Luis V. Gutiérrez

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Luis Gutierrez


Luis V. Gutierrez is a former Marxist and Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the 4th district of Illinois.

Luis Gutiérrez was first elected to office through the efforts of the same "progressive coalition of blacks, Latinos, and whites that brought Harold Washington into power in 1983 as mayor of Chicago"[1].

Early life

Gutiérrez was born in Chicago, Illinois, on December 10, 1953 and later moved to Puerto Rico, his parent's birthplace, before returning to Chicago to attend college. He received his bachelor of arts degree from Northeastern Illinois University in 1975 and then worked as a teacher, cab driver, community activist and a social worker for ten years. He taught in the public schools of Puerto Rico and Chicago from 1975 to 1977. He was a social worker for the Illinois State Department of Children and Family Services from 1979 to 1983[2].[3]

Washington administration

Luis Gutiérrez worked in the Harold Washington administration from 1984 to 1985 as the administrative assistant for the mayor's subcommittee on infrastructure[4].

He won election in 1986 as Alderman from the city's 26th ward. In the Chicago City Council, he led the fight for affordable housing, tougher ethics rules, and a law to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and was a key lieutenant in Mayor Harold Washington's progressive multi-ethnic coalition.[5]

PSP member

1980s Chicago mayor Harold Washington's electoral coalition included many members of the Puerto Rican Socialist Party. Luis Gutierrez who became an Alderman under Washington belonged to the Marxist-Leninist Puerto Rican Socialist Party and was able to secure government funds for the PSP sponsored cultural center and for Party sponsored social services and ESL and GELD programs[6].

Congress

Although Gutiérrez rode the Harold Washington wave into the Chicago City Council, it was his alliance with the Richard Daly Jr. machine that gave him backing to enter the U.S. House of Representatives. His first election bid to Congress in 1992 was won decisively with 75 percent of the vote. White voters overwhelmingly voted for Gutiérrez. Known for his powerful oratory, Gutiérrez promised, during the campaign, to remain "close to the people in his district without succumbing to the back rooms of Washington, D.C.[7]"

Immigration activism

On August 31, 1996, several Illinois Latino political leaders including State Senators Miguel del Valle, Jesus Garcia, and Congressman Luis Gutierrez and Alderman Rick Munoz held a press conference in Chicago to condemn, what they determined was "bad faith" on the part of the INS, over immigration raids, and citizenship applications.[8]

On the national level, there is "no elected official more committed or more passionate about protecting and advocating for our nation's immigrant community than Rep. Gutierrez". He has been at the forefront of the effort to pass historic, bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform legislation and helped guide the Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act to passage in the House of Representatives in 2010. In 2009, he led a multi-city tour to raise the visibility of the toll of mass deportations on immigrant families and communities. The Familias Unidas/Families United tour helped reenergize the fight for immigration reform during the first half of President Obama's first term. He also worked closely with the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts to craft a bipartisan immigration reform package with Senate and House counterparts in the Republican Party, their work became the centerpiece of the national immigration debate.

Because of the Congressman's outstanding work on immigration issues, he was appointed Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Immigration Task Force and has previously served as Chair of the Democratic Caucus Immigration Task Force. He is the Democratic Party's leading strategist and spokesperson on immigration issues. During the 110th and 111th Congress, he served as a Member of the Judiciary Committee's Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law Subcommittee.[9]

Immigrant "rights" rally/Amnesty

Some 8,000 working people joined the March and Rally for a New Amnesty in chicago September 23. 2000. "Si se puede" was the chant of the day at the rally for the millions of immigrant workers in the United States. Janitors, home health care workers, garment workers, and meat packers were among those at the action.

The confidence, unity, and working-class composition evident at the march were reflected in the banners and signs throughout the demonstration: "It's Time For Amnesty!" "Living Wage For All Workers," "Union Organizing Is A Human Right!" and "Amnesty Means Workers' Rights."

