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News for Amigos de Casa San José: March 8, 2019

Dear Casa San José Amigos,

Welcome back to our email newsletter!

How to take action:

door knocking

We are very excited about our Door-Knocking Campaign in Beechview on March 30th and in East Liberty on April 20th. We are still recruiting volunteers to help us with a goal to get 100 people to do outreach in these two neighborhoods, letting residents know of the rights of their neighbors and how they can be better allies.
We will be holding four different trainings for our canvassing volunteers the week of March 18th. PLEASE REGISTER HERE. Soon we wil email you directly with more information on the training. Thank you very much for your solidarity!

There is a chance now that the Senate will reject the unconstitutional and false National Emergency called by the President to build a wasteful and offensive border wall. The vote is expected to happen next week, and it’s very close. Please call Senators Casey (412-803-7370) and Toomey (412-803-3501) now to say you are a PA resident citizen and that you support the resolution to nullify the president’s national emergency declaration. (Other contact info. is here.)  Toomey is on the fence, so a call to him is critical.  Even if it passes now, it will need his vote later to override the expected Trump veto.


How you can help:

Volunteers needed for our Fiesta del Sol fundraiser! Last year our event raised over $40,000, which was needed for many expenses, like some salaries, not covered by grants. We are now busy planning our second fundraiser. We need people to:

  • Coordinate the silent auction
  • Donate, solicit and collect donation items for the silent auction and raffle baskets
  • Solicit sponsors
  • Publicity – help us spread the word and sell tickets!
  • Decorations and set-up
  • Help the night of the event

If you would like to help and/or donate anything, please contact Marisa Tobias at mmtobias28@gmail.com or 412-596-1549.


News on what we’re doing:

Come see our youth’s art exhibit at the Glitter Box, March 16, 12-2, 460 Melwood Ave. Jeimy has been leading our Jovenes Con Proposito group which has been working with CCAC South and the program “One College, One Community Reads” based on the novel “In the time of the Butterflies” by Julia Alvarez. Inspired, they created art to showcase their interpretation of the novel. Please join us and show support to our student’s hard work!

art exhibit

Last week we had a presentation about volunteering at the border convened by our volunteer Sofia Llovet-Nava for her youth group at CISV, an intercultural peace education organization.  AnDria Verde spoke about her dramatic experiences in McAllen, Texas and Allan Willinger about his at Annunciation House in El Paso to an attentive crowd.

Andria and Allan about border

We are working with the MAYA Organization, a women’s health nonprofit, to offer free prenatal, birth, and postpartum classes and doula training in Spanish every Monday evening at our Broadway location.

organizacion maya

Poetics in Diversity exhibit:  There will be a public reception with the artists on Tuesday, March 19, from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the Energy Innovation Center – Covestro BrightSpace, 1435 Bedford Avenue.  It will honor Tina Williams Brewer, fiberart storyteller and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Governor’s Awards for the Arts, Artist of the Year.  Ms. Brewer is donating the proceeds from the sale of her quilt to Casa San Jose.

Here are Laura and Ibania speaking at a Pittsburgh City Council hearing on a proposed budget cut to affordable housing programs.

Laura and Ibania


Our story, continued:

Sonia (not her real name) came in last week with her young daughter, in considerable distress. She had just received a deportation order, and now was trying to find the right way to transfer custody of her child to her sister who lives in Pittsburgh.  She had been awaiting an asylum hearing, but was suddenly informed that she was to be deported immediately because she didn’t appear for a court date.  She had never received the notification.  Laura made some calls to find out more about her case, and learned that an application for a “stay of deportation” on those grounds was pending, and after an emotional and suspenseful hour, the judge’s office called back to say the submission was approved.  Sonia burst into tears with relief that she wouldn’t have to leave her child, at least for some time.  Ibania brought her a piece of cake.  Anna said that this reminded her of why we are here: to provide help, kindness and, with luck, a reprieve to those who live their lives in suspense and fear. 


Learn more:

“Undocumented immigrants pay millions of dollars in state taxes — even in the reddest states”, Alexia Fernandez Campbell, Vox, March 1.  In PA, that is over $500 million in state and local taxes.

“29 deported migrant parents returned to the US this weekend hoping to reunite with their children and seek asylum”, Lauren Pearle, ABCNews, March 3.

“Leaked documents show the US Government tracking journalists and immigration advocates through a secret database”, Tom Jones et al., NBC San Diego, March 6. ”

“Trump administration forced to extend TPS protections to more than 250,000 immigrants due to court injunction”, Chantal da Silva, Newsweek, 3/1.  This will extend the Temporary Protected Status it sought to terminate for immigrants from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti and Sudan”, who can now keep their protected status until January 2, 2020.


Thank you for joining us!

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