tv Latino Heritage Month SFGTV October 16, 2021 7:00pm-8:36pm PDT
today is essential and present is because when we experience this pandemic in san francisco and things were challenging, this community was the community that stepped up for the people of the city and county of san francisco. so we're here to pay homage, we're here to talk about the tremendous incredible culture, community, and history. today, we honor three extraordinary women. i want to start with my friend, olga miranda. i love when olga dresses up,
because when olga dresses up, it means we're going to have a good time. she's usually out there in the trenches, fighting for the women of local 87, and it's because of her we were able to keep people safe, cleaning the places of business, keeping people safe. this is a community that served san francisco during such terrible times, so we are honored to have you and your members here, olga. thank you for your work that you have done to be essential and present. when we talk about all this
incredible work that the latino task force did to help distribute p.p.e., to help make sure that people were fed, to help get the resources to the kids who could not do work at home, who needed someone to help them, the latino task force was so instrumental to help this city work with the latino community, and mama bear was right there, helping them do it, so we're here to honor you, valerie. now, our third honoree, rita alvara, is not here, but we are honoring here because consistently, she's always been
here through her life, being a part of her community, so we honor her here today. these three extraordinary women really are incredible. they're just not working hard for the latino community during the pandemic. this is what they do, this is who they are, so it's really an honor to be here, to kick off latino heritage month in the city and county of san francisco, to celebrate this resilient and extraordinary community. thank you for working with this city. thank you for understanding the challenges of this city and holding us to deliver. we know that our latino community faced significant challenges, and you all didn't just say this is what the city needs to do, you said this is what we're going to do.
help us help the community, and as a result, even though we know that 83% of san franciscans are fully vaccinated, we also know that 83% of the latino community have received at least their first dose of the vaccine, and that is extraordinary. [applause] [applause] let's remember the sacrifices we've made over the last 16, 17, 18 months and show when respect and appreciation for how we've made it through because of those who were
essential and present. thank you all so much for being here today. and joining us today, who emceed the program last year, rodrigo, you're looking good. thank you, everyone. [applause] >> gracias, mayor london breed, for hosting us in this beautiful space today. aqui estamos. we appreciate you. buenas tardes. buenas tardes. good evening.
[speaking spanish language] >> welcome to this year's hispanic heritage celebration. my name is rodrigo, and i am excited and honored to be your emcee this evening. but before we get started, we would like to recognize the ramaytush ohlone. as guests, we recognize that we benefit from living and working on their traditional homelands. we wish to pay our respects by acknowledging the ancestors, elders, and relatives of the ramaytush ohlone and by acknowledging their sovereign rights as first people.
our theme for hispanic heritage month is -- [speaking spanish language] >> and i think of frijoles, i think of arroz, and i think of our dishwashers who keep our places clean, the construction workers who build our places, and the nannies who take care of our children while others go out and dine. three times a week for the last 18 months of this pandemic, i have seen the faces and the souls of this country's backbone, our essential workers. even though they have been disproportionately affected by covid-19.
me dice. they say -- [speaking spanish language] >> we're going to be all right. their tone speaks of decades and decades of holding this nation on their shoulder, asking nothing much but a gentle guidance from this country. [speaking spanish language] >> my mama would say, pray to god, but never stop taking action while you wait for a milagro, and that is what our people have done during the pandemic. we've supported one another by educating ourselves on covid-19 through our own languages, customs, and traditions. we collectively learned to navigate bureaucratic systems
in order to provide for our families, provide rental relief for parents, and to vaccinate our own communidad. si se puede. it's what's positioned us to be able to say, 18 months later, si se pudo. thanks to the essential workers like our parents, like my parents, like your parents, we are here today, shaping our cities and its policies with our vote, fueling the national economy with our 2 trillion
buying power and rapidly becoming the new face of america. they say the future belongs to those who can imagine it. [speaking spanish language] >> onward and upward. [applause] >> now it is my honor to introduce our opening performers more than 25 years ago in san francisco's mission district. since then, the group has been dedicated is to build a community in the bay area around the traditions and ceremonia preserved from
you is not just our traditions, they're all of ours. what we're doing right now is we're sharing a little bit of our energy, a little bit of our tradiciones, and letting everybody know that we're not gone, that we're still here. every time we dance is a form of resistance. we're not supposed to be dancing. we're supposed to be distancing, but this one -- [speaking spanish language]
