En Español Know Your Rights
Source: Daily News
Subject: Immigration
Type: Media Coverage

Rally to boost Bam’s bold reform moves

The
usual crusty, mostly Republican fat cats and their acolytes have wasted no time
in describing President Obama’s bold moves as acts of "class
warfare."


Former
presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and conservative think tanks such as the
Heritage Foundation, among others, have done their best to scare people with
their talk of an Obama "class war" and his "socialist"
tendencies.


But
for the majority of Americans, the President’s actions are bold steps toward a
more just and prosperous nation.


With
that in mind, organized labor, immigrant groups and community leaders plan to
rally on May 1 at Madison Square Park
in Manhattan to
support the President’s commitment to fixing the contentious immigration issue
this year, and at the same time demand comprehensive health care and the
passage of the Employee Free Choice Act.


Rally
organizers believe that these three pieces of legislation are important not
only to their constituents, but to the entire nation.


The
May Day rally’s announcement – and an invitation to all New Yorkers to
participate – came last Monday on the steps of City Hall.


"Now
more than ever, people need real solutions to our nation’s problems," said
Héctor Figueroa of Local 32BJ and a rally organizer.


The
chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.) –
who is attending the Fifth Summit of the Americas
in Trinidad and Tobago
with the President – signaled her support by standing with the rally leaders at
City Hall.


"While
skeptics may use the economic crisis as a reason to delay other reforms, we
know that the most bold and creative reforms have always come out of crisis
times," said Chung-Wha Hong, executive director of the New York
Immigration Coalition.


Last
Thursday, to the surprise of many "pundits" and "insiders,"
the White House confirmed that President Obama will get the immigration reform
ball rolling during his first year in office.


"On
behalf of
Make the Road New York‘s 5,200 immigrant members, we were
happy to read that the White House is looking to start the debate this
year," said
Javier Valdés, the group’s deputy director.


The
President also has expressed support for the Employee Free Choice Act, a bill
that would make it easier for workers to unionize. The legislation would help
restore balance in employer-worker relations and raise the standard of living
of thousands of middle-class Americans, supporters say.


Comprehensive
health care reform is one of the main goals of President Obama. He has cited
the "crushing cost" of health care and said reforms must be enacted
this year. "We can no longer afford to put health care reform on
hold," he said.


These
are very tough times. And they demand bold solutions.


Fair
and rational immigration reform, affordable and comprehensive health care and
the restoration of workers’ rights that the Employee Free Choice Act would
provide are part of those bold solutions.


President
Obama’s vision and courage in proposing them, and working to have them enacted
against tremendous odds, should be actively supported.


"We
say to the President that the best next step in economic stimulus is supporting
working families with what they need the most to do their part – and that’s
bringing them out of the shadows of the underground economy, giving them health
care and a voice at their job," Hong said.


The
May 1 rally will be held at 1:30 p.m. at Madison
Square Park,
Broadway and 23rd St.,
in Manhattan.
Everybody is invited.