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This is Latino USA, the Radio Journal of News and Culture. I'm Maria Hinojosa. Today on Latino USA, a review of the major issues affecting Latinos. In 1993, health care being the main one. But I am concerned about the anti-immigration sentiment and the violence along the borders. That was somewhat, I think, an outcome of the NAFTA dialog. Also, a conversation with Congressman Jose Serrano, chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. No one should make a mistake in saying that unity means we have to become robust. Italians don't all agree with each other, but they agree on the basic issue, which is to do what's best for Italians. This and more coming up on Latino USA. But first, this review of last notices of 1993
with the year end edition of the Latino USA News. I'm Maria Martin. This election was won because Hispanics believed in Bill Clinton. 60 percent of Latinos voted for Bill Clinton and hopes were high during the president's inauguration about the new administration's responsiveness to U.S. Latinos. Those hopes were heightened because of the record number of Latinos elected to Congress, as New York Representative Jose Serrano noted during inauguration activities and with a new caucus, with more unity and with a new president, we will put it all together for the future of our community and for our children. But some months into the administration, a number of Latino organizations expressed disappointment in the low number of Hispanic appointments to the Clinton administration as Latino USA. Patricia Lopez reported the national Hispanic leadership agenda applauded the appointments of Cabinet secretaries Henry Cisneros and Federico Pena. Still, Coalition Director Frank Noonan said the overall picture for Hispanics was
disappointing for its high level Hispanic appointments. The coalition gave the Clinton administration an overall grade of C minus. For Latino USA, Patricia Guadalupe in Washington, one of the most important and most controversial issues occupying the Congress in 1993 was one in which Latinos played a key role. Hispanics were active on both sides of the debate surrounding NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, as National Public Radio's Richard Gonzalez noted during a reporter's roundtable on Latino USA. If the question is will Latinos in the US, they benefit from Nevada? The answer depends on who you are, where you live and what you do. If you are a Chicano entrepreneur in the border states, you're likely to do very well by NAFTA. If you are an industrial worker in the Northeast or in the Midwest, you're probably in a situation where your company might find it advantageous to move your job to Mexico, in which case you become a loser because of these various circumstances. You see that the Congressional Hispanic Caucus here in Washington, up on
Capitol Hill, is very divided on NAFTA. There's one caucus member said to me, whenever you bring up NAFTA, you really have to watch your table manners. The free trade agreement becomes a reality beginning in January of 1994. In 1993, the Latino community lost many leading members, the Mexican entertainer, Cantinflas, the Cuban jazz innovator Mario Bauza, Puerto Rican singer actor level. And in April, 50000 people came to the California farming town of Delano to pay their last respects to farm. Labor leader says that Chavez is a healing process for all of us. And now we realize that we still have a lot of work to do. And I think his death gives us all a rebirth of where we have to recommit ourselves even stronger now to erase some of these injustices which continue. And one of the richest states in the world you're listening to Latino USA. The great floods that ravaged the Midwest in 1993 also wreaked havoc on the lives of thousands of migrant workers as the flood waters destroyed corn crops,
leaving farm labor stranded without work and often left out of relief efforts. They don't read English, they don't speak English. And everything that's running in the newspapers here is in English. A lot of the companies have put them in hotels or motels, so they'll be sitting in the motels with time on their hands for no income and trying to survive. 1993 saw hostile attitudes toward immigrants rights across the country. Polls showed the majority of Americans favor restrictions on immigration, and nowhere was the country's anti-immigrant mood more evident than in California, where Governor Pete Wilson proposed a change in the Constitution so that U.S. born children of undocumented immigrants would no longer be U.S. citizens. In a state where we have within Los Angeles a community of illegal immigrants the size of San Diego. By year's end, California Governor Wilson had signed four new laws restricting access to job training, health care and driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants in a very close vote last November.
Puerto Ricans on the island elected to remain a Commonwealth of the United States, disappointing a growing number of Puerto Ricans who had dreams of the island becoming this nation's fifty first state. Puerto Rican Governor Pedro Rosario spoke to statehood supporters after the defeat of the statehood option. Partial guarantee against coming up with this vote. We have taken a giant step forward for it, and you have to keep the faith maintained. That's what you have to have hope. After three years of economic turmoil in Cuba, some Cuban-Americans called for a tightening of the economic embargo while other groups defied the travel ban, shipping medicines and other humanitarian aid to the island. Amaria Martin, you're listening to Latino USA.