increditable r in culture of our community through the latin jazz represent san francisco values at their best. thank you so much for all you do. [applause] >> land jazz ensemble. let's give them another round of applause for the amazing work they do in our community. thank you! [applause] i'd like to welcome now asasor torez to the podium. [applause] >> as a preacher used to tell
me, it sounds like someone has to be up here with me! [laughter] [applause] happy latino heritage month. it's an honor to be here again together with all of you. 11 years ago, previous honorees, benjamin and peter brat won for their film and this year it reminded us who we are in a nationally recognized, nationally watched, abc documentary, reminding us that we as a latino community, are the soul of this nation, we are the corasone of this country. to our community leaders, to our families, to our friends, who are sharing this moment of history, our indigenous roots, and recognizing the valuable contributions that we as community members have made here in san francisco, and beyond. many thanks to mayor breed for
recognizing our community throughout this pandemic and into our recovery. and to all of you, the leaders and the honorees, today, and in the past and future you are in the gratitude and we salute you. unprecedented global pandemic over the last 19 months. facing social and political uncertainty. just remember where we were one year ago, one year ago, thinking about what the future of our country would be. uncertainty and unrest. we've turned a corner. and our recovery is at hand. it's anna achievement that we have realized, collectively, in solidarity with the diverse communities of san francisco. our a.p.i. communities, our african american communities,
our samoan communities, our communities. we kept faith in one another. as i look around here tonight, or in community, or in our neighborhoods, amongst our leaders, i feel a sense of hope and possibility for constant and beneficial changes. knowing that we have latino leaders and advocates at the federal level, at the state level, at the city level, at the community level, in our homes and in our schools. and especially tonight, our strong latinas who have been advocates and advocating for what matters to us most throughout this pandemic. this year's theme shines light on the vital role we have played and we celebrate those educators, as enrique eloquently said, the organizers, workers, artists, musicians, parents who
have been our champions throughout this time. whether insuring equitable access to covid testing or vaccines or advocating for worker rights or safety in the workplace or their dedication to the development of our youth. our commitment to family and community continues to shape san francisco into a beacon of hope and opportunity. brown lives matter. white lives matter. there's a black and brown common ground that we have developed here in our city. our voices matter. [please stand by] these two facts were never more a parent when our communities were together and solidarity with our allies in the 2020 election, latino voters were the largest minority voting group growing by nearly 30% from 2016 to 2020.
women of color played a significant part in the joe biden-harris ticket. latina turnout grew by 24%. georgia's latino voter turnout doubled and here at home, in california, we're home to the largest number of latino voters in the united states with 7.9 million eligible voters only today. [applause] we played a decisive role in the outcome of this recall election. democratic counties like los angeles and san francisco's latino population voted against the recall at 84% and 82% alone. you are welcome, gavin newsom. and in our city, in our city, our latino population has grown by nearly 16% based on the last
sentence. there's a strength in those numbers and responsibility in those numbers and there's a respect in those numbers. what they remind me of, what they remind us of, what our honorees remind us is we are as giant and we are san franciscan as our cable cars, and we are as american and californian as the greatest speakers in the greatest novels ever written. [applause] to close, i just want to recognize the names. olga molanda. valerie kuehl ier. rita aliar. in the words of that character
from our novel, our story, we're part of one big soul that belongs to everyone. that will be everywhere where you can look and where there's a fight so hungry people can eat. where there's a cop beating up a guy. we draw from our strength, we draw from our roots. [ speaking spanish ] [applause] >> i see a few tier president in
our next poet. her name is hennessey. and eight-year daughter of undocumented honed dur yan parents who is passionate about her culture and her people. [ speaking spanish ] she wants to help underserved families in her puebl-o hennessey, this community here will ensure that all of your dreams, and more, come true
feminist, mother to her son jaoquin rubio, wife to hector rubio and her other titles include, sha fear, housekeeping, baby-sitter and loyal friend like all of us latinas here, right. [laughter] my goodness. olga was born in las vegas, nevada. is the first in her family to be born with union health insurance. she was raised by a single mother, maurice a marin da flores in los angeles, california. her mother worked as a union housekeeper in las vegas. her first organizing experience was with her mother, a long time los angeles community activist fighting for housing, education, equity, immigrant rights. attending here in city hall are picket lines at the los angeles unified school board was not an option in the miranda household, summer vacations with spent
