May 20, 2004
Boonville, MO. 65233
Attending: Janie Houf,
Tom, Tommy and Raquel White, Andy Melendez, Chris Angelo, Lesley E. Oswald,
Danielle & Richard Blanck, and Art Schneider
Alfredo Jimenez has been added to our e-mail group. I met with him June 3. He is filled with enthusiasm, ideas and savvy. He was trained as a classical French horn player and currently is with DelAlma, the wildly popular Latino group based in Columbia. Alfredo has moved to Boonville with his fiance and daughter.
English as Second Language: The mayor reported contacting Bill Turlip of Fuqua Homes about classes being held at the facility. Fuqua is interested and Janie Houf will be discussing this will Fuqua in the fall of 2004.
At this time there are two classes three times a week. A total of five Chinese and Spanish students are enrolled.
Welcome to Boonville brochure-- Raquel White has formatted the Welcome to Boonville brochure in Publisher. Raquel put it on CD ROM. Art will bring copies to the next meting for final review before printing.
Highway Patrol policies: Art contacted Sgt. Paul Reinsch, the public information/education officer for Troop F. The trooper said that the patrol does not have a policy on questioning by translators. He said that a volunteer interpreter does not need to ask questions or relate answers pertaining to legal issues if the volunteer is uncomfortable in doing so. The troop has access to Spanish translators and can secure one if needed.
Sister City: Andy Melendez suggested that the home communities of employees currently working in Boonville would be a start. An employee of LaHacienda assisted. All Mexican communities or states names were much larger than Boonville. General consensus a smaller community was preferred. Chris Angelo noted that the economics of small communities in Mexico might be a limitation.
It was suggested that a request be placed in the Boonville Daily News for suggested sister cities. Andy and Art offered to try to locate some possibilities. Final consensus was that Chrism, with her extensive knowledge of Mexico and its systems, would be in the best position to recommend towns.
Cambio de Coloris-Janie Houf and Jamie Thompson both attended Cambio de Coloris in St. Louis. While Jamie regrettably had to miss the meeting because of a commitment to be in Hawaii, Janie reported that about 300 people were in attendance. She attended sessions on immigration and reported two St. Louis banks willing to open accounts with just one identification document. This is unusual and something that could be discussed locally. Other sessions were offered on health, SBA loans, working with police, schools. Cost to Janie was $125. Next year’s session tentatively is planned for Springfield.
Janie reported extensive programming and that it was a meaningful and productive conference.
Issues Forum: Andy Melendez will follow-up on September 30 date at Immanuel Lutheran assembly hall. (Since the meeting Andy has notified me that we have the room reserved for September 30 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Art read the list of categories for invitation from the last meeting and asked if any others should be added. It was suggested tat the ministerial Alliance should e added.
The mayor asked if people who had very diverse views on immigration policies would be welcome. Art reported that issues forums seek people of very diverse views to create a sense of understanding for the different perspectives people bring to the forum. So, diverse perspectives are welcome and encouraged.
It was agreed that the June meeting would be to identify specific people. The mayor said she would like to see city hall represented at the meeting (elected or appointed) officials.
Cinco de Mayo--Art invited Lesley E. Oswald to attend as a representative of the River Rats for the Arts group. The group seeks to encourage visual and performing arts in Boonville and this might be something that the Hispanic group can collaborate on with the River Rats. Art offered the M.U. Extension Center as a fiscal agent if funds were sought by the city.
Art suggested that perhaps this year’s friendship festival might be held win conjunction with Cinco de Mayo (May 5, 2005). That would allow long range planning.
Mayor Blanck suggested a Thursday in September when the Festival of Lights will take place would be a doable date as there already would be crowds in Boonville’s downtown. The Festival of Lights is from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays.
Janie noted the original concept included having programming available for local students.
Chris said Sept. 15-16 is the Night of the Grito (Independence Day) in Mexico.
Tom reminded members that Spanish cultures are very diverse and focusing on Mexico would be just one aspect of Hispanic cultures.
Chris said that Spain recognized Mexico as an independent country which fueled independence in other Spanish speaking countries (such as Honduras, Guatemala and Puerto Rico) in South and Central America, so it has hemispheric value, not just Mexican.
Lesley said the River Rats for the Arts have been discussing Latin ballroom dance for this fall. September would be earlier than they planned, but it would tie into the Hispanic/Latino theme September 16. The Latin dance classes would be for four weeks.
It was mentioned that mid-September to mid-October is Spanish Heritage Month.
It was mentioned that perhaps a Mass by a Spanish-speaking priest could be part of a September 16 program.
Several noted that Hispanics are increasingly diverse and that having one religious ceremony would be divisive at this point.
Discussion also covered having booths at the festival for representatives from various countries. It also was discussed that having Spanish food available downtown during the festival would add to the atmosphere. It was suggested that LaHacienda be approached about having a food concession downtown.
The mayor said she would contact the Boonville Area Chamber of Commerce about a September 16 Festival focusing on Hispanic/Latino themes and also see what the requisite requirements would be for a booth(s).
It was suggested that the Kansas City consulate be contacted for information and perhaps programming and for M.U. Hispanic students be contacted to participate in the festival.
Our group was quite large and it became difficult to hear and conduct business.
Next Meeting: The group agreed that the next meeting would be at 6:30 p.m. June 24 at Rankin Mill (people could stop at LaHacienda and secure food beforehand.)