Martina Cruz

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Martina Cruz is a Massachusetts activist.

Communist Party meeting

Participants in the Communist Party USA’s conference on the 2004 elections in New York City, Jan. 31, say they returned to their home districts and plunged into voter registration and other election work that bodes well for a huge “dump Bush” vote next Nov. 2.

The daylong “Unite to Take Back Our Country” conference at Winston Unity Center in Manhattan attracted more than 300 delegates from 25 states to hear a main report by CPUSA Political Action Chair Joelle Fishman. There were also speeches by leaders of other organizations, including Rita Haley, president of New York City’s National Organization for Women, who appealed to the crowd to fill the buses for the April 25 March for Women’s Lives in Washington.

Martina Cruz of Lawrence, Mass., reported to the conference of her first run for a seat on the Lawrence School Committee, which she lost by 14 votes. “Later they found 47 votes that were lost and if they had been counted I would have won,” she told the World. “It was really great to see all of us together at the conference, so many states, so many different backgrounds but standing together. I’m going to run again. We have the voter lists. We know who didn’t vote. We’re going to talk to them about how important it is for them to vote to defeat Bush in November.” . [1]

86th anniversary of the Communist Party USA

With a call to “Rebuild America – Bring the Troops Home,” Connecticut readers of the People’s Weekly World honored leaders of the people’s movement at a Dec. 4 2005 reception. The event, marking the 86th anniversary of the Communist Party USA, drew together peace activists, unions, students, politicians and community organizations. It also raised $4,000 towards the PWW Fund Drive.

The program ended on a high note with guest speaker Martina Cruz from Lawrence, Mass., who was recently elected to the school committee. She campaigned under the slogan, “Education for peace, not war.”

Cruz’s decision to run was made because parents asked her to help improve the education process. She was tired of politicians who talked and talked and never did anything. She said she will continue to fight to inform students and parents of their legal rights about recruitment officers who prey on schools.

Cruz encouraged people to start teaching their children at home the problems our society is facing. “It’s a long struggle, but I will do my best. This is all about the future of our children,” she said. [2]

Woman’s Agenda

Woman’s Agenda Celebrates 8th Annual Women & Policy Symposium on Violence Against Women

On Saturday, May 6, 2006, Woman’s Agenda will celebrate its 8th Annual Women & Policy Symposium called Beating a Culture of Violence: “I’m a Survivor.” It will take place at the Lawrence Senior Center, located at 155 Haverhill Street, from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm.

Woman’s Agenda annually organizes a symposium to support and encourage the community activism of local women leaders in the Merrimack Valley. Since its inception in 1999, Woman’s Agenda plans and organizes a series of dialogues or symposiums, in which local women leaders can focus on themselves and the very important roles they play in every sphere of the community.

Despite the fact that these symposiums are held only once a year, it has served to influence policy development in the public and private sectors. This year the focus is on attacking violence against women through an intergenerational dialogue in which mature women will be engaged in a discussion with young adolescent and young adult females to develop strategies to prevent women from falling victims of violence and to ensure women already in abusive situations that there are avenues for escape.

This year the organizing committee includes not only Dr. Nilka Alvarez-Rodriguez, who is a Lawrence City Councilor-At-Large and Women Studies Instructor at Merrimack College, but also Patricia Sanchez-Reyes and Martina Cruz, Lawrence School Committee Members; June Black, Congressman Marty Meehan’s Office; Maribel Serate and Noris Gonzalez, Garden of Options; Janice Burkholder, Senator Susan Tucker’s Office; Vilma Lora, Greater Lawrence YWCA; Susan Santos, Women of Excellence Ministry; Grisel Silva, District B Lawrence City Councilor; Luz Rosado, Lawrence Senior Center; and Annia Lembert, New England UNITE HERE; as well as, community activists Haydee Cuadrado, Felicita Caminero, and Doris Anziani. Another important objective of Woman’s Agenda is to support and celebrate the tireless efforts of local women through the Maria Garcia Liriano Award and the Women of Action Awards.

The Maria Garcia Liriano Award is presented to one woman each year for outstanding achievements and this year it will go to domestic violence survivor, journalist, writer and poet Beatriz Perez. The Women of Action Awards celebrates the extraordinary efforts of unsung heroines and this year these women are Sandy Almonte, Maria Monica Alvarces, Paula Callanan, Zoila Gomez Diaz, Rebecca A. Hall, Anna Ruth Sullivan, Carolyn Traficanti and Rev. Gladys Tucker. [3]

Women's Pipeline for Change

Women's Pipeline for Change is a new initiative "designed to support progressive women of color and improve civic participation and equal representation in the political pipeline" will be launched Thursday. Boston City Councilor At-Large Ayanna Pressley will be the keynote speaker. The initiative is a project backed by The Partnership for Democracy and Education. Attendees will announce a new collaboration with UMass Boston's Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy and media will be introduced to five women who will take part in fellowships under the collaboration: Gladys Lebron-Martinez, Holyoke School Committee member; Sheneal Parker, Boston public schools teacher; Martina Cruz, Lawrence School Committee member; Fitchburg Mayor Lisa Wong and Elizabeth Cardona, director of Gov. Deval Patrick's western Massachusetts office in Springfield. Auditor Suzanne Bump plans to deliver remarks as well.[4]

References