picketing at safeway and storefronts, boycotting with her mother and siblings and in high school, she led walkouts against the governor pete wilson in prop 187, do you remember that? that was for our generation. the seminal political so against anti immigrant, propositions in prohibiting immigrants from any public service and prop 209 which was the affirmative action initiative which we're still fighting. she was elected for local 87 at the age of 22. making her the first union officer within seiu in the country and then in 2005, at the age of 29, seiu local 87 members elected her as the president of sciu local 87 making her the first woman, the first mom, the
first chicana to hold the position of secretary treasurer making her the highest ranking latina in labor. today, olga represents over 5,000 local 87 janitors which is one of the most militant, and diverse unions in san francisco. as the president of local 87 she has ensured to maintain the highest standards in wages and benefits for her members. making local 87's contract the standard for the west coast and olga notes that could have been accomplished without her vice president, ahmed, and her secretary treasurer yang shin may and including all of our siblings and labor she led
contract and her members who defied expectation and many thought impossible to internet .they led with two strikes for contracts and witness essential workers, not being treated right. as a union of immigrants, every day the members defy expectations and fighting to make the quality of their lives better and the union, local 87, proudly answers that call because of olga's leadership and the strength of the members of the union brothers and sisters who work in labor. olga, it's my great honor to present to you, the cesar chavez award on behalf of the city and county of san francisco. recognizing your labor in this 2021 latino heritage month and your work advocating for our cities essential workers and especially during the pandemic has helped thousands of san franciscans create better lives for themselves and for their
families and your role as the highest ranking latina in the san francisco labor council, you represent your community with all of your resilience, your strength, your presence, your commitment and dedication to our communities represents san francisco with values at their best. thank you her mana, for everything you do and for who you are. >> thank you. [applause] >> oh, wow. [applause] [applause] >> i do believe supervisor safai has something. thank you.
>> they just keep on giving. [laughter] [applause] >> all right. >> every time i get flowers, i always think of bread and roses. and the fight that every day it takes to wake up for our members. i have to say it in english and spanish, because we have members that are watching right now that are working. [speaking in spanish] >> my mom when she was an organizer community organize ser made it clear to us that we are nothing if we are not serving, we have to serve and contribute. [speaking in spanish]
as the youngest, it's a lot harder to keep up with that type of standard. [speaking in spanish] i want to be able to tell you that, i appreciate the awards and the recognition and a few weeks ago, i was on a zoom meeting imploring to the committee to please, not give me an award. and they please not -- i was not deserving of any award and to please, i had a long list of members and other siblings in labor that you guys can give the award to. i'm really moved today by that speech of this young girl. and what the generation looks like for all of us in the future. [applause] so i'm sorry if i'm trying to catch my breath. [speaking in spanish]
>> i want to be able to tell you that during the last 19 months, there have been no parades, things didn't stop at 7:00 p.m. for my janitors. even in spite of this invisible thing we were fighting, there were people that were waking up every morning to work at the super markets, our sisters and brothers from ufcw5 and the teamsters picking up trash and workers trying to make ends meet and the january sorries. at 5:00 in the morning you can see all the essential workers and 5:00 in the morning. and you can also see for myself, i will ask all of you, to do this exercise tonight and every night that you go on your way home. when you look up to the beautiful sales force buildings, all of the beautiful skyline, and you see the twinkling lights, i need to remind you
those lights are my members working in those buildings. [applause] [speaking in spanish] these last 19 months have been difficult. we lost 30 members. in spite of a pandemic, in spite of a pandemic, there were still a lot of babies born during the pandemic. with that, god was blessing our families this past weekend, baby benjamin, who was an addition to our family and a miracle, right, even in a pandemic, there's light at end of the tunnel, right, with new life comes new -- life and a light. brothers and sisters, i am so
proud that i can share this light and be with you in this hall today. i want you, not to remember my name, but i want you to remember the members, the names of my members. i'm going to ask them if they can please come up here and these two women are not just members of my union, but they led and they were at the strike lines and picket lines, telling building owners we deserve a raise in a pandemic. and they stood there night after night, day after day for nine months of negotiations. side like for you to remember these names. esperanza, marina and they have a message to all of you. [speaking in spanish] [speaking in spanish]
