Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

September 19, 2013


Host: José Cárdenas

Horizonte 10 Year Anniversary


  • Horizonte celebrates its 10th anniversary. Join us as we look back at issues covered on Horizonte in the past 10 years. We'll discuss immigration, politics, as well as arts and culture with guests co-chair for Real Arizona Coalition, Lisa Urias, attorney and past chairman for the National Council of La Raza, Daniel Ortega, Bettina Nava, with FirstStrategic Communications, John Loredo, political consultant and former Arizona lawmaker, and artist Zarco Guerrero.
Guests:
  • Lisa Urias - Co-chair, Real Arizona Coalition
  • Daniel Ortega - Past Chairman, National Council of La Raza
  • Bettina Nava - FirstStrategic Communications
  • John Loredo - Political Consultant & Former Arizona lawmaker
  • Zarco Guerrero - Artist
Keywords: immigration, politics, arts, culture,

View Transcript
José Cárdenas: Good evening. I’m José Cárdenas. Tonight, we celebrate the past 10 years of "Horizonte." From the debate on immigration reform and SB1070 in Arizona to bringing you analysis of politics in our state and covering the sights and sounds of Latino arts and culture in the valley. Join us as we look back on the 10 past years, coming up next on “Horizonte.”

Announcer: Funding for "Horizonte" is made possible by contributions by the friends of Eight, members of your Arizona PBS station.

José Cárdenas: Thank you for joining us. Welcome to "Horizonte’s" 10th anniversary special. "Horizonte” made its television debut here on Eight 10 years ago. The show has provided a forum for presenting important issues and stories through a Hispanic lens. One of those issues is immigration reform, where the show creates conversation and at times igniting strong opinions from both sides. Here’s a look at some past shows that focused on this issue.

SB1070 Video Clip:

Alfredo Gutierrez: Senator I really suggest you reread this. It averts the Constitution in two ways.

Senator Gould: I disagree.

Alfredo Gutierrez: In two ways, in two ways. That's one way it does it by staying you can on the basis of reasonable suspicion because the crime is the status of a person.

Senator Gould: Reasonable suspicion is what we operate under today.

Alfredo Gutierrez: If there is a crime. The crime today is an act.

Senator Gould: It says in the bill that you can't go after -- the immigration is not the primary crime.

Alfredo Gutierrez: It says in the bill that’s for harboring Senator, not necessarily --

Senator Gould: When I read it, it said --

Alfredo Gutierrez: You need to reread the bill, sir. Let me go --

Senator Gould: I don't think so.

Alfredo Gutierrez: Let me go --

Senator Gould: You're entitled to your opinion.

Protect Our City Initiative Video Clip:

Randy Pullen: So what you're saying is, so what you're saying that if there's a cost associated with dealing with illegal immigration in this country, we can’t afford that and we shouldn't do that, therefore we're not going to enforce that law, is that what you're telling me, Jay? Which other laws don't you want to enforce? Which other laws don’t you want to enforce?
Jay Jacobson: Let's spend that money incarcerating violent criminals, not the person standing on the corner whose only crime is being here without the proper paper work.

Anti-immigrant Sentiment in Arizona Video Clip:

Jorge Ramos: They are here to make this country even better.

José Cárdenas: What you heard this morning –

Jorge Ramos: It's shocking. I've been all over the country promoting my book and doing reports and I have not seen in any other state the kind of venom and prejudice that I've heard here in Arizona, I'm sorry to say that.

José Cárdenas: Here with me tonight are Lisa Urias, co-chair for Real Arizona Coalition, and president of Urias Communications. Also here is Danny Ortega, a valley attorney and past chairman for the national council of La Raza. Both of you have been on the show many times over the past 10 years. I'm delighted you could join us for this anniversary special. Let me start with the very last clip, Jorge Ramos. Was his opinion of Arizona valid at the time he gave it, which was about five years ago? And is it true today, about the level of anti-immigrant prejudice?

