Saturday, May 30, 2009

PRSUN Radio chats with boricua actress Jazmin Caratini

Actress Jazmin Caratini is my guest at 9 p.m. Wednesday, June 3, at She is currently based in Puerto Rico. We'll talk on her acting career, her time in New York City and her transition back to Puerto Rico. We'll also chat on her current and future projects.

Jazmin is an ACE-nominated actress. She was nominated for Best Actress in Classical Theater 2006 (NY) and for Best Actress in Drama 2007 (NY).

For more, go to my blog at

UPDATE: Listen to my interview with Jazmin at

Friday, May 29, 2009

Don Juan Mari Bras to visit El Maestro

Community calendar

Puerto Rican citizen DON JUAN MARI BRAS

“La Ciudadania Puertorriquena de los Boricuas en E.U.”

6:30 p.m., Thursday, June 11
1029 E. 167th St.
For more info, (646) 337-67775


*There will be a bomba and plena cultural performance as part of this event featuring Don Juan Mari Bras.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My new exhibit: Visions of Puerto Rico

Exhibition: Visions of Puerto Rico & Puerto Rican Pride

June 12th – 28th – Opening Show 7-10 p.m. on June 12th

Clemente Soto Velez Cultural & Educational Center, Inc.

107 Suffolk Street, Manhattan

Contact: Mia Roman Hernandez - / 646-361-6448

About the show:

“Visions of Puerto Rico & Puerto Rican Pride” Celebrates Puerto Rican culture through Photography. The show will include more than fifty works by emerging and established artists from Puerto Rico, Miami Fl. and New York City. Each artist brings a unique style and vision. These artists have discovered the beauty, tales and the history to their culture in which has been incorporated into their craft of photography. Some of the pieces will depict Community, Urban settings, Music, Nature, Family, Politics and Spirituality. The photos will embrace the cultural empowerment of the Puerto Ricans and their pride. The photos will evoke emotion, feeling and discussion. We have bridged a gap between the Puerto Ricans on the Island and the Puerto Ricans out side of the island and this exhibit is the result of that connection.

Art is an expression of the unconscious and is dedicated to the free expression of feeling.

About CSV/ Clemente Soto Velez Cultural & Educational Center, Inc.:

The Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center, Inc. (CSV), a 501 (C) 3 not-for-profit, was founded in 1993. The CSV Cultural Center is a Puerto Rican/Latino cultural institution that has demonstrated a broad-minded cultural vision and a collaborative philosophy. While CSV's mission is focused on the cultivation, presentation and preservation of Puerto Rican and Latino culture, it is equally determined to operate in a multi-cultural and inclusive manner, housing and promoting artists and performance events that fully reflect the cultural diversity of the Lower East Side and the city as a whole.

Artists include:

Clarisel Gonzalez, Mia Roman Hernandez, Elena Marrero, Vivien Perez, Carissa Hernandez, Christopher Lopez, Susan Alvarez, Marcelino Pagan, Luis Cordero, Pepper Negron, Marie Paola Martinez, Gamalier Martinez, Gerardo Javier Melendez Silvagnoli, Marielly Martinez, Ismael Nunez, Pablo Colon, Eliud Martinez

source: Art by Mia press release

In The Heights: Chasing Broadway Dreams on PBS Trailer

Premieres at 8 p.m. May 27 (ET on "Great Performances." See local listings. For more info.,

source: InTheHeightsBroadway @ YouTube

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Cemi Underground's All-Star Extravaganza is more than a fundraiser

Hi gente, I am a NY Latino Community Examiner at Check out my article today titled "Cemi Underground's All-Star Extravaganza is more than a fundraiser."

Prez chooses boricua for Supreme Court Justice

BRONX BORICUA for the high court. Way to go.

President Barack Obama chose federal appeals judge Sonia Sotomayor to become the nation's first Hispanic Supreme Court justice on Tuesday.

Check out this blog entry in the New York Times' blog about this "Kid From the Bronx."

Monday, May 25, 2009

Spanish Fly's Elstabo chats with PRSUN Radio

My upcoming guest on PRSUN Radio is artist Alexander Aviles aka Elstabo who has self published a book titled Elstabo's Spanish Fly series, a collection of portrait paintings depicting women of Puerto Rican heritage. We'll chat on his art, why he self published a book and more.

