The Lost Moral Compass of a Harvard Mexican Councilman Part II
By Javier Rodriguez from Boyle Heights 25 Sept. 2014
- Hecho en México and the $1 Million Lawsuit Against LASUD and Semillas Charter School are on the Move and D14 C. Jose Huizar “once again” Fell Asleep.
- Gloria Molina is now a Candidate Challenging Huizar for the D14 Council seat.
- Playboy Jose Huizar has a $660,000 campaign war chest, but not surprising, he is desperate.
Incredibly, Councilman Jose Huizar, who did not lift a finger to personally intervene and mediate the long term conflict in El Sereno between Hecho en Mexico and Semillas Charter School, has just met with the activist restaurant owners, Jorge Bravo and Connie Castro Bravo and shamefully asked them for their reelection endorsement. However, according to Jorge and the conversation we had last Sunday over Huevos con Chile Verde, on their most “important issue, the survival of their dream, the restaurant, the Councilman’s record is lousy. He didn’t do anything”
The following is a quote directly from the letter sent to Huizar, when the couple pleaded for him to intervene personally:
“This restaurant is a dream come true for our family who strives everyday to reach and fulfill the American Dream. We have done nothing wrong and yet we have been forced to bury our heads in shame for much too long. We have to protect our rights as business owners as property owners and as residents of this community. That is why we are here seeking your support and are requesting your assistance in finding a real solution to this intolerable situation that has been short of getting physical. We cannot allow this type of bullying to continue in our community. We need your help and we need to know what you are going to do to help us, you have to do the right thing you have to do the JUST thing. Please help Hecho en Mexico Restaurant continue to thrive as a small business in our community.”
Jorge and Connie Bravo
Hecho en Mexico Restaurant
March 22, 2012
“Please help Hecho en Mexico Restaurant continue….”
When the Bravos wrote this dramatic letter to Huizar they were desperate.
The intolerable bullying by the Semillas leaders was outright harassment against them and their landmark eatery. The campaign bécame vicious and personal with protests and an illegal boycott of the restaurant through the school student body and the parents. It was a fabricated campaign with the obvious alleged objective of driving the business into the ground and bankrupt them so the school’s Real Estate Corporation could then purchase the property for a very cheap price and probably convert it as the school cafeteria.
Essentially for the Bravos, both Mexican immigrants, it became a battle for the livelihood of their family and for the 25 immigrant employees and their families, most of them undocumented, DREAMers included. In the beginning they could not understand the treacherous move by their friend Marcos Aguilar, the Aztec principal. Why? Hecho en Mexico, which was opened years before the school, had given the school staff total solidarity in the form of meeting space, food, fundraisers, etc.
On or about the same time the letter was sent to Huizar, I was asked to become the Bravo’s political advisor and I accepted. However in 2012, beginning in March I was in Mexico as part of a human rights delegation delivering a convoy of trailers with tons of aid for the Tarahumara Indians of Chihuahua who were in a crisis and there were reports of many suicides by way of jumping off cliffs in the Copper Canyon. Additionally, after Chihuahua, I traveled to Mexico City to cover the beginnings of their presidential campaign which ended in another massive fraud. I also traveled with Elvira Arellano to Tenosique, Tabasco, a southern border town to participate in a Holy Week procession with Mexico’s immigrant rights leaders and 150 Honduran immigrants who had just crossed into Mexico. We walked 30 Kilometers to the abandoned train station where the train “La Bestia” stopped, that is until recently.
Lastly during the three trips for a total of 5 ½ months on the road in my homeland, I visited several war zones including my home state of Coahuila which was then the second most violent area in the country –Guerrero was first- and my family lives in Torreon and Piedras Negras. In the latter city my cousin Angeles Rivera Hernandez was recently elected as a Councilwoman. There, the shooting and killings between the controlling Cartel and the Mexican military forces and Federal Police were common and on several occasions I was very close to them and at least during one of the confrontations, I was able to write a news breaking press release that essentially described the live impact of a military armed war battle on a family. I immediately emailed it to my private media list in the US, Canada, England, Spain, Central America and Mexico as well as to social activists and friends.
Trust me, when you are close to the armed engagements, the adrenalin intensity is high and one has to be extremely cautious and follow rules of conduct for journalists in times of war. Some of these rules I learned from firsthand experience in my travels as a member of human rights delegations in the last four decades in Central America and Mexico. Additionally, I also relied on my readings, especially those of progressive journalist Robert Fisk of England’s “The Independent.” For years, the international community has considered him an eminence and also a highly respected war correspondent and columnist on the Middle East with a highly critical view of US foreign intervention of the region.
