Voces de Casa Maria

The Holy Father Confronts Arms Dealers on Easter. What would he think of Tucson?

2 min read By Brian Flagg, “In an Easter peace wish, Pope Francis on Sunday praised the framework nuclear agreement with Iran as an opportunity to make the world safer, while expressing deep worry about bloodshed in Libya, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa.” Decrying the plentitude of weapons in the world, Francis said: “And we ask for peace for this world subjected to arms dealers, who earn their living with the blood of men and women.” (AZ Daily Star April 16, 1015) If you choose to be real, you gotta admit the Tucson economy is based first and foremost on

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< 1 min read By Brian Flagg, Contrary to the op-ed in today’s Star, this is not how you honor Cesar Chavez. He was a great labor ORGANIZER. His work was rooted in the experience of oppressed Brown workers, specifically farm workers. His life was about analyzing the power structure that oppressed his people and ORGANIZING to force politicians and rich people to do some justice. Way too often charity and volunteerism are offered up to the rank and file of society as solutions to the scourge of poverty, racism and income inequality in the U.S.A. Too often charity and volunteerism lead people to

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2 min read by Cesar (Big Cesar) Aguirre My usual weekend, going to Tucson from Ajo and helping out at Casa Maria when I can. This past weekend my son unexpectedly asked me to join him for a book study gathering at Brian’s. I was hesitant to go but I did anyway (my best move of the day). I found myself among some of the people I had met at Casa Maria last winter while volunteering in the soup kitchen. The topic was a book titled ¡Hugo! As I listened in (keep in mind I had never read the book or heard of

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Needed: Someone to articulate a new vision for economic justice for Pima County (TREO, the Southern Arizona Leadership Council, and the Downtown partnership need not apply)

3 min read (Chuck Huckelberry, County Administrator) By Brian Flagg, My feeling is that any and all of you concerned with the Liberation of the People owe it to yourself to read Inside Tucson Business. Seriously. How else are you going to know what the enemy (it’s nothing personal,) is thinking and doing? They did a little blurb (ITB, March 6, 2015) entitled: County Administrator Releases Economic Plan for Public Comment Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry has released a draft of the Pima County Economic Development Plan, 2015-2017. The plan details 13 strategies and 92 specific actions the county proposes to pursue to

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< 1 min read By Brian Flagg, Contrary to what the media promotes, the issue ain’t John McLane. Yes, he was stupid and he got busted for pot. And he has some big skeletons in his closet. The real issue is that all those dream pods in the downtown streets have raised the issue of the sin of massive poverty, homelessness and human suffering to the front burner of people’s consciousness. It has forced our Bishop to try to deal with it. It has forced Peggy Hutchison, Director of Primavera Foundation to come to a meeting and inform the community that in spite of

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2 min read By Brian Flagg, I/we don’t have a Catholic Worker job description that details how we go about a practice of faithful discipleship, one that moves in the direction of the spiritual and material liberation of those whom we serve every day. So we have to be creative. And we have to be inspired. One day a couple of years ago I had a flash of enlightenment. I realized that what I really wanted was not Pima County Interfaith Council organizers, but serious, dedicated revolutionaries. The organizers here, Jimmy Ojeda, Cesar Aguirre and now Gilberto Contreras have generally agreed with this

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I turned 60 on Monday, February 16

2 min read By Brian Flagg, It really pissed me off, for weeks leading up to the day. I successfully avoided celebrations and instead went by myself to camp and read and walk into Cochise Stronghold in the Dragoon Mountains east of Benson. It was the most perfect and most sacred place I could go to. I spent time reading about and reflecting with Cochise, Fr. Jon Sobrino and Fr. Ignacio Ellacuria, Hugo Chavez and Simon Bolivar, St. Ignatius and of course mi novia, Jesus! The first reading from the mass on my birthday was from Genesis 4, the story of Cain and

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3 min read Special thanks to the Tucson Children’s Project, Mimi Gray, Pauline Baker, Ben Mardel, Teresa Acevedo, and especially Lella Gandini of Reggio Emilia, Italy for making this all possible. by Cesar Aguirre As an avid supporter of public education and an extremely involved parent at Ochoa Elementary, I have done a lot of research and studied best practices of early childhood education. Over the weekend the Tucson Children’s Project held a conference titled “What the Research Supports”. I was in attendance, along with many dedicated teachers from Ochoa. Ochoa is a Reggio Inspired Magnet school. It’s the only public school of

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2 min read  February 10, 2015 Dear Sylvia, Thanks for coming to Casa Maria. I think we fundamentally disagree with you on some main themes, but talking with you and Terry Higuera really helped us think about desegregation and how we as parents and the larger community can move forward to advocate and organize for a more just TUSD. Ultimately it’s all about better educated kids. We understand that no matter what is just or unjust, right or wrong, there is a court order that exists. But it is only a court order, not a commandment that came down from heaven. We would

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Contrary to what you might read in the newspaper, IT’S A NEW DAY IN TUCSON UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT-

< 1 min read By Brian Flagg, There is now a new three person board majority that replaced Superintendant John Pedicone with a new Superintendent, H.T. Sanchez. H.T. has provided a new type of leadership. He has spearheaded a pay rise for teachers, reduced class size, aggressively defended the Culturally Relevant Curriculum from new attacks from the North, and refused to give up more legal fees for de-segregation lawyers who have milked the de-segregation lawsuit for 40 years. He and the Board are trying to use desegregation dollars to provide for increased academic achievement at magnet schools instead of only trying to integrate them,

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Fighting for Justice, Liberty, & Peace in Barrio Libre