THE TEJANO MONUMENT ON TX CAPITOL GROUNDS: A TESTIMONY OF SPANISH-MEXICAN HERITAGE INFLUENCED IN PRESENT DAY TEXAS CULTURE

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THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

photo by: Marjorie Kamys Cotera

The Tejano Monument was created to emplace a monument on the Texas Capitol grounds to establish an enduring legacy that acknowledges and pays tribute to the contributions by Tejanos as permanent testimony of the Spanish-Mexican heritage that has influenced and is inherent in present-day Texas culture. For more on history http://www.tejanomonument.com/history/.

Tejano Monument unveiling
Sculptor Armando Hinojosa took 11 years to create the Tejano masterpiece
Credit: Erin Cargile/KXAN

The long overdue and much anticipated official unveiling of the Tejano Monument at the State Capitol in Austin.  Gov. Rick Perry attended the dedication of a new monument on the Texas State Capitol grounds honoring Hispanic contributions to Texas History. The Tejano Monument is located on the south lawn.

“This important monument reflects a larger truth about the origins of Texas, about the contributions of so many Hispanic citizens to the creation of the state we love and the lives we share,” Gov. Perry said. “These contributions are ongoing with Latinos providing political, business and spiritual leadership in communities throughout Texas. The future of our state is tied directly to the future of our Hispanic population, and I believe we have a glorious future ahead of us.”
The Tejano Monument was created by Laredo artist Armando Hinojosa and consists of 11 life-size sculptures commemorating the 500-year role of Tejanos in Texas and the Spanish-Mexican legacy in the state from 1500 to 1800.

Sculptor Armando Hinojosa took 11 years to create the Tejano masterpiece
Credit: Erin Cargile/KXAN

Work on placing a Tejano Monument at the State Capitol began in 2001, when legislators passed and Gov. Perry signed legislation establishing it. In 2007, the Legislature approved $1.087 million for completion of the monument and an additional $1 million was raised through private donations.

State Rep. Richard Peña Raymond (from left), Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, State Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman and State Sen. Judith Zaffirini join in prayer during the dedication of the Tejano Monument at the Texas Capitol in Austin, on Thursday, Mar. 29, 2012.
Photo: Kin Man Hui, San Antonio Express-News / ©2012 San Antonio Express-News

Early Spanish and Mexican pioneers and their descendants have helped shape the way of life in Texas, dating back to the 1500s. Today, some of our state’s top Hispanic leaders include Secretary of State Hope Andrade; Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Justice Elsa Alcala; Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman; Chancellor of the UT System Francisco Cigarroa; Austin Diocese Bishop Joe Vasquez; and Presiding Officer at the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission Jose Cuevas, just to name a few.

Sculptor Armando Hinojosa took 11 years to create the Tejano masterpiece
Credit: Erin Cargile/KXAN

Among the state lawmakers, official dignitaries, business leaders, school children, and thousands of Texans from across the state taking part in today’s official unveiling were also Texas State Representative Roberto R. Alonzo of Dallas and his wife Sylvana.

“It was an honor indeed to take part in today’s history-making event showcasing the official unveiling of the Tejano Monument at the State Capitol grounds,” said Rep. Alonzo.

State Representative Roberto Alonzo, D-Dallas. (File photo: RGG/Steve Taylor)

“Witnessing come to fruition the over decade-long effort that began with talks close to 12 years ago  to emplace a monument on the grounds of our State Capitol was truly inspirational, historical, and thought-provoking at the same time.  Furthermore, witnessing Tejanos of all ages from all geographic corners of the state, particularly our school children and young college students, convene in Austin for this event was historical in itself.  The monument acknowledges and pays tribute to the contributions by Tejanos on present-day Texas culture and history, and to see so many people from across the state converge at our State Capitol was testament to that,” continued Rep. Alonzo.

With the official ceremonial unveiling of the majestic Tejano Monument, an enduring legacy has been established to serve as a permanent testimony of the Spanish-Mexican heritage that has influenced and shaped the history of Texas.

For more information about the festivities and other related events, you may contact:  Lino Garcia Jr  via  e-mail at : drlinogarcia@SBCGLOBAL.NET or visit the website at www.nosostroslostejanos.com.

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GOV PERRY LURED APPLE TO TEXAS AND CREATES MORE THAN 3,600 JOBS

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THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

Governor Perry Sweetened the Deal for Apple and for the Texas Economy

Gov. Rick Perry today announced that Apple will expand its presence in Texas with a $304 million investment in a new campus in Austin that will create more than 3,600 new jobs. The new campus will more than double the size of Apple’s workforce in Texas over the next decade, supporting the company’s growing operations in the Americas with expanded customer support, sales and accounting functions for the region. In exchange for Apple’s commitment to create these new jobs in Texas, the state has offered Apple an investment of $21 million over ten years through the Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF).

