Saturday, April 2, 2011

Are Solis’ campaign mailings immigrant fear mongering?…

The run-off in the Aldermanic elections in the 25th Ward of Chicago have been packed with controversy already. Much of the story has revolved around Alderman Daniel Solis’ decision to become a co-sponsor of the proposed Chicago Clean Power Ordinance. Solis’ opposition to the ordinance was met with a 9 month long community campaign spearheaded by PERRO (The Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization). The campaign included protests outside a number of Alderman Solis’ fundraisers, a number of large rallies in the community, a petition campaign and even a 24 hour vigil outside the Alderman’s ward office. PERRO, along with other members of the Chicago Clean Power Coalition reached out to SEIU (The Service Employees International Union) last fall, encouraging them to join the coalition. SEIU financed multiple mailings before the February 22nd municipal elections calling Solis to task for not supporting the proposed ordinance. When the election resulted in Solis receiving less that 50% of the vote meaning Solis would face Cuahutémoc Morfín in a run-off, a long time support of the ordinance, it was clear that the issue of the ordinance would be the number one issue threatening to lead to Solis’ possible defeat on April 5th. After consulting with PERRO and other coalition partners, SEIU agreed to make support for the Clean Power Ordinance a must if SEIU was going to endorse Solis in the run-off. Facing the possibility of a continued community campaign and more SEIU financed campaign materials highlighting the Alderman’s opposition to the ordinance, Solis gave in and announced his support for the proposed ordinance.

Solis’ support was welcomed by PERRO and the Chicago Clean Power Coalition who declared victory in their campaign to bring him on board. But the controversy did not end with the Alderman’s change of position. A barrage of T.V. and print press coverage of the Alderman’s decision focused on lingering questions. Why had the Alderman been willing to accept over $50,000 in donations from the neighborhood’s biggest polluter for many years? Why did Solis appoint a Midwest Generation executive to his re-election finance committee? And what about rumors that the Alderman had told political allies that he would only support the ordinance until his re-election was assured? Questions were also raised about whether the Alderman was considering weakening aspects of the proposed ordinance, especially those dealing with CO2? All of these questions continue to dog the Alderman as the run-off election rapidly approaches.


But now a new controversy has emerged. Recent mailings from the Solis campaign have accused his opponent Morfin of supporting a “Arizona-style ID card.” The claim is an oblique reference to Morfin’s support for a municipal ID card in Chicago. The purpose of the municipal ID card is to provide undocumented immigrants a form of identification they could use in various transactions were a legal ID is required. In order to ensure the ID does not end up identifying individuals as undocumented immigrants, the ID would either be mandatory for all Chicagoans, or would come with extra inducements that would encourage citizens to apply for the ID. Its is an innovative idea of how to better protect Chicago’s thousands of immigrant residents. The concept has already been embraced in San Francisco and New Haven Connecticut


http://www.sfgov2.org/index.aspx?page=110


http://www.cityofnewhaven.com/Mayor/ReadMore.asp?ID=%7b07CFC88D-8584-4B16-BE7F-324B79103307%7d


The idea has not been without controversy and not everyone in the immigrant rights movement thinks it is a good idea, but all have recognized it as an attempt to help protect immigrant residents of the city.


So why does Alderman Solis who has presented himself as a leader in the immigrant rights movement call the proposal a “Arizona-style ID Card”? Some immigrant rights activists argue it is an attempt to generate fear amongst the 25th Ward’s immigrant residents. The use of the word “Arizona” is meant to allude to the infamous anti-immigrant measures pursued by the State of Arizona in recent years, especially SB1070. The Arizona laws seek to demonize undocumented immigrants, encourage racial profiling and violate immigrant’s civil rights. Interestingly, the Arizona laws do not call for a new ID card for residents of Arizona. Solis might have confused Arizona with neighboring Utah were such a law is being considered. But Arizona is a powerful buzz word that Solis knows will raise fears in the immigrant community.


Some immigrant rights activists are calling such “fear mongering” dangerous and surprising from a politician who claims to speak for the immigrant community. It is sure to be yet another hot topic as 25th Ward residents head to the polls next Tuesday.


Below are copies of the mailings referred to above with the statement, “Arizona-style ID Cards”…



2 comments:

  1. Muy buen artículo, sobre la segunda vuelta de las elecciones para concejal de mi distrito. Soy una migrante mexicana del barrio de Pilsen. He vivido 20 años en este barrio y he visto todos los cambios; unos buenos, otros no tanto y otros demasiado malos como ha sido el desplazamiento de muchas de las familias migrantes de la clase trabajadora. Un momento más que los residentes de Pilsen tenemos que vivir el proceso electoral de nuestro distrito pero confieso que esta vez, han sucedido aspectos que me dan mucha rabia. Primeramente, no creo en el cambio del Concejal Solís tal como lo plantea el autor de este artículo. Es muy raro que después de tantos esfuerzos que se han hecho para lograr que Solís co-patrocinara la ordenanza de” Chicago Clean Power”. Qué casualidad que después de darse cuenta que iría a una segunda vuelta con su oponente Cuactemoc Morfin, Solís decide apoyar y copatrocinar la ordenanza.
    Como migrante hay algo que no puedo soportar. Entiendo que en la política casi todo se vale contar de ganar pero también deben de existir los principios y la ética. No me parece y me molesta mucho que Solís este haciendo una comparación de la Ley de Arizona SB 1070, una ley anti-inmigrante, racista, anti-constitucional y xenófoba; con la idea de implementar identificaciones municipales. Solo tengo dos explicaciones para esta aberración: Por un lado mi concejal es un completo ignorante; o simplemente esta utilizando el sentimiento anti-inmigrante y el miedo que cada día nuestras familias tienen que vivir en este país. No cabe duda que el tema de los migrantes y el sentimiento anti-inmigrante vende y todos quieren lucrar con ello. Unos por son anti-inmigrantes completamente y otros aunque se dicen pro-inmigrantes; pero que utilizan estas tácticas baratas para conseguir sus propios intereses como en el caso de Daniel Solís, mi concejal.

    Como migrante mexicana que hasta hace un poco fui indocumentada los aspectos del que habla en autor de este articulo, me llegan de una manera muy personal. Gran parte de mi familia sufre de asma y sé que la contaminación por parte de las compañías Fisk y Crawford les afectan día con día y por último la situación de esta comparación de la Ley de Arizona con las ID's municipales es la gota que derramo el vaso. Jerry muchas gracias por escribir esta nota, son tan pocos los que deciden hacer algo por el bienestar de nuestras comunidades

    ReplyDelete
  2. Danny Solis has been promoting a dormitory style building in Pilsen to house students at UICC. Why? What is the logic? What developer is making money off this.
    I think this is very bad. Many neighborhood residents rent a second or third or 4th apartment that they have in their building to students and others from outside of the neighborhood.
    This brand new building will be one of the worst aspects of gentrification. With taxes going up, neighborhood residents who rent to students, it helps them pay the taxes. The students will now prefer to move into this fancy building instead of the community's housing.
    I can even see it, it will not be for students only, it will be for anyone.
    So let's start the gentrification in rentals as well. And this development will have an "Hispanic" or Aztec name to appear as a community project when in fact it is private and the only public part of it is that we the tax payers probably helped with our taxes to pay for this project!!
    Danny Solis if you are re-elected, don't do this.
    Cuahetemoc Morphin Please dont let them do this.

    ReplyDelete