Super Bowl and Hispanic Outreach

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Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee’s Spanish Language Media Consultant Mirna Pineda discusses what’s being done to get the Latino community involved and excited about the big game.

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Jose Cardenas:
Good evening. I'm Jose Cardenas. Tonight on "Horizonte," a public forum held to hear community concerns about the Mayor of Phoenix's decision to change police immigration enforcement policy. Plus learn what preparations need to be made to host the Super Bowl and how organizers are getting the Hispanic community involved in the big event. Next on "Horizonte."

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Funding for "Horizonte" is provided by SRP.

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SRP's business is water and power, but our dedication to the community doesn't stop there. SRP, delivering more than power.

Jose Cardenas:
The issue of immigration is in the news every day. Last Thursday night, Hispanic organizers put together a public forum to talk about the potential impact and concerns of a possible change in Phoenix police procedure. Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon wants to change how police deal with undocumented immigrants. In a moment, we will talk with one of the forum's organizers and one panelist chosen by the mayor to come up with policy recommendations. But first, producer Larry Lemmons shows us the meeting brought out people's emotions on both sides of the issue.

Protestor:
Show me something.

Protestor:
Show me some papers. Show me the papers. Who are you? I don't care who you are. Show me who you are.

Larry Lemmons:
Tempers flared as illegal immigration protesters made their presence known at a town hall meeting called to discuss potential changes to a Phoenix police procedure regarding immigration. Disruption began at the outset of the town hall as organizer Mary Rose Wilcox attempted to introduce the panel. Major Phil Gordon protesters called for the pledge of allegiance.

Mary Rose Wilcox:
I'm sorry.

Protestor:
Before the meeting starts we need to say the Pledge of Allegiance.

Mary Rose Wilcox:
Okay. I would ask that people who have spoken out, security go talk to them and remove them if necessary. I will introduce the panel. [applause]

[Pledge of Allegiance]

Mary Rose Wilcox:
Okay. Now, everybody calm down. If we have anymore outbursts, you will be escorted out of this building. On behalf of the community, we invited everybody. We welcome you, but you must behave in a manner that is one that we will accept for the forum.

Larry Lemmons:
The four members of the panel are: former U.S. Attorneys Paul Charlton and Jose Rivera, former Maricopa County attorney Rick Romley and former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods -- the panel has been given the task of developing a new policy to replace operations order 1.4. That policy prevents the Phoenix police in most cases from asking a person's immigration status. It has led to charges from anti-illegal immigrant groups that Phoenix has become a so-called sanctuary city that turns a blind eye to illegal immigration. Gordon wants the new policy to allow police or ICE whenever a suspect's immigration status is in question. His change in policy has outraged some in the Hispanic community who feel it will lead to racial profiling.

Speaker:
Very simple, if people are committing crimes, it doesn't matter if they're white, brown, black, green; it doesn't matter if they're legal or illegal -- [applause] If they're criminals, all of us in this room will agree on one thing, criminals should be arrested.

Larry Lemmons:
Microphones were set up to allow comment from the audience, but many protesters chose to disrupt the meeting and were escorted from the auditorium prompting supporters in the audience to chant "Si Se Puede". A term popularized by Caesar Chavez meaning yes it can be done.

Jose Cardenas:
Joining me to talk about the forum is Maricopa County supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox. Also with me is one of the Mayor's chosen panelists, former U.S. Attorney Paul Charlton. Thank you for joining us or "Horizonte." Supervisor Wilcox, it looks like things were a little rocky, but before we talk about the forum itself, tell us how it came to be.

Mary Rose Wilcox:
The mayor announced when he wanted to make changes in 1.4 police order, I felt strongly and got together with a group of people and an attorney in our community and others who have been talking about immigration for quite awhile. We got together and said we must provide a forum so this panel can hear from the community. We put together the format. Contacted South Mountain, rented the facility and put together the forum. It was done in a matter of days, it was word of mouth. We didn't mail anybody. Radio stations announced it. Before you knew it, everybody wanted to come. We were pleased with the panel, agreed to it, I called them individually and they said we will be there. We want to hear from the community. That is why it was put together to give the panel input about the concerns that the community had about any possible changes from 1.4.

Jose Cardenas:
We saw from the videotape it was a bit tumultuous. Did that impact or prevent you from fulfilling the goal of informing the panel about the views of the community.

