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By: Elsie Sy-Niebar


*CENSUS, HOW WE STAND: Lack of Asian Americans participating. Let us all be counted in the Census 2020. Call AFIRE for info and help.

*JOB HIRING: CENSUS OFFICE hiring by the “thousands”. COOK COUNTY CLERK Office Hiring Election Judge and Polling Place Technicians for ELECTION 2020

*VOTERS’ Ballots in ‘Tagalog’ or Pilipino language available for Fil-Am Voters this coming election

*PERSPECTIVES on President Donald Trump’s Impeachment Acquittal, by Don Azarias, guest Columnist *President Trump’s Impeachment Acquittal Earned Him More Stars!

In this issue, I will reserve for next time my down-to-earth “analysis” on the Impeachment Acquittal of President Donald Trump. This time, I am giving the floor to my highly-respected political Guest Commentator Mr. Don Azarias. Who is Don Azarias? As a journalist, Don was a radio announcer and commentator in the Philippines. In Chicago, he retired as a bank vice president. His critical political postings on Facebook has a long list of discussants. VT Readers: Please enjoy Don’s highly-analytical article below:

On President Donald Trump Impeachment. For the third time in its history, the United States of America was once again put to a test. The Impeachment Process initiated by the Lower House of Congress was sent to the Senate for trial that could lead to the removal of the nation’s president from office. It was a painful process that has shaken the country’s foundation to the core. And, after all is said and done, the greatest country in the world remains standing — still strong and even stronger and more resilient. And the President of the United States stays in office.

“On February 5, 2020, senators voted largely along party lines to acquit President Donald Trump on charges that he abused power and obstructed Congress when he allegedly sought to pressure Ukraine to investigate his rivals. Two-thirds (67) of the Senate would have been required to convict Trump and remove him from office — something that’s never happened before in U.S. history.

For Article 1 Abuse of Power: Yes – 48 No – 52

For Article 2 Obstruction of Congress –Yes – 47 No – 53

The Yes votes – 48 and 47 fell far short of the 67 votes needed to convict and remove the president from office.

As an observer with Republican stripes, I have always tried to be objective and fair when rendering my opinion on and assessment of important political issues that have far-reaching effects and implications. But, as a writer, I reserve the right to render my personal opinions and perspectives if only to advocate fair play while striving to maintain the highest standards of journalistic ethics.

During Israel’s 2015 elections, the Obama administration led by Secretary of State John Kerry – illegally intervened when they attempted to defeat the reelection of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, by covertly funneling State Department grants to opposition groups. The Obama administration detested Netanyahu due to his refusal to cave into Palestinian demands, a group that even refused to recognize the existence of Israel. How come Obama was not charged with nor called out for abuse of power? A double standard? You bet it is.That’s why it’s important for people not to look at the issue through a single lens. But instead, they have to look at both ends of the spectrum. It should be a two-way street.

And how come the government authorities, during the Obama administration, did not indict then, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for using private email server despite objections from State Department security personnel who suggested that this would pose a security risk? Consequently, that resulted in classified information, involving national security, being hacked by the Russian, Chinese and North Korean spies.

And how come the Clintons were not prosecuted for illegally accepting donations to the Clinton Foundation from foreign governments? Looks like those accusers are hiding quite a few skeletons in their closets.

Now, how could the Democrats and their liberal partners convince the Republicans and their conservative allies that Trump’s impeachment was not politically motivated? The vast majority of Republicans believe it was, buttressed by the questions I posed above.

It’s true that Trump is not a perfect president, he has his own flaws and imperfections like the 44 other U.S. presidents before him. But it behooves us, American people, to move on and accept the fact that he was elected president based on the method set forth by the Founding Fathers. It may not be an ideal way to elect a nation’s leader but the Framers noble intent was to make sure that every state in the union, regardless of size and population, will have the same power as the others in electing America’s president.

As a voter, who or which would you choose? *A person or political party that supports murdering innocent babies through abortion or a person or – a political party that respects the sanctity of life and believes that abortion is a crime and against the law of God and man? For me, I would choose the latter. That is what the Republican Party and President Donald Trump stand for.

So what’s the big fuss about President Donald J. Trump’s pronouncement of “America First?” Why are those Democrats and liberals up in arms when the elected leader of the United States tries to remain true to his campaign promise?

The American people – regardless of their color and creed, should therefore support Trump’s political stand. As a leader, he is only trying to make good on his campaign promise – that the welfare of the country and its people must come first. (By Don Azarias, guest political commentator)


Thank you so much Don for sharing with our VT readers your scholarly analysis. In the interest of space, I will save my own JOYFUL COMMENTARY on the VICTORY of President Trump in our March issue. Except to say that, all the “beatings” (accusations) he received from the Democrats and anti-Trump folks, ironically, or is it “miraculously”? made him more popular and even loved by the people.