Tune in at 9 p.m. Wednesday at

Here's some of his artwork:

To view more of his artwork, go to his site at

To read his bio, go to my blog at

(images courtesy of Alexander Aviles)

UPDATE: My interview with Elstabo

Thursday, May 21, 2009

NYC Grassroots Media Conference: HOPE TO ACTION

I am serving as a panelist at The Sixth Annual NYC Grassroots Media Conference.

Here's the press release about the conference:

The Sixth Annual NYC Grassroots Media Conference: HOPE TO ACTION
Co-Sponsored by the Film and Media Department at Hunter College, CUNY
9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, May 30
Hunter College, 68th Street & Lexington Avenue, Manhattan

On May 30th, the New York City Grassroots Media Coalition (NYCGMC) will host its sixth annual conference at Hunter College. The conference theme Hope to Action invites participants to consider how we can build a media network that ensures the visibility of our communities' voices, images and stories. Conference workshops will explore how we can use the media tools at our disposal to turn HOPE for social justice into ACTION in our communities.

The conference first convened in 2004 by a volunteer collective of media activists and organizations responding to the FCC’s moves to further deregulate media control and diversity. The annual conference is part of an ongoing effort to build bridges between New York City's diverse social justice and grassroots media communities to better realize our common goals for social change. To date, approximately 300 organizations and 4,500 independent media makers and community organizers have participated in NYC Grassroots Media Coalition’s conferences.

This year's conference comes on the heels of a historic 2008 election season that was fueled by an unprecedented level of community based organizing, and highlighted the power that can be mobilized by the grassroots. Even as we celebrate, uncertainty looms ahead. Many of us have lost our jobs, our insurance, and our economic stability; many of our independent media producers and social justice organizations face diminished financial support and increasing barriers. In this moment of great opportunity and great challenge, the NYC Grassroots Media community asks: What role can the media play as a catalyst for social justice?

The Sixth Annual Conference will host more than 40 informative panels and skill-sharing workshops, a daylong film festival, art exhibits, and musical performances. Featured panels include immigrant rights groups strategizing on how they can use media to debunk stereotypes, editors of independent publications confronting the crisis in journalism, and prison justice activists developing a media platform. Hands-on workshop tutorials will cover how to organize via social networking tools, activist mural making, hip-hop activism, community radio production, and more.

The conference continues its commitment to elevating youth voices and empowering young people to make their own media by providing various workshops for, about, and led by New York City teenagers. To further engage young media makers, on May 14, NYCGMC in partnership with the Youth Media Reporter/Academy for Educational Development will host a screening of youth produced media at 100 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY.

The NYCGMC works in partnership with a variety of locally based organizations to design the theme and content of the conferences. 2009 Partners include representatives from Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting,, Indypendent, Alliance for Community Media, Left Turn magazine, LGBT Center, Manhattan Neighborhood Network, MAGNet, Radical Reference, Youth Media Reporter, Listen Up! and others.

More details about our current and past programs can be found at To register and to pay online, go to the site. Prices range from $5 to $20 to register for the conference.

Poverty in the barrio


poverty sometimes
blinds us, there
are many artists
in the barrio
just too poor
to know -- coconut brujita

Coconut Brujita contributes her writings to Puerto Rico Sun.

The Loisaida Festival

Community calendar

The Loisaida Festival is coming up. It's this Sunday.

Click on image for larger text.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Pierluisi introduces the Puerto Rico Democracy Act of 2009

Oh God. When will the issue of political status on the island be resolved? Bueno, here's yet another step. It will probably not lead to a real change in the island's political status, but it is a step at least.

Today, Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi for Puerto Rico introduced the Puerto Rico Democracy Act of 2009. Here's an excerpt from Pierluisi's speech today:

"The bill I have introduced today is simple and it is fair. It first authorizes the government of Puerto Rico to conduct a plebiscite. Voters will be asked whether they wish to maintain Puerto Rico’s present form of political status or whether they wish to have a different political status. If a majority of voters cast their ballots in favor of a different political status, the government of Puerto Rico will be authorized to conduct a second plebiscite among three options: independence, statehood, and sovereignty in association with the United States.
The bill does not exclude any status option, and it does not favor any status option.
It enables the people of Puerto Rico to express their wishes regarding the Island’s
political status in a series of democratic votes. It will thus ensure that the views of all the people are heard on this fundamental question. The results of these votes
will be certified to the President and to Congress.
I am optimistic that this bill will receive a fair hearing in committee, that it will be brought up for a vote before the full House, and that it will ultimately be approved by this chamber with strong bipartisan support. I am likewise confident that the Senate, having witnessed these events in the House, will also approve the bill. And I believe that President Obama, who has promised to address the question of
Puerto Rico’s status within his first term in office, will sign the bill with pride
when it reaches his desk."