Danny Ortega: Well first of all, I think he was correct at the time when he said it. Clearly, my position is that there's more venom in this state when the legislature is in session because they fan that animosity, fan that terrible hate that he's talking about. But we also do have to give credit to the last two legislative sessions in which there have been tremendous victories at pushing back at these anti-immigration bills. The bottom line here is that things have gotten better. I don't know that they're going to stay the way they are now. But our hope is that it will.

José Cárdenas: Danny, how much of that change in sentiment is simply the result of the last presidential election where the Democrats did very well at the presidential and the Republicans seemed to realize if they're going to win the Hispanic votes, they've got to moderate their positions?

Danny Ortega: I think it had something to do with it José but I think what happened is we had some moderate Republicans who were finally able to convince their party that they represented their interests also and did it in a more reasonable way. I think it was a combination of both. The Republicans not necessarily reaching out to Hispanics but Republicans reaching out to moderates within their own districts that allowed them to do the things they did to block the kind of legislation that had the venom that Jorge has been talking about.

José Cárdenas: Lisa, the kind of exchanges that we saw between Alfredo Gutierrez and Senator Gould and we had Randy Pullen and Jay Jacobson; that was pretty typical for much of the last seven, eight years. You've been involved, as has Danny, with real Arizona coalition, a relatively recent effort to try to heal those divisions. Could you have started earlier and do you think you would’ve even been heard?

Lisa Urias: Well you know, in the very beginning, I remember with some of the major elections, including the governor's race with Terry Goddard and Governor Brewer were running at the time, I had written a piece about how really we saw this as a political three card monte. It was an unprincipled trick that politicians were using to take our eye off the ball of the real issues that we were confronting. There are a lot of significant issues in Arizona that we were confronting during the recession like economics and the economic development that we needed in this state. We had education issues and healthcare issues which we still have but, you know, using the immigration issue as the main issue to address what is really kind of an unprincipled trick by a lot of politicians in this state. So I think we could have maybe started earlier but I think we did step up a lot of the business community did step up to force the state legislature to stop the kind of bills that they had been enacting and to work with our senators and others at the federal level to say you need to enact federal immigration reform because we've got to resolve these issues.

José Cárdenas: Danny, more than once on the show when we've talked about these issues, you and other guests have indicated that we'll look back on this period in Arizona’s history as one of the most shameful periods in the history of the state. What's the long-term impact of this?

Danny Ortega: Well the long-term impact can be both good and bad José. The bad is the kind of venom and hate that permeated politics in this state and the division that it created between our communities. The good part is the activism that grew out of it, particularly in our community. We've never seen in the history of Arizona the kinds of increases in voter registration, the kinds of political participation, civic participation that came out of fighting back. And so, you know, I've always joked that probably the best two organizers we've ever had in the Latino community were Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Senator Russell Pearce. They were finally able to convince our community that they needed to get up, to register the vote, to take an active part in the political process to fight back, that that was the only way we were going to beat it back. On the one part, the division of the community wasn't good. On the other, talking to a community to say are you going to let this happen and they got up and said no. I think both of them had a lot to do with it.

José Cárdenas: Lisa, we are almost out of time literally just about 30 seconds. If federal immigration reform fails this time, do we revert to what we were?

Lisa Urias: Well I don’t know I think it's going to pass. Whether it passes this session or not it will pass eventually, because of the activism.

José Cárdenas: You're optimistic about the future?

Lisa Urias: I absolutely am.

José Cárdenas: We'll have you both on this show again to talk about this as we go into our next 10 years. Thank you so much for joining us tonight.

Lisa Urias: Thank you.

Horizonte Video Clip:

Mike Sauceda: "Horizonte" got started with a call from one of the top administrators at ASU and he wanted us to do a show about and for the Hispanic community, talking about Hispanic issues. So at that point we got set into motion and the first thing we did is we got together a committee of channel Eight people, and then also a committee of people from the community, the Hispanic community.

Mary Rose Wilcox: I watch "Horizonte" because I see people that I wouldn't see anywhere else. When I see people who come on who are educators from our community, when I see people who are politicians from our community, you won't see them on the major networks. You might see them once in a blue moon but you won't see them on a basis such as José brings people forward.

