Nos Votamos register voters
at Children's Festival in Framingham

By Brad Petrishen: "It looked - and felt - like summer yesterday at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, where hundreds of people soaked in the sunshine along with Brazilian culture at a special festival for children. Called the Brazilian Children's Day Festival, the event drew about 500 people to the Maple Street church. Children rode ponies, bounced in a moonwalk and walked a tightrope outside while their parents watched or visited a number of community booths tailored to the immigrant community.

Read more at the Metrowest Daily News: http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/x843641100/St-Andrews-Church-hosts-Brazilian-festival#ixzz1oRwDA6xg

Boston Globe article features Nos Votamos

Excerpt: "Whether in the national conversation or comments sections on news articles about Framingham, debate on immigration is routinely dominated by heated comments on illegal immigrants. But in Massachusetts, where a sizable number of Brazilians have settled, a rapidly expanding number of them have earned American citizenship and with it, the right to vote." Read full story.

Framingham meeting a success!

Members of the Brazilian-American community in Framingham gathered on March 2nd to discuss how they would contribute to a more vibrant and politically active community. The group plans to implement local voter registration drives in churches. We are continuing the series of meetings in several other towns across the state. E-mail us if you can host one in your community.

Governor announces "Secure Communities" Meetings

BOSTON -- The Patrick administration will hold a series of community meetings to discuss concerns over the implementation of "Secure Communities," a federally mandated program that would report all persons arrested by local police to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE). ICE's stated intention is to use Secure Communities to catch and deport criminal offenders, but studies have shown that non-criminals are often ensnared by the program's huge net.

Secure Communities has operated in Boston as a pilot program for several years, and according to Freedom of Information figures, 53 percent of those deported since November 2008 have NOT been criminal offenders. Community members remains deeply concerned that the program's primary effect, therefore, is to turn local police into de facto ICE agents.

The meetings were announced after local activists, led by Centro Presente, staged a sit-in at the Governor's office on February 14th. The Patrick administration announced meetings in the following locales:

Worcester: Worcester Public Library, 3 Salem Square Saturday, February 26, 2-4pm
Mass Bay Community College, Framingham Campus, Room 205-206 Saturday, March 12, 2-4pm
Thursday, March 31, 6-8pm Location (TBD)
Waltham: Saturday, April 16, 12-2pm Location (TBD)
Chelsea: Thursday, April 28, 6-8pm Location (TBD)
Brockton: Thursday, May 12, 12-2pm Location (TBD)
Lowell: Thursday, May 26, 6-8pm Location (TBD)
New Bedford: Saturday, June 11, 12-2pm Location (TBD)Springfield: Thursday, June 30, 6-8pm Location (TBD) Boston: Saturday July 9, 12-2pm Location (TBD)

Nos Votamos announces Citizenship Drive

On September 25th 2010, Nos Votamos, in partnership with the Dominican Development Center, o Apostolado Brasileiro and the Brazilian Immigrant Center will be holding a citizenship clinic. During the workshop, eligible legal residents will be assisted in filing their citizenship petitions. More details here.

Volunteers Needed

The senator Jamie Eldridge’s campaign is actively looking for Brazilian volunteers to assist in his re-election bid. His district includes the towns of Acton, Ayer, Boxborough, Harvard, Hudson, Littleton, Maynard, Northborough (Precinct 3), Shirley, Southborough, Stow, Sudbury (Precincts 2, 3, & 5), Westborough, the city of Marlborough and the Devens community. If you live in one of these towns and would like to learn more about the senator’s views on issues, please log on to his website. To his credit, Mr. Eldridge was one of the few senators who voted against the budget amendment 172.1, which would create a hotline to investigate anyone suspected of being in the country illegally, amongst other draconian measures which do not realistically address the shortcomings of our immigration system and marginalizes immigrants as a whole. To get involved in his campaign, please call (978) 202-3071 or send an email to volunteer@jamieeldridge.com

This Wednesday, August 4th, the campaign for State Representative Pam Richardson, from Framingham, is asking Brazilians to join her at a phone bank at 3 Pierce Street, Framingham. You can call the campaign for more information at (508) 524-0723.  Ms. Richardson has maintained a very close relationship with Brazilian members of her community. Visit Ms. Richardson’s website to learn more about her standing on the issues that matter to you.

As a reminder, Nos Votamos does not sponsor or endorse a particular party. Rather, we are interested in policies and how it affects our community. We want you to participate and get to know your representatives personally. Ask questions, demand answers and become a part of this process.

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