Friday, March 28, 2014

Wisconsin Republican State Representative Rodríguez Invited Speaker For LULAC Women's Conference

Yesenia Eldermira "Jessie" Rodríguez

Rodríguez to speak at the LULAC Women's Conference VIP Reception and President Barack H. Obama proclaimed March 31, 2014 as Cesar E. Chavez National Day.

By H. Nelson Goodson
March 28, 2014

Milwaukee, WI - On Friday, Wisconsin Republican State Representative Yesenia Eldermira "Jessie" Rodríguez, 29, will be one of the main invited featured speakers at the LULAC Women's Conference VIP reception in Milwaukee. The other invited speaker is Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. The LULAC Women's Conference began on Thursday.
Representative Rodríguez became the first Hispanic Republican woman to be elected to the state Assembly and one of the Assembly Republicans who voted against a Cesar E. Chavez state employee optional holiday on March 18.
Rodríguez hasn't explained why she voted along Republican party lines against a Chavez optional holiday bill that was sponsored by State Representative JoCasta Zamarripa, the first Hispanic woman Democrat from Milwaukee to be elected to the state Assembly.
Zamarripa told Hispanic News Network U.S.A. (HNNUSA) that she approached Rodríguez in January to support and sign into the Chavez optional holiday AB783 bill, but Rodríguez refused. On March 18, Zamarripa attempted to pull AB783 from committee to bring the bill into a debate and vote on the Assembly floor, but the Republican controlled Assembly voted against the bill, including Rodríguez. HNNUSA requested comment from Rodríguez,  to explain her reasoning for not supporting a Chavez state optional holiday, but has not responded to HNNUSA or has made no public comment about her controversial vote.
Rodríguez, a Salvadorian immigrant will no doubt feel pressured to deal with her controversial vote at the LULAC Women's Conference, since the National and local LULAC members support a Chavez state optional holiday and a national holiday. Members of the Cesar E. Chavez family are attending the event as well and I'm sure they'll be interested to hear Representative Rodríguez reasoning for not supporting a Chavez optional holiday.
Especially, when Hispanic national pride pride and celebrations are taking place nationally for the release of the Chavez movie, which opens on Friday in Milwaukee and the upcomming Chavez Birthday on Monday. 
On Wednesday, the Common Council's Finance and Personnel (F&P) Committee voted unanimously to pass a annually Cesar E. Chavez city worker optional holiday. The Chavez optional holiday city ordinance was authored by Alderman T. Anthony Zielinski and co-sponsored by the following Aldermen, José G. Pérez,  Robert "Bob" Donovan, Nik Kovak and Robert W. Puente, including Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs. The F&P Committee approved Chavez optional holiday ordinance goes before the full Common Council on Wednesday, April 2, and is expected to be approved. 
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) has not announced, if he will proclaim a Cesar E. Chavez Day for March 31, 2014. Walker as a former Milwaukee County Executive proclaimed a Cesar E. Chavez Day on March 31, 2008.
Also, recently the National LULAC, the Wisconsin Hispanic Scholarship Foundation (WHSF) who sponsors the annual Mexican Fiesta in Milwaukee changed their traditional exclusion policy to now accept scholarship applications from U.S. government registered DREAMers. The deadline to apply for WHSF/LULAC scholarships is March 31. 
HNNUSA had exposed major and local non-profit Hispanic organizations that were endorsing immigration reform, but excluded DREAMers from applying for scholarships. Since the HNNUSA article was published, many Hispanic organizations that offered scholarships for only U.S. Citizens and legal permanent U.S. residency status students, but excluded DREAMers have since changed their exclusion scholarship policy to include DREAMers in scholarship awards.
Barack H. Obama, President of the United States of America has proclaimed March 31, 2014, as Cesar E. Chavez Day. "I call upon all Americans to observe this day with appropriate service, community, and education programs to honor Cesar Chavez's enduring legacy, " Obama stated. Obama has declared Chavez Day annually, since 2011.

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