News for Amigos de Casa San José: June 1, 2019

Dear Casa San José Amigos,

Welcome back to our email newsletter!

How to take action:

Doorknocking team2

Last chance to participate!  Our 3rd Community Resistance Zone Canvass will happen in Beechview on June 22.  As a canvasser, you’ll knock on doors in pairs with a Spanish speaker, educating Latino residents on how to safely respond to ICE, and others on how to support their immigrant neighbors. Join us as we find ways to protect and defend one another.  There will be training, and you’ll get a beautiful t-shirt.  The last 2 teams loved the experience, so bring your friends!  Please contact Laura to sign up:  laura@casasanjose.org.

dream and promise

The Dream and Promise Act passed the House Judiciary Committee last week, and is expected to be up for a House vote soon.  Please call your House Reps (find them and their contact information here) to ask them to support the bill. If they are Democrats they are probably in favor but they still need to hear how important this issue is to their constituents.

How you can help:

Fiesta del sol image1

Come to Fiesta del Sol on Friday, June 28, 6-10!  At HIP at the Flashlight Factory, 831 W. North Ave.  It will be a celebration of our community and its most delightful cultural traditions, and the proceeds will allow Casa to do its vital work to help our community thrive.  Bring all your friends – we look forward to seeing you there!  Tickets are here.

The Beechview Branch of the Carnegie Library is encouraging Spanish-speakers to apply for a part-time position (15-20 hrs. a week.)  This would greatly help our community members take advantage of the public library’s many excellent free services, which have been integrating immigrants for generations. Here’s the posting (which has been extended to June 6.)

Hear an eye-witness report on conditions in Honduras: journalist Tom Webb will talk on his recent international, interfaith delegation visit Thursday, June 13, 2019 from 7 – 8:30 PM at One Smithfield Street, Downtown in the Liberty Conference Room, co-sponsored by Casa San Jose and the Thomas Merton Center.  Parking is available at the rear of the building (entrance from Ft. Pitt Blvd.)  For more information, call 412-780-5118.

Participate in the Steel City World Cup – especially if you can field a team representing a Central or South American country, but also just to celebrate and cheer on Pittsburgh’s vibrant and growing global community, expressed through soccer, the “beautiful game.”

News on what we’re doing:

We are holding a dinner for community members at the Dormont Public Library in June, to discuss immigrants’ rights and services available in Dormont.  Also our regular community meetings take place monthly on Sunday afternoons in Beechview.

PIIN banquet

Our youth had a great time at the the PIIN (Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network) banquet.

Casa San José was featured this month on “Education Pittsburgh, a program of Pittsburgh Community Television (PCTV21.) Host Linda DeAngelo interviewed Monica who spoke eloquently about our services, programs, and how to get involved with the Latino community.  Watch it here.

Our story, continued:

Sister Janice reports:  A Pitt professor of language retired and moved to her permanent home in Connecticut.  She took very little with her.  She donated everything to Casa San Jose. She learned about us through Father Dan Vallecorsa, the original Pastor of Saint Hyacinth Church where I began this work in 2003.  We put out a request to our Amigos to help us with transporting the donations.  Jay Moser, the principal of Community School West, responded, arriving with a pick up truck, another teacher and three students.  Two of them are Latino immigrant youth! They were such great people. Casa was there with staff members Laura Perkins and Jose Ochoa, one of our volunteers, community member Mike Aponte, and me.  We had our Casa van and Jose’s van.  Most of the items will go to the newly arriving immigrants coming from the border to settle here in the Greater Pittsburgh area.  (See the New York Times story below.)

A surprise reunion: when we were unloading, I introduced Jay Moser to our Finance Administrator Sister Karen Stoila.  Amazingly, Sister Karen taught Jay at St. Joseph High School in Natrona, PA!

Learn more:

“To stop border crossings, the US made the journey deadlier”, Leah Varjacques and Jessia Ma, New York Times, May 29.  This video piece highlights a deliberate policy to make desperate people risk their lives, and to punish those who try to help them.  Scott Warren, a humanitarian volunteer at the border, went on trial May 29.

“A migrant family takes a Greyhound across America:  Entering the U.S. at a rate of more than 5,000 a day, new arrivals from Central America are departing border towns by the busload”, Miriam Jordan, New York Times, May 26.  After their grueling trek north, here is an in-depth account of their continuing journey.

The “Public Charge” rule change (explained here) – though it has not yet been finalized – has already had a significant chilling effect:  “One in seven adults in immigrant families reported avoiding public benefits in 2018”, Hamutal Bernstein et al, Urban Institute Report, May 22.

Thank you for joining us!


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