I'm Maria Hinojosa in 1993 will be remembered as the year that saw a new administration in Washington as the year of NAFTA, the year of the great Midwest flood of the death of Cesar Chavez and the year of increasing anti-immigrant sentiment. Joining us to review the events and trends of 1993 and their significance to the Latino community from Washington, D.C., El Bedeviling Swiller Crocker, president of the Mexican-American Women's National Association. From New York, Angelo Falcon, president of the Institute for Puerto Rican Policy. And from San Antonio, Texas, Rodolfo Delagarza, vice president of the Tomas Rivera Center, a national Latino think tank welcome and giving needles to Latino USA. Let's start with a broad overview. How would all of you, from your different perspectives, characterize the kind of year that 1993 was for Latinos in this country? Angela, why don't you start off? Well, as you mentioned at the beginning, you have a new administration coming in to Washington. We went through all these years of Republican administrations. I think there was a lot of hope that maybe we can start having some people we could talk
to at the national level, although this first year has been a little bit surprising in certain spots for many of us. But I think there was more of a feeling of hope or feeling of openings. And so in general, I think I would see it that way. Rudy? I think that's right. There was a lot of expectation. But then you follow that up with the realization that despite some very important achievements within Latinos themselves, that not as much has been realized regarding the relationship that Latinos wanted to have either with the new administration or with some of the issues that they have in their respective states. Be that you're based in Washington, D.C., what about your perspective on this year that's passed? Well, I think it was you could call it a year that was the best of times and also the worst of times from a certain perspective. We certainly did get some appointments that I think were significant to Latinos this year. We have two heads of departments here in Washington at Housing and Transportation with Susan Edison Pena, respectively. And then it was good things for women, too, because we got two additions to the United
States Congress in Nydia Velazquez from New York and Lucille Roybal-Allard from California. But if you look at the overall presidential appointments, I think that the national Hispanic leadership agenda, of course, graded the president as a C early on and then a D as the term went on. There was a lot of expectation with and all of you have brought up the issue of expectation with the Clinton administration in this year with those appointments. Do you think that Clinton is doing any better in terms of his sensitivity to the Latino community? I think that the way Clinton is dealing with Latinos now that he's in office reflects how he dealt with Latinos during the campaign. You had rather a general campaign designed to help all Americans. That's what he's doing, I think in the presidency. He's dealing with health care. For example, if he addresses health care successfully, his argument is Latinos will benefit, but he doesn't plan to sell it as a benefit to Latinos. What you have, I think, is who is really saying is is an attempt to kind of have a de
racialized approach to these issues. But one of the things that's going to be interesting is, for example, around the issue of NAFTA is the fact that you have these things called Latino communities around the country. And it was interesting, for example, to see during the NAFTA debate how there was a real division within the Latino community and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus around that issue were from a Puerto Rican point of view. There was tremendous disappointment with the administration and with the attack they took on NAFTA and a feeling that the passage of NAFTA was a defeat for Latinos in the Northeast anyway in terms of the expected impact on the economy. But on the other hand, I think that there are some issues that you've mentioned that are really important. And one is that poverty is a real problem for us, that health insurance is a problem for all of us. About 40 some percent of our folks aren't even insured. So clearly, if he addresses some of these problems, they will have a significant positive impact, I think, on our folks. But I am concerned about the anti-immigration sentiment and the violence along the borders. That was somewhat, I think, an outcome of the NAFTA dialog,
and that was disappointing. In fact, how do the three of you see the question of this growing anti-immigrant sentiment as part of something that will mark 1993 as, who knows, the beginning of a new wave of anti-immigrant sentiment or the beginning of the end of the anti-immigrant sentiment is becoming, I think, the issue. You see it intensifying all over the country as a major issue. We're seeing not only a tremendous backlash from white Americans who are seeing it from black Americans as well. And every place you go project I was working with Rudy on when we did a survey of Latinos in the country and we found that there was considerable anti-immigrant sentiment among Latinos, including Latino immigrants. So I think we're going to have to really think as far as the Latino community, how we inject ourselves into this. Conversation and to this debate at this point. Well, in fact, would you say that in 1993, certainly Latino leaders across the country are always complaining and many times obviously rightly so, about the question of our invisibility in the mainstream.
Do you think that that changed somewhat? Are more people paying attention to Latinos political clout, both in questions of being swing votes or in questions of proposing new ideas about how to handle some of these issues now? We had some clout, but it was the kind of clout that a lot of people had. That is, we got some concessions in exchange for a vote. Remember, though, that on the NAFTA debate, as Onkalo pointed out, Latinos split 10 to nine, 10 for nine against. I mean, that's almost random. So it's very complicated to talk about our clout. What is important to note is that the Mexican-American legislative delegation voted overwhelmingly for NAFTA. Also, the issues come to the fore this year on what to do with Puerto Rico, kind of our immigration issue, because just as we're talking about Mexican immigration, immigration, Latin America, Puerto Ricans come here already as U.S. citizens from Puerto Rico. And so you have that issue that's coming to the fore, I think this coming year, January. I think they're supposed to be hearings on that issue as well.