The demonstration was sponsored by the Grassroots Collaborative, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 880, ACORN, American Friends Service Committee, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, the Interfaith Leadership Project, and others. [10]

Statements of support came from Democratic Socialists of America members AFL-CIO president John Sweeney and rep. Danny Davis and Roman Catholic archbishop of Chicago, Francis Cardinal George.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky told the crowd "i support complete amnesty , total restoral of benefits....and an end to employer sanctions. Danny Davis' message echoed these themes.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez told the assembly that on October 2 he would introduce legislation to accomplish amnesty... into the House of Representatives, and asked for the pressure to be kept up.[11]

"Progressive"

When Luis Gutierrez[12]was elected to Congress in 1992, Chicago Democratic Socialists of America regarded it as a "progressive" move;

Progressive forces in Illinois made history November 3 by electing Carol Moseley Braun as the first African-American woman to the U.S. Senate.
"Chicago City Council member Luis Gutierrez was elected the first Latino to the U.S. House of Representatives from the midwest.

DSA endorsement

In July 1996, the Democratic Socialists of America Political Action Committee endorsed Luis Gutierrez, Illinois 4, in that year's Congressional elections.[13]

Progressive Challenge

Democratic Socialists of America member Bob Roman, wrote of a 1998 Chicago Progressive Challenge meeting attended by Illinois Congressmen Jesse Jackson Jr, Luis Gutierrez and Danny Davis[14];

On the evening of Monday, April 21, the Progressive Challenge came to Chicago. Starting off with a town hall style meeting that brought together about 150 people in the UNITE hall at 333 S. Ashland in Chicago, the meeting was structured to present testimony from representative of various local organizations to local Congressional members of the Progressive Caucus.
DSA was particularly well represented by the testimony of the Youth Section's International Secretary, Daraka Larimore-Hall. Daraka Larimore-Hall gave an impassioned, coherent presentation that linked the various aspects of DSA's agenda with the project at hand.
Congressmen Jesse Jackson, Jr., Luis Gutierrez and Danny Davis attended the meeting...
The Progressive Challenge is an effort to link the Congressional Progressive Caucus with the larger left grass roots network of single issue, constituent, labor and ideological organizations. The Institute for Policy Studies is very much the keystone organization of this project, which has brought together some 40 organizations including DSA, Americans for Democratic Action, United Electrical Workers, NETWORK, National Jobs for All Coalition to name a few. No one of these groups is a major player inside the Beltway, but together they have captured the attention of the Progressive Caucus and contributed to its growth.

Illinois Public Action

In 1995 Luis Guitierrez was a member of the board of directors[15]of Illinois Public Action.

In 1996 members of the 120 strong board[16]of Illinois Public Action included Quentin Young, Congressmen Luis Gutierrez and Lane Evans, Chicago alderman Joe Moore and Peoria alderman Frank McNeil, State Senator Alice Palmer, State Representative Jan Schakowsky and Cook County Clerk David Orr.

Citizen Action of Illinois

In 1997 Luis V. Gutiérrez served on the board of directors of Citizen Action of Illinois.[17]

DSA "recommendation"

When Luis Gutierrez ran for Congress in 1998, Democratic Socialists of America did not officially endorse any candidates but he was "recommended" as worthy of a vote[18]by Chicago DSA-citing his membership of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and his support for Progressive Challenge.

Luis Gutierrez, U.S. House of Representatives, 4th District
Luis Gutierrez is a member of the Progressive Caucus, and a supporter of the Progressive Challenge.

DSA "Globalization From Below" conference

Democratic Left, Issue #1 1998, page 10

Globalization From Below was a conference held May 29 - 31 , 1998 in Chicago Illinois, organized by Democratic Socialists of America.

Invited speakers were Profirio Munoz-Ledo, PRD-Mexico; Audrey MacLaughlin, New Democratic Party-Canada; Rev. Jesse Jackson; Dolores Huerta, United Farm Workers; Clare Short, Secretary of State for Overseas Development, UK; Rep. Luis Gutierrez; Rep. Danny Davis; Jose LaLuz, AFSCME, Karen Nussbaum, AFL-CIO; Stanley Gacek, AFL-CIO; Stephen Yokich, United Auto Workers; Enrique Herandez, Han Young/ Hyudai plant organizer, Tijuana.[19]

Chicago New Party

In 1998, Luis Gutierrez attended the election night number -crunching when Willie Delgado won Chicago's 35th Ward State Representative seat on the New Party ticket[20].

By this time, most of the results were in. Congressman Gutierrez stood up on a table and told everyone to go to the victory party at Tania's Nightclub, where the results would be announced. In the back room, a group of campaign staffers were crunching the numbers as fast as possible to figure out if Willie had won. Willie himself was sitting in the corner looking nervous. Even withabout 90% of the precincts in, it was still too close to call.

