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Voces de Casa Maria

“The Great Climate Migration”: How Climate Change and US and Mexico Immigration Policy Affects Central American Migration and Immigration According to The New York Times and How We Will Feel These Effects in Tucson.

3 min read In July 2020, The New York Times published an article by Abrahm Lustgarten titled “The Great Migration”. Lustgarten models how certain climatic changes in Central America and U.S. immigration policies will affect rural to urban migration within Central America, and ultimately, immigration to Mexico and the United States. Climate change has affected rural agricultural Central American in various ways including crop blight, drought, and unpredictable storms. Lustgarten describes how these effects leave people in these rural areas unable to sustain themselves financially through agriculture, so they begin to move to large cities like San Salvador in search of opportunity. A

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URGENT ACTION NEEDED TO SAVE OUR BARRIOS…

2 min read Sign the letter and Show up at the City Council Offices! Thanks be to God, the Pima Area Labor Federation (PALF) and Jobs with Justice (J w J) have jumped on board and energized the Barrio Neighborhood Coalition’s campaign to get the cities of Tucson and South Tucson to declare a Moratorium on GPLETs! ON September 9, the Tucson Mayor and Council will decide whether to expand or terminate their Central Business District (CBD) which is the area in which the City is currently able to give out GPLETs to wealthy developers. WE NEED YOU TO SIGN ON TO OUR

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AZ’s Disastrous Education System

2 min read by Roxanna Valenzuela Last week my daughter began online classes. She is now in seventh grade; I can’t believe how time flies. Obtaining a high-quality education is paramount to minimizing the exposure to COVID-19, but we must postpone traditional learning for the safety of everyone. Most people I know have always struggled to survive in our capitalist system but now we’re risking and sacrificing even more. What frustrates me is that If only we had taken the necessary precautions six months ago and listened to the CDC and WHO, we could’ve prevented the spread of this killer virus and protected

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The Housing Market: Some Profit, Most Suffer While the Pandemic Rages On

4 min read I am Pissed- During this time of uncertainty and suffering due to the pandemic, many continue to pad their already too-fat wallets while a tsunami of evictions/foreclosures is looming ever closer on the horizon. For us here in South Tucson it seems obvious that the solution to the gentrification of the one square mile City of South Tucson is to buy as many homes as possible, getting them off the speculative market and into a Community Land Trust so as to provide housing that low income families can afford. But it is easier said than done. Why? Because “the housing

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The Realtors and The Chamber of Commerce – Enemies of the People

2 min read Thanks to Arizona Daily Star columnist Tim Steller for revealing how The Realtors and other monied interests are investing hundreds of thousands of dollars to influence the state representative elections on the South and West sides of Tucson. (Outside Groups use Glossy Mailers in Bid to Influence Voters, 7-29-2020) They want to ensure that the Dems elected will serve them in the State government. They are using so-called independent committees to shower money on the campaigns of Daniel and Alma Hernandez. And they sure as hell don’t want candidates with solid track records of consistently acting in the interest of

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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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Fighting for Justice, Liberty, & Peace in Barrio Libre