Promise Arizona

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Community leaders announce a national effort to protect federal health and food programs as well as responses to the President’s immigration agenda.

José Cárdenas: PROMISE ARIZONA AND CENTER FOR COMMUNITY CHANGE LAUNCHED A NATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO PROTECT FEDERAL PROGRAMS SUCH AS THE SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM "SNAP" AND MEDICAID. PROMISE ARIZONA IS ALSO PART OF THE WE ARE ALL AMERICA PHOENIX COALITION, WHICH HAS MADE RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE CITY OF PHOENIX REGARDING A RESPONSE TO PRESIDENT TRUMP'S IMMIGRATION AGENDA. JOINING ME NOW TO TALK ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN IS PETRA FALCON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FOR PROMISE ARIZONA AND DONNA CHEUNG, PRESIDENT OF THE JAPANESE AMERICAN CITIZENS LEAGUE, ARIZONA CHAPTER. THANK YOU BOTH FOR JOINING US ON "HORIZONTE." DONNA, WE WILL BE TALKING ABOUT THE IMMIGRATION AGENDA BUT PETRA, I WANT TO BEGIN BY TALKING ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN REGARDING "SNAP" AND MEDICAID. TELL US ABOUT THE COALITION AND ITS FOCUS.

Petra Falcon: OUR FOCUS WITH THE COALITION IS TO EDUCATE THE COMMUNITY AND ESPECIALLY VOTERS THAT WE ARE ALL LIVING IN A VERY UNCERTAIN TIME. WITH THE NEW ADMINISTRATION THAT WE KNOW THAT THERE ARE PROPOSED CUTS THAT WOULD DAMAGE VERY MUCH PROGRAMS THAT HAVE BEEN THERE TO PROTECT AND TO SUPPORT FAMILIES THAT PERHAPS DON'T HAVE ENOUGH RESOURCES AT HOME, THAT PERHAPS NEED ADDITIONAL SUPPORT TO HAVE A NUTRITIONIST MEAL, TO GET MEALS DELIVERED TO SENIOR CITIZEN'S HOMES, PROVIDE AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAMMING AND WE THINK THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO ENGAGE PEOPLE AT A DEEPER LEVEL. AND PROMISE ARIZONA IS AN IMMIGRANT'S RIGHT ORGANIZATIONS BUT WE HAVE BUILT ENOUGH CAPACITY IN MARICOPA AND AROUND THE STATE TO ENGAGE PEOPLE IN A DEEPER WAY ON THIS SUBJECT.

José Cárdenas: WHAT KIND OF CUTS ARE WE TALKING ABOUT? I THINK PEOPLE THINK THE EFFORT TO REPEAL THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT FAILED AND WE ARE OKAY BECAUSE MEDICAID WAS A PART OF THAT. IS THAT A WRONG ASSUMPTION?

Petra Falcon: THAT IS A WRONG ASSUMPTION BECAUSE THE ADMINISTRATION IS OBVIOUSLY PLANNING TO GO BACK TO THAT CONVERSATION BUT THE PRESIDENT WANTS TO ATTACK THE BUDGET AND FEELS HE CAN REMOVE CERTAIN ITEMS FROM THE BUDGET THAT WILL IMPACT THESE PROGRAMS AND THAT IS WHAT WE ARE AFRAID OF.

José Cárdenas: HOW IMPORTANT ARE THOSE PROGRAMS TO PEOPLE IN ARIZONA?

Petra Falcon: WE WERE AT A COMMUNITY SENIOR CENTER YESTERDAY AND THE NATIONAL NORM FOR FAMILY OF FOUR MIGHT GET $160 A MONTH IN FOOD STAMPS.

José Cárdenas: AND THAT IS THE “SNAP” PROGRAM?