[applause] so, with that, thank you so much for allowing me an opportunity to be able to have our rock stars that are our members. thank you so much. to my family, my brother carlos in los angeles and my sister iris, who is here, they're my influencers everyday and to my best friend, ahsha safai, a note is the supervisor but to me is my friend and my brother from another mother. thank you roberto, valerie, sister, thank you so much, so much for all the work that everyone has done to josh, to jaoquin, thank you so much. to la-london -- where she is at
another event, i want to thank her for opening up the doors and not being scared to have us all here in the presence celebrating not just our heritage and our culture, but our contributions that we've worked so dam hard to be able to get done. i know there's nothing more that unites us than a baseball game, i will not say who i'm rooting for, but i will say that we're in san francisco! thank you! [applause] [speaking in spanish] >> next i would love to have a good friend of mine, my mentor, the mayor of la mission, roberto
hernandez. [applause] >> i love you too. i'm so proud of you. did you hear him earlier. my god! you know what, right on, brother. you know, we do -- our future is so solid rock with all these young brothers and sister. genesis, you know, i first met her at the mission food hub and i heard her speak and since then we're taking her everywhere. we are taking her everywhere. she is another one with a big future. thank you, mija. [applause]
you know, they say, a while back i remember being rodrigo's age and people talking about we were the sleeping giants. well, now they know. we're not sleeping anymore. [applause] because we were never sleeping. like olga said, we're in the sales force towers while they're sleeping. while people were shelter in place, we were working. it's an honor for me today to share with you this next -- [please stand by]
>> and i've hadded the honor of knowing her growing up in many different circles and in many different movements and i cannot tell you how her corazon is just so gentle, so pure. her spirit lights me up. i am never afraid when i'm with valorie. i have strength when i am with you. her soul dances. we grew up with soul train, but i'm not talking about 'soul
train.' on saturdays we used to watch "soul train" early in the morning and get up and dance. and the intelligence. not only because she graduated from san francisco state, but because she has gone deep in learning about our raisis and you listener about a full balance and that's what she brings. more recently, a little over 18 months ago i called her up because i already knew about covid-19 before a lot of people did. i knew about it since december of 2019 and i called her.
i called tracy brown. i called gloria romero and veronica garcia and we created the san francisco latino taskforce. we had no idea of what was in front of us and earlier, mayor london breed referred to her as 'mama bear' that was no joke. that was no nickname. she is mama bear. in the native traditions just like in other traditions, people who are elder are given names and it's not a nickname, but it's a name that you earn and valorie has earned that
name 'mama bear' because she has not only taken care of herself because that's where it begins is taking care of oneself, but she's taking care of her son, she's taking care of her husband just like they have taken care of her. throughout these 18+ months, we meet every single monday at 9:00 in the morning, and don't be late because she'll call you out and she facilitates the meeting. imagine having 30+ latinos and latinas and government officials on a zoom call and
the discipline that she has to get us through a one-hour meeting from 9:00 to 10:00 and get that agenda completed and done. [ applause ] that's discipline. that's respect. and she does it respectfully. in addition to that, besides facilitating, she also -- five of us are on an executive committee and we meet on mondays and wednesdays at 5:00 and she gets us through an agenda. sometimes we go a little longer because there's a little bit of that. every step of the way when we
started with food and we started covid testing in u.s. weeks or less. and then the demand to say we need testing in the mission and then to say we need rental assistance and then to say we need to educate our children. so from health to food to education to employment to financial assistance, we created committees after committees after committees. and all that work that collectively that we've been able to do, you know, valorie, i just want to thank you today [speaking spanish] for your time, your energy, your
guidance, your soul, your spirit, and most importantly for your love for our community. so today it's my honor to present to you a certificate of honor, valorie. today, being october 14th, 2021, whereas on behalf of the city and county of san francisco, i am pleased to recognize and honor you as the rosario anaya community award recipient for the 2021 latino heritage month celebration. [ applause ] your work as co-chair of the latino task force has helped thousands of san franciscans find stability and hope for the
future during a truly unprecedented time and a legacy in serving your community will forever be accommodated here in the city's history. your advocacy to ensure the latino community is heard and represented at city hall and beyond represents san francisco's values at its best. [ applause ] >> oh, my goodness. thank you. [ applause ] thank you so much.