For the full speech, go to

PRSUN's Featured Video: 'Apariencias' by Navegante

"Apariencias" Official video! from Navegante on Vimeo.

NAVEGANTE delivers a fresh urban blend of Electro Latin Funk with deep synth-bass lines and hard hitting beats layered with the melodic tapestry of the the Puerto Rican Cuatro. For more info., visit

source: Navegante

Boricuas writing their own history

Boricuas writing their own history.
That's what this period in history will be known as.
Everytime a poet writes a stanza,
everytime an author writes a chapter,
everytime a comic tells a joke about growing up in an Hispanic home,
everytime a photographer documents an event,
everytime we tell our story we are writing our own history.
This is really what Cemi Underground was all about. -- Luis Cordero, Cemi Underground

Support Cemi's All-Star Extravaganza featuring Los Pleneros de la 21, poets like La Bruja and Mariposa and more.

(Click on image for larger text.)

For more information about Cemi Underground and the Extravaganza event, go to

Serrano Presents Purple Heart to Jose Velez-Valentin

Congressman Jose Serrano (at right) recently presented the Purple Heart to Jose Velez-Valentin, a Bronx veteran wounded in the Korean War. Mr. Velez-Valentin had been working to get appropriate recognition for his combat-related injuries from the Defense Department, and ultimately came to Serrano’s office for help. The ceremony last week was the culmination of that work, and a long-overdue acknowledgment of Velez-Valentin’s sacrifice in Korea.

“I was pleased to have been able to help Mr. Velez-Valentin to gain recognition for his service to our country—and the wounds that he suffered as a result,” said Serrano. “Our nation makes a pact with those who serve in the Armed Forces, and part of that pact is making sure that their sacrifices do not go unnoticed. Today we are honoring the heroic service of a Bronx resident and thanking him for what he did for our nation more than 50 years ago in Korea. On behalf of the Bronx and as a representative of our federal government, I thank him for his service and salute him as a veteran wounded in defense of our nation.”

Jose Velez-Valentin was seriously wounded by artillery fire in Korea on May 29, 1953 while advancing against the enemy. He served in the 14th Regiment of the 25th Infantry Division and was discharged as a Corporal, athough he apent time as an Acting Sergeant during the Korean War.

source: Reprint from The Serrano Report; photo courtesy of Serrano's office

Monday, May 18, 2009

Hispanic Panic's Charlie Vazquez talks to PRSUN Radio

Charlie Vazquez is my guest at 9 p.m. Wednesday on PRSUN Radio at
Charlie Vazquez is NYC-based writer and blogger. He hosts a monthly reading series called PANIC! (in the East Village), which focuses on unusual and original writing—from erotica to poetry to horror. He is now working on Hispanic PANIC, which willl be held in NYC on May 27. Hispanic Panic is described as "New York City’s only running monthly queer reading series." Host Charlie Vazquez has gathered a roster of Latino literary talent, with an LGBT/feminist slant.
For more, go to my blog at

(photo courtesy of Charlie Vazquez)


To listen to my interview with Charlie

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Boricua pride in the Bronx

Here are some images from today's 21st Bronx Puerto Rican Day Parade in the Bronx.

For more of my photos, go to my photo page at Click on the Bronx Puerto Rican Day Parade set.

Puerto Rico Sun was there.

A Bronx boricua window

This big Puerto Rican flag is displayed at a window of a South Bronx apartment building. You see it is Puerto Rican parade time in New York City. The Bronx celebrates its Puerto Rican Day Parade today along the Grand Concourse, and the big Puerto Rican Parade in Manhattan is coming up too.

(photo by Clarisel Gonzalez)

PRSUN Radio is a place for boricua movers and shakers

I am the host of a live Internet broadcast show called “PRSUN Radio” on BlogTalkRadio focusing on themes related to Puerto Ricans and the diaspora. My 30-minute talk show brings boricua movers and shakers “on air” to talk about their new books, shows, projects and more.

