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Houstonian Corner (V9-I14)

March 29, 2007 by  


Rally For Working People

There was a March & Rally organized by the Coalition of the Working People and the Poor. The demonstration attracted a diverse crowd of approximately 200-400 people. After a short march the crowd convened at the steps of City hall to chant and hear speeches by community activists and politicians. The raucous chants of the crowd advocated raising the federal minimum wage, healthcare for all, and adequate funding of human needs programs.

Many of the speeches were quite poignant and the crowd responded enthusiastically. Judge Al Green said that we need to start helping out “the least, the last, and the lost.” He noted that the federal poverty line for a single parent with a child is $13,000, while the yearly minimum wage is just $10,000.

Bishop James Dixon emotionally decried the disparities in this country. “There is a group of children” he said, “that worry about baseball and soccer practice while there is another group of children that worry about whether or not the lights will still be on when they get home.” He also stated that minimum wage has been set for 10 years while inflation has risen by 27% in the same period.

The City of Houston Councilperson Peter Brown declared that “more and more Houston is becoming a city of the haves and the have-nots.” He noted that a quarter of Houston children are at or below the poverty line. There were also rousing speeches by Carol Alvarado, Robert Mohammed, Herb Rothschild and others.

One subject that was not mentioned was transportation for low-income people. Given that one-way trips on Metro commonly take upwards of 2 hours a case can be made that Houston’s transportation situation perpetuates the cycle of poverty. Well, only so many pressing issues can be squeezed into one rally.

Pakistan Consulate Organized National Day Event

The 67th National Day was observed with traditional zeal and fervor worldwide by Pakistanis. The Consulate General of Pakistan in Houston celebrated with expatriates Pakistanis as a day to make resolution of making the home country a strong, progressive and enlightened state.

National flag of Pakistan was hoisted by Consul General G. R. Baluch and Community Dignitaries. He introduced to those present the glamorous exhibits of “Ten Thousand Villages”: A project which markets the handicrafts and of tens and thousands of artisans across the globe including Pakistan. For more information of this outstanding program, one can visit http://www.villageshouston.org/

Consul General G. R. Baluch later on read the special messages of President General Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shukat Aziz. The gist of the messages was that Founder of the Nation Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah dreamt of a Pakistan that was moderate, developed, prosperous and strong. It is as such obligation of present day Pakistanis to turn this dream into reality, and pledge it to the nation to take Pakistan to the stage, as was visualized by Quaid-e-Azam and Poet of Pakistan Allama Muhammad Iqbal. The country’s Armed Forces are combating the threats of extremism and terrorism, whether it was in FATA or in Balochistan.

For more information on Pakistan Consulate General, please visit 11850 Jones Road – Houston – Texas 77070.

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