Get this: Speaker of the House, a very BIG NAME on Trump’s impeachment Drama, Sen. Nancy Pellosi’s display of tearing the copies of the president’s speech on stage was childish and moronic. She deserves the “disrespect” of President Trump’s refusal to return her handshake. Twice! Mama mia…


Now let’s work on “GETTING THE WORD OUT” about TWO IMPORTANT ISSUES affecting every Americans, especially IMMIGRANTS: Our getting listed in CENSUS 2020 and the birth of VOTER’s BALLOT in Pilipino or Tagalog, for the Filipino Americans, and ballots in Korean Language for the Koreans. Few other immigrant communities already have these. We must give credits to the Cook County Clerk office, especially to these two Commissioners: Lead Sponsors of the Voting Opportunity and Translation Equity or (VOTE) which Cook County Commissioners Scott Britton, 14th District, and Kevin B. Morrison, 15th District, successfully passed at the Cook County Board of Commissioners. The VOTE Ordinance expands access to fully translated ballots and voting materials for suburban Cook County residents with limited-English- proficiency in 2020.

“I commend Commissioners Scott Britton and Kevin Morrison for bringing their attention to this important legislation, especially as we look ahead to a pivotal election year,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “It is essential to our democracy that all residents have equal opportunity and access to exercise their right to vote, regardless of the language they speak, their disability, or their inability to read or write.”

An expansion of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the VOTE Ordinance guarantees that starting with the March 2020 election, the Korean and Tagalog or Pilipino languages will be added and will guarantee a fully translated ballot, In Cook County, close to 15,000 residents speak Tagalog as their first language. Starting with the November 2020 election, at least six additional languages (Polish, Russian, Ukrainian, Arabic, Gujarti, and Urdu) that have been identified as having more than 10,000 or more limited-English-proficient Cook County residents will be guaranteed all translated voting materials and a translated sample ballots.

“More than one third of Cook County residents speak a language other than English at home, and we can and should do better to empower all citizens to participate in our democracy,” said Commissioner Kevin Morrison. “All citizens have the right to vote and deserve equal access to the ballot. The VOTE Ordinance will make our county a leader on this issue and set an example of how to create meaningful equity at the ballot.”

“With voting rights being attacked, we must invest in our diverse citizenry and ensure they can actively and confidently participate in the democracy that serves them,” said Commissioner Britton. “By expanding the number of language translations offered through the VOTE Ordinance, we will be able to better adapt to the County’s dynamic communities and enable all eligible suburban Cook County voters to make more informed decisions about their elected officials and the ballot initiatives before them.”


By the way, OUR VERY OWN COMMUNITY MOVER and SHAKER, JERRY CLARITO, formerly elected PARK DISTRICT COMMISSIONER in Skokie, IL and founder of AFIRE (Alliance of Filipinos for Immigration Rights Empowerment), works part time with Commissioners Britton and Morrison developing the VOTErs ballots in Tagalog or Pilipino.


Speaking about AFIRE or ALLIANCE of FILIPINOS for IMMIGRANT RIGHTS EMPOWERMENT, this FIL-AM dedicated community organization is now working hard in getting the CENSUS 2020 going. According to reports, the Asian Americans strike a low number in the Census. Kristina Tendilla, AFIRE executive director, is calling on ALL FILIPINOS and FILIPINO AMERICANS to call AFIRE at 773) 583-1025.

She said: “Nandito po kami para tumulong sa inyong lahat. WE ARE HERE TO HELP EVERYONE. Please call and visit our office at 4300 N. California Avenue, in Chicago. Please get listed in the census to get us Counted. Maraming salamat po. Thank you very much.

The IMPORTANCE IN GETTING REGISTERED IN THE CENSUS. Presented by Mark Calaguas Member, FACCC President-Elect, Filipino American Lawyers Association of Chicago (FALA Chicago)

WHY PARTICIPATING IN THE CENSUS MATTERS Census data is used to determine political representation; is used to allocate federal funds for state and local governments to invest in public services and infrastructure: roads, highways, hospitals, fire departments. It informs government officials in the enforcement of civil rights laws, such as providing language assistance to voters and protecting them against racial discrimination at the polling place Facts accumulated by the census are used not only by the government at all levels—they are relied upon by businesses, non-profits, and academics for research and decision making purposes