“Apple is known for its bold innovation and game-changing designs, and the expansion of their Austin facility adds to the growing list of visionary high-tech companies that have found that Texas’ economic climate is a perfect fit for their future, thanks to our low taxes, reasonable and predictable regulations, fair legal system and skilled workforce” Gov. Perry said. “Investments like this further Texas’ potential to become the nation’s next high-tech hub.”

The project is supported by an investment from the TEF, which offers companies incentives to invest in Texas. When completed, it will be one of the largest job creation projects in TEF history, and one of the largest capital investments by a TEF recipient. The agreement is contingent upon the finalization of contracts and a local incentive agreement with the City of Austin and Travis County.

The Legislature created the TEF in 2003 and re-appropriated funding in 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011 to help ensure the growth of Texas businesses and create more jobs throughout the state. TEF projects must be approved by the governor, lieutenant governor and speaker of the House. The fund has since become one of the state’s most competitive tools to recruit and bolster business. To date, the TEF has invested more than $443.4 million and closed the deal on projects generating more than 62,000 new jobs and more than $15.4 billion in capital investment in the state.

Read More: from the office of Governor Rick Perry

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HOW DID TEXAS COME OUT IN REDISTRICTING: REPUBLICANS VS. DEMOCRATS

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THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

In Battle for Political Conquest, Ethnicity Sets the Boundaries for Both Parties

photo of Texas State Capitol Building in Austin at night

The political maps are out, finally, and this is as good as it gets for Texas Republicans unless they can figure out how to win votes from black and Hispanic voters.

For the Democrats, this is probably the bottom. They have to find more voters or be forced to continue relying on the ethnicity of their voters — and the protections that come with that ethnicity — to protect the seats they still have.

The Republicans have snapped up everything not nailed down by the federal Voting Rights Act.

Redistricting nods to fairness but is actually about power. It allows a Republican Legislature, for instance, to put a dog collar and a short leash on Democratic voters in Austin.

Travis County is one of just a few Texas counties that voted for Barack Obama for president. In the new Congressional maps, five districts reach into the county (none is based there), and only one is likely to produce a Democratic representative.

As it stands, the county would be represented by two people from Austin, one from San Antonio, one from Georgetown (a suburb) and one from Bryan. One of the Austin residents, Lloyd Doggett, an incumbent Democrat, will face tough opposition from San Antonio; the other, Michael McCaul, an incumbent Republican, has a district that runs east to Houston.

It’s safe to say lawmakers weren’t trying to empower the locals. It makes you wonder why the city of Austin rewards them with free airport parking.

Lawmakers don’t have to be fair. If they did, the court would have repaired the damage. It’s just that the law doesn’t protect geography as carefully as it protects minorities.

In Travis County, the minority populations are too scattered to draw a Congressional district protected by the Voting Rights Act. The seat most likely to elect a Democrat stretches into central San Antonio, and it is uncertain whether Mr. Doggett can prevail over someone from San Antonio. His district wasn’t protected.

The remaining Democratic seats in the state result from legal protections for minority groups that happen to vote for Democrats. The Republicans don’t have the legal ability to take more ground; the Democrats don’t have the political juice to win anything not legally protected.

Maps aren’t everything. Using the current maps, the Republicans got 101 seats in the Texas House; using the same maps two years earlier, they got only 76.

But maps mean a lot. The partisan compositions of the Texas Senate and of the state’s Congressional delegation have changed only marginally between redistricting episodes over the last 20 years. If you want change in those places, the most effective strategy is to change the maps.

The redistricting fights have been about the clout of minority voters. Virtually every legal skirmish was over a district that either is, or arguably should be, one in which minority voters have the power to decide the winners.

With few exceptions, the decision to create or protect a minority district was also a decision about whether it would elect a Republican or a Democrat. Talk about walking on eggshells — every conversation or argument about the maps teeters between politics and race.

This year’s elections will clear up the remaining questions. Mr. Doggett is the last Anglo Democrat in the Congressional delegation who wasn’t elected in a minority opportunity district. If he wins re-election, it will be in a Latino district. (Representative Gene Green, Democrat of Houston, also an Anglo, has represented a Latino district for years.)

The only genuine swing district on the Congressional map is District 23, where Representative Francisco Canseco, Republican of San Antonio, will face the winner of a Democratic primary that could include former United States Representative Ciro Rodriguez, whom Mr. Canseco beat in 2010. That’s a test of whether Republicans can hold a minority district.

United States Representative Blake Farenthold, Republican of Corpus Christi, got a district with a Republican voting history but where a majority of the voters are either black or Latino. That’s another political test tube.

Republicans can’t increase their already stout majorities without winning minority votes or getting rid of the law that protects minority voters. And Democrats have to figure out a way to win in districts drawn by the opposition.

Read more: Ross Ramsey, the executive editor at The Texas Tribune, writes a column for The Tribune article from the NYT

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