Paul Charlton: The topic that I am most appreciative is the focus that "Horizonte" has on immigration. It's a topic that I think is one of the most significant civil rights issues of our generation. "Horizonte" has spent a great deal of time on a topic that usually invites people to lose themselves in emotion and sometimes fear.

Edmundo Hidalgo: People watch "Horizonte" because of the depth of coverage that he provides not only with José Cárdenas and his credibility in our community but also the fact that people come to hear the facts and not the emotion about the various facts that are being covered. For its many years of service and many years being in the air, there's always been topics that are high impact and high visibility, as well as social issues that many times are not covered on many other stations.

José Cárdenas: Arizona’s political landscape has changed over the past 10 years. Take a look at some of the issues we have covered. The recall election against Senator Russell Pearce. Former Mesa Police Chief George Gascon criticizing the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and the ethnic studies bill becoming law.

Senator Pearce Recall Election Video Clip:

George Gascon: This election is a complete farce. Organized by outside forces, paid for by outside forces.

José Cárdenas: What basis do you have? The numbers that came out in The Republic indicate that Lewis' support is mostly Mesa and Pearce has substantial outside support, exactly the opposite of what you just said?

George Gascon: But the initiation of this whole movement in the first place, why did they not try to win in a prior election when it actually mattered? Where is the actual need for this recall? Is it unprecedented?

Carmen Guerrero: I take issue with that because you are the problem that we have. 10,300 Mesa residents and voters in District 18 are the ones who signed the recall petition.

Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Criticism Video Clip:

There's horror stories upon horror stories about malpractice and policing within the Maricopa County Sherriff’s Office and yet you know he continues to get a pass and you have people that genuinely believe that he's the only one doing anything about crime. How they reached that conclusion is really something that I have no way of explaining.

Ethics Studies Law Video Clip:

One of their basic textbooks is called the “Pedagogy of the Oppressed.” These kid’s parents and grandparents came to the country most of them legally because this is the land of opportunity and these kids should be taught this is the land of opportunity and if they work hard they can achieve whatever they want, they should not be taught that they’re oppressed and they should be angry at the country that has become their country.

I actually used that same textbook and I teach a college course and I use that very textbook, “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” by Paulo Freire. It’s an amazing textbook and I think perhaps if you read it, you would feel differently about it.

He's a well-known Brazilian communist.

He’s not communist at all.

His sources are Marx –

José Cárdenas: Here with me tonight is Bettina Nava, partner at First Strategic Communications Public Affairs firm. Also here is John Loredo, Democratic political consultant and former Arizona lawmaker. John, since you were in the legislature, is the statement we made at the beginning of the statement that the political landscape has changed true on a long-term basis or just a lull? Tom Horne is still an elected official. Senator Pearce got booted out but you've got movements now against the moderate Republicans, they may not last. The next election, George Gascon is gone because he didn't get the support he thought he needed here.

John Loredo: I think you're always going to have politicians who use race-based politics for their own benefit and their own advantage because they're going to get their face on TV and because it's easy for them to rile up their small bases. But what has changed is the Latino community. They have become more empowered as a result of these attacks. They have organized and they have fought back and at the end of the day, they've been successful in playing a major part in recalling Russell Pearce, pushing back against Arpaio and they have become a player in competitive districts as well. So the backlash I think is what we're seeing right now and that backlash is not going to go away. It's only going to get worse and worse for those that target the Latino community for their own political self-interest.

José Cárdenas: Bettina are you as confident in that prediction that John just made?

Bettina Nava: I don't know about backlash. I think a lot of it is the potential of the Latino community is to be realized because if you look at the Arizona population under age of 18, 45 percent of it is Latinos. And so our kids are just growing up right now. So really how that's going to be realized, do I think it's going to be politically powerful? Absolutely. The pendulum is swinging and we need to be aware of the haboob that's coming in with a Latino voter and pay attention to it.

José Cárdenas: That's a word you're not supposed to use according to some of the people on the far right; and I’m referring to haboob. Do you think that what we're seeing right now, it's reflected principally in this movement of moderate Republicans who voted for the governor’s support for Obamacare sort to speak, doesn't that signal, though, that we're going to end up with a much more conservative legislature next election?

