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ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON LATINOREBELS.COM

The recent controversy surrounding ABC’s ‘Work It” sitcom has created a social media firestorm and tomorrow, Sunday January 8, in Chicago, a film crew is inviting all people of Puerto Rico to educate and let people know that they don’t sell drugs. Here are the details from Puerto Rican actor Darlene Vazquetelles, and director Carlos Jiménez, who recently formed the nonprofit Puerto Rican Alliance for Awareness (PRAA):

Right now I am in Chicago filming a movie. The director of the movie is also Puerto Rican and after discussing what happened [this week on ABC] we decided to do something about it.

This weekend we have off from filming so we have decided to do a mini-documentary in protest of what happened. The way we are doing it is by putting every Puerto Rican we know and come across here in Chicago in front of the camera stating their names, occupation and stating that they do not sell drugs.

This will be airing on You Tube. We already have the support of the Puerto Rican Parade Committee of Chicago. We are also receiving videos from all over the USA and Puerto Rico through email which will be included in the video.

Name

Occupation

and the tag line at the end “I am Puerto Rican and I DO NOT sell drugs”

TODAY SUNDAY JANUARY 8, 4pm CST, we will be recording people in the Puerto Rican Parade Committee Headquarters in Chicago, Casa Puertorriqueña 1237 N. California Ave. Chicago, IL 60622.

For those who cannot be there, we are asking them to send us videos to carlosjimenez88@yahoo.com(IMPORTANT: For the people that will be sending videos, please put camera in horizontal position and send by tomorrow Sunday at 11 pm Central Time with no background sounds like tvs or people talking.)

We are asking them to do it ASAP as we will be editing all day on Monday.

We already have press interested and covering the event.

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The Latino Rebels are proud to announce that two of its members earned nominations from Latinos in Social Media (#LATISM) community as some of the Best Latinos in social media for 2011. Efrain Nieves, co-founder of P’Alante Latino and a regular contributor to this page, is up for the Best Political Blogger category. Latino Rebels founder, Julio Ricardo Varela, was nominated in the Best Latin@ Micro-Blogger category.

To vote for Efrain and Julito, go to this link: LATISM 2011 Nominees. Voting will continue until October 30, and winners will be announced at the LATISM 2011 awards ceremony during the LATISM annual conference in Chicago.

In addition, Julito’s brother, the amazing Fernando Varela, earned a Best Artist to Use Social Media  to Reach to Latinos. Fernando joins musical legends Willie Colón and Juanes in this category.

Don’t forget to vote!!! Here is the link: LATISM 2011 Nominees.

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Latinos in Social Media (LATISM), the gold standard of what a vibrant and thriving social media community should be, opened the nomination process for the BEST OF LATISM 2011.

The process is fairly simple. Click here, and nominate your favorites of 2011 in all the categories listed.

Also, will you be at LATISM 2011 in Chicago? We will and we can’t wait to see so many friends and family there!

NOMINATE THE BEST OF LATISM 2011 HERE!

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US Congressman Luis Gutiérrez

In response to his public comments on the floor of the United States House of Representatives denouncing the plans for a natural gas pipeline being slated by the Republican and pro-statehood administration of Governor Luis Fortuño, Illinois Democrat Luis Gutiérrez, who is of Puerto Rican descent, has begun to feel the heat from the Puerto Rican press about his ties to Chicago’s natural gas industry.

Puerto Ricans protesting the proposed GASODUCTO pipeline

The Vocero, one of the many newspapers on the island, reported last week that Gutiérrez regularly receives campaign donations from companies with ties to natural gas and energy. As the newspaper states in its article “The Two Faces of Congressman Gutiérrez”:

According to the website, www.opensecrets.org, as recently as 2010, the Congressman received $ 7,500 from Exelon Corp., the U.S.’ largest nuclear operator, which is dedicated to the distribution of electricity and natural gas.

Also in 2008 Integrys Energy Group (a natural gas consulting company), donated $ 1,000 to his campaign.

According to the website, Gutierrez also received $ 10 000 from the Operating Engineers Union, an organization that supported the policies of George W. Bush to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to increase oil production, which received strong opposition from environmentalists.

Gutiérrez’s opposition to a pipeline is apparently limited to only Puerto Rico, as the Democratic Congressman from Illinois has not shown resistance to pipelines running through the city of Chicago, where he lives. He also showed no resistance when the administration of [former Puerto Rican Governor] Aníbal Acevedo Vilá began to build a pipeline to the south of the country and aimed to build another route to the north.

The cost of electricity in Illinois is less than half that of Puerto Rico. According to the Federal Energy Information Administration, the cost of the residential tariff is 10.63 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) 7.98 cents commercial, industrial and 6.5 cents per kWh.

