It's hard to believe that we're already in the middle of honoring Latinx Heritage Month. As the first Latinx to have been elected to serve on the Minneapolis City Council, I couldn't let this stone go unturned.
This month I wanted to take some time to pause and reflect on the significant contributions that Latinx and immigrant families have bestowed upon our local community by highlighting a few stories, acts of communion, and togetherness. I hope you can lend me your ear.
Las Mujeres de Mercado Central
It's not a new thing that Latinx womyn hold it down. But this time, they put out the fires before they even started. In the days of civil unrest following the cruel killing of Mr. George Floyd, a handful of Latina youth and mujeres stayed up night after night guarding and protecting their life's legacy at Mercado Central. Some as young as 16 years old, some as old as the hands that helped to birth us. Over the span of several nights and weeks, the mujeres were able to fend off every attempt to hurt the Mercado including turning off all of the gas ranges in the various kitchens of the restaurants that an intruder had turned on to light the Mercado on fire. While this story is no secret, it surely will take a while to be captured in a bronze statue or the history books of our children. In the meantime, if you walk into Mercado Central, you'll be able to catch a glimpse of it all in the ojos cargados and resolute smiles of the mujeres who carry Lake Street.
Early on since the beginning of the pandemic, my office began convening a large group of Latinx leaders, organizations, and individuals to gather every Monday via Zoom to ensure that public policies were not neglecting the needs and experiences of undocumented families who were also being negatively impacted by the coronavirus. This organizing infrastructure we built together over weeks served us well to mobilize and document the needs of the people of Lake Street the days after the civil unrest. Working with Latino Lead, we were able to write and publicize a demand for $1 Billion dollars in State recovery aid for Lake Street. These powerful and centering voices helped us all to collectively stand when we fell down, reminding us that our palabra is the auditory pragmatism of the corazón.
Hundreds, and hundreds, and hundreds of Latinx families and children have been able to rely on a healthy and steady source of nourishment throughout the summer thanks to the dedication of a partnership between the City of Minneapolis, Second Harvest, and the Twin Cities Food Group. The City of Minneapolis' Neighborhood and Community Relations Latino Liaison Mariano Espinoza has boldly spearheaded this consistent effort with the help and support of the City's Homegrown Minneapolis and Health Department teams. This moment of Friday togetherness helps connects community members to organic, nutritious, and regular access to food. We are thankful for this abundance and the kind generosity of the partners who continue to make this one of the largest and longest standing food-distributions of the pandemic summer.
This Friday's food drop-off will be extra special as members of the City's Latinx Employee Resource Group join us at Powderhorn Park to honor Latinx Heritage Month by helping to provide food for families while filling out the Census, I hope you can join us! Set up begins at 10:00 a.m., meet us at the Powderhorn Park Recreation Center parking lot.
For Latinx Heritage Month, we stand with every one of these luchadoras y luchadores.
Seguimos en la lucha,