Bettina Nava: No, not necessarily. When you think about it, to a certain degree, some of the response may be the demographic shifts but a lot of it is economic messages that we're finally getting smarter about people, how do they vote for better or worse with their pocket books so we've been better about whether it's Medicaid expansion, Medicare expansion, and/or the Latino vote is really talking in terms of business related. You saw the chamber really stepping up with candidates. So I don't think it's indicative that we're going to have a more conservative legislature at all.

José Cárdenas: John what about that? It does seem like people have been targeted and they will be swept out of office because they're moderate Republicans.

John Loredo: That happens but the real issue here is how the districts are comprised. Now with the redistricting that just went through, there are more competitive districts and in those competitive districts we're seeing much more moderate people be elected, whether they be on the democratic side or the Republican side. We've known for a long time that when people have to actually compete to get elected. You wind up with more moderate people. Those people who are the most extreme are also the safest and they're in those districts for a reason. So I think the more the demographics change, the more electorate becomes more of a persuasion type of an electorate where you can get either side elected. It will push people more towards the middle and with a growing organic Latino vote in Arizona, it's going to happen, it's going to happen. It is inevitable that this state will become more moderate and eventually go become more democrat.

José Cárdenas: Bettina last question. You're one of those moderate Republicans. You also give political advice. What would you tell your Republican colleagues they have to do if they want to remain relevant in Arizona politics?

Bettina Nava: I think we need to listen to the demographic shifts, do what's right. I think we need to really look at getting back to our roots of being less of a social conservative party and really looking at allowing people to live the American dream, whether it's owning a small business and getting government out of the way and figuring out a system by which people can make a living and feed their families, and I think if we do that, that's the attractive message, that's the party of Lincoln. And I think if we do that, it's going to be far more attractive than maybe a few people that have been the squeaky wheels, some of these people that you just showed, you showed nothing controversial tonight, really don't represent a lot of it. It's about who we're getting out to vote and who's getting out to vote, older people over the age of 65.

José Cárdenas: I'm getting close to that so I'm a little sensitive on that issue. But Bettina, John thanks for joining us. Lucid opinions as you’ve always given us over the past 10 years. Thank you so much. We'll see you again I'm sure.

John Loredo & Bettina Nava: Thank you.

Horizonte Video Clip:

Ed Pastor: "Horizonte" is very varied. It provides many opportunities. It can provide political issues and have people who know the Latino perspective on those issues or it talks about cultural events that are only known in the Hispanic community but the public should know about them or it brings in some of the problems that we find in our community and exposes them to the general public. "Horizonte" is there as an advocate and also as an informer, not only to the Hispanic community but to the community at large.

Lydia Guzman: "Horizonte" has been a very powerful tool for not only myself but for others. I've often recommended "Horizonte" to other up-and-coming young leaders. We have so many. The dreamers, kids that are coming out of high school, I've always recommended "Horizonte," if you want to know what's happening in Arizona, if you want to know what's happening in this state, watch "Horizonte." Be well informed.

Ruben Hernandez: I know José Cárdenas very well as a professional and as a friend. And he once told me that the great value of "Horizonte" is that it invites Latinos from all walks of life to come and give their different opinions and important information. He said Latinos are stereotyped too often. I believe that "Horizonte" truly reflects the diversity of who we are as Latinos. And he's right.

Alfredo Gutierrez: The people watching "Horizonte" are folks who are making decisions, folks who are leaders in the arts, leaders in politics, leaders in business. It's a program influential way beyond the size of its audience.

José Cárdenas: Sounds of Cultura SOC is a segment where national and local Latino artists are featured. In the past we have interviewed Edward James Olmos and Cheech Marin.

Edward James Olmos: At the beginning I mean, Elvis came out around 55', 56' and going from listening to Pat Boone and, you know, that kind of Lawrence Welk kind of music and very orchestrated kind of love and marriage, love and -- that kind of music to shake rattle and roll. I said shake, rattle and roll. Everybody went nuts and kids loved it. The adults hated it. It was noise to them but the kids found the rhythm and pretty soon it was infectious. Very infectious.