To give you a comparative picture, during the war in Iraq, Fisk’s reports were gotten through direct field investigation in Bagdad and other war zones, personal contacts and resources and was never embedded to US military control of the war correspondents. In contrast, as I recall, Univision’s News anchorman Jorge Ramos’ war reports were beamed from outside Iraq, including a near comical one from an empty portable military hospital built in Kuwait.
During the first and second trips in Mexico, I was also in the inseparable company of the late Jose Luis Sierra, the Assignment Editor for Mundo Fox National News and an experienced journalist who passed away two weeks ago.
In addition to my traveling and writings covering the themes mentioned above, I also kept abreast of the political developments here at home and as an integral active member of Occupy LA, from wherever I was in Mexico, I coordinated and generated parts of the debate in the organization through the internet. I also developed a good portion of the political and media strategy for Hecho en Mexico.
I finally returned to LA in early October 2012 and immediately after my arrival, I drove to Huizar’s office. Unexpectedly though, I ran into him as he was exiting the Benjamin Franklin Library across from City Hall Boyle Heights. I informed him I was the political advisor for Hecho En Mexico and that for the good of the community, the conflict had to be resolved positively and unequivocally I conveyed to Jose it was imperative for him to handle matter personally. He smiled and said he would get back to me, but I read his lack of enthusiasm. It was obvious he wasn’t going to fight for the people, so he never got back to me.
Throughout this three year old conflict that had divided a pocket of District 14, Jose never intervened personally. Instead he had assigned his El Sereno Field Representative to propose mediation and a date was set. However, the Semillas School administrators and board rejected the offer and refused to attend the session. The Councilman should have seen the writing on the wall and should have displayed a full court press on the administrators. But as in La Casa del Mexicano, the public massive urination and lack of restrooms at Mariachi Plaza, as well as cronic violence and the killings of youth in the immediate vicinity, etc., his disdainful Harvard attitude was “classic vintage” Jose. If he had been a hands on and caring leader, the million dollar lawsuit could have been avoided. Meantime, the Bravos hired a Top Gun Law Firm with country wide influence. Through their public relations arm the case was aired nationally exclusively in the Wall Street Journal which also reported on a preliminary LA Court decision favoring the lawsuit.
With Molina now in the run the stakes suddenly changed. It is almost a certainty that the $175,000 paid for his questionable car accident which according to Arturo Ramirez, President of the Mariachi Association, “all the mariachis know he was drunk, they saw him;” plus the fact that $200,000 have already been paid by the City for the sex abuse scandal; his lack of direct hands on leadership and courage; the $1 million lawsuit and legal fees, which in the end will be paid by the people of Los Angeles: his big loss in the mayor’s election when he campaigned hard for Wendy Davis against Mayor Garcetti and lost; the same results with his endorsement of former Chief of Staff Anna Cubas and her loss to Curren Price; and as the 14th D district election unfolds, they will probably become hot button campaign issues.
Lastly, Hecho’s Jorge Bravo indicated he wasn’t happy with Huizar and I’m confident he will withstand the pressure, however my calls to Connie Bravo have run into a wall. My activist instinct is discreetly whispering, the Councilman may have already charmed his way into an endorsement. ZAZ
*Javier Rodriguez is a journalist, a blogger and a media and political strategist. A long time social activist, he founded the Committee to Rescue La Casa del Mexicano; he is also co founder of the Millions of Voices Coalition in LA that on Sept. 22, 2013 organized one of the largest marches with thousands of people in Downtown LA for Immigration Reform; He was also the initiator and directed the making of the 1.7 million historical immigration march in Los Angeles on March 25, 2006, as well as the May 1st 2006 Great American Boycott;
Back in 1982-86, he directed the mass street mobilizations in LA that led up to the Amnesty Law IRCA of 1986; a journalist, he traveled for 5 ½ months throughout Mexico in 2012, observing and writing about the country’s political process, the aftermath of a highly questioned presidential election, visited several war zones and his family, as well as the State of Tabasco, at the border with Guatemala, where the Central American migrants catch the train they call “La Bestia-The Beast.” Between 1987 and 1996, his son Jesus, his nephew Jaramillo and his brother Jesus all fell victim to neighborhood violence in the area. His blog is Larayueladejavier.wordpress.com; A victim of hacking his old email bajolamiradejavier@yahoo..com has been recovered.
For the complete set of articles on Huizar, please see my blog LaRayueladeJavier.WordPress.Com
- The Lost Moral Compass of a Harvard Mexican Councilman Part I.
- Gang Killings of Mexican Youth in Boyle Heights and Jose Huizar is Still Nowhere in Sight.
- Press Statement on Public Urination in the Boyle Heights Arts District and the Mariachi Plaza.