Petra Falcon: YES. BUT SENIORS GET $8-$16 A MONTH. WHO CAN SURVIVE ON $8 A MONTH IN FOOD STAMPS? OR MORE DRASTIC IS THERE ISN'T OVERLAPPED WITH THE PEOPLE ENROLLED IN ACCESS BUT WE KNOW THERE ARE MIXED STATUS FAMILIES AND UNDOCUMENTED PARENTS, ONE OR THE OTHER, THAT HAVE CHILDREN AND ACCESS TO THESE SERVICES AND THEY ARE FALLING OUT OF THESE PROGRAMS. SO, THIS IS A TIME WE REALLY NEED TO GO INTO THE COMMUNITY. DO YOU KNOW YOUR RIGHTS AGAINST DEFENDING THEMSELVES AGAINST THE EXECUTIVE ORDERS THAT ARE ALSO DAMAGING UNDOCMENTED PEOPLE BUT ADD THIS LAYER TO TEACH PEOPLE WHAT IS AT STAKE AND HOW WE CAN TAKE ACTION.

José Cárdenas: SO YOU HAD A PRESS CONFERENCE EARLIER THIS WEEK AND HAD PEOPLE LIKE MARY ROSE WILCOX SPEAKING. WHAT WAS THE FOLLOW-UP TO THAT?

Petra Falcon: THE FOLLOW-UP IS WE NEED TO NUMBER ONE, GO BACK AND CONTINUE CONVERSATION AND HAVE TOWN HAULS AND BUDGET HEARINGS -- TOWN HALL -- AND WE NEED TO CALL OUR SENATORS MCCAIN AND FLAKE. THEY WERE CHAMPIONS ON IMMIGRATION REFORM AND WE WANT THEM CHAMPIONS ON THIS SUBJECT SO WHEN THEY RETURN TO CONGRESS, THEY KEEP PUSHING BACK ON THE PRESIDENT'S PROPOSAL TO CUT THE BUDGET.

José Cárdenas: IS THERE ANYTHING SPECIFIC WE CAN EXPECT TO SEE IN THE COMING WEEKS?

Petra Falcon: WHAT WE EXPECT TO SEE IN THE COMING WEEKS IS WE WILL CONTINUE THE DIALOGUE IN THE COMMUNITY, WE WILL CONTINUE TO HAVE CONVERSATIONS WITH OUR CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION BECAUSE WE NEED TO GET TO THEM THE STORIES OF THESE PEOPLE THAT ARE BEING IMPACTED, THE SENIORS THAT ARE BEING IMPACTED, FAMILIES IMPACTED AND EVEN CHILDREN. WHEN YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT MEALS ON WHEELS GOING AWAY OR AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS OR WHEN YOU HAVE MEMBERS OF CONGRESS SAY THERE IS NO PROOF CHILDREN NEED A BREAKFAST IN THE MORNING SO THEY CAN LEARN. THESE ARE THE KIND OF THINGS COMING OUT OF WASHINGTON, D.C. AND WE NEED TO CONFRONT THOSE.

José Cárdenas: THANK YOU. DONNA, TALK ABOUT THE WE ARE ALL AMERICAN PHOENIX CORPORATION AND YOUR ORGANIZATION’S INVOLVEMENT IN IT.

Donna Cheung: THE JAPANESE AMERICAN CITIZEN LEAGUE ARIZONA CHAPTER STARTED OUT AS AN ETHNICALLY SPECIFIC GROUP BUT EMERGED AS A CIVIL AND CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT ORGANIZATION AND BECAUSE OUR MEMBERSHIP CONSISTS OF PEOPLE WHO EXPERIENCE SCAPEGOATING, TARGETING, AND INCARCERATION DIRECTLY SO THEY KNOW AND UNDERSTAND FIRST HAND WHAT IT IS LIKE TO LIVE IN AN ENVIRONMENT WHEN EVERYBODY IS LOOKING AT THEM NOT ONLY AS THE ENEMY BUT UNDER SUSPICION AND WHAT IT IS LIKE TO LIVE IN ENVIRONMENTS THAT ARE MENTALLY UNSAFE FOR THEM. THAT IS WHY WE RESONATED WITH THE COALITION BECAUSE PART OF THE RECOMMENDATION IS TO MAKE SCHOOLS OR EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONAL SAFE ZONES AND THAT IS SOMETHING THAT RESONATE WITH OUR OLDER MEMBERSHIP BECAUSE THEY WERE YOUNG WHEN PEARL HARBOR HAPPENED AND WHEN INCARCERATION AND REMOVAL HAPPENED. THEY UNDERSTAND WHAT IT IS LIKE TO GO TO SCHOOL ONE DAY AND THE NEXT DAY BE TOLD THEY CANNOT GO TO SCHOOL. OR ONE DAY GOING TO THE GROCERY STORE AND BE TOLD THE NEXT THEY ARE NOT WELCOME AT THE GROCERY STORE. IT IS IMPORTANT PHOENIX, AS A MAJOR CITY, ESTABLISH ITSELF AS A SAFE ZONE WHETHER THAT IS AT SCHOOL, WALKING THE STREET, GOING TO THE HEALTH CLINIC, AND FORTUNATELY FOR PROMISE AND LEADERS OF COALITION THEY WERE ABLE TO COME TOGETHER WITH THESE SIX RECOMMENDATIONS WHICH PETRA WILL TELL YOU MORE ABOUT.

