El Corazón de Tejas- Central Texas Chapter of REFORMA

Meeting Minutes for October 2001

Wednesday October 17, 2001, 4:00 p.m.
Benson Latin American Collection, Sid Richardson Hall Seminar Room

Present: Roxanna Escobedo, Paola Ferate-Soto, Irma Flores-Manges, ElvaGarza,  Margo Gutiérrez, Tom Moran, Jennifer Patterson, Steve Reich,
Loriene Roy, Gustavo Soto, Jennifer Thomas (presiding),  Emilio Zamora

After introductions and approval of the minutes of the last meeting,President Jennifer Thomas asked members if there were any comments
regarding National REFORMA'S financial recommendations.  Paola Ferate-Sotonoted that she responded to the REFORMA Board of Directors listservevoicing her concern about returning unspent funds at the end of the fiscalyear to National. The rationale is that National can better account for themonies to the IRS, thus keeping our nonprofit status intact. Unspent monieswould be returned to chapters after reporting to the IRS, but would thishappen on a timely basis? Jennifer asked members if anyone would beattending Midwinter to participate in the discussion on behalf of thechapter. Because it appears that no one present will be attending, Paolasuggested that the chapter send a response by e-mail stating our position,and our concern that turning monies over to National at the end of the yearwould severely hamper our ability to plan programs and events scheduled forthe first part of a calendar year. It was agreed that Paola and Jenniferwould draft a one-page e-mail to send to the National BOD.

A related discussion ensued regarding our nonprofit status. Paola suggestedthe chapter file, independent of National REFORMA, as a nonprofitorganization.  Jennifer Patterson opposed the idea, stating that filing is both expensive and high maintenance; i.e., too much paperwork. Instead she recommended that we work out a system to encumber funds before the end of the year, thus ensuring ample monies are available for programs planned for the following year. If all else failed, we would have to do our fundraising in the same fiscal year as the events.  Tom Moran (new APL Assistant Director, thank you for coming Tom) concurred that filing for nonprofit status as a chapter would result in much expense and bureaucracy.

The fall fund raising event committee met on Friday October 12, 2001 at Margo Gutiérrez's home, and Margo reported that Paola Ferate-Soto, Gustavo Soto, Loriene Roy, and Steve Reich attended the meeting.  The date for the event  will be December 1st from 6:30 - 9:00 p.m., with the  theme being "An Evening of Poetry and Music to Benefit REFORMA."  A donation of $10 will be requested; $5.00 for students and elders. Gustavo will line up entertainment. He recently attended a poetry slam type of event at St. Edward's University and was much impressed with some of the young poets. Vince Lozano (poet and librarian), and Francisco Chávez (library worker and musician) will be approached. Margo and Jennifer Thomas will be in charge of invitations. Although the space is limited, the event will likely be held at Margo's home, as it is centrally located (just south of Ben White). One other possibility may be Tricia Fraga's home. Elva said she would check on possibly borrowing a canopy from Youth Services in order to provide more covered space outdoors.  Margo and Jennifer Patterson will work on food and
refreshements, and Margo stressed that EVERYONE  will be asked to contribute something toward the success of the fundraiser.  In addition to
food and drink, ALL will be asked for additional aid. [NOTE: Margo will send out an e-mail shortly with a list of ways in which you can
contribute.]  The fall event planning committee will meet again on Friday November 2nd at 6:30 p.m. at Margo's house.

Loriene Roy's suggestion that two members of the chapter attend the Graduate School of Library and Information Science Advisory Board reception to be held at the Littlefield House on Friday October 26, 2001 from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.  Gustavo Soto and Jennifer Thomas volunteered to attend. Loriene believes this would be an excellent opportunity to meet potential benefactors, make contact with GSLIS faculty, and publicize our chapter's planned activities.

Immigration Forum Update:  The group met once and will meet again on October 19, 2001 at 11:30 a.m. at the Cepeda Branch Library. In addition to REFORMA members, others in attendance included representatives from the Mexican Consulate and the Political Asylum Project of Austin (PAPA). The objective of the forum is to inform library workers, educators, and the community at large of the issues and challenges facing immigrants, government  agencies, and social service providers as a result of increased immigration, much of it undocumented. The forum will take place May 11th, or 18th at the Austin Community College Rio Grande Campus (thank you, Julie Todaro).  Nestor Rodríguez, an immigration expert from the University of Houston, is a possible speaker.  Margo offered to ask him once the information is forwarded to her.  Another possibility offered by Emilio Zamora is María Jiménez, of the American Friends Service Committee in Houston. There will be a Q & A panel, and a space for informational booths or tables set up by various agencies who work with immigrants. Members from AISD, APL, and other agencies are already confirmed participants,  and APL has generously agreed to assist with printing, publicity, and mailing.

The revised logos for the chapter were present by Gustavo Soto, and the member present agreed on two. One will be used on for stationery; the
other, more elaborate with Aztec and Maya glyphs, will appear on the website.

Other ideas for chapter activities in the the coming year include compiling a list of of recommended books with Latino themes for K-6 grades suitable for the Central Texas Hispanic experience. The idea arose when a vice-principal of a local school that is 95 percent  Latino asked the
Benson Latin American Collection for materials to use for Hispanic Heritage Week. Apparently, there was little or nothing in the school library to support this type of cultural programming. A recommended reading list of Engish and bilingual book titles in print will be compiled and sent to local school librarians, along with REFORMA information. Margo will invite members to send in their favorite pics, probably sometime after the Fall event.

Another activity suggested for the future is a New Member's Packet consisting of promotional materials. Ways to beef up our website will
include a list distributors of Spanish language books and other library material. Loriene added that the website should also include links to
scholarship opportunities.

The next meeting will be held on December 10, 2001 from 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. at
the Benson Latin American Collection, Sid Richardson Hall Seminar Room.

The meeting adjourned at approximately 5:10 p.m.

[Submitted by Margo Gutiérrez with very special thanks to Roxanna Benavides

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