oh, my goodness. i'm not used to this. thank you so much. i appreciate that. thank you, roberto, for those beautiful words. yes. thank you to much for always being there. the grounding for us. so i just want to say really quickly. for those who know me, i have two minutes, right. you've been at my meetings. i'll take three tonight. and i'm also in violation of the latino -- violation of the dress code. don't play. some of those young girls come in with their cut-off jeans. i go not-uh. we treat our community with respect. we're modest. when we're outside of work we go wherever we want or however
we want. so somebody's going to have to time me, right. set the tradition. first, i'd like to acknowledge the ancestors of this land, the ramaytush ohlone and may i have their permission to speak tonight. there's so many sheroes and heroes to thank. first my husband and son because they are good, in good health, and they give me permission to go out and serve the community. then there's executive committee mayors. of course the mayor of the mission. gabriella romero, and of course, my partner in crime tracy brown gallardo. [ applause ] there's also dr. davis of the human rights commission. masut orikami. the 30+ community based organizations. d.p.h. and covid command center
who at times wanted to ring my neck and still do occasionally. the l.t.f. funders, the mission locals, the 13 latino task force committees, their members and their chairs and the youth for making the latino taskforce multigenerational. i love when the youth call me 'auntie' it just warms my heart. it's my pride and joy to always introduce the youth that work for the l.t.f. and of course, my mayor, mayor london breed. i have said it a million times. she was born and raised here. she grew up like many of us. she is us. may i share with you the medicine of the latino task force success. what we share in all of our services. we cannot be arrogant because we have a skill or access to resources. rather, we serve with humility
because the community has given us permission to serve them. they trust us. they allow themselves to be vulnerable with us. and that is what my community has given me permission to do. they have put their trust in me to share my gift of facilitation which by the way was taught to me after thousands of community meetings to bring together peoples' relationships and talents. and now that my academy award speech is over. besides being so loving, kind, professional, a sharp dresser, she opened n.l.v.s. vocational school to all communities. it has become the home for the mission food hub and the latino taskforce. anyway, one time she asked one of our staff if i would write a
letter of support. well i didn't do it and it has haunted me ever since. so when the building was threatened to be taken away from the community after she passed, i stepped up and helped fight for it. as a home for the latino taskforce i would and still do give tours to share with others what we do. the last stop on each and every tour is a large poster of rosario in all her glory with so many of the who's who in politics. i talk about her being the first latino on the school board. i recognized her smile in the picture and tell people that she's pleased at what her building as done for the community during covid. so i'm still making it up to her for not writing that letter. so this award is letting me know that i can release my
guilt and that i have finally made it up to her in heaven, the spirit world. [ applause ] i just want to say to you that i love my community so much and, tonight, i feel how the community loves me back. thank you so much for this award. and thank you to everyone. i wish i could name each and every one. thank you. [ applause ] i just want to give a quick shout-out to roberto pena, he's helped the mission food hub over and over again and prayers for him and his family. thank you all so much. [ applause ]
>> thank you, valorie. and congratulations. i hope we can all just take a very quick moment and send some light and healing and prayers to the family who could not be here tonight as we recognize our next honoree. it's on honor to present the delores chisma lifetime achievement award. it's an award that honors outstanding leaders who've made significant contributions to the advancement of our latino communities over time and over their lifetime. the recipient officer this award represent the best of us. exemplary leadership, rippling impacts throughout our communities, and have changed entire generations for the better. our current leaders, our future leaders, our youth can look to the recipient officer this award for motivation, for
example, and for inspiration on how to create positive change. named after delores juerto one of the most inspirational activists, a leader in the chicano civil rights movements. to create better conditions for our people, better outcomes for our children and to be more what the main stream america has told us we can be. so it's my pleasure to recognize and present the lifetime achievement award to the founder and director of mission education projects and her leadership for over 47 years. rita, and your family when you
watch this, i hope you can hear that applause because like mission language vocational school, like jamestown, like every single anchor in our community that serve our youth, meti has been that anchor to learn from and to be safe to be fed and educated. she started in the '60s as one of the organizations that grew out of the mission coalition organization. she served as the chair coalition ceo and she knew from first-hand experience what was missing in educational settings and she knew the change that was needed. her drive to gather all the resources available turned into a robust program for over 40 years. her programs have supported thousands of nonenglish speaking children from the mission district and their
families. with academic and learning services and, today, yes, still today the impact continues for children and families in the mission which rallieded during the covid pandemic to provide virtual programming for children and youth who are unable to attend in-person learning. at 84 years young, rita, 84 years young, rita and her daughter continue to be supporters and champions of the latinos in our community. her compassion, deep commitment and change has been noticed by san francisco supervisors, police chiefs, and of course, mayors. she has demonstrated a track record in changing childrens' lives to ensure marginalized children can realize their path to success. please, one more applause por favor for rita in her absence. [ applause ]
our condolences. [speaking spanish] founded and directed by ms. suzana orosco, the mission was to promote the rich and diverse cuban both popular folk and dance traditions from the percussive to the rumba making it accessible to wide audiences via performances and classes. born from a commitment to educate and enrich the communities in which ms. pedrozo lived, the dance company inspired the hearts and minds of dances, audiences and bringing the musical culture to
. >> arenas dance company everyone. let's give them a round of applause. [ applause ] that's a great way to close this session. it felt like we were in church and city hall was ours to celebrate our triumphs, our passions, our memories. but before we close, i'd just like to invite my wife to join me right here. [ applause ] we got married here at city hall two years ago and i just want her to be next to me as we close. thank you very much. gracias. i love you. [speaking spanish]