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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Re my write-in candidacy for NACCS Chair-elect

Saludos on this first day of voting for the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies. This is also the day Selena died, but also, Cesar Chavez's birthday...

I believe that there is something wrong with an organization when much time and energy is expended on producing unopposed elections with unopposed candidates, which seems to be the case within NACCS, especially for the position of Chair-elect, especially in recent memory.

It should not be my responsibility to answer why that is the organization’s policy. I believe that people, including past and current members of the organization should ask the board, and specifically the leadership of the organization, why this is so. Additionally, I have been receiving questions as to why I was deemed ineligible, not once, but twice. I will post here the reason I was given this time for their decision and leave it up to the NACCS board and the permanent leadership to explain it, because a careful reading of the by-laws does not sustain the reason, especially when one considers NACCS’s past practices.

From: Carlos Guerrero
Date: March 19, 2015 at 11:12:28 AM CDT
To: Josie Mendez Negrete
Cc: Julia Curry , Roberto Rodriguez
Subject: Re: FW: Nominations for 2014-2015 Board

Josie and Roberto,

We just finished putting together the slate for the NACCS elections.

The Elections Committee considered Roberto's nomination, and we appreciate the nomination. In order to keep regional representation, the candidates for the open offices came from regions that do not have representation on the Board. Rocky Mountain has representation. Ed Muñoz, as secretary is part of the Rocky Mountain FOCO. The Election Committee invites Roberto's nomination next year.

Carlos Reyes Guerrero, Chair
National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies

(Carlos, a good friend and colleague is the chair, Josie is who nominated me and Julia is the long-time executive director of NACCS).

I believe that it is the board and the organization's leadership that should explain to the membership why I have been deemed ineligible, not once but at least twice. Both times, reasons were given to me that had nothing to do with the bylaws. Rather than me explain, I think it is their responsibility to explain both, why they produce unopposed elections, and why I have been deemed ineligible. I have been given reasons, but they do not appear to comport with the by-laws.

Regarding my write-in candidacy, such a procedure always creates the opposite of optimum conditions for holding competitive elections. In addition to all the normal disadvantages, the cutoff date for those wishing to vote was March 22. I was not given the go-ahead regarding my write-in candidacy until March 29. In effect, that gave me one day to campaign before the first day of balloting, with a small electoral base, because no member that has not paid their dues now is eligible to vote. This seems illogical in the sense that prior to a conference, that’s when many members pay their dues to be able to attend the conference. If this is standard practice within NACCS, perhaps they can accommodate because this is situation of their own doing, not mine. It seems that NACCS should be promoting the expansion of the electorate, thus expanding the membership. Again, I did not create this situation. As noted, I was duly nominated on time and I have been part of this discipline and organization virtually since its founding, at one capacity or another. If indeed I am unqualified or if the membership likes a different candidate, the membership can easily decide. I have no problem with that. If the NACCS leadership wanted to somewhat equalize this election, the board should permit its members, who have not paid dues, to be able to do so through this election, and be eligible to vote.

There is no valid reason stemming from the bylaws as to why I continue to be ruled ineligible (at least 3 times, I have been informed). I love this organization. I have never nominated myself for anything and the thing to note is that the candidate that does appear on the ballot is a great colleague, someone I respect. This holds true for the NACCS board and its leadership; we are all, long-time  friends and colleagues. So the issue is not the nominee, but a culture that has been created within the organization’s leadership. I am not asking to be appointed as the next chair-elect; rather, I am asking that the organization hold open and competitive elections, and to go by the by-laws when they rule nominees ineligible. I believe the membership should be trusted on these matters. Thanks for those who have been sending me messages and please continue sending them (for the moment) to my address at: or to my FB page. Thank you. If you would like to contact the board and its leadership, go to their FB page and leave a message there:

Here is the board as listed on the NACCS website, listed under: “contact us.” Also included here first is the NACCS leadership. Both can be found at: The organization’s bylaws can also be found here, via a link on the left side of page:

Julia E. Curry Rodriguez, Ph.D. 
San Jose State University
office: 408.924.5310

General Information or]
408-808-2097 - Kathryn Blackmer Reyes

Carlos Guerrero, Chair
Los Angeles City College
Nelia Olivencia, Chair Elect
University Wisconsin-Whitewater, emerita
vacant, Past Chair

Ed Muñoz, Secretary
University of Utah
Ann Marie Leimer, Treasurer
Midwestern State University
At Large Representatives
Irene Mata
Wellesley University
Armando Ibarra
University Wisconsin - Extension
Aureliano DeSoto
Metropolitan State University

Thanks & Sincerely
Roberto Dr. Cintli Rodriguez
1303 E. University Blvd # 20756
Tucson, AZ 85719--0521

Monday, March 30, 2015


Roberto Rodriguez, PhD – Write in Candidacy for the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies Chair-elect 2015

It’s not that I am declaring my write-in candidacy, but rather, this is at least the second time I’ve been nominated, but have been deemed to be ineligible by the NACCS board and its leadership. As a result, I have chosen to contest those rulings via the only recourse available: a write-in candidacy for Chair-elect for 2015. The following reasons are why I accepted the nomination from Josie Mendez-Negrete, past NACCS chair and professor at UTSA.