So the immigration issue kind of has different cuts within the Latino community. And it's, again, very, very interesting and very complex how we deal with these issues, how we define them, and how basically our leadership begins to project and deal with this and work together. So some Puerto Ricans say, well, immigration, I don't really care because I'm a citizen, but in fact, there is a linkage there between the two issues. Well, now that we've talked about a little bit about what's happened in 1993, what are the lessons of 1993? What does the Latino community then have to look forward to? And what are the challenges for 1994, Angela? Well, from our perspective in the Northeast, the Puerto Rico community is that and we've we've seen this here in places like New York City is even though there's a new administration and we have to continue to be vigilant and assume that we really don't have automatic friends, that we have to really hold these politicians, whether it's the president or mayors, their feet to the fire on our issues, and that we have to get it together as a community, that we need to be able to articulate better our needs. We need to be more in tune with the kinds of discussions, the level of discussions that are going on in this country. Sometimes we're out of touch with that.
So we need to mobilize ourselves and articulate some sort of vision and that sometimes we kind of fall behind in that area. Rodolfo Garcia in San Antonio. What are your recommendations for 1994? Well, I think the most important one is that we now have the obligation to push for creating a vision of what this country wants as a North American unit. NAFTA illustrates the opportunity for that. The debate about immigration creates an opportunity for that. We are uniquely placed as Latinos and especially Mexican Americans to contribute to that discussion. I really hope that 1994 will see us engage and contribute to the nation's understanding around that issue a little bit quicker in Washington, D.C.. Well, I think I agree with both of them that immigration and the anti-immigration sentiment, violence along the borders is key. I think it's something we'll see more of.
I think the health insurance breaks out for us is going to be key. But I think we still have some basic problems that we still have to deal with education, education, education and poverty. But I think that I'm looking at hope. I'm looking for us to carve out a future that blends with what this country really wants. Well, thank you very much for joining us on Latino USA. From Washington, D.C., Elvira Valenzuela Crocker, president of the Mexican-American Women's National Association. From New York, Angelo Falcon, president of the Institute for Puerto Rican Policy. And from San Antonio, Texas, Rodolfo Garcia, vice president of the Tomas Rivera Center. You're listening to Latino USA. You've just heard how some Latino leaders felt about the events of 1993 and their hopes for the coming year. What about you? What are your hopes?
Latino USA spoke with Latinos throughout the country about this past year and their hopes for the future. I don't think having anything good this year, you see on the news every day is terrible. So it's very difficult to you know, I have to think over again. If you were to look ahead, say, for 1994, what would you like to see? The main thing is a crime to be a free and confident on the street. You know, that's the main thing is your family. Everybody. Some people really don't have a job. They can't celebrate, you know, and the time really most people take to, you know, spend a lot of excess money. It's good to help the people that don't have well, economically, it's been kind of kind a slow, bleak, you know, right now too hard because, you know, people have no money and everything. So they don't celebrate it that much because, you know, jobs, you know, there's not hardly no jobs out there. Seeing as a Latino, 1993 has helped me to find my
voice. Ninety three, it should have never existed. I think we should escape on the calendar. Cannot wait until right before it gets here. When Congress returns to session in nineteen ninety four, it will face a number of controversial measures health care, welfare reform and immigration, to name just a few. Among the players preparing to take an active role in these debates are members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. National Public Radio correspondent Richard Gonzalez has been closely tracking the activities of the Hispanic Congressional Caucus. Recently, he sat down for a conversation with the chair of the caucus, New York
Representative Jose Serrano. If you didn't know Jose Serrano was a third term congressman from the South Bronx, you might imagine him as a matinee idol, medium height, lean build, black hair and mustache. Joe, as his friends call him, is entering only a second year as the chairman of the 18 member caucus. It's a diverse group with three Cuban-Americans, three Puerto Ricans, nine Mexican Americans and delegates from Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Among these are three Latinos and three Republicans. This diversity also means that the caucus doesn't always formulate unified positions on all issues. The debate over NAFTA was a case in point in his office a few days before the NAFTA vote. Congressman Serrano shared some of his ideas about leading such a diverse group. No one should make the mistake in saying that unity means we have to become robots. Italians don't all agree with each other on some issues, but they agree on the basic issue, which is to do what's best for Italians. We agree on that basic premise. When it came to language, we stand still.