The mission of PRSUN Radio, a project of Puerto Rico Sun Communications, is about informing, empowering and building community. I am the producer of PRSUN Radio.

BlogTalkRadio is a social talk-radio network that hosts thousands of shows across all topics, including politics, sports, books, business, entertainment, health, paranormal, comedy and religion.

Archives of my show are found on my profile page along with a call-in number, blog and text chat room. Archives of my show can also be heard on MySpace page (, blog ( and Puerto Rico Sun social network at ( Feel free to visit my profile page to learn more about PRSUN Radio.

If you have show ideas, contact me at clarisel (at)

Thank you.

Clarisel Gonzalez
Editor and publisher
Puerto Rico Sun Communications

Friday, May 15, 2009

'When the Spirits Dance Mambo' in El Barrio

On the reading corner

A coming of age memoir by Marta Moreno Vega about growing up Nuyorican in NYC's El Barrio. Meet the author.
(Click on the image to view larger text.)

Editor's Note: "When the Spirits Dance Mambo" is available at the PRSUN aStore, go to

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Hit List: The Best of Latino Mystery

On the reading corner

BOOK LAUNCH PARTY! Hit List: The Best of Latino Mystery
This first-ever collection of short mystery fiction by Latino authors

This first-ever collection of short mystery fiction by Latino authors features an intriguing and unpredictable cast of sleuths, murderers and crime victims. Reflecting the authors’—and society’s—preoccupation with identity, self, and territory, the stories run the gamut of the mystery genre, from traditional to noir, from the private investigator to the police procedural, and even a “chick lit” mystery.

New York area contributors include Carlos Hernandez, Ritchie Narvaez, A. E. Roman, Sergio Troncoso, and Steven Torres who will present and sign copies of Hit List.

Edited by Sarah Cortez, Hit List collects for the first time short fiction by many of the Latino authors who have been pioneers in the mystery genre, using it to showcase their unique cultures, neighborhoods and realities. Other contributors include award-winning writers such as Carolina García-Aguilera, Alicia Gaspar de Alba, Rolando Hinojosa, and Manuel Ramos.

The book party is from 6-8 p.m. tonight at the East Harlem Cafe, 1651 Lexington Ave (104th St.), El Barrio. -- Aurora Anaya-Cerda

Aurora Anaya-Cerda is owner of La Casa Azul Bookstore and a contributing writer to Puerto Rico Sun. For more information on La Casa Azul, go to

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Que viva Puerto Rico in the Bronx

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. today issues a proclamation commemorating Puerto Rican heritage. The Bronx celebrates its 21st annual Puerto Rican Day Parade along the Grand Concourse this Sunday. Diaz is the parade's Grand Marshal.

For photos of today's events at the Bronx County Building as well as images taken at the parade's festival on Mother's Day, go to my photo site at Click on my Bronx Puerto Rican Day Parade photo set.

(photos by Clarisel Gonzalez)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Resistance in El Barrio

Community calendar

Resistance in El Barrio: Preserving and Building Community' on East Harlem Preservation!

Historic event sponsored by Picture the Homeless this Friday featuring presentation of "Palante, Siempre Palante" by Iris Morales and performance by the Welfare Poets! Check it out!

Time: May 15, 7 to 10 p.m.
Location: Taino Towers, NYC's East Harlem
Organized By: Picture the Homeless/The Welfare Poets

Event Description:
Picture the Homeless and the Welfare Poets will sponsor an evening of documentary film, music, discussion and celebration about the history and current possibilities of resistance to economic and social injustice in El Barrio.

¡PALANTE, SIEMPRE PALANTE! is a documetary film by Iris Morales, about the activities of the Young Lords Party in New York City. In the midst of the African American civil rights struggle, protests to end the Vietnam War and the women’s movement for equality, Puerto Rican and Latino communities fought for the empowerment of their communities. From Chicago streets to the barrios of New York City and other urban centers, young Latinos and Latinas organized the Young Lords in the 1960s and 70s as a militant voice demanding social, economic and political justice for Puerto Ricans, Latino/as and all poor people. This phenomenal film shows the power of grassroots organizing to mobilize an entire community, and provides an inspiring example for future resistance.