Congressional Progressive Caucus

In 1998 Luis Gutierrez Democrat was listed as a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.[21]

As of February 20 2009 Luis Gutierrez was listed as a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.[22]

NEXT AGENDA Conference

NEXT AGENDA was held at the National Press Club, Main Ballroom, Feb. 28,2001.

At Feb. 28 Conference on NEXT AGENDA, progressive activists, Congressional leaders will unite to forge strategy for "working families" agenda -- the day after President Bush delivers his plans to joint session of Congress.
-- Calling themselves the real "democratic majority," organizers and thinkers, led by the Campaign for America's Future, to release new book outlining an agenda for changes they insist most voters endorsed in 2000 elections.
On Feb. 28, a national conference on the NEXT AGENDA, will bring together progressive activists, intellectuals and allies in the Congress for the first time since the disputed election and battles over President Bush's cabinet nominees. It will frame the next two year's debate.
Sponsored by the progressive advocacy group, the Campaign for America's Future and its sister research organization, the Institute for America's Future, the Conference on the Next Progressive Agenda has been endorsed by a who's who of prominent leaders from the labor unions, women's organizations, civil rights groups, environmentalists and individual members of the House and Senate. Their goal: to forge a progressive movement to fight for the "working family" agenda they insist was endorsed by a majority of the voters in the 2000 election.

Organizers of the conference would release a new book, THE NEXT AGENDA: Blueprint for a New Progressive Movement, edited by Robert Borosage and Roger Hickey and published by Westview Press.

3:45 - 5:00 Bold Initiatives

Chair: Roger Hickey

2004 Take Back America Conference

Luis Gutierrez was on the list of 114 speakers (which included George Soros) at the 2004 Take Back America conference, which was organized by the Institute for Policy Studies, and Democratic Socialists of America dominated Campaign for America's Future.[24]

Supported Peurto Rican rebel prisoners

In 1999, eleven imprisoned Puerto Rican independence fighters were released on parole from long prison terms in the US. they were Eliam Escobar, Dylcia Pagan, Alberto Rodriguez, Ida Luz Rodriguez, Alejandrina Torres, Adolfo Matos, Edwin Cortes, Ricardo Jiminez, Luis Rosa, Alicia Rodriguez and Carmen Valentin. A twelfth prisoner Juan Segarra Palmer, accepted an offer to nullify his fine and was due to be released in five years. Two other prisoners Antonio Comacho Negron and Oscar Lopez Rivera refused the clemency offer.

The clemency offers came after a long campaign that saw 75,000 people sign a petition in Puerto Rico and the US. The campaign, led by the Pro-Human Rights Committee of Puerto Rico, involved such activists as Coretta Scott King, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Bishop Desmond Tutu, Rigoberta Menchu and Dr. Aaron Tolen, President of the World Council of Churches.

Political leaders who supported the prisoners included Reps Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), Nydia Velazquez (D, NY), Jose Serrano (D-NY), Ron Dellums (D-Calif.) and former New York City Mayor David Dinkins.[25]

Progressive agenda" on Puerto Rico

More than 250 Puerto Rican activists and leaders met in The Bronx “to discuss the state of our communities” and to begin the development of a “progressive political agenda” for Puerto Ricans in 2004. The Boricua Roundtable met at Hostos Community College on May 21-22, 2004.

A major theme of the meeting was mobilizing the Puerto Rican vote against the ultra-right in the White House and in Congress.

New York State Assemblyman Jose Rivera said, “We are not going to let them rob us of another election” nor let the Supreme Court “impose” a president. “We have every intention of rescuing the White House,” he said.

The three Puerto Rican members of Congress – Reps. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.), Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.) and José Serrano (D-N.Y.) – participated in a panel on key issues facing Puerto Ricans today.

Rep. Gutiérrez blasted the Bush administration’s war policies, urging the participants to discuss opposing the war in Iraq and “its impact on our community.”

“We don’t want to die in a declared or undeclared war started by a president that wasn’t elected by the people,” he said.

Gutiérrez also called on the activists to work in solidarity with all Latin Americans, including recent immigrants, as a way of affirming “our Puerto Rican-ness.”

Rep. Velázquez said the disparities in Bush’s economic policies shows the U.S. is at war not only in Iraq, but also “against the poor.”