Currently, there are about six natural gas companies operating in Chicago and at least 26 interstate pipelines and eight intrastate natural gas companies across the state.

The companies include: People’s Gas, Interstate Gas Supply of Illinois, Inc., Santanna Energy Services, U.S. Energy Savings Corp., Spark Energy, LP, and Ambit Energy.

Vía Verde (Green Way) is the project introduced by Governor Luis Fortuño to reduce the cost of electricity in Puerto Rico and, in turn, reduce dependence on oil. The government expects savings of $1 billion per year on fuel purchases.

Gutierrez took part [on May 1] in an anti-Green Way demonstration organized by Casa Pueblo in Adjuntas.

In his speech he said: “I am here with you because I think we should stand up and make ourselves heard and I am convinced that we must stop this pipeline.”

He said it is not the use of natural gas “but to stop what, to all appearances, seems to be a ‘mega-con’, the ‘money-pipeline’, the pipeline that leads directly from the treasury bills of the People of Puerto Rico to line the pockets of the [Fortuño] administration’s friends. ”

For his part, Secretary of the Interior, Marcos Rodriguez-Ema, told El Vocero that “Gutiérrez did not object in 2008 when Aníbal Acevedo Vilá wanted to make the southern gas pipeline, because he was receiving money from gas distribution companies. Now he opposes a pipeline because he is paying back the favors of his donors, who are members of the Popular Party.”

As you can see, there is never a dull moment in Puerto Rican politics.

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So former White House Chief of Staff and Chicago mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel might be having some problems with Latino voters in the final hours before Windy City residents take to the polls to choose the city’s next mayor. According to Reuters, the current four-way mayoral race will be impacted by the city’s growing Latino bloc.

 

Chicago mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel

 

The Reuters article, titled “Chicago mayor race showcases growing Hispanic power,” states the following about Emanuel:

To become mayor of the nation’s third largest city and avoid an April run-off, Emanuel needs to win more than 50 percent of the vote next week, and was already at 49 percent in the latest Chicago Tribune/WGN poll. Emanuel’s closest competitor, former Chicago schools president Gery Chico, was at 19 percent in the poll, published February 10.

But Chico had a small advantage among Hispanics – at 38 percent to Emanuel’s 34 percent, with Chico’s Hispanic numbers up 12 percent from the previous Tribune poll. Chico is of Mexican and Greek-Lithuanian descent. Another contender, Puerto Rico-born city clerk Miguel del Valle, was at 8 percent of all voters and 18 percent of Latinos.

“The Hispanic candidates are attracting Hispanic voters – Rahm is doing less well there than in the white or black communities,” said Dick Simpson, head of the political science department at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a former Chicago alderman.

As elsewhere in the country, Hispanics are a growing force in Chicago, representing almost a third of the city’s population although only about 15 percent of voters, Simpson said.

 

Chicago mayoral candidate Gery Chico (l), endorsed by Rep. Luis Gutiérrez

 

Emanuel, who left the Obama administration as Chief of Staff to run for mayor of Chicago, is having problems with Latino voters because many feel that he was the reason behind the stalling of comprehensive immigration reform. Even though politically Emanuel felt that downplaying legislation like The Dream Act (which did not pass in the U.S. Congress) was the right move to make, it definitely caused criticism from Latino voters who see comprehensive immigration reform as a top priority for the country.

 

Chicago mayoral candidate Miguel Del Valle

As Reuters reports when it asked del Valle for comment:

 

“Emanuel more than anyone else is responsible for derailing immigration reform in this country,” said del Valle. He noted that this it not just an Hispanic issue, but one for the city’s large Polish and Asian communities.

A post from Real Clear Politics provides some additional commentary about Emmanuel’s perception among Latino voters in Chicago:

In the days leading up to the Feb. 22 election, Emanuel, hoping to avoid a runoff, has been desperately trying to remake himself as an advocate for Latinos. The opposite is closer to the truth.

He has proposed a scholarship program to help immigrant students go to college that he cynically calls the “Chicago Dream Act.” The real Dream Act rejected last year by the U.S. Senate would have legalized the undocumented, not just hand out scholarships. As Emanuel knows full well, cities lack the authority to change legal status.

The post continues with additional insight as to why Latino voters are not backing Emanuel:

In the last 20 years, Emanuel has had three prominent jobs in politics: senior adviser to President Clinton, member of Congress, and Obama chief of staff. And in all three posts, Emanuel has shown that he is not the least bit interested in Latinos or what they want from Democrats.