This historic cultural event at Taino Towers on the night of May 15 will celebrate community activism in El Barrio past, present, and future. With a screening of Iris Morales’ amazing film about the Young Lords, the Welfare Poets bringing their music and wisdom, and Picture the Homeless leaders sharing the latest about our Housing Not Warehousing Campaign, this promises to be an unforgettable evening.

FREE! A historic cultural event to celebrate community activism in El Barrio -- past, present, and future featuring....

* screening of "Palante, Siempre Palante!" and discussion with the director Iris Morales and veteran Young Lords in-person

* The Welfare Poets: bringing their words & music!

* The Schomburg Collective: speaking about their initiative to unite Puerto Ricans and African Americans to combat the displacement of both communities

* Picture the Homeless leaders sharing the latest about their Housing Not Warehousing Campaign and actions....

source: East Harlem Preservation

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Poetry of Antonio Camacho Jr.

Touching the sea essence with their noses
old men by the seashore
sails up ... Flags waving good-bye
gulls laughing
Don Coto's face brown and wrinkled
smiles from here to ear,prepares for the voyage
To gather bounty...From the land the sea to see
The coconut trees...leaves rubbing against each other
Waiting for their daily drinks to arrive
The sun plays peek-a-boo with the rolling clouds
of white and blue

Men loading their cargo
Their wives saddened ,tears flowing,nearby laughter
Joselito, Negrita and Tony...chasing down fiddlers by the Mangrooves,oblivious they is just fun and games
Atop the hill...the river flows endlessly
Mi Madre Maria at the river bed
Washing clothes under the Firey Flamboyan
She's beautiful radiant, black hair, green eyes, strong yet ...
Loving she was... i miss her
My family, Mi familia, My people, me gente,
My culture, mi cultura, mi india Borincana with your music
love,life,and lore
I will never forget you dreams never die...altough years
may pass I shall return ...
just like my

Reprinted with permission from Antonio Camacho Jr.

Happy Mother's Day/Feliz dia de las madres

A special greeting to PRSUN readers and visitors on this Mother's Day. Felicidades.

A shout-out to mi mama Milagros

My biggest fan and critic

I love you mami.

(photo by Clarisel Gonzalez)

Thursday, May 07, 2009

NEW: PRSUN RADIO is now half hour show

By popular demand, PRSUN Radio is now a half hour show, beginning with our May 13 segment.

Our upcoming guest is writer, producer, entrepreneur Linda Nieves-Powell. To read her bio, go to my blog at


For more information on how you can become a sponsor on PRSUN Radio, e-mail me at clarisel (at)

PRSUN Radio is an online show that focuses on themes related to Puerto Ricans and the diaspora. Our mission continues to be to inform, empower and build community. I am the host.

If you missed my interview last night with Victor Vazquez of the National Congress for Puerto Rights, it is now available at

PRSUN Radio is another project of Puerto Rico Sun Communications, an independent community-minded multimedia social entrepreneurship.


To listen to my interview with Linda:

From Conflict to Discovery

On the reading corner

A poetry reading with Javier Campos, Martin Espada and Jessica Treat
7 p.m. TONIGHT
Americas Society
680 Park Avenue, Manhattan

Celebrated poets, respectively of Chilean, Puerto Rican, and Mexican heritage, will recite their poems in this dynamic program.
Javier Campos is the author of three books of poetry, including Las cartas olvidadas del astronauta (recipient of the 1990 Letras de Oro prize) as well as works of prose—most recently, The Woman Who Looks Like Sharon Stone.
Martín Espada is an acclaimed poet whose recent collections include Alabanza: New and Selected Poems 1982-2002 (Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Achievement; ALA Notable Book of the Year) and The Republic of Poetry, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He has also received a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. Demetria Martínez’s award-winning books include the poetry collections Breathing Between the Lines and The Devil’s Workshop, the novel Mother Tongue, and the essay collection Confessions of a Berlitz-Tape Chicana.
Jessica Treat will read her translations of Campos’ work.
This event, which is free and open to the public, is in collaboration with ACENTOS Bronx Poetry Showcase, Center for Puerto Rican Studies, the Consulate General of Chile and the Mexican Cultural Institute.

