Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Columbia County Democratic Party Receives Hispanic support

“We are fighting for justice for all people in the County, regardless of country of origin, documentation, race, or occupation. And we need to ensure that Hispanics who are citizens are registered to vote and engaging in the political process.” -Michael Chameides, Chair Hudson City Democratic Committee 

Para obtener más información sobre los esfuerzos del Partido Demócrata del Condado de Columbia para trabajar con la comunidad hispana o para informar de un problema de contacto Michael Chameides al 518.755.9822 o chair@hudsoncitydemocrats.org o Peter Bujanow al 518.784.9487. Para los hispanohablantes, póngase en contacto con Juan Sánchez en 518.567.9586.



Leaders of the Columbia County Democratic Party met with members of the Hispanic community in Columbia County.

The Democratic Party was represented by Peter Bujanow and Michael Chameides, chairs of Columbia County Democratic Committee and Hudson City Democratic Committee, respectively. Prominent members of the Columbia County Hispanic community included Eduardo Gonzalez, Manny Saavedra, Pedro Valdez and Juan Sanchez. Also in attendance were Bryan MacCormack and Louisa Burgos-Thillet of the New Sanctuary Movement of Columbia County. Burgos-Thillet is also a board member of the Staley B. Keith Social Justice Center.

Michael Chameides introduced the agenda stating that there are two important issues: immigrant rights and political participation.

“We are fighting for justice for all people in the County, regardless of country of origin, documentation, race, or occupation,” says Chameides. “And we need to ensure that Hispanics who are citizens are registered to vote and engaging in the political process.”

Bujanow added to Chameides’s statement by urging people to contact him, as part of a community outreach effort, to address any needs, issues and challenges that may require immediate attention. “If there is anyone among the immigrant communities experiencing discrimination or attacks on their civil rights and liberties, there are Democrats throughout the State of New York that we can mobilize as advocates and supportive public officials who would want to intervene,” says Bujanow.

“This is an an historic event,” says Juan Sanchez, a Craryville resident. “This is an initial step towards building something bigger. The Democratic Party is meeting with the local Hispanic Community and we are sharing different aspects of the life of the community. Despite our significant contributions to the local economy, we are facing hardships.”

Throughout the meeting, residents and US citizens of Hispanic origin exposed the problems immigrants face in Columbia County and asked the leaders of the Democratic Party to help. Many issues were discussed including labor conditions, challenges for undocumented people to obtain a driver’s license, and a general sentiment that Hispanics “live in the shadows.” All agreed to work closely together. The group will continue to meet and craft a specific action plan.

"We support the Democratic Party of Columbia County because we trust you," said Sanchez.

At the end of the meeting Bryan MacCormack presented on efforts to organize a Sanctuary Movement in Columbia County, part of a national effort to support immigrants of any nationality who are unfairly persecuted.

For more information on the Democratic Party’s efforts to work with the Hispanic Community or to report an issue contact Peter Bujanow at 518.784.9487 or Michael Chameides at chair@hudsoncitydemocrats.org. For Spanish speakers, contact Juan Sanchez at 518.567.9586 . For more information on the New Sanctuary Movement, email StPetersPCPastor@gmail.com.