When it comes to immigration, there are some hesitations, but we stand still when it comes to budget cuts or budget add ons. We stand still, but then we also have to respect certain behavior patterns that are created by our experiences, Serrano said. Growing up on the mean streets of the South Bronx helped prepare him for his leadership role in order to survive. He says he had to deal with three or four gangs at a time Puerto Rican, black and white. He says he owes his election as chairman to the fact that the senior members of the caucus, mostly Mexican Americans, supported him. And when he talks about his desire to see Latinos of all national origins work more closely together, he draws on his experiences as a young kid who threw his love for the stage, gained an appreciation for Mexico and the Mexican arts, and growing up in a bilingual family. Well, on your own, with your cousins, you went to see the Kirk Douglas movies and the Burt Lancaster movies and so on, and Charlton
Heston and so on. And and then with your mother and father, you went to the Spanish movies theater, Puerto Rico to Puerto Rico Theater on one hundred thirty eight Street in the Bronx. They played the golden age of the Mexican movies. And that's how I grew up. And the music that we heard so much of, I came from Mexico. So sometimes I speak to Mexican friends of mine who are my age, and I can name the lyric to every song by Benjamin Funding or any great thing and so on. And they don't know who the heck I'm talking about. Serrano has brought two major changes to the Hispanic Caucus. First, he insisted on seeking a coalition with the Congressional Black Caucus, led by Maryland Democrat Kweisi Mfume. And second, he appointed three freshmen members to lead in issues task force. Illinois Democrat Luis Gutierrez heads Health and Judiciary California Democrat Harry Reid on education and employment. And Florida Republican Lincoln Diaz-Balart chairs housing, community development and small business. If I had planned it, know I selected these three people and then when I did, I realized
that I was selecting three chairmen from three parts of the nation, one Cuban, one Mexican, one Puerto Rican. I didn't plan it that way. I really didn't. I was looking for people, some of the freshman members who didn't have committee assignments that kept them bogged down day and night and they could really work at it. Well, that has worked. That has worked very well. But not everything has worked well for Serrano and the Hispanic Caucus. The Congressional Black Caucus suffered a setback recently when the powerful chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, Illinois Democrat Dan Rostenkowski, led a fight to pay for unemployment benefits by cutting back on aid to elderly legal residents who were mostly Latino. And Rostenkowski won that fight. These were individuals who are here, who now are age and who can qualify for benefits that come to senior citizens. And we were going to cut those benefits because we know we're going to take care of the unemployed. And I guess it would have made more of an argument to take the benefits, supposedly,
that you give undocumented. But these are people that are here illegally who are paying taxes and doing everything you told them to do legally. And now you're going to bounce them against the wall because you need money for something. So I was it was very difficult and it tore a few members. Serrano says that he hopes that experience has prepared the caucus for the upcoming battles on immigration reform. There are many proposals to restrict immigration, but. Serrano says the caucus will try to tone down the immigrant bashing in Congress next year. So I think the caucus has made its mind to be protective, to stand up for what is right, what is a problem, and will continue to be a problem forever, that there are many constituents, many Latino constituents who are behaving very much like white constituents who are basically saying we can't afford to have more people come into the country. I understand that. I understand that we're going through difficult times in this country. And I understand that I have to try as chairman to maintain some sort of humane order in that argument.
Congressman Joseph Serrano, Democrat from the South Bronx, is jabbing the air with his finger to emphasize his point, and then he breaks out in a smile and says he's looking forward to taking the lead on Hispanic issues in 1994. I'm Richard Gonzales in Washington. Nineteen ninety three was a pretty special year for us here at Latino USA, it was the year the program came into being after eight months of production, Latino USA is heard on over one hundred and fifty stations throughout the country. We have listeners in the major Latino markets, as well as in smaller communities from Alaska to Iowa to Tennessee. And whatever you call to say, we've definitely enjoyed hearing from you. I just heard your radio program for the first time on our San Antonio radio station. And I just I wish I'd had loudspeakers and I could
have had all my neighbors here. It it was a slice of my life and my son's struggling life. This is the first time that something reflected my life and my existence. I noticed when you do a story, when you're speaking in English, you talk about, say, a Latin American country. You say, you know, so-and-so comes from Argentina or Venezuela, saying it as if you're speaking in Spanish. Well, I just wonder why you do that, because, for example, if mistaken about Germany, we all would say Germany. What would you say, Alemany or would you say Deutschland? I'm calling to congratulate you on the show Latino USA. I really like it. I especially like the way you mix the English and Spanish. I think it works for. Well, you speak in Spanish. I don't understand your response. Your voice. We bueno. Pedro Megastore Tupelo's mucho. I really like it. Keep it up. We listen to it every week.
We dig it. We appreciate your efforts. I just heard your story on the humanitarian aid going through to Castro's Cuba. The Castro government is illegitimate. It is undemocratic. It is communist. It must all. I just heard Maria Martin's report on the Pastors for Peace in Cuba. And I was just delighted to hear that good people are working to to improve relations between the United States and Cuba. I will keep listening. Hello. Would you have any programs where people can learn to speak Spanish? Yes, I would like to know about Julio Cesar Chavez. Was the boxer or was that someone else? Thank you. I'm calling from Norfolk, Virginia. For some reason, I can't figure out my local PD's station, WHV aired one of your Latino USA programs and it was not only surprising, but very enjoyable.
