic Workers throwing blood on bombs.      It is our duty, not only as Catholics but also as decent human beings, to speak out against all destruction of life. War and the militarization of our police force is exactly that, the destruction of life.   

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!!!ACTION ALERT!!! The People’s Bailout

3 min read !!!ACTION ALERT!!! You can take real action NOW! Update on the People’s Bailout The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the HEROES Act; a sweeping, three-trillion dollar proposal that addresses many of the issues called for in the People’s Bailout. However, senators are saying the bill will be “dead upon arrival” when it comes before the Senate. We CANNOT let this bill for the people be crushed. Act now! Use the links below to send a simple message to Senator McSally and Senator Sinema. All you have to say is:  “I am a constituent and I urge you to Please

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Fighting for Justice, Liberty, & Peace in Barrio Libre