José Cárdenas: We've talked about the Mexican influences on Chicano art. What about the Mexican murals?

Cheech Marin: Most of the painters came out of that tradition of the mural, and it was a social form of art. Largely for literate audiences and in Mexico, the murals stood in for political awareness.

José Cárdenas: Here now with me to talk about arts and culture is artist Zarco Guerrero, himself a frequent subject of our SOC segments. Zarco, good to have you back on the show. This segment has always been my favorite for a whole bunch of reasons. I like artistic people because I'm not one myself. What do you view as the significance of this segment? You've been on many, many times.

Zarco Guerrero: Well, it's interesting to me to have such people as Edward Olmos and Cheech Marin on the show because they've become icons, not only within our community as the Chicano community but on a national scale. They represent who we are, people look at them as Chicanos, not as Hispanics, as Latinos. Chicano is a term that they evoke constantly and use to describe who they are and who we are as a people and a culture, and I think that's what really makes it important for me is the terminology that we used. Without them, the term Chicano I think would be totally lost in the scope of things today.

José Cárdenas: I think you're undervaluing and underestimating your own impact here because you've been on the scene locally and nationally for many, many years and one of the things that I remembered most about one of our segments was your report on your trip to China and the similarity in cultural traditions there and with Chicano culture here.

Zarco Guerrero: Well, you know that's true. You know, people could see the term Chicano as being something that limits us within a certain scope, a certain way of seeing the world. But to me and many other artists I think of my generation; we feel that the term Chicano is a term of liberation that opens us up to other cultures, other ideas, other philosophies. And I think that's the kind of thing that the arts need to do. I think it's very important that we define who we are but by defining who we are, it opens up new doors, new windows of opportunity and new ways to see the world.

José Cárdenas: Now, the last 10 years have been very difficult for everybody, put the arts in particular, budgets have been slashed and people have suffered because of it. What do you think has been the impact and what's the future of the arts in Arizona?

Zarco Guerrero: Well, you know, people dismiss Arizona has being a cultural wasteland because of the political environment we've been in because of the last five to ten years; we're ground zero for the immigration debate. But they forget the fact that we're not only ground zero for the immigration debate but also the fact that we’re ground zero for positive social change, you know. We got together, we mobilized and we recalled Russell Pearce. That was an historic event, and I think the arts played a big part in keeping people motivated, keeping people inspired, and keeping people in the midst of the struggle in a celebratory mood and I think it's created unity amongst us, despite the terms we use to describe ourselves, during the marches, during the campaigns. We came together across party lines, across racial lines and that was important. I think we need to be given credit for that nationally.

José Cárdenas: And in many ways, it brings back memories of the role that the royal Chicano Air Force played back in the farmworkers movement; group of artists who created silk screens and other pieces of original art to promote the cause of the farmworkers.

Zarco Guerrero: Exactly. That's what he saw going on here in Arizona during the SB1070 movement. You saw the birth, the resurgence of a new form of passion, of commitment to a social cause. You saw people come out of the shadows and march in the streets and I saw people who never considered themselves to be artists or artistic or creative who were inspired by the social political movement that became a cultural movement, as well.

José Cárdenas: We've only got about 30 seconds left. What do you see coming along in the next 10 years?

Zarco Guerrero: I see the fact that the world is changing every day. Just the whole Ms. America pageant. I see Ms. America, she's one of us, she's the face of America, the face of America is changing, and I think we're changing it not only in the visual arts, the performing arts but it's happening in the media, as well, the face of America is changing and we can't help but notice the difference.

José Cárdenas: Zarco, a dear friend and a great artist, thank you for joining us on "Horizonte." Thank you for inviting us into your homes for the last 10 years. A special thanks to all of those who have made "Horizonte" possible, the guests over the years, the directors, the student television crew, and everyone here at Eight. And we hope you’ll continue to watch "Horizonte" as we embark on our second decade. Now, that’s our show for tonight. I’m José Cárdenas. Have a good evening.

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