On Sat., Nov 7th, 2009, I hosted a forum in the heart of the Rockwood community, inside a Mexican grocery store, Tienda La Tapatia, to discuss national health care proposals and to share information about Latino health disparities. Read more over at LatinoPoliticsBlog.com. Special thanks to Mauricio, Carmen and Carlos @ Tienda Tapatia for your gracious hosting; Elizabeth, Cristina and Ale @ Mujeres Bravas, Armando @ Armando Puentes, Edith & Ruth @ Radio Tonalli (KBOO 90.7FM) for the interviews; Erika @ Bustos Media (PSAs ran on all four of their stations: La Gran D 1520 am, La Paloma 1150 am, KOOR 1010 am and La Reyna 1230 am), and for the back-to-back interviews, day prior; To Roxy, Delia and Diana @ KUNP-TV Univision for your dedication to sharing this event with your audience, and for inviting me to interview, I’m forever grateful. A very special thanks to Alvaro @ Alvaro Entertainment; Mike @ Clear Creek Community Church; and, Ross @ Woodlawn Methodist Church for tables, chairs and a/v equipment; and, a heartfelt thanks to the student volunteers from MEChA at Portland State University and Mt Hood Community College for grassroots marketing, set-up and take down, and manning the registration table (the deuce and a half was an adventure, especially because it poured rain on us). Special thanks also to Moses for sponsoring Spanish to English translation and our forum translator, Constanza. To Lupita in D.C. who provided the latest updates on national health care proposals and their impact on the Latino community.
Our moderator, Delia Hernandez at KUNP-TV Univision and panelists: Dr. Yves Lefranc, Oregon Academy of Family Medicine; Dr. Peter Mahr, Physicians for a National Health Program; Edith Molina, Oregon Latino Health Coalition; and, Ursula Rojas Weiser, Consulate of Mexico in Portland did a superb job in informing the community and setting the stage for the conversation– Thank you!!! We are very fortunate to have individuals of this caliber, integrity and commitment.
It takes more than printing 2,500 flyers and grassroots marketing or conducting back-to-back radio and TV interviews to engage the Latino community. It takes persistence. It takes passion. It takes hard work, even when its pouring down rain and you have to load/unload chairs halfway across town, truly true dedication. Even when the odds are stacked against you, never quit, never give in. To engage a community, it takes individuals who understand and speak the language of the community.