CONCERNS ABOUT LACK OF ASIAN AMERICAN PARTICIPATION January 2019 survey by U.S. Census Bureau reports that only 55% of Asian Americans said they were likely to respond to the census, the LOWEST of any racial group that was polled 42% of Asian Americans “extremely concerned” or “very concerned” that their census responses would not be kept confidential Data the CENSUS COLLECT the number of people residing in a household, whether the home is owned or rented ; Respondent’s telephone number, name, age/ DOB, relationship, gender, race/ ethnicity of every person living in the household Data the Census doesn’t Collect: · Income, religion, language spoken, driver’s license or social security number

·Warning: CITIZENSHIP OR IMMIGRATION STATUS: If someone claiming they’re with the Census Bureau is seeking this info, they are engaging in fraudulent activity. If you are given forms asking those questions, they are not genuine census materials.

STRONG LEGAL PROTECTIONS ARE IN PLACE TO SAFEGUARD THE PRIVACY OF INDIVIDUAL CENSUS RESPONSES : Title 13 of the U.S. Code, which governs the Census provides that: Individual responses cannot be shared with the public, other federal agencies (e.g. ICE, IRS) or state and local governments (including law enforcement agencies, housing authorities) · Data can only be used to generate general information about the population, such as how many people live in your city, or provide broad statistical insights regarding age, gender, or race. · Data can’t be used against the respondent, exception of violations of the census rules themselves. · Census bureau employees are required to maintain the confidentiality of individual responses FOR LIFE · Consequences for violating the statute are severe. If someone breaks the law by sharing data for an unauthorized purpose, they are subject to penalties of up to 5 years in prison or $250,000 fine · Title 13 is a federal statute, and cannot be changed unilaterally by the executive branch. Where the law has been challenged in the past, federal courts have upheld Title 13’s confidentiality protections.


LOOKING FOR A JOB? Right now the Bureau of Census is “hiring thousands of people to work on the 2020 Census.” For information, call the Census Regional office at +1-800-865-6384. Election Day One-Day Job: Do you want to work as Election Inspector for ($200) or as a Polling Place Technician for $365? Apply at cookcountyclerk. com/work. Good luck. That parttime work my lead you to a stable job in the government.


Dateline BRISBANE AUSTRALIA. Dec. 27, 2019 – Jan. 18, 2020. Here am I again, at Brisbane’s lovely ANIMAL PARK (sorry I forgot), loving the company of animals specially the Koala and Kangaroos. This time I am with my sister Vilma. In 2016, I had fun hugging a similar soft and gentle KOALA. So soft as cotton and gentle as a lamb. Awesome!


Dateline Brisbane, Australia Dec/Jan 2020: FAMILY TOGETHERNESS IS THE HEART OF OUR VACATION: Here we are–all FOUR SISTERS — at the Dolphin Dancing place, favorite hub of those who love to dance and dance the afternoon and evening away — mostly senior citizens and retirees. We FOUR SISTERS (I’m the oldest) are with our always-smiling brother-in-law, Paul Cruickshank next to his wife, Remedios Villanueva Cruickshank; Eva Villanueva Maunders, me, Elsie Sy-Niebar, the “Commander-in-Chief” now (being taken care of by my sisters) and Vilma Villanueva Molina.


COOK COUNTY TREASURER MARIA PAPPAS seeks good luck for the Cook County for Yeaar 2020 with a Greek tradition of cutting the Vasilopita or New Year cake, Greek’s festive way to welcome the New Year. Joining Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas at a Vasilopita celebration were, from left, Father Chrysanthos Kerkeres of St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Chicago; Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx; Toni Preckwinkle, president of the Cook County Board of Commissioners; Pappas; His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael of the Greek Orthodox Church, and Consul General of Greece Ekaterina Dimakis. The celebration was held Jan. 30, 2020, in the Treasurer’s Office, 118 N. Clark St., Room 112, Chicago.

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Above are Cook County Commissioner Kevin Morrison and Commissioner Scott Britton, who co-sponsored the passing of THE VOTE Ordinance at the Cook County Board of Commissioners last October 2019.


FORMER OFFICE MATES HAPPY REUNION: Former Officemates at the Quaker Oats and PEPSICO held a “Family style” reunion recently at TITA MIA restaurant at the Golf Mill, Niles, owned by a Filipino/Korean couple. In photo standing from left to right are: EJ and Edmund Villaflor, Pia Natividad, Dennis Alban, Ruben Salazar, Merle Salazar, Rosalie and Hankiat Chua. Seated: Left to right are: Jocelyn Ho, the organizer, Gody Alban, Tammy Serafico, Sally Silo and Vilma Molina, who now lives in the Philippines but comes back every now and then.HAPPY REUNION EVERYONE!

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