Mary Rose Wilcox:
No, it did not. We invited the whole community. We knew that there were people who felt that 1.4 should be changed, and people with other groups -- we opened it up. They came. We asked them to behave. To have the decorum necessary for a forum-- we were advised by police that we could escort them if they chose to disrupt. They were very disruptive, about 120 out of the 800, who did not support the views of the majority there and they were vocal about it. We asked them to behave. They did not. We escorted them out. About half of them stayed and participated in the forum and we did have speakers from that minority there.

Jose Cardenas:
Paul, your assessment as to how effective the forum was in terms of providing the panelists with the information that they think will be useful to them in making their recommendations?

Paul Charlton:
I thought it was very effective and I am grateful for Mary Rose helping to put that together. I did not come away with the sense that it was a disruptive hearing. There were disruptions that were heard, but the great feeling I came away with is the passion that the speakers had this issue. It's clearly something that caused a great deal of preoccupation and concern within the Hispanic community.

Jose Cardenas:
You can't see it in our cameras, your left hand is in a cast.

Paul Charlton:
This is a skiing accident with my 11-year-old son. Nothing to do with the forum.

Jose Cardenas:
The policy that is at issue here, can you give us a general description of it. You have had a chance to look at it and give it some preliminary thought at least.

Paul Charlton:
Rule 1.4 prohibits the Phoenix Police Department from asking a person's country of origin or whether they're here lawfully. It also allows the Phoenix Police Department very specifically to ask somebody's country of origin -- if there is a drop house, if they're involved in alien smuggling. One thing that 1.4 is not is a sanctuary regulation.

Jose Cardenas:
Which is how the opponents characterize it.

Paul Charlton:
It has been mischaracterized in that way. I know from my term as a United States attorney what sanctuary cities are. This is not.

Jose Cardenas:
I want to come back and talk about possible changes to the policy. What are your concerns if the policy changes? We saw the gentleman saying just tell me where you're from. And he seemed to think there is nothing wrong with that kind of basic question. What is wrong with it?

Mary Rose Wilcox:
The three concerns that came up at the forum from very passionate speakers were the fear of racial profiling. How do you determine who you ask the question are you legal or illegal? The terms racial profiling was very, very feared. The other is the unrest in the community and the fear of the community who always cooperated with police, if a community who has documented people in it and -- say there is no undocumented here, is afraid to call the police on issues that they need police, domestic violence, burglaries, victims, if they're afraid to call the police because the policy changes, we will have an ineffective police force. You cannot solve crimes if they will not testify if they see a crime. The other is the resources it will take. Chief Harris has said we do not want our police to have to do immigration work when they are out fighting crime. How do you divide that? How do you say three quarters of your time is spent on paperwork enforcing immigration and one quarter of city of Phoenix crime matters. That is the three concerns. I think that the biggest is treating people with a different color skin differently, racial profiling was the main concern we heard that night.

Jose Cardenas:
The position taken by the chief, if anything understated it, as the headline indicates police chief at odds with Gordon on this policy -- it is under consideration, he doesn't want his police officers enforcing immigration laws. Isn't he the key decider in all of this?

Paul Charlton:
He certainly has a significant voice in this issue. You cannot help but listen to Chief Harris and know that you are talking to an individual who understands what good police work is all about, understands what the priorities of this city should be in terms of allocating limited resources in the Phoenix Police Department to do what we want them to do as opposed to what other people might want him to do. We as an individual, we have to listen to carefully. He is one of the people we will be presenting to.

Jose Cardenas:
Who else have you spoken to?

Paul Charlton:
Mr. Spencer the head of the Phoenix police department union. This morning the committee had a meeting with the Hispanic advisory committee, a group of Hispanic community members who advice the Phoenix Police Department, they expressed their concerns, similar to the concerns we heard in the forum. We attended the forum that Mary Rose helped to put on last Thursday as well. I suspect by the time we get done with this we will hear from one or two other groups before it is done.

Jose Cardenas: Outside experts?

Paul Charlton: A number of individuals on the panel -- one of the individuals we will seek to talk to is the chief of police from another major city in Arizona, who has had experience with this, had a rule, changed it, and went back to 1.4. This is an individual who is Chief Miranda from Tucson. We're hoping to speak with him as well.

Jose Cardenas:
At least some of the expressed rationale for changing the policy is concern for public safety, and feeling that changing the policy will enhance public safety. Have you heard anything, any proposals to change the policy that you think will accomplish that goal?

Paul Charlton:
Everybody in broad stokes, people will say that criminals should be arrested and those criminals who are arrested and are here unlawfully should be deported.