“They need to cut Medicare and Medicaid to finance the war,” she said, noting that 44 million people have no medical insurance, “half of them Black or Latinos.” She stressed the need to fight on working-class issues, declaring, “When I fight for working families, I fight for Puerto Ricans.”

Velázquez didn’t let her own party off the hook, saying it was important to make sure that “John Kerry embraces the Puerto Rican agenda.” She publicly demanded that the Kerry campaign put a Puerto Rican or Latino deputy at its top levels to better articulate and advocate for Latino issues.

She called on everyone present to organize the Puerto Rican vote to defeat Bush, noting there are sizable populations of voting-age Puerto Ricans in key states like Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio and Arizona.

Rep. Serrano suggested organizing “freedom rides” to Orlando, Fla., to register Puerto Rican voters. The Puerto Rican population in Florida has almost doubled from 1990 to 2000, according to the U.S. Census, and much of that growth is centered in the Orlando area. Florida is now the state with the second highest Puerto Rican population in the country after New York.

The Boricua Roundtable ended with the singing of the anti-imperialist version of the Puerto Rican national anthem – La Borinqueña.[26]

Crossroads Fund

In 2007, Luis Gutierrez was an honorary host for the 25th Anniversary of the Crossroads Fund.[27] The fund, founded in 1981 supports community organizations working on "issues of social and economic justice" in the Chicago area.

Citizen Action/Illinois

In September 2007 at our Annual Dinner, Congressman Luis Gutierrez received Citizen Action/Illinois' Lerner-Egan Award in honor of his leadership and commitment to social justice.[28]

Received Free Upgrades on House

Convicted political fixer Tony Rezko gave U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez free upgrades on a riverfront town house after the congressman asked for them, Gutierrez told the FBI in a 2008 interview.

Gutierrez told the FBI that he and his wife had had dinner with Rezko and his wife, and that he told him that the price of the town home had gone up $35,000 in two weeks -- from $399,000 when they first visited a model home to $434,900. Considering that the price had risen, Gutierrez told Rezko he thought he should get some upgrades. The upgrades eventually included an additional bathroom and higher-quality carpeting.

The interview was done in spring 2008. At the time, Rezko was on trial for corruption involving state contracts under then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Rezko has been a campaign fund-raiser for Blagojevich as well as Gutierrez.[29]

Obama's Latino Advisory Council

In August 2008 the Obama Campaign announced[30]the formation of its National Latino Advisory Council, highlighting the continued growth of support Senator Obama is receiving in the Latino community nationwide.

According to the campaign, the advisory council is made up of key labor, faith, community leaders, and elected officials from across the country and will serve as an advisory council for the campaign on issues important to the Latino community as well as play an active role reaching out and organizing Latinos in their communities and across the country.

Its members included;

Federico Pena, Chair, National Hispanic Advisory Council, Former Mayor of Denver and Former Secretary of Transportation, National Obama Campaign Co-Chair; 
Geoconda Arguello-Kline, President, Nevada Culinary Workers Union
; Congressman Xavier Becerra; Adolfo Carrion, Bronx Borough President; 
Henry Cisneros, Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; 
Bishop Wilfredo De Jesus, Vice President of Social Justice, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference; 
Congressman Charlie Gonzalez;
 Congressman Raul Grijalva
; Congressman Luis Gutierrez; 
Ambassador Luis Lauredo, Former Ambassador to the Organization of American States; 
Patricia Madrid, Former Attorney General of New Mexico; 
Eliseo Medina, Executive Vice President, SEIU 
; Congresswoman Linda Sanchez; Congresswoman Hilda Solis; 
 Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez

Campaign to Make Immigration Reform a Top Issue in 2010

On October 13 2010 , immigration activists from around the country gathered to join in a vigil and rally in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC., where Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez and other elected officials launched a new push for comprehensive immigration reform, building to the opening months of 2010. their banners read “Reform Immigration FOR Families” and “Family Unity Cannot Wait.”

More than 750 people traveled to Washington on buses from up and down the Eastern seaboard and as far away as Texas, Florida, Ohio, Minnesota, and Michigan. They spent Tuesday morning meeting with Congressional offices before being joined by thousands of people from the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area, who gathered on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol to listen to testimonies from families, veterans, and children who face family disintegration because of immigration laws and deportation.

Religious leaders from a diverse array of faith traditions around the country, some organized through Familias Unidas, added their voices.

