‘BUY-COTT’ local businesses | PostIndependent.com

‘BUY-COTT’ local businesses

Sharon Sullivan
ssullivan@gjfreepress.com
Spanish professor Tom Acker along with members of the Hispanic Affairs Project and Comprehensive Immigration Reform Coalition announce a Buy-cott campaign supporting local businesses in favor of comprehensive immigration reform.
Sharon Sullivan / ssullivan@gjfreepress.com | Free Press

‘BUY’COTT THESE LOCAL BUSINESSES

• Ball Fruit, 3806 G Road, Palisade

• Clark Family Orchard, 3901 G 1/4 Road, Palisade

• eC’s Asian Station, 200 W. Grand Ave., GJ

• El Tapatio, 1145 North Ave., GJ & 402 Jurassic, Fruita

• Fiesta Guadalajara, 710 North Ave., GJ

• Il Bistro Italiano, 400 Main St., GJ

• Muniz Auto Sales, 2385 Patterson Road, GJ

• Pablo’s Pizza, 319 Main St., GJ

• Palisade Pharmacy, 707 37 3/10 Road, Palisade

• Roasted, 502 Colorado Ave., GJ

• Vista Paving Corp., 1000 N. Ninth St., suite 27, GJ

• Wraps on Main, 150 W. Main St., GJ

For the entire list of valley businesses to “buy”cott, visit costatewidebuycott.wordpress.com.

The food at Las Marias restaurant on Orchard Mesa is a combination of Mexican and New Mexican — owner Maria Maestas was born in Chichuahua, Mexico, and her husband is from New Mexico; the green chili recipe is her mother-in-law’s.

As the second oldest of eight children, Maestas left Mexico in 1978 — she had a 3-year-old sister at home and it was hard, she said. But she wanted to help her parents so she came to the United States to find work so she could send money home to her family. In 1988, she became a U.S. citizen.

In 2007, Maestas opened Las Marias on North Avenue. She moved the restaurant the following year to 2692 Hwy. 50, around the corner from Ametek Dixon, where Maestas first worked when she came to the U.S. 35 years ago.

Maestas was one of several people who spoke briefly at a rally held Monday morning outside Fiesta Guadalajara, at Seventh Street and North Avenue. Members of the faith community, local business owners and representatives of the Hispanic Affairs Project and the Colorado Immigration Rights Coalition gathered to announce the launch of a weeklong “buy-cott” of businesses who publicly support comprehensive immigration reform (CIR).

“We are working with businesses in the community, getting their support for comprehensive immigration reform,” said Nelly Garcia, with the Hispanic Affairs Project and Colorado Immigration Rights Coalition. “It’s very important for us to have their voice on this issue, trying to let our congressmen know that the business community also wants CIR.”

Colorado Mesa University Spanish Professor Tom Acker recalled the grape boycott waged in the 1960s to improve dismal farm-worker conditions of that era.

“Only this time we’re saying ‘yes,’ go to these businesses,” Acker said. “Show support for immigration reform, and a path to citizenship by shopping at these businesses.”

From Aug. 4-10, supporters of immigration reform are asked to participate in the buy-cott, and “vote with their wallets” for businesses that have publicly come out in favor of comprehensive immigration reform.

In Colorado Congressional District 3, 198 businesses (48 in the Grand Valley) promote immigration reform.

“We’ve turned a corner in Colorado,” Acker said. “It’s time for (Reps.) Tipton, (Cory) Gardner, (Doug) Lamborn to listen to their constituents. It’s good for the business community.”

Small businesses and immigrant-rights activists are urging the Colorado House to support comprehensive immigration reform and a path to citizenship, as does the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (Senate bill 744) passed by the Senate on June 26.

“The House is currently in the process of putting forward an immigration reform plan of its own, and as we progress, I believe both parties need to work toward the goal of achieving a fair, compassionate and practical solution.” Rep. Tipton wrote in an email to the Free Press.

A statement read at the rally from local businessman and farmer Mark Harris noted that in Colorado, undocumented immigrants represent $8 billion worth of economic activity.

In 2010, undocumented immigrants in Colorado paid $167.5 million in state and local taxes, which includes $30.9 million in state income taxes, $22 million in property taxes, and $114.6 million in sales taxes, according to data from the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy.

“Comprehensive immigration reform realizes that business needs a reliable source of legal labor that protects the rights of all workers, and is flexible enough to be of practical benefit to employers and at the same time addresses border issues and the rule of law. Senate bill 744 does that,” Harris said.

“We came to work, not get free help, or food stamps,” Maestas said. “I support and believe that by passing immigration reform more people like me can invest in the American Dream an in turn, local businesses will create new jobs for the community.

“And it will add additional money in state revenue that we can spend on education, roads and other priorities.”

For a list of businesses participating in the buy-cott statewide, visit http://www.costatewidebuycott.wordpress.com.


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