Emanuel was at Clinton’s side when the 42nd president rolled back welfare benefits for legal immigrants, fortified the California-Mexico border with Operation Gatekeeper, and signed enforcement legislation that made it easier to deport illegal immigrants.

As part of the Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives, Emanuel kept immigration reform off the agenda because he feared the debate would hurt Democrats, coerced Democratic colleagues to vote for a bill that criminalized the undocumented, and declared immigration the “third rail of politics.”

And finally, while serving as Obama’s chief of staff, Emanuel helped the administration put comprehensive immigration reform on the back burner, fortify the border again, and carry out a record number of deportations.

The post ends with a clear position on Emanuel and his Latino problem:

Emanuel has been airing a Spanish-language ad of his own where he paints Chico as anti-immigrant, claiming that his opponent is against “amnesty” and in favor of Arizona’s tough new immigration law.

Talk about nerve. This guy really will say or do anything. That includes accusing opponents of not supporting something he himself has never supported — what the ad calls “amnesty.”

If Rahm Emanuel thinks that Latinos in Chicago are going to forget everything that he has ever done — and not done — and vote for him for mayor, then he’s the one who is dreaming.

So, will Latino voters in Chicago have the power to send a message to Emanuel, or will it be voting as usual, where even though 30% of Chicago residents are Latino, only 15% of them are registered to vote?

February 22 should be an interesting day in the Windy City.

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me: We are talking with Gini Dietrich, CEO of Arment Dietrich,
a PR firm that is doing amazing work with social media
Gini, why do you use Twitter?
ginidietrich: hey now! not just social media…it’s all communication
with an emphasis on digital
why do i use twitter? other than it’s lots of fun?
it’s really helped us build credibility for
arment dietrich and traffic for spin sucks

 

me: How has it built credibility for your company?
ginidietrich: it’s given us the ability to expand our reach with the stroke of a key.
we’ve never before been able to work internationally because of the costs.
now we work with international partners daily.

 

me: That is cool. Where are your international clients from?
ginidietrich: we have clients in the UK, sweden, hong kong, and australia
oh! and canada.

 

me: Canada doesn’t count. Isn’t that part of the US? Ha!
ginidietrich: i feel like they are! i love canadians!

 

me: Ok. How has Twitter changed over the last three years?
ginidietrich: wow. it’s changed in so many ways,
but stayed the same in many others.
i always said twitter would become a place for PR people to
interact with clients, stakeholders, and media.
and i think it’s really moving there now.
but it’s also still one big networking party
that isn’t so serious all the time.

 

me: Let’s talk about Twitter being a fun place.
Why do you think some brands don’t see Twitter as being fun?
ginidietrich: i think it’s like what chris said when you talked to him…
they see it as another place to sell their wares
and don’t use it as a conversation tool.
it’s all one way for them
and they don’t use it appropriately.

 

me: Do you think brands will ever “get” Twitter?
ginidietrich: i don’t think all brands will get twitter.
it’s like anything else.
some companies succeed in spite of themselves.

 

me: Now for my Inside the Actor’s Studio question.
If you were running Twitter, what would you do to improve it?
ginidietrich: if i were running twitter, i’d have figured out a way to monetize already.
i’m a high twitter user and you gave me access to special features no one else had,
i’d be willing to pay for it. it’s a shame they haven’t used their own tool
to ask users what they think.

 

me: What sucks about Twitter?
ginidietrich: i hate auto DMs and the random tweets from people you’ve never talked to
who ask you for something because they perceive you can help them.

 

me: Who are the best Twitter profiles right now?
ginidietrich: as in people to follow?
me: Yup
ginidietrich: gosh…other than the two of us and the posse?
me: yes
ginidietrich: LOL

 

ginidietrich: OK. @dannybrown @joey_strawn @nittygriddyblog
@skypulsemedia @markwschaefer @mitchjoel
@conversationage @bethharte @abarcelos
@c_pappas @kmueller62 @bdorman264
@rachaelseda and…of course @spinsucks (run by @lisagerber)
me: Wow that is a stream

 

ginidietrich: i really hate questions like that because you inevitably leave someone out!
me: You’re in trouble now
Last question
What is the future of Twitter?
ginidietrich: oh i think it dies a slow death.
i actually thought it’d be dead by now…
i predicted its death last year.
it’s really surprising for a company that’s not making money to still exist.

 

me: Wow, you are obsessed with money
ginidietrich: it’s the only way i can buy shoes and wine!
me: And cheese dip!
Thank you so much, Gini. You are a digital rockstar.
ginidietrich: and cheese dip! love you julito!

 

To follow Gini, go to @ginidietrich

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