Jose Cardenas:
Criminals because they violated some other law or they're here unlawfully

Paul Charlton:
Because they have violated some other law. That includes, for example, misdemeanors. In broad stokes most agree that is an appropriate policy. The difficulty we're encountering, how do you put that policy into real life terms? The people employing this rule if it is changed are young men and women, people who have just graduated from the academy, who don't have law degrees, have to read the policy and make a determination as to what they can or cannot ask an individual say if they stopped them for running a stop sign. It is a challenge for us to determine whether or not you can, in fact, put a policy together that will in simple terms assist us in doing what we all want and that is to keep criminals off the street.

Jose Cardenas:
Mary Rose, if you are presented with proposals that do appear to enhance public safety, would that be acceptable? The example I've heard given is that the police see somebody who bearing gang signs, and the most feared gang is ms 13 -- is there some way to accommodate those safety issues and the concerns you have with racial profiling?

Mary Rose Wilcox:
The way I feel, and I think I speak for a lot of people in the community, 1.4 has worked for ten years and it is broad enough to allow police to go after criminals, human smugglers, drug dealers, illegal, I believe 1.4 works. If there is some revisions that go within that framework, I think I would be willing to look at them. 1.4 has a lot of leeway in it. Our fear is that it gets thrown out. I hope that doesn't happen. I'm pleased with the panelists because they're listening. Our group will advocate to keep 1.4. Minor changes we are willing to look at that. We will have a letter writing campaign to get more thoughts into the panel. The panel is one with vast experience, and the issue of racial profiling is the one we're most feared about.

Jose Cardenas:
Paul, Sheriff Arpaio seems to have adopted a particular focus on immigration and I'm using his MOU with ice to deal with those kind of issues. Do you envision any changes to 1.4 to allow the police department to do the kind of things the sheriff's doing?

Paul Charlton:
I know the union is not asking for that, chief Harris is not asking for that, the mayor is not asking for that I'm quite sure, but not as broad as what the sheriff is doing right now.

Jose Cardenas:
He is not actually in charge of policy 1.4. As I understand it it is the city manager's office and chief of police who have responsibility for that.

Paul Charlton:
Everyone of the members of the committee has been the head of a prosecution agency before. So, I think we have some experience in how it is you dedicate limited resources, what crimes to go after and not go after. I suspect the mayor was looking for advice on how to draft a rule that would take into consideration limited resources but be lawful at the same time.

Jose Cardenas:
Isn't it the function of the police chief who already had a review underway, shouldn't it have been left to him first to come forward with his recommendations before the mayor in the view of some preemptively really undercut the chief by coming up with this panel?

Paul Charlton:
I don't think there is any rule that says the chief has to go first. The mayor has an interest in this. He doesn't have the authority to make a decision that would change the rule by himself. He has say in it and I think it is appropriate for him to convene a group of individuals.

Jose Cardenas:
On the subject of limited resources, which both of you have mentioned, and the question of authority -- if there is concern about how he is using those resources or whether he is using them improperly in terms of immigration enforcement, why aren't supervisors doing something about it? The sheriff is elected, he can set his own policies, as long as they are followed in the framework of legality. We control his budget. This year's budget is set. There are benchmarks that tell us when he is going over and we can approach him on it, but we can't change his policy. If he does violate his budget in the upcoming year when we set his new one, we could put him on line item and we have more control. We have already notified that he has gone overboard in overtime. Close to $3 million, now down to 1.2 million.

Jose Cardenas:
You can't do anything right now, but perhaps in the future?

Mary Rose Wilcox:
In the future we can. The sheriff will tell you we can't.

Jose Cardenas:
We may have both of you on to discuss that.

Mary Rose Wilcox:
Oh, that will be a show.

Jose Cardenas:
For now, supervisor Mary Rose -- thank you for joining us. Arizona is less than two months away from hosting the super bowl. Tonight we look at how Glendale is preparing for the event. Producer Merry Lucero shows you what's going on in the area of where the big game is going to be played.

Merry Lucero:
Just a few years ago, this entire Glendale area was agriculture. The development of the jobbing.com arena and the University of Phoenix stadium kicked off an explosion of growth.

Julie Frisoni:
It is amazing when you think that back in 2001, this entire area was farmland, entire. That meant there was no road, no roads, no sewer lines, waterlines. So, everything you see here has been put in the last six or seven years.

Merry Lucero:
More recently, Glendale has been working around the clock to prepare the area for the Super Bowl.