José Cárdenas: ONE OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS WAS ESTABLISHMENT OF SAFE ZONES AND PROTECTING REFUGES. AND TWO INCIDENTS THAT OCCURRED RECENTLY WERE IN THE PAPER AND ANY SENSE OF WHAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT THERE?

Petra Falcon: MOSTLY IT IS THE REFUGE BAN. IT IS STILL IMPACTING A LOT OF FAMILIES AND THAT IS ONE OF THE THINGS I THINK WHY WE MADE THESE RECOMMENDATIONS. THE TOP OF THE LIST OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS IS THAT THE CITY CREATED AN AD HOC COMMITTEE. THERE WAS TWO PUBLIC MEETINGS WITH THE COMMITTEE AND THEY RECEIVED RECOMMENDATIONS AND THAT IS HOW WE GOT THEM IN THERE. IT DIDN'T GO FAR ENOUGH BUT THEY HAVE MADE A COUPLE RECOMMENDATIONS THAT WILL MOVE FORWARD BUT IT DIDN'T GO FAR ENOUGH. WHAT WE HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT IS HOW DOES THE CITY OF PHOENIX HAVE A BROADER ROLE IN CONVENING ORGANIZATIONS THAT ARE WORKING WITH IMMIGRANTS AND REFUGES. HOW DO THEY ESTABLISH AN ENTITY. MOST MAJOR CITIES HAVE AN OFFICE OF IMMIGRANT AND REFUGEE AFFAIRS AND A CITY THIS LARGE HAS TO DO THAT. I THINK PART OF IT IS, ESPECIALLY BECAUSE WE ARE TALKING ABOUT SCHOOLS, HOW ARE SCHOOLS PREPARING FOR FAMILIES THAT ARE BEING SEPARATED BECAUSE OF DEPORTATION? WE ARE SEEING THAT A LOT.

José Cárdenas: DONNA, THERE WERE SIX RECOMMENDATIONS PRESENT TODAY THE CITY OF PHOENIX COUNCIL MEETING ON WEDNESDAY. WHAT RESPONSE DID YOU GET FROM THE PHOENIX CITY COUNCIL?

Donna Cheung: I THINK THEY EMBRACED SOME BUT WE FEEL LIKE THEY DIDN'T GO FAR ENOUGH. WHAT THE COMMISSION WOULD WANT IS FOR THE CITY OF PHOENIX TO HAVE A PERMANENT SUBCOMMITTEE THAT WOULD ADDRESS THE ISSUE OF IMMIGRANTS AND REFUGEES BECAUSE IMMIGRANTS AND REFUGEES IS NOT A PROBLEM THAT IS GOING TO GO AWAY. THAT IS GOING TO BE IMPORTANT FOR A MAJOR CITY LIKE PHOENIX AND THAT IS WHY WE WOULD ACTUALLY HAVE A PERMANENT SUBCOMMITTEE.

José Cárdenas: WHEN YOU SAY THEY DIDN'T GO FAR ENOUGH, WERE THERE ANY RECOMMENDATIONS REJECTED OR JUST HAVEN'T TAKEN ACTION THAT YOU THINK IS SPECIFIC?

Donna Cheung: IT IS BASICALLY PUTTING IT IN LANGUAGE. WOULD YOU AGREE WITH THAT, PETRA?