Meanwhile, Espada will lead a free ACENTOS poetry workshop at Hostos Community College in the Bronx on Friday night. For more information on the Bronx event, RSVP is required and there are only a few seats left.

source: ACENTOS Bronx Poetry Showcase

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

'Reggaeton' book party

On the reading corner

Meet the Author: Book Party

An Anthology by Raquel Z. Rivera, Wayne Marshall and Deborah Pacini Hernández

Featured Speaker: Juan Flores, NYU
Presenters: Miguel Luciano, Visual Artist, Alexandra T. Vazquez, Princeton University and Frances Negrón Muntaner, Columbia University.
Music by DJ Mellow G.

6:30 p.m., Thursday, May 7

Faculty Dining Room 8th Floor West Bldg.
Hunter College
68th & Lexington Avenue, Manhattan

For more information,

NOTE: "Reggaeton" is now available at the PRSUN aStore:

Monday, May 04, 2009

Bernie Williams - Take Me Out To The Ball Game

Williams is 'Moving Forward' with his new CD

Critically acclaimed guitarist/songwriter and famed NY Yankees star Bernie Williams released his second CD titled "Moving Forward" in mid April. Williams kicks off his CD with "Moving Forward," a song inspired by his transition from baseball to music.
The Puerto Rico native and five-time All Star is a classically-trained musician who developed his love for playing guitar alongside baseball, while listening to salsa, merengue and 80’s rock. "Moving Forward" embraces those early influences, while also reflecting a unique mixture of classical and jazz guitar with a touch of Latin rhythms.
I felt at peace as I listened to the sounds of Williams' guitar.
The CD consists of 14 songs, many of them that Williams wrote. You get a sense of things that are important to Williams. These include "Lullabye for Beatriz," a song he wrote for his daughter and "Songo," a song inspired by his love of fusion, so he "mixed a little salsa with some jazz, rock and Christian (the Puerto Rican cuatro player Christian Nieves) took it home with some 'sazon criollo.'
"Moving Forward" also features performances by David Koz (Ritmo de Otoño), Jon Secada ("Just Another Day" and "Otro Dia Mas Sin Verte"), and a live performance with Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa ("Glory Days").
The Latin flavor could be felt in this CD with Bernie Williams' jazz touch on the classic "Que Rico El Mambo." It is still very much a song you can dance.
And, you know Williams couldn't forget baseball, offering his version of the baseball classic "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." The song is a tribute to his love for baseball, a game he's played since he was eight years old. Williams played his entire 16-year baseball career with the New York Yankees where he was a four time World Series champion and a five-time All Star and including this song in his CD has a special place in his heart.
If you are into guitars, Jazz, a touch of rock, pop and Latin rhythms, I recommend you add "Moving Forward" to your music collection. -- Clarisel Gonzalez

For more information,

(video courtesy of Reform Records at YouTube)

NOTE: "Moving Forward" is available at the PRSUN aStore:

NCPRR's Victor Vazquez to chat with PRSUN Radio

Victor Vazquez is president of the National Congress for Puerto Rican Rights (NCPRR), and he will chat with PRSUN Radio at 9 p.m. Wednesday at Vazquez will talk about the NCPRR's goals and plans, including its upcoming convention in Philadelphia.

For more information, visit my blog at


To listen to my interview with Vazquez:

Making Census?


by Angelo Falcón

The campaign to unveil plans for Census 2010 has produced the first official sign that it is now serious: the Census 2010 mug. Once the mug is out it is clear that it is show time for the crew out in Suitland, Maryland. It is, the mug announces, "in our hands" (whether this means that it is the Census or the mug that is in our hands is not all that clear, however).

Planning for Census 2010 has been plagued by more drama than a reality TV show. There were the management problems last year with the handheld computers' contract, there were the untimely withdrawals of Governor Richardson and then Senator Gregg from the Commerce Secretary nomination process, then there was the pullout of Ken Prewitt from his nomination as Census Director (he's now, however, a consultant with the Bureau), and, well, it just goes on and on. With all this going on, it made making sure that Latino community concerns were being addressed somewhat of a challenge.

As the Census Bureau continues to forge ahead with their plans for Census 2010 --- getting thousands out in the field to verify addresses, hiring hundreds of partnership specialists, finalizing its communications plan, and so on --- the fact that Census Day, April 1, 2010, is less than a year away is beginning to sink in hard. On March 30th, the Bureau held its National Partnership Briefing in Washington that pulled together its various stakeholders, with the highlight being the presence of the spanking new Commerce Secretary, former governor Gary Locke. And now that there is a Commerce Secretary, the expectation that the confirmation of the new Census Director, Robert Grove, will soon follow.