I'm glad you exist. I happened to listen to your program this morning and it's a boring ethnocentric little Valentine that is a waste of time. I'm calling from Memphis, Tennessee, just today for the first time I heard your program and I am just so amazed. I just think it's going to help the Latin community get very empowered and it's also going to educate the people who don't know much about the Latin community. Hi, this is Mike and Bryce Grove, Ontario, Canada. I think it's a good program. I enjoyed your article on Puerto Rico. My comment on that, I've learned a lot more about Puerto Rico just listening to that program than I would out of a textbook in high school. I mean, Herstein Island in Washington, the state of Washington here. I came across a station and it was so great to hear something Latino. And here I am in this cabin all by myself. And I was very lonesome. And all of a sudden your station came on and I felt just terrific listening
to all the wonderful people you represented. Keep up the good work. I'm very proud of you. Thank you very much. We invite you to call our listener hotline in nineteen ninety four. It's one 800 five three five five five three three. And for this week, DePodesta Semana, this has been Latino USA, the Radio Journal of News & Culture Latino USA is produced and edited by Maria Milia. Martin, the associate producer, is on Haleakala. We had help this week from Fidel Guzman, Elena Guess, Melissa Mancini and Caryl Wheeler. Latino USA is produced at the studios of Kut in Austin, Texas. The technical producer is Walter Morgan. The staff of Latino USA includes Dr. Gilbert Gardiner's Dolores Garcia and Patrick Salazar working on Yemen. Call us with your comments. Our toll free number is one 800 five
three five five five three three. That's one 800 five three five five five three three. Or write to us at Communication Building BEA, University of Texas at Austin seven eight seven one two. Major funding for Latino USA comes from the Ford Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the University of Texas at Austin ITW. Stella Proxima until next time unwearable. I'm Maria Hinojosa for Latino USA. Hello, stations. This is the Modula segment for this week's edition of Latino USA, the Radio Journal of News and Culture. We have two reports for you today. Segment number one, one nine minutes, 41 seconds. It's a self-contained panel discussion. Latino USA host Maria Hinojosa speaks with three Latino leaders about
the events and trends of 1993 and a cracker of Manna, the Mexican-American National Women's Organization based in Washington, Angelo Falcon of the Institute for Puerto Rican Policy in New York, and Rodolfo Delagarza, vice president of the Tomas Rivera Center, a Latino think-tank based in California and Texas. And that piece comes up in three two one, 1993 will be remembered as the year that saw a new administration in Washington as the year of NAFTA, the year of the great Midwest flood of the death of Cesar Chavez and the year of increasing anti-immigrant sentiment. Joining us to review the events and trends of 1993 and their significance to the Latino community from Washington, D.C., Elvira Valenzuela Crocker, president of the Mexican-American Women's National Association. From New York, Angelo Falcon, president of the Institute for Puerto Rican Policy. And from San Antonio, Texas, Rodolfo Garza, vice president of the Tomas Rivera Center, a national Latino think tank.
Welcome and giving needles to Latino USA. Let's start with a broad overview. How would all of you, from your different perspectives, characterize the kind of year that 1993 was for Latinos in this country? Angela, why don't you start off? Well, as you mentioned at the beginning, you have a new administration coming in to Washington. We went through all these years of a Republican administrations. I think there was a lot of hope that maybe we can start having some people we could talk to at the national level, although this first year has been a little bit surprising in certain spots for many of us. But I think there was more of a feeling of hope or feeling of openings. And so in general, I think I would see it that way. Rudy? I think that's right. There was a lot of expectation. But then you you follow that up with the realization that despite some very important achievements within Latinos themselves, that not as much has been realized regarding the relationship that Latinos wanted to have either with the new administration or with some of the issues that they have in the respective states, it'll be that you're based in Washington, D.C.