Julie Frisoni:
The city of Glendale is working 24/7 to make sure that when residents, when visitors, when tourists come here that Glendale is ready for the Super Bowl, and that means on all fronts. That means from our public safety to our sanitation, to our marketing department. Beyond viewing just the day-to-day work of the city, now we have the eyes of the world coming to Glendale.

Merry Lucero:
That means different things to different city departments.

Julie Frisoni:
It means for police that they must have enough officers, coalition of enough officers to make sure that not only is Glendale safe and watched over and neighborhoods are protected, but this area with 150,000 people in it is safe. Transportation moves smoothly when people come here. That the area is marketed so that people know they're in Glendale, Arizona.

Merry Lucero:
And where will those 150,000 people stay when they come for the game? A lot of them right here.

Julie Frisoni:
ine new hotels. At this point seven of them will be ready and opening their doors by the time the Super Bowl comes. That means approximately 1,500 new hotel rooms for the city of Glendale. So, in effect, the number of hotel rooms in the city of Glendale will quadruple.

Merry Lucero:
One hotel that is already up and running is the renaissance, just a few steps away from the stadium. With 320 guest rooms, 30 meeting rooms, and the Glendale conference and media center, the renaissance is ready.

Barb Fuller:
We have a lot of corporate parties planned, big parties, fun events. Lots of security planned. We're right in the center of it. The NFL is right across the street. We're ready for them and we're cooperating with everybody to make this a safe and fun place to be.

Merry Lucero:
And the place for media to be is here. The new 65,000 square foot media center will house press from all over the country.

Julie Frisoni:
And it is designed to give them a place not only to work with work space and computer connections and studio space and control rooms, all of the items they would need to put on a show, a program, but it is also designed to host live shots from all over the country. Get beautiful shots of the stadium and of the arena, West Gate, of the entire area.

Merry Lucero:
The West Gate city center, retail, dining, entertainment, living, office space, it is another venue in the immediate area of the super bowl counting down to the big event.

Julie Frisoni:
Has it been a lot of work? Absolutely. Have crews been working very hard to make sure that -- absolutely. But I think once it is here and gone, Glendale will look back and say it was well worth it.

Jose Cardenas:
The Arizona Super Bowl host committee is also extending efforts to get the Hispanic community involved and excited about the big game. With me to talk specifics of what is being done is Mirna Pineda, Spanish language media consultant for the Arizona Super Bowl host committee. I should mention that I am on the host committee. You were hired as a special media consultant, what does that involve?

Mirna Pineda:
For me personally, professionally, a great experience, because I have had the opportunity to coordinate the -- what I am doing is sharing information, not only translating, but being in contact with the Spanish media, and only three or four, but no, ten radio stations, three newspapers, at least eight TV's, and a lot of magazines.

Jose Cardenas:
And foreign media as well.

Mirna Pineda:
Yes, basically there are two main networks, and both are going to air the super bowl. They are competing. So there is going to be --

Jose Cardenas:
I know you have been very busy. One of the things that the super bowl host committee has done in Spanish is this booklet that you have brought with you today. Tell us about it.

Mirna Pineda:
This is a coloring book. We were working on the translation, but we were doing a better job, because this is a rhyme book if you translate, it doesn't make any sense in Spanish. We need to do some changes, and the Latino community can be more involved and with the Super Bowl. We have that web page, in Spanish. There is a link and it is in Spanish. We have videos from the emerging business that do the football clinics, and kind of emotion between Hispanic community even though we love soccer we are interested in the football.

Jose Cardenas:
Any kinds of things that the host community is doing to reach out to the Hispanic community in terms of the super bowl? You mentioned quite a few of them already.

Mirna Pineda:
There is the Latino bowl; there will be the super fiesta that is sponsored by Intervision. Telemundo is having a concert

Jose Cardenas:
Hispanic community will be very involved.

Mirna Pineda:
It is going to be a big fiesta and you know we love fiestas. They know -- we need to be there. We need to take advantage.

Jose Cardenas:
We will make sure that it happens.

Mirna Pineda:
Yes, yes.

Jose Cardenas:
Thank you so much.

Mirna Pineda:
Thank you for having me.

Jose Cardenas:
Next Thursday, watch "Horizonte" journalists as we look back at the top stories of 2007. It will be a review of all of the events that have happened. Thank you for joining us this evening. I'm Jose Cardenas. For all of us here at "Horizonte," we wish you and your family a Merry Christmas. Good night.

Announcer:
Funding for "Horizonte" is provided by SRP.

Paul Charlton :Former U.S. Attorney ;

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