I have been committed to Raza Studies virtually since its beginnings. I was a member of MEChA since high school (1969-1972) and a member of MEChA and La Gente Newspaper at UCLA from 1972-1976. I attended my first NACCS conference as a 3rd year UCLA student at UT Austin in 1975. As a student, writer and scholar, I have been involved with the movement and discipline virtually since its inception. In the movement to defend and spread Ethnic Studies nationwide, I have been active in supporting our community’s right to our Culture, History, Identity, Language and Education (CHILE), including getting arrested, receiving death threats, testifying at the local school board, plus speaking before a  UN Forum. Additionally, I have been an active member of Raza Studies Now and Ethnic Studies Now:

·      I believe the focus of next year’s NACCS conference should examine the relationship between the organization, our communities and Indigeneity. We should do this not simply within ourselves but in relationship to other Indigenous peoples of the continent. The organization has examined everything else, and it has become the better for it. It is time to do this on an issue that is close to many of us within the organization and our communities. In part, that is why I took part in co-founding the Indigenous foco within NACCS several years ago. 2016 is critical. I believe NACCS, along with MEChA, MALCS and all the Calpolis (Kalpulis) and Peace and Dignity should meet together to examine the Census Bureau’s attempt to once again force an Hispanic [racial] identity upon us. If as a community we do not deal with this now, it will be too late for the 2020 Census.

·      I believe that NACCS should be a full-fledged human rights organization, at the service of our communities. With our communities being slaughtered virtually daily throughout the country and on the border, we as a body should be at the forefront, as human rights scholar activists in producing the research that will be helpful in assisting with creating solutions via studies and going to court, whether at the local, state, federal or international levels: (

·      I believe that NACCS should be at the forefront of expanding Raza Studies at colleges and universities nationwide and also at community colleges and K-12 schools also, and widening its scope, akin to what Tucson’s UNIDOS youth organization proposed in 2013; that we should teach Mexican American Indigenous Studies, and within it, all the other Ethnic Studies disciplines, including Gender and Women’s Studies, LGBT Studies and Middle Eastern Studies…. so that we can learn about each other as we struggle together: (

·      I believe that NACCS should always be a democratic organization and should always have open and competitive elections, always with choices as opposed to elections with unopposed candidates. I believe the organization should be moved in this direction, beginning this year.

This is the BIO, with minor corrections, that was submitted by Josie Mendez-Negrete to the NACCS Board when she submitted my nomination.

Roberto Rodriguez (Dr. Cintli) is an assistant professor at the Mexican American & Raza Studies Department at the University of Arizona. He is a longtime-award-winning journalist/columnist who received his Ph.D. in Mass Communications in 2008 from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He is the author of "Justice: A Question of Race," a book that chronicles his two police brutality trials, and, with Dr. Patricia Gonzales, he co-produced "Amoxtli San Ce Tojuan: a documentary on origins and migrations." He returned to the university as a result of a research interest that developed pursuant to his column writing concerning origins and migration stories of Indigenous peoples of the Americas. His current field of study is the examination of maiz culture, migration, and the role of stories and oral traditions among Indigenous peoples, including Mexican and Central American peoples. His book, "Our Sacred Maíz is Our Mother," was recently published (Fall, 2014) by the University of Arizona Press. He teaches classes on the history of maiz, Mexican/Chicano Culture and politics, and the history of red-brown journalism. Based on a class he co-created in 2003, a major digitized collection was inaugurated by the University Arizona Libraries: The History of Red-Brown Journalism. He currently writes for Truthout’s Public Intellectual Project and is working on a project, titled: "Smiling Brown: Gente de Bronce – People the Color of the Earth." It is a collaborative project on the topic of color and color consciousness. He is also writing a memoir on the topic of police abuse, torture and political violence: "Yolqui: A warrior summonsed from the spirit world." This book examines the history of official violence against Black-Brown-Indigenous peoples, tracing it back to 1492. His last major award was in 2013, receiving the national Baker-Clarke Human Rights Award from the American Educational Research Association, for his work in defense of Ethnic Studies.

NACCS has a procedure for write-in candidates. As in any election, a write in candidate starts at a decided disadvantage, but minimally this year, there will be a second candidate for chair-elect – a first in recent memory. To vote, you must have paid membership dues by March 22, 2015. Voting begins March 31, 2015.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Operation Streamline Finally on Trial - Mon March 16

Operation Streamline Finally on Trial

by Roberto Dr. Cintli Rodriguez

Nothing outside of Tucson's federal courthouse could prepare one for the peculiar court proceeding known as Operation Streamline.
As one enters the courtroom, on the left side, one sees some 60 to 65 brown men, all handcuffed with wrist, waist and ankle shackles. In the central part of the courtroom, in the front row, there are usually five to six brown women also similarly shackled. In that same section sit "their" attorneys. Whatever it is that these attorneys do in this courtroom, it has little to do with jurisprudence. At best, their presence, like that of the judges, lends "legitimacy" to a lawless proceeding.

The "operation" lasts approximately one hour, everyday at 1:30 pm. Once the farcical proceeding begins, and within an hour, the 70 or so defendants are charged, "tried," found guilty, sentenced and then sent to a for-profit detention center. Their crime: entering or re-entering the country without proper documentation. Each defendant, by the time of their "trial," will have spent a few minutes consulting with "their" attorneys. Deliberation, which is supposedly the hallmark of trials in democracies, is completely absent here.