Now the news is filled with stories of mayors and governors announcing Census 2010 initiatives, especially the organizing of Complete Count Committees, throughout the country. In the process, the country is being educated about the importance of the Census in terms of the local distribution of over $300 billion in federal funding and the central role it plays in the redistricting process that determines political representation at the local, state and federal levels of government. There is also much speculation about which states will be gaining and losing seats in the House of Representatives as a result of Census 2010. There is, in other words, a Census 2010 buzz throughout the land.

But the challenges to a successful 2010 Census continue to pop up. As we report below, the Census Bureau's massive communications contract looks like it is in trouble. But even closer to home, some influential Latino evangelical leaders are calling on the undocumented to boycott the 2010 Census to put pressure on the Obama Administration to press for comprehensive immigration reform this year. And the Census Bureau keeps trying to avoid seriously addressing the problem of their having one of the worse records of Latino hiring in the federal government. These are all issues we will be addressing in detail in future issues of the Latino Census eNewsletter. Unless, of course, they decide to cancel Census 2010 after all of this drama.

Angelo Falcón is President of the National Institute for Latino Policy (NiLP) and is Chair and Founder of the Latino Census Network. He also serves as a member of the Census Advisory Committee on the Hispanic Population and of the National Steering Committee of the Census Information Centers (CIC) Program. He can be reached at

Article reprinted with permission from the National Institute for Latino Policy.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

The launching of a Nuyorican time capsule

Community calendar

Here is an excerpt from an entry at

"Blueprints for a Nation is an installation of artifacts created by Adál for El Puerto Rican Embassy Project and its parent state El Spirit Republic de Puerto Rico.

El Spirit Republic de Puerto Rico is a mythological nation/state or mundus imaginales founded by Eduardo Figueroa in 1976 and established in 1994 by Adál Maldonado and Rev. Pedro Pietri in the world of hard objects as a space of cultural resistance and political and social affirmation.

In Adál’s installation, Blueprints for a Nation, it is also an artistic expression rooted on linguistic traditions as well as photographic and interdisciplinary practices, and a spiritual sanctuary where its citizens are empowered through their own creative intentions."

To read more about the installation and to learn about the Nuyorican time capsule that will be remained sealed for 100 years and opened on May 14, 2109, go to or

(Click on image to see larger text.)

Saturday, May 02, 2009

"LA BORINQUEÑA" festival is tomorrow in the Bronx

Community calendar

The Bronx Puerto Rican Day Parade, Inc.
"LA BORINQUEÑA" festival
2-6 p.m. TOMORROW
Lafayette Avenue
Between Pugsley Avenue and White Plains Road
Rain Date: May 10

(The parade is May 17 along the Grand Concourse. See April 18 entry.)

A boricua is being considered for U.S. Supreme Court Justice


I just joined a Facebook group in support of Sonia Sotomayor for U.S. Supreme Court Justice. Sotomayor is reportedly on the Obama Administration's short-list for U.S. Supreme Court Justice. If nominated and confirmed, she will become the first Hispanic and third woman to ever serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Sotomayor hails from the Bronx and is of boricua roots. It is about time to bring in a younger and more diverse group of judges to the U.S. Supreme Court y porque no bring in some change with a boricua with South Bronx roots.

Obama was elected to office on a ticket of change. Many Latinos and women voted for him. I hope and believe he has the same vision of change for the U.S. Supreme Court. Supposedly, this seat is going to be filled by a woman. I do hope it is a Latina.


Sonia Sotomayor was born on June 25, 1954 in New York City. She was raised in the South Bronx by working class parents of Puerto Rican descent. She attended college at Princeton University. She also attended Yale Law School, where she distinguished herself as editor of the Yale Law journal. Following law school, Judge Sotomayor served as Assistant District Attorney under the prominent New York County District Attorney Robert Morgenthau. After leaving the District Attorney's office and working in private practice for several years she was soon thereafter nominated to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. In 1992, after being confirmed by the Senate, she became the first Hispanic federal level judge in New York. Then, under the Clinton Administration, Judge Sotomayor was nominated for the seat she currently holds, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

To join the Facebook group and support this Bronx boricua, go to