What about your perspective on this year that's passed? Well, I think it was you could call it a year that was the best of times and also the worst of times from a certain perspective. We certainly did get some appointments that I think were significant to Latinos this year. We have two heads of departments here in Washington at Housing and Transportation with these nettlesome Pinart respectively. And then it was good things for women, too, because we got two additions to the United States Congress in Nydia Velazquez from New York and Lucille Roybal-Allard from California. Additionally, there are lots of Latinos who are on the staff at the White House and throughout the other departments. So it was fairly good, I think, in that respect. But if you look at the overall presidential appointments, I think that the national Hispanic leadership agenda, of course, graded the president as a see early on and then a D as the term went on, there was a lot of expectation with and all of you have brought up the issue of expectation with the Clinton administration. George Bush had been criticized for being insensitive to Latinos in this year with those appointments, do you think that Clinton is doing any better in terms of his
sensitivity to the Latino community? I think that the way Clinton is dealing with Latinos now that he's in office reflects how he dealt with Latinos during the campaign. You had rather a general campaign designed to help all Americans. That's what he's doing. I think in the presidency. He's dealing with health care. For example, if he addresses health care successfully, his argument is Latinos will benefit, but he doesn't plan to sell it as a benefit to Latinos. So the general tenor of the presidency now is to solve American problems with the expectation that that's going to address Latino problem. What you have, I think is really saying is an attempt to kind of have a depressurized approach to these issues. But one of the things that's going to be interesting is, for example, around the issue of NAFTA is the fact that you have these things called Latino communities around the country. And it was interesting, for example, to see during the NAFTA debate how there was a real division within the Latino community and the
Congressional Hispanic Caucus around that issue were from a Puerto Rican point of view. There was tremendous disappointment with the administration and with the attack they took on NAFTA and a feeling that the passage of NAFTA was a defeat for Latinos in the Northeast anyway in terms of the expected impact on the economy. But on the other hand, I think that there are some issues that you've mentioned that are really important. And one is that poverty is a real problem for us, that health insurance is a problem for all of us. About 40 some percent of our. Folks aren't even insured, so clearly, if he addresses some of these problems, they will have a significant positive impact, I think, on our folks health care being the main one. But I am concerned about the anti-immigration sentiment and the violence along the borders. That was somewhat, I think, an outcome of the NAFTA dialog, and that was disappointing. In fact, how do the three of you see the question of this growing anti-immigrant sentiment as part of something that will mark 1993 as,
who knows, the beginning of a new wave of anti-immigrant sentiment or the beginning of the end of the anti-immigrant sentiment is becoming, I think, the issue. You see it intensifying all over the country as a major issue. We're seeing not only a tremendous backlash from white Americans who see it from black Americans as well. And every place you go project I was working with Rudy on when we did a survey of Latinos in the country, we found that there was considerable anti-immigrant sentiment among Latinos, including Latino immigrants. So I think we're going to have to really think as far as the Latino community, how we inject ourselves into this conversation and into this debate at this point. Well, in fact, would you say that 1993, certainly Latino leaders across the country are always complaining and many times obviously rightly so, about the question of our invisibility in the mainstream. Do you think that that changed somewhat? Are more people paying attention to Latinos political clout, both in questions of being swing votes or in questions of proposing new ideas about how to handle some of these issues now?
We had some clout, but it was the kind of clout that a lot of people had. That is, we got some concessions in exchange for a vote. Remember, though, that on the NAFTA debate, as uncle pointed out, Latinos split 10 to nine, 10 for nine against. I mean, that's almost random. So it's very complicated to talk about our clout. What is important to note is that the Mexican-American legislative delegation voted overwhelmingly for NAFTA. Also, the issues come to the fore this year on what to do with Puerto Rico, kind of our our immigration issue, because just as we're talking about Mexican immigration, immigration, Latin America, Puerto Ricans come here already as U.S. citizens from Puerto Rico. And so you have that issue that's coming to the fore. I think this coming year or January, I think is supposed to be hearings on that issue as well. So the immigration issue kind of has different cuts within the Latino community. And it's, again, very, very interesting and very complex how we deal with these issues, how we define them, and how basically our leadership begins to project and
deal with this and work together. So some Puerto Ricans say, well, immigration, I don't really care because I'm a citizen, but in fact, there is a linkage there between the two issues. Well, now that we've talked about a little bit about what's happened in 1993, what are the lessons of 1993? What does the Latino community then have to look forward to? And what are the challenges for 1994, Angela? Well, from our perspective in the northeast of Puerto Rico communities that and we've we've seen this here in places like New York City is even though there's a new administration and we have to continue to be vigilant and assume that we really don't have automatic friends, that we have to really hold these politicians, whether it's the president or mayors, their feet to the fire on our issues, and that we have to get it together as a community, that we need to be able to articulate better our needs. We need to be more in tune with the kinds of discussions, the level of discussions that are going on in this country. Sometimes we're out of touch with that. So we need to mobilize ourselves and articulate some sort of vision and that sometimes we kind of fall behind in that area. Rodolfo Garcia in San Antonio. What are your recommendations for 1994?