At the event Congressman Gutierrez outlined a set of principles for progressive immigration reform that needs to include a rational and humane approach to legalize the undocumented population, to protect workers’ rights, to allocate sufficient visas, to establish a smarter and more humane border enforcement policy, to promote integration of immigrant communities, to include the DREAM Act and AgJOBS bills, to protect rights guaranteed by the Constitution, and to keep families together.

The lawmakers who joined Rep. Gutierrez on stage, and addressed the gathering included Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Chairman Rep. Michael Honda (D-CA), Congressional Progressive Caucus Chairs Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), Congressional Black Caucus Member, Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Jared Polis (D-CO), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Michael Quigley (D-IL), and Delegate Gregorio Sablan (Northern Mariana Islands).[31]

Promoting Civil Disobedience

In late November 2010, Gutierrez stated that he was encouraging acts of nonviolent civil disobedience. He stated,[32]

"We cannot be a slave to the legislative process. That's what we've done, and it hasn't served us very well. Given that some Republican lawmakers have made clear they plan to use their newfound power to crack down even more on illegal immigrants, the next couple of years are going to be an extraordinary battle."

Coalition to Save Community Banking

The Coalition to Save Community Banking is a group of several dozen metro Chicago organizations and individuals, including Chicago Democratic Socialists of America member Peg Strobel, that came together after the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) seized the assets of a local community bank, Park National Bank (PNB) with two branches in Oak Park, Illinois, on October 30, 2009. PNB and eight sister banks (including several in California) were all owned by First Bank of Oak Park, Inc. (FBOP), which the FDIC then sold to US Bancorp, also known as US Bank. This seizure happened in the afternoon; that same morning, the Treasury Department awarded FBOP/PNB Initiatives (an affiliate of PNB) $50 million in federal "New Market Tax Credit" allocations to continue PNB's long-standing investment in under-resourced and minority communities. [33]

Accomplishments of the organization included;

  • Rep. Luis Gutierrez (chair of the House Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit) held a Congressional hearing January 21 on the issue of FPOB/PNB and community banks. We sent more than 60 people to Washington.
  • We gained the support of Rep. Danny Davis; Rep. Bobby Rush; State Sen. Don Harmon; David Pope, President of the Village Board, Oak Park; and State Rep. LaShawn Ford.
  • Sponsored by Sen. Don Harmon, Senate Joint Resolution 81 has passed the Illinois Senate and moves to the Illinois House, where it is cosponsored by Karen Yarbrough, Angelo Saviano, Deborah L. Graham, LaShawn Ford, and Marlow H. Colvin. The resolution "urges the United States House of Representatives Financial Services Committee and the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs to continue hearings to investigate the FDIC's seizure of Park National Bank."
  • December 16, 2009, the Chicago City Council joined with our coalition in demanding a Congressional hearing to investigate the seizure and sale of First Bank of Oak Park/Park National Bank and the repercussions for other community banks reinvesting in our communities. As reported by the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago aldermen condemned as "absurd, bordering on criminal" the federal government's decision to seize Park National Bank."
  • Within a month of the seizure, community groups that comprise the Coalition delivered petitions with over 1,000 signatures to the D.C. office of Rep. Luis Gutierrez.[34]

DSA lobbying

Chicago Democratic Socialists of America has lobbied Luis Gutierrez over the housing foreclosure issue. According to Boston Democratic Socialists of America's The Yankee Radical, February/March 2010];[35]

One of the community banks affected by the financial crisis was the Park National Bank in Chicago, which was seized by the FDIC in 2009 and turned over to U.S. Bankcorp. The Park National Bank had a well-deserved reputation as one of the most community-minded banks in the country, and its seizure caused the people of Chicago’s westside to rise up, forming the Coalition to Save Community Banking. (DSA’s Chicago chapter is a member). They have been pressuring their own Congressman, Luis Gutierrez, to arrange a meeting with the FDIC and hearings in Congress—and they need our help!.

