Daily Archives: June 26, 2016

2 posts

Latino Community Mourns Pulse Shooting Victims

Pulse Vigilia
The vigilia for Pulse club victims, families and survivors drew a diverse crowd. / Maria Padilla

The Hispanic community paused recently to honor the victims, families and survivors of the Pulse shooting in a Spanish-language vigil at the Dr. Phillips center in Downtown Orlando.

The event was coordinated by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando, which since the Pulse nightclub shooting June 12, has worked nonstop to provide services, answer questions and calm the community, alongside many other community organizers and volunteers.

The shooting was the single worst in American history. About three-quarters of the shooting victims were Latinos, the single largest group from Puerto Rico.

The stress of tending to the needs of the community, combined with the sorrow of the massacre, lined many tired faces at the Hispanic Chamber’s vigilia. Chamber officials appeared subdued and some even sobbed.

The vigil brought out survivors from the Boston marathon bombing. It showcased songs and short speeches, including Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan, each of whom addressed the crowd in Spanish.

Dyer vigilia
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer at the Spanish-language vigil. /Maria Padilla

“So many of the victims were of Latino descent,” Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said to Orlando Latino. “It’s important that we recognize the multicultural nature of the event.”

It wasn’t always so, as many Hispanics earlier complained that officials and others were downplaying the ethnicity of the victims, who had gathered at Pulse that fateful evening for Latin night.

It was as if being LGBT and Latino were mutually exclusive.

“I am Hispanic and openly gay,” local entrepreneur Carlos Carbonell told the crowd. “Both of my families are mourning.”

City Commissioner Tony Ortiz, whose southeast district is heavily Hispanic, spoke of love and lives that were cut short, although his was the lone vote against same-sex marriage in the Orlando City Commission.

“Todos, todos, todos, todos somos hijos de Dios,” Ortiz said. “Todos somos seres humanos.” All of us are children of God. We are all human beings.

“Orlando United is more than a hashtag,” he added.

Indeed. First Baptist of Orlando is holding a vigil Tuesday, June 28, that will bring together followers of Orlando’s largest evangelical Hispanic churches, including Iglesia El Calvario and Fuente de Agua Viva, in an event titled ¡Amamos Orlando! (We Love Orlando) and headlined by Christian singer and pastor Marcos Witt.

Fuente de Agua Viva may livestream the event direct to Puerto Rico, where its parent church is based.

What: ¡Amamos Orlando!

When: Tuesday, June 28, at 7: 30 p.m. (Doors open at 6:30 p.m.)

Where: First Baptist Orlando, 3000 South John Young Parkway, Orlando

Cost: Free

˜˜Maria Padilla, Editor

Congressional District 9 Poll Lacks Credibility

downward arrow

Dena Grayson, formerly known as Dena Minning, is polling ahead of Darren Soto and Susannah Randolph in Congressional District 9 in which the three are running in the August Democratic primary, along with Valeri Crabtree and Carmelo García.

The poll, paid for by the Minning campaign committee Friends of Dena and conducted by Gravis Marketing, has Minning ahead by more than 40 points on Soto and an even greater lead on Randolph – although Minning has done virtually no campaigning in the district. Nada.

More important, more than half of those polled are undecided. All in a district that is 46 percent Latino and growing more so.

Congressional District 9

If Minning gets any recognition it is highly likely due to confusion over the Grayson name. She is recently married to Congressional Dist. 9  incumbent Alan Grayson, who is leaving his post to run for U.S. Senate seat held by Marco Rubio, who is running for re-election.

The Minning poll lacks credibility for other reasons as well. Pollster Doug Kaplan, president of Gravis Marketing, offers this so-called analysis:  “It appears that Dr. Dena Grayson is poised to win the Democratic nomination to be that party’s choice in the primary election, and she is doing so on her own merits.” (Italics mine.)

“Dr. Grayson has exceptional credentials to solve the problems and provide peace of mind to people who live in Central Florida,” Kaplan continued. Minning, who has never held elected office, is a medical doctor.

This is not polling. This is opinion masquerading as polling. And a clear effort to confuse voters.

As expected, State Senator Soto and Randolph, a former Grayson congressional staffer, ignored the poll.

According to Gravis Marketing, the poll sampled 554 registered Democratic voters in Florida’s 9th District from June 10 to 13 and contains a margin of error of plus or minus 4.2 percent. Published June 20, the poll was conducted using automated telephone calls and was weighted by voting demographics, according to Gravis.

˜˜Maria Padilla, Editor