by Juliet Blalack
Deported man reunited with wife and child on Christmas
After four months of forced separation from his wife and newborn child, Juan Cruz returned home on Christmas Day.
Since he had to leave the country when his wife was eight months pregnant, Christmas was the first time Cruz met his child.
Although his wife is a citizen, Cruz’s citizenship applications failed, partly due to faulty legal advice. Cruz was brought to the United States by his parents when he was four.
Finally, this month, the US Consulate in Ciudad Juarez granted Cruz a green card.
Awards presented to 14 San Francisco schools
The state department of education awarded the Title I Academic Achievement Award to 14 public San Francisco schools.
To qualify, schools must receive Title I fundingfunding to serve students from low-income homes, and meet twice the state’s targeted academic improvement for two years in a row. To see a complete Christmaslist of California schools that received the award go to http://www.cde.ca.gov/nr/ne/yr07/yr07rel163.asp.
Activists boycott Western Union nationwide
San Francisco immigrant and community organizations, along with the Transnational Institute for Grassroots Research and Action, are boycotting Western Union money transfer company.
Activists are pressuring Western Union to reinvest in the community, lower its fees, and make their exchange rates fair.
“They only reinvest $0.41 for every $100 of profit, even Wal-Mart does better with $2.30,” said Miguel Robles from Alianza Latinoamericana por los Derechos de los Inmigrantes.
In 2007, Western Union transfered $300 billion, a significant portion of it from immigrants. Many immigrants need money transfers to sponsor their families abroad. For more information, visit www.boycottwesternunion.net.
Berkeley police department drug thefts still under investigation
Berkeley police are likely shielding officers who stole confiscated drugs, according to a report from Berkeley’s Police Review Commission.
The department only investigated one of the fi ve offi cers who had access to a drug vault where 286 drug envelopes were tampered with last year. Senior offi cers did not enforce policies designed to keep the drugs secure, according to the report. Chief Hambleton still has not revealed exactly what is missing from the locker, according to Berkeley Copwatch.
Furthermore, the report said offi cers who suspected one of their colleagues was on drugs while on the job and armed did not take any action.
The nation takes inspiration from San Francisco homeless program
Project Homeless Connect, a program started in San Francisco by Mayor Newsom, has spawned similar programs in 130 American cities and a national Project Homeless Connect week.
“Project Homeless Connect offers us the opportunity to look our homeless neighbors in the eye and engage them,” said Philip Mangano, Executive Director of the federal United States Interagency Council on Homelessness.
According to PHC, the program has distributed about 152,000 lbs of food and provided shelter to 1,997 clients. At one of the recent PHC events in the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, 217 people were seen for medical treatment, 68 for dental treatments, 380 people received vision care, and 253 clients were screened for employment.