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9/17/09 Rally and Petition To Stop Hate Against Immigrants

Pelted with beer bottles.  Beaten with baseball bats.  Shot with BB guns and assaulted with pepper spray.
Or in the case of Ecuadorian immigrant Marcelo Lucero–who was attacked by a group of young white men in Patchogue, N.Y. last November–stabbed to death.
For the past decade, violent attacks against Latino immigrants in Suffolk County, N.Y., have become a serious problem, and in many instances, local politicians have helped fuel the flames of hate with anti-immigrant rhetoric, according to “Climate of Fear: Latino Immigrants in Suffolk County, N.Y.,” the report released on September 2, 2009, by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a non-profit that tracks hate groups.
The report has attracted both local and national attention, and this week, there are two important responses to the “Climate of Fear” report that you should know about:
Rally and Pledge Tomorrow:
On Thursday, September 17, 2009, a group of Suffolk County leaders will present the county legislature with a copy of the SPLC report, and will ask legislators to sign a “Stop the Hate” pledge to initiate policies that facilitate integration for all residents (Wm. Rogers Legislature Building, 725 Veterans Memorial Highway, Smithtown, NY).  See the press release below for more details.
Online Petition To Stop Hate Against Immigrants
Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy is referred to in the SPLC report as “The Enabler-in-Chief” because he’s helped foster an anti-immigrant atmosphere with his demagoguery.
Despite the serious problems cited in the report, Levy hasn’t responded convincingly–that’s why we want you to challenge him to heed the report’s recommendations.  Click here to send the county executive an email and let him know that he needs to make serious changes, now.
What’s in this email?
1. Rally and Pledge Tomorrow
2. Online Petition To Stop Hate Against Immigrants
3. Speak Out/Stop Hate Video Contest Extension
4. Top Stories
5. Upcoming Events
6. Save the Date
7. Call to Action
8. Stay in Touch with Long Island Wins
1.*Rally and Pledge Tomorrow*

Here’s a press release with details about tomorrow’s gathering at the Suffolk County Legislature from the Long Island Immigrant Alliance (LIIA):
For Immediate Release
Contact: Luis Valenzuela 631-789-0720 or Pat Young 516-489-8330
September 16, 2009

A Climate of Fear in Suffolk County
In an effort to reduce the climate of fear in Suffolk County, local community representatives will call on the Suffolk County Legislature to refrain from anti-Latino/anti-immigrant rhetoric– tomorrow, Sept 17th, 2009. The release last week of the report, “A Climate of Fear: Latino Immigrants in Suffolk County, N.Y.,” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, highlights the need for our county elected officials to commit to the creation of a more inclusive Suffolk County. The premiere human rights organization’s report states that “Latino immigrants are routinely the target of violent attacks, harassment and abuse driven by a virulent anti-immigrant climate that has been fostered by community leaders and law enforcement practices”. The Long Island Immigrant Alliance and other community organizations who endorse the SPLC’s report will present the study to the all of the members of the Suffolk County Legislature and ask them to join in a collective “Stop the Hate” pledge and to initiate policies that facilitates the integration of all residents.

What: Stop the Hate Rally

Where: Wm. Rogers Legislature Building, 725 Veterans Memorial Highway, Smithtown, NY 11787
When: Thursday, September 17, 2009

Time: 9am Rally, 9:30am address legislature

2. *Online Petition To Stop Hate Against Immigrants*
We want you to tell Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy to do his part to stop hate crimes against immigrants. By participating in our online petition via Change.org you can show that you want the violence against Latino immigrants in Suffolk County to end.  We’re hoping to reach our goal of 100 signatures by the end of the week, so sign on and let Levy know that changes need to be made.
3. *Speak Out/Stop Hate Video Contest Extension*
Long Island Wins is exending the deadline for our “Speak Out/Stop Hate” video contest to midnight on Friday, October 30, 2009.  The winning video will be featured at the Long Island Latino International Film Festival.  For more info on the contest, visit www.speakoutstophate.com
4. *Top Stories*
Closer Look at Suffolk Hate Crimes Report, Part 1 (9/2/09), Part 2 (9/3/09), Part 3 (9/5/09), and Part 4 (9/15/09): Blogger Patrick Young, Esq., breaks down the SPLC report in detail.

VIDEO: Responses To “Climate of Fear” Report (9/4/09): Immigrant advocates and creators of the SPLC report talk about its importance and potential impact.