Committee to Stop FBI Repression delegation

In mid November 2010, a delegation from the Committee to Stop FBI Repression ( returned home from several days of bringing the "issue of the FBI raids and grand jury subpoenas of people doing international solidarity work and anti-war organizing to the U.S. Capitol". Three supporters of the Marxist-Leninist Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack!, Deb Konechne of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, Anh Pham, who is facing a reactivation of her subpoena and Joe Iosbaker, whose home was raided, spent two days meeting with U.S. Representatives on the issue. The delegation asked each Congressperson to sponsor a “Dear Colleague” letter condemning the raids and grand jury subpoenas. In the two days, the delegation met with either the Congressional Representative’s staff or the Representative themselves fro[[m the following 16 offices: Tammy Baldwin (WI), John Conyers (MI), Danny Davis (IL), Keith Ellison (MN), Raul Grijalva (AZ), Luis Gutierrez (IL), Mike Honda (CA), Jesse Jackson, Jr. (IL), Dennis Kucinich (OH), Barbara Lee (CA), Jim McDermott (WA), Jim McGovern (MA), Bobby Rush (IL), Linda Sanchez (CA), Jan Schakowsky (IL), Maxine Waters (CA). The "meetings were positive, with all the offices expressing genuine concern about the situation. In some cases, because of the outpouring of calls from around the country, the U.S. Representatives were aware that the delegation was in Washington D.C. and the offices made time on their schedules to meet with the delegation. This reinforces the continuing importance of the solidarity work taking place around the country."

Rep. Conyers (MI), chair of the Judiciary Committee, directed the Counsel of the Judiciary Committee to meet with the delegation. Also, Rep. Ellison (MN) and his Congressional staff met directly with the delegation for a significant amount of time. rep. Ellison sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, expressing concern over the situation and is continuing to work on options to support his constituents affected. The delegation also received face-to-face meetings with Rep Gutierrez and Rep Davis from Chicago. Rep. Grijalva’s (AZ) office set up a meeting between the delegation and the Executive Director of the Congressional Progressive Caucus in the Congress of which rep. Grijalva is the chair. In addition, the office of Jan Schakowsky (IL) and Maxine Waters (CA) gave the delegation significant time and attention.

“It was clear that progressive Representatives of the Congress are very concerned about the FBI investigation. Overall, they were very thankful for our visit and for the information and analysis given to them The level of awareness about the raids and grand jury was varied, from little to full awareness, but the delegation certainly changed that. After the two days, our presence and purpose definitely created a stir in the halls of Congress. “The fact that we were able to interact with 16 legislative aides or Congress people themselves, during an extremely busy time of restructuring leadership in the Congress, exemplifies the attention this matter is receiving”, stated Joe Iosbaker.[36]

SB1070 march, Phoenix

The Phoenix 5 mile march and rally held Saturday, May 29, 2010, in solidarity against SB1070 was quite a sight to see.

SEIU Executive VP Eliseo Medina joined a laundry list of influential minds including Rep. Raul Grijalva, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, National Day Laborer Organizing Network Executive Director Pablo Alvarado, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, Co-founder of United Farm Workers Dolores Huerta, singers Jenni Rivera and Alex Lora of El Tri.[37]

White House arrest

In the last week of July 2011, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) was arrested for staging a sit-in in front of the White House to demand that President Barack Obama stop the deportations of undocumented immigrants.

Gutierrez, a firm defender of immigration reform, last year had already undertaken an act of civil disobedience similar to the one that resulted in his arrest this week.

The lawmaker on Tuesday was accompanied by hundreds of activists and Hispanic leaders who protested for two hours before the presidential residence against "Obama's unfulfilled promises."

Protesters issued an ultimatum to Obama demanding that he use his executive authority to halt the deportations of undocumented immigrants, which have exceeded 1 million since he became president in January 2009.

The demonstrators gave the president until Aug. 15 to respond to their demands or face a campaign to discourage Hispanics from voting for his re-election.

Latinos were a decisive factor in ensuring the Democratic victory in the 2008 presidential election, and surveys show that they will once again wield significant clout in 2012.

The protest unfolded peacefully under the watchful eyes of dozens of federal agents who helped remove demonstrators from Pennsylvania Ave.

The legislator and the community leaders who flanked him at the sit-in near the White House were warned twice by law enforcement officials that they would be arrested if they continued with their act of civil disobedience.

When they ignored the warnings from authorities, Gutierrez and other activists were arrested and removed from the site in two police vans.

"The president says Republicans are blocking immigration reform and he's right, but it doesn't get him off the hook," Gutierrez said in a statement. "Everyone knows he has the power to stop deporting DREAMers and others with deep roots in the U.S. and we think he should use it."

