We are the enemy. Especially after an eruption like Hurricane Ike. As millions were clinging to each news headline, blog, and tweet for information about loved ones, loved ones of loved ones, arrested by the latest property redistribution scheme of this obviously socialist climate system, Queque went to volunteer at Freeman Coliseum. After the Katrina gig in Houston, we weren’t sure how much “frontline” work we wanted to do, but we definitely wanted to help the 700 displaced pets. Then two things happened: The Galveston mayor fell off her rocker, and forbade City staff from speaking with reporters; then a volunteer trainer back in SA badly bashed the reporting men and women bringing the light of information to those most in need.
We’d already sickened of the McPalin ticket’s trumped-up war on “the media.”
Galveston Daily News’ publisher put it best, saying, “It’s the worst thing the city could do. Those who will suffer most are evacuees … I can’t imagine a dumber move under these extreme circumstances.”
Queque went to the volunteer HQ with best of intentions.
We waited patiently for a free computer, watching some food network stir a bowl of pig’s blood soup with chitlins. Soon enough we were providing our social in multiple fields to facilitate both a background check and credit report. In the “training room,” our group was instructed how to wash our hands and spurn the media.
Why are none of the networks reporting the shelter locations, the trainer asked us. Because the City didn’t want evacuees to know the extent of its temporary accommodations and comforts. They didn’t want homeless, shell-shocked guests juicing the system as they did during Katrina, leaving Shelter A to catch a pizza night at Shelter B only to return to Shelter A for the ribeyes and au-gratin potatoes. (The Queque sadly reports that we are not making this up.)
As the Powerpoint clicks by, the coordinator tells us (rightfully) that we don’t have to speak to reporters if we don’t want to. That two camera operators were escorted out of coliseum with their “hands behind their back” because they came in and started filming without clearing it with the City. Feel my volunteer enthusiasm collapsing.
San Antonio is no stranger to sweatshop-like conditions. We’re thinking pecan shelling here. Many companies have made a home in San Antone because of the “cheap” labor (and left for even cheaper; think Levi Strauss).
Local fair-labor advocates Fuerza Unida (ß Stood up to those blue-jean bastards) and others have been after city officials to adopt a “sweat-free” ordinance that would require the City to revoke contracts with companies found to be using or subcontracting to sweatshops overseas.
Which could end up requiring some government officers and civvies to change clothes. Union-busting Cintas, one of San Antonio’s contracted providers for uniform and laundry services has also been accused of making use of the sweatshop circuit. Sweating in your Fire Department mechanics uniform is bad enough; the wo/men who support the wo/men who save lives don’t need the added stress of worrying that their dress code could be causing someone else to “sweat” to an early grave.
Fuerza tells us the cost of monitoring City contracts for sweatshop offenders would calculate to about 40 cents per SA resident, and the cost of changing uniform providers would be minimal thanks to the old tradition of accepting the lowest bid —SAPD contracts excepted, of course. Five City Council members — including Current Vice Squad members Lourdes Galvan, Jennifer Ramos, and Philip Cortez — are scheduled to appear September 24 at a San Antonio Against Sweatshops Campaign press conference at City Hall. Legislation to follow: Cortez is one of at least two council members who’ve pledged to bring the issue before the full council.
Serving two masters
The Curblog reported back in April that SA-based advertising titan Lionel Sosa had joined John McCain’s campaign, to help the GOP presidential nominee make a push for the Latino vote.
That’s no big news, considering that Sosa has served as “Hispanic Media Consultant” on seven Republican presidential campaigns, going back to Ronald Reagan’s landslide win in 1980.
But those other seven campaigns came before Sosa created MATT.org (Mexicans and Americans Thinking Together), a nonprofit organization with the stated intent of bringing civility and cooperation to immigration and border issues. `The Say-town Lowdown discussed its secretive fundraising prowess March 5, 2008, in a column titled “McCain’s $25-million man.”` Although Sosa left the corporation to work with McCain, the organization’s entanglements with Sosa and Cesar Martinez — a video producer who has created Spanish-language TV ads for McCain (notably, one that depicts Barack Obama as a naïve fool willing to hang out with Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez) — have created the appearance of a 501 organization that is acting more like a 527 political action committee.
QueQue paid a visit to MATT.org’s downtown limestone-and-log-cabin offices this week and was told by staffers that Martinez maintains a video-production office at MATT.org and keeps his equipment there. With Sosa and Martinez working together to create Latino-targeting ads for McCain, and Martinez using MATT.org facilities to do his production work, this doesn’t pass the smell taste as defined in the organization’s Certificate of Formation, filed with the Texas Secretary of State on August 10, 2007: “No substantial part of the activities of the Corporation shall include the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation, and the Corporation shall not participate in or intervene in (including the publication or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.”
The issue is further complicated by the fact that new Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade, the person whose office accepts corporate filings, formerly served as executive director for MATT.org.
Martinez did not return calls from the QueQue.