A May Day March for Immigration Reform and Housing Justice

On May 1, 2016, I went to Mountain View, California to walk in their May Day march for immigration reform and housing justice. In the past 6 months, many people in my apartment complex have had to move out due to rising rents, so I sympathize with both the immigrant activists and housing activists.

At around December, everyone in our complex received a notice stating that our rents would rise to $3000. The new owners of the complex had decided to no longer accept a government subsidy that would limit the amount that they would raise the rents. During that time whenever we would see a neighbor, we would always ask each other the same question: “Are you moving out?” It was sad for all of us, as it was a friendly community where everyone would say hi to everyone else. I frequently got into long conversations with my neighbors as we were doing laundry. Lisa and I eventually found a new home, but we worry about our neighbors who are trying to find an affordable place in the Bay Area that is not too far from their work.

I’ve always been a strong supporter of immigrant rights and immigration reform. I felt that this year I should be especially vocal in my support for immigrants because of the hateful anti-immigrant rhetoric coming from Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and many of the Republican candidates in their Presidential primaries. Mitt Romney recently stated that he could never support Donald Trump because he was worried that Trump’s rhetoric would cause trickle down racism that would adversely affect the Latino, Muslim and other minority communities. Romney said in a CNN interview with Wolf Blitzer:

I don’t want to see trickle-down racism. I don’t want to see a president of the United States saying things which change the character of the generations of Americans that are following. Presidents have an impact on the nature of our nation, and trickle-down racism, trickle-down bigotry, trickle-down misogyny, all these things are extraordinarily dangerous to the heart and character of America.

I think Romney is right. The illegal immigrants that are the target of so much of Trump’s and Cruz’s venom have actually had a very beneficial effect on America’s economy. Most of them are not criminals or rapists, but are hard working people who want to support their families and insure a brighter future for their children. To try to scapegoat illegal immigrants for the problems of this country is the worst form of demagoguery.

Here is a youtube video I made of the May Day rally in Mountain View.


About angelolopez

I’ve wanted to be an artist all my life. Since I was a child I’ve drawn on any scrap of paper I could get a hold of. When I went to San Jose State University, I became more exposed to the works of the great fine artists and illustrators. My college paintings were heavily influenced by the humorous illustrations of Peter De Seve, an illustrator for the New Yorker magazine. I also fell under the spell of the great muralists of the 1930s, especially Thomas Hart Benton and Diego Rivera. I graduated with a degree in Illustration. Since my time in college, my goal has been to be a successful children’s book illustrator. I’ve illustrated 3 books: Two Moms the Zark and Me by Johnny Valentine in 1993; Night Travelers by Sue Hill in 1994; and Cherubic Children’s New Classic Story Book Volume 2 for Cherubic Press in 1998. I’ve painted murals for Lester Shields Elementary School in San Jose, the Berryessa branch of the San Jose Public Library, and Grace Community Church in Los Altos. I’ve had a few illustrations published in South Bay Accent Magazine and I will have an illustration published in the January/February issue of Tikkun magazine.
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