Well, I think the most important one is that we now have the obligation to push for creating a vision of what this country wants as a North American unit. NAFTA illustrates the opportunity for that. The debate about immigration creates an opportunity for that. We are uniquely placed as Latinos and especially Mexican Americans to contribute to that discussion. I really hope that 1994 will see us engage and contribute to the nation's understanding around that issue a little bit quicker in Washington, D.C.. Well, I think I agree with both of them that immigration and the anti-immigration sentiment, violence along the borders is key. I think it's something we'll see more of. I think the health insurance breaks out for us is going to be key. But I think we still have some basic problems that we still have to deal with education, education, education and poverty and
then unemployment. These are basic issues that we have to deal with housing. But I think that I'm looking at hope. I'm looking for us to carve out a future that blends with what this country really wants. Well, thank you very much for joining us on Latino USA. From Washington, D.C., Elvira Valenzuela Crocker, president of the Mexican-American Women's National Association. From New York, Angelo Falcon, president of the Institute for Puerto Rican Policy. And from San Antonio. Texas Rodolfo Delagarza, vice president of the Tomas Rivera Center, you're listening to Latino USA segment number two runs five minutes. Twenty nine seconds. National Public Radio correspondent Richard Gonzalez profiles Congressman Jose Serrano, the chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. The suggestion he comes up in three to one when Congress returns to session in 1994. It will face a number of controversial measures health care, welfare reform and immigration, to name just a few. Among the players preparing to take an active role in these debates are members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
National Public Radio correspondent Richard Gonzalez has been closely tracking the activities of the Hispanic Caucus. Recently, he sat down for a conversation with the chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, New York Representative José Serrano. That piece comes up in three to one. If you didn't know who says Serrano is a third term congressman from the South Bronx, you might imagine him as a matinee idol, medium height, lean build, black hair and mustache. Joe, as his friends call him, is entering only a second year as the chairman of the 18 member caucus. It's a diverse group with three Cuban-Americans, three Puerto Ricans, nine Mexican Americans and delegates from Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Among these are three Latinos and three Republicans. This diversity also means that the caucus doesn't always formulate unified positions on all issues. The debate over NAFTA was a case in point in his office. A few days before the NAFTA vote, Congressman Serrano shared some of his ideas about leading such a diverse group. No one should make the mistake in saying that unity means we have to become robots.
Italians don't all agree with each other on some issues, but they agree on the basic issue, which is to do what's best for Italians. We agree on that basic premise. When it came to language, we stand still. When it comes to immigration, there are some hesitations, but we stand still when it comes to budget cuts or budget add ons, we stand still. But then we also have to respect certain behavior patterns that are created by our experiences. Serrano says growing up on the mean streets of the South Bronx helped prepare him for his leadership role in order to survive. He says he had to deal with three or four gangs at a time Puerto Rican, black and white. He says he owes his election as chairman to the fact that the senior members of the caucus, mostly Mexican Americans, supported him. And when he talks about his desire to see Latinos of all national origins work more closely together, he draws on his experiences as a young kid who threw his love for the stage, gained an appreciation for Mexico and the Mexican arts,
and growing up in a bilingual family. Well, on your own, with your cousins, you went to see the Kirk Douglas movies and the Burt Lancaster movies and so on, and Charlton Heston and so on. And and then with your mother and father, you went to the Spanish movies, the other Puerto Rico. The Puerto Rico Theater on one hundred thirty eight street in the Bronx. They played the golden age of the Mexican movies. And that's how I grew up. And the music that we heard so much, they came from Mexico. So sometimes I speak to Mexican friends of mine who are my age, and I can name the lyric to every song by Bedwin Fontaine or denigrating and so on. And they don't know who the heck I'm talking about. Serrano has brought two major changes to the Hispanic Caucus. First, he insisted on seeking a coalition with the Congressional Black Caucus, led by Maryland Democrat Kweisi Mfume. And second, he appointed three freshmen members to lead in issues task force. Illinois Democrat Luis Gutierrez heads health and judiciary. California Democrat Harry Reid on education and employment.
And Florida Republican Lincoln Diaz-Balart chairs housing, community development and small business. If I had planned it, I selected these three people and then when I did, I realized that I was selecting three chairmen from three parts of the nation one Cuban, one Mexican, one Puerto Rican. I didn't plan it that way. I really didn't. I was looking for people, some of the freshman members who didn't have committee assignments that kept them bogged down day and night and they could really work at it. Well, that has worked. That has worked very well. But not everything has worked well for Serrano and the Hispanic Caucus this congressional year. The caucus suffered a setback recently when the powerful chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, Illinois Democrat Dan Rostenkowski, led a fight to pay for unemployment benefits by cutting back on aid to elderly legal residents who were mostly Latino. And Rostenkowski won that fight. These were individuals who are here, who now are our age and who can qualify for benefits to come to senior citizens. And we were going to cut those benefits because we
know we're going to take care of the unemployed. And I guess it would have been more of an argument to take a better. It's policy that you give undocumented, but these are people that are here illegally, who are paying taxes and doing everything you told them to do legally, and now you're going to bounce them against the wall because you need money for something else. So I was it was very difficult and it tore a few members. Serrano says that he hopes that experience has prepared the caucus for the upcoming battles on immigration reform. There are many proposals to restrict immigration, but Serrano says the caucus will try to tone down the immigrant bashing in Congress next year. So I think the caucus has made its mind to be protective, to stand up for what is right, what is a problem, and will continue to be a problem forever. That there are many constituents, many Latino constituents who are behaving very much like white constituents who are basically saying we can't afford to have more people come into the country. I understand that I understand they were going through difficult times in this country,
and I understand that I have to try as chairman to maintain some sort of humane order in that argument. Congressman Serrano, Democrat from the South Bronx, is grabbing the air with his finger to emphasize his point, and then he breaks out in a smile and says he's looking forward to taking the lead on Hispanic issues in 1994. I'm Richard Gonzales in Washington. And for this week's stations, Podesta said this has been the modular segment of Latino USA, the Radio Journal of News and Culture. We hope to continue improving our service to you in 1984. So call us with your comments on our listener line one 800 five three five five five three three or at the studio one 800 four four five four or five. Or you can write to us that communication building. Be University of Texas at Austin seven, eight, seven one two. Major funding for Latino USA comes from the Ford Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the University of Texas at Austin, Ocilla PROXIMA
Series
Latino USA
Episode Number
No. 4
Episode
1993-12-31
Producing Organization
KUT (Radio station : Austin, Tex.)