Petra Falcon: YES, I THINK THE TWO RECOMMENDATIONS THAT DID MOVE FORWARD ONE WAS HOW DO THEY MAKE SURE THAT THE CITY OF PHOENIX POLICE DEPARTMENT REALLY IS ENGAGED IN CONVERSATIONS WITH SCHOOL CAMPUSES BECAUSE THEY HAVE SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS WHICH IS A POLICE OFFICER ON CAMPUS AND THE SECOND RECOMMENDATION WAS HOW DOES THE CITY OF PHOENIX POLICE DEPARTMENT INTERACT WITH ICE WHICH IS A BIG TENSION WITH MOST ORGANIZATIONS IN THE COMMUNITY BECAUSE THAT IS WHERE FAMILIES GET HURT THE WORSE AND WHAT IS BRINGING FEAR INTO THE COMMUNITY. ANY LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENT CAN ACT AS AN ICE AGENT. THAT CAME IN UNDER THE SB-1070 LEGISLATION AND REALLY HASN’T BE REMOVED FROM THE BOOK. NOT GOING FAR ENOUGH, BUT IT WAS A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION AND THAT IS WHY WE ARE GOING TO CONTINUE THE WORK OF THE COALITION SO THAT WE CAN HOPEFULLY SET IN MOTION THE CONVERSATION OF THE PERMANENT INSTITUTIONAL STRATEGY TO ADDRESS THIS.

José Cárdenas: DONNA, YOU MENTIONED SAFE ZONES. ARE YOU CALLING FOR THE CITY OF PHOENIX TO ACTIVELY RESIST ICE ENFORCEMENT ACTIVITY IN THE SAFE ZONES OF UNIVERSITIES AND SCHOOLS?

Donna Cheung: I THINK IT IS MORE WE WOULD NEVER WANT THE CITY TO BREAK THE LAW AND TO PUT ITSELF IN A BAD POSITION WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. I HAVE TO SPEAK UP FOR IMMIGRANTS BECAUSE I AM AN IMMIGRANTS AND I PUT MYSELF IN THE SHOES OF A FIVE YEAR OLD AND TALKING ABOUT A MIXED FAMILY. IF I SEE GRADE SCHOOL AS A POTENTIAL WHERE MY MOTHER AND FATHER CAN BE SEPARATED FROM ME OR ARRESTED IN FRONT OF ME THE MIND OF THAT 5-YEAR-OLD WOULD LOOK AT EVERY INSTITUTION WITHIN A DEMOCRACY AS SOMETHING THAT SHOULD NOT BE EMBRACED. WE AREN’T TALKING ABOUT SOMETHING BEYOND THE VERY SPECIFIC NOTION OF WHAT IS THE ROLL OF AN SRO OR BREAKING A LAW -- ROLE. WE ARE TALKING ABOUT HOW YOU PUT INTO THE MINDS OF YOUNG CHILDREN THAT YOU SHOULD HAVE FAITH IN INSTITUTIONS AND ONE OF THE FIRST ENGAGEMENT OF INSTITUTIONS FOR A YOUNG CHILD IS SCHOOL. IF THEY COULD THINK THAT GOING TO SCHOOL WITH MOM AND DAD IS GOING TO BE A PLACE WHERE THEY ARE GOING TO BE SEPARATED FROM MOM AND DAD, THEN THE IDEA OF BUILDING A VERY STRONG ELECTORATE OR BUILDING A PRODUCTIVE FUTURE WITH THESE CHILDREN GETS DIMINISHED BECAUSE YOU ARE TELLING THEM NOT TO TRUST INSTITUTIONS OF A DEMOCRACY BASICALLY.

José Cárdenas: VERY IMPORTANT TOPIC AND THANK YOU BOTH FOR JOINING US ON "HORIZONTE." GOOD TO TALK ABOUT THIS. COMING UP NEXT, FIND OUT HOW LATINO POPULATIONS IN VALLEY CITIES COMPARE TO THE NUMBER OF LATINOS IN LAW ENFORCEMENT.

Petra Falcon: Promise Arizona
Donna Cheung: Japanese American Citizens United-AZ Chapter

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