Dear Day Laborers: Allow Me To Apologize (9/9/09): The son of former Suffolk legislator Elie Mystal talks about his father’s past anti-immigrant rhetoric, and how it’s affected him.
Reform Series: The DREAM Act (9/10/09): The third installment in our immigration reform series looks at the plight of undocumented students, and why legislative change would benefit everyone.

Immigration 101: What if Children of Undocumented Weren’t U.S. Citizens? (9/13/09): Patrick Young, Esq., continues his immigration primer by imagining the absurd implications of citizenship claims by anti-immigrant groups.

Gov. Paterson Talks With Local Immigrant Advocates About Hate Crime (9/15/09): In reaction to recent hate crimes in Suffolk County and the SPLC report, the governor called a closed-door meeting with advocates, politicians, and religious leaders to discuss problems and solutions.

Are Witnesses Being Intimidated by Levy Officials? (9/15/09): A member of the Suffolk County Hispanic Advisory Board claims that the county’s minority affairs director, Mel Guadalupe, pressured him not to speak at a hate crime forum in Patchogue.

5. *Upcoming Events*
Long Island Somos El Futuro Conference
A press release via Suffolk County Legis. Ricardo Montano. For relevant pdf files (registration forms, etc.), click here.
Scheduled on September 18-19, the conference will convene some of our region’s most distinguished civic, community, business and labor leaders to discuss issues pertinent to Latino social, economic, and political empowerment. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to learn, educate and raise your voices in defense of our community’s civil rights with peers from across New York State. All the legislative workshops, and breakfast and lunch forums are free and open to the public, but you must RSVP. You can do so today by filling out the attached registration form and faxing it to 212-233-8996. We look forward to seeing all of you. Please distribute to all who can benefit from this conference.
Annual Latino Youth Summit 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Sponsored by the Long Island Immigrant Alliance, the Annual Latino Youth Summit (ALYS) gives young people the chance to learn about issues facing Latinos, discover opportunities in their communities, and enjoy art, music, and dance exhibitions.  The event is co-sponsored by the Islip Department of Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Events, and will take place in Timberline Park (400 Broadway, Brentwood, NY).  For information, call 631-789-0720, 631-786-5112, or 516-902-3585.
Suffolk County Hate Crime Forums
Long Island Wins has covered the Suffolk County hate crime forums–where residents are invited to air their experiences with hate crime–at length, from problems we noticed in the planning stages, to the first forum in Wyandanch, and on to the most recent forum in Patchogue.  These forums are meant to serve as an investigation into hate crime by the Suffolk County Hate Crime Task Force, which was created in the wake of Marcelo Lucero’s death.  Although this blog has expressed skepticism in the past about the forum planning, important testimony–like that of Fernando Hernandez–has come out of the public meetings, and you should try to attend.
A note from the task force: “Immigration status is irrelevant and will not be questioned; a Spanish-speaking translator will be available, and anyone not comfortable giving public testimony may submit a written statement.”
Remaining Forums:
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Riverhead – Culinary Arts & Hospitality Center, Suffolk County Community College
20 East Main St. Riverhead, NY 11901
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Brentwood – Suffolk County Community College, Grant Campus
Sports / Convention Center
Crooked Hill Road, Brentwood, NY 11717
For further information call: Legislator DuWayne Gregory’s Office at 631-854-1111

6. *Save the Date*
How to Teach and Preach About Immigration for a More Welcoming Long Island:
Long Island Wins and the Long Island Council of Churches invite Long Island religious leaders, clergy members, and active lay leaders to be our guests for a luncheon to discuss immigration on Long Island.  Your leadership and collective efforts are essential in improving our communities.
Please join us on one of these dates at the location most convenient to you:
October 7, Wednesday: St. Hugh of Lincoln Roman Catholic Church; Huntington Station, NY
October 22, Thursday: Old Westbury Hebrew Congregation; Old Westbury, NY
October 27, Tuesday: First Baptist Church; Riverhead, NY

All luncheons will be from noon-2pm.  To attend a luncheon is free of cost, but seating will be limited.  Please RSVP with which luncheon you will be attending, your name, position, and information about your house of worship.  To RSVP, or for more information, contact keinhorn@longislandwins.com.

7. *Call To Action*

In late July, we issued a call for local leaders to help the Suffolk County chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union tackle immigration. Now the NYCLU is looking for standout advocates to take up the cause in Nassau County.  Click here for more info.

7. *Stay in Touch with Long Island Wins*
Please contact info@longislandwins.com to submit immigration-related news stories, events, requests for speakers, and your suggestions on how to engage Long Islanders on these important issues.  If you are interested in internships or volunteer opportunities, contact keinhorn@longislandwins.com for more information.  To join our Facebook page, click here.

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