The demands of the protesters include ending the deportations of undocumented youths who would qualify for legal residence under the DREAM Act, which remains stalled in Congress a decade after it was introduced.[38]

Intelligence appointment

In 2010, Rep. Gutierrez was appointed to the prestigious House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California.[39]

Endorsed Communist Party affiliate's State Rep. run

On June 25, 2011, Communist Party USA affiliate Rudy Lozano, Jr. announced his second bid for State Representative, for the 21st District.[40]

Lozano's listed endorsers were;

Immigration rally arrest

More than 20,000 people - including thousands of unionists -- who marched down the Washington, D.C., Mall on Oct. 8, 2013, to demand the U.S. House immediately pass comprehensive immigration reform. And 200, including 90 union leaders and union members and eight members of the House of Representatives were arrested when, in an act of civil disobedience, they blocked a street in front of the Capitol.

Arrestees included Lisa Bergmann, SEIU 1199 member Delphine Clyburn and activist Joelle Fishman, both also from Connecticut, Communications Workers Secretary-Treasurer Annie Hall and Political Director Yvette Herrera, The Newspaper Guild's president, Bernie Lunzer, and Paul Booth, the top assistant to AFSCME's president. Among the nation's top labor leaders also taken into custody were AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre, AFT President Randi Weingarten, Unite Here President D. Taylor and Maria Elena Durazo, executive secretary treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.

Among the lawmakers arrested were Reps. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), John Lewis (D-Ga.), Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Joseph Crowley (D - N.Y.), Al Green (D-Texas), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.).

Unions, led by contingents from the Service Employees and their Local 32BJ, the Laborers and Unite Here, contributed a large share of the demonstrators. Other unions represented included AFSCME, the Communications Workers/TNG, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, AFT and the United Farm Workers. [42]

Congressional Letter for Neutrality, 2014 Salvadoran Elections

On Monday December 16, 2014 Reps. Juan Vargas (D-CA), Mike Honda (D-CA) and Mark Pocan (D-WI) sent a letter to Sec. of State John Kerry – signed by 51 Members of Congress – calling for a public statement of neutrality by the State Department before the first round of El Salvador’s presidential elections on February 2, 2014.

The letter, , highlighted several “important steps” that the current government has taken to “strengthen its democratic system and expand the right to vote to all citizens,” including those living outside of the country, who will be voting by absentee ballot for the first time in February. Since the election of Mauricio Funes, the first President from the Marxist Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) party, the government has increased the number of polling places four-fold to increase accessibility, especially in rural areas.

“We’re glad to see so many Members of Congress expressing respect for the right of the Salvadoran people to determine their own future. That’s an attitude that’s sorely lacking in much of the US’ policy in Central America, especially with regard to economic policy,” said Alexis Stoumbelis, Executive Director for the pro-communist Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES), in Washington, DC, which has observed every post-war election in El Salvador, starting in 1994.

Signatories included Rep. Luis Gutierrez .[43].

Staff

The following have worked as staff members for Luis V. Gutiérrez:[44]

External links

References

  1. http://www.jrank.org/cultures/pages/3943/Luis-Guti%C3%A9rrez.html
  2. http://www.jrank.org/cultures/pages/3943/Luis-Guti%C3%A9rrez.html
  3. official congressional bio, accessed aug. 4, 2011
  4. http://www.jrank.org/cultures/pages/3943/Luis-Guti%C3%A9rrez.html
  5. official congressional bio, accessed aug. 4, 2011
  6. National performances: the politics of class, race, and space in Puerto ...By Ana Y. Ramos-Zayas page 60
  7. http://www.jrank.org/cultures/pages/3943/Luis-Guti%C3%A9rrez.html
  8. PWW, August 31, 1996, page 8
  9. official congressional bio, accessed aug. 4, 2011
  10. The Militant, Vol. 64/No. 38, October 9, 2000, Chicago rally for immmigrant rights draws 8,000, BY LISA POTASH
  11. PWW October 7, 2000
  12. New Ground 28 December, 1992 - January, 1993
  13. Democratic Left, July/August 1996, page 21
  14. http://www.chicagodsa.org/ngarchive/ng58.html
  15. IPA 20th Anniversary Dinner leaflet
  16. http://www.chicagodsa.org/ngarchive/ng44.html
  17. Citizen Action of Illinois B.O.D. list
  18. http://www.chicagodsa.org/ngarchive/ng60.html#anchor566085
  19. Issue #1 1998 • Democratic Left • page 10
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