University of Texas at Austin. Center for Mexican American Studies
Contributing Organization
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
AAPB ID
cpb-aacip-526-nc5s757q89
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Description
Episode Description
This is Episode Four from Friday, December 31, 1993. Segment A: A self-contained panel discussion, with three Latino leaders about the events & trends of 1993. Segment B: Profile on congressman Jose Serrano, the chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
Series Description
"Latino USA presents public radio audiences unique perspectives of U.S. Latinos; provides information to diverse Latino communities of the events affecting their lives; develops a forum for Latino cultural and artistic expression, and strengthens the radio broadcasting capabilities of Latinos. Latino USA accomplishes this by: producing a unique, high-quality, weekly English-language radio journal of news and culture broadcast on public stations nationwide; supporting the training and development of a national network of Latino radio journalists and producers, and other radio professionals; and, promoting cross-cultural understanding among Latino groups, and between Latinos and non-Latinos, through consistent, quality programming and audience outreach."--1993 Peabody Awards entry form.
Description
"Program #1- Aired on Friday, April 30, 1993. "Program Billboard :59[;] News Segment: 5:00 "News segment includes an obituary feature on farm worker labor leader Csar Chvez, who died on April 23, 1993. Segment A: A group of Latino journalists on the status of the North American Free Trade Agreement, and where U.S. Latinos stand on NAFTA. Segment B: Two years after the violent disturbances that took place in the mostly Latino neighborhood of Mount Pleasant. Segment C: Mario Bauza, one of the legendary originators of Latino jazz and a co-founder of the band 'Machito and his Afro Cubans.' #2C: Some thoughts on the joy of rediscovering the really important things in life during a long hike in the mountains of Northern Mexico. Program #2- Aired on Friday, August 8, 1993. Segment A: Puerto Rican political analyst Juan Manuel Garca Passalaqua about Governor Pedro Rosello's recent signing of a bill calling for a plebiscite to decide the island's future political status. Segment B: The focus on border culture at the Smithsonian Institution's annual Festival of American Folklife. #2B: Grupo Animo, a youth theater group in San Antonio. Segment C: Tribute to one of salsa's musical superstars Hector Lavoe. Lavoe died June 29th. Program #3- Aired on Friday, November 5, 1993. Segment A: The Latino vote in the New York City and Miami mayoral elections. Segment B: The use of the Mexican holiday and the traditions of 'El Da de Los Muertos' or 'The Day of the Dead' as a springboard for social messages. Segment C: The legendary Latin jazz pianist Eddie Palmieri. #2C: A commentary on why drugs are such a problem among many Latino youth. Program #4- Aired on Friday, December 31, 1993. Segment A: A self-contained panel discussion, with three Latino leaders about the events & trends of 1993. Segment B: Profile on congressman Jos Serrano, the chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. " Latino USA presents public radio audiences unique perspectives of U.S. Latinos; provides information to diverse Latino communities of the events affecting their lives; develops a forum for Latino cultural and artistic expression, and strengthens the radio broadcasting capabilities of Latinos. Latino USA accomplishes this by: producing a unique, high-quality, weekly English-language radio journal of news and culture broadcast on public stations nationwide; supporting the training and development of a national network of Latino radio journalists and producers, and other radio professionals; and, promoting cross-cultural understanding among Latino groups, and between Latinos and non-Latinos, through consistent, quality programming and audience outreach."--1993 Peabody Awards entry form.
Broadcast Date
1993-12-31
Asset type
Episode
Media type
Sound
Duration
00:45:37.584
Embed Code
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Credits
Producing Organization: KUT (Radio station : Austin, Tex.)
Producing Organization: University of Texas at Austin. Center for Mexican American Studies
AAPB Contributor Holdings
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
Identifier: cpb-aacip-bb4d63cc427 (Filename)
Format: 1/4 inch audio cassette
Duration: 0:29:00
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Citations
Chicago: “Latino USA; No. 4; 1993-12-31,” 1993-12-31, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 26, 2022, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-526-nc5s757q89.
MLA: “Latino USA; No. 4; 1993-12-31.” 1993-12-31. The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 26, 2022. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-526-nc5s757q89>.
APA: Latino USA; No. 4; 1993-12-31. Boston, MA: The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-526-nc5s757q89