There is only one way to describe what happened in D.C. today and that is HISTORICAL. After waking up at 3am on Friday to catch an early flight to D.C. from Denver, we had a lay over in Chicago and arrived in D.C. at around 4:30pm. As I arrived before the pilgrimage bus did I helped take care of logistics and check people in to their rooms. Going into Saturday, after getting only 2 hours of sleep we started out taking about 80 PICO leaders to a press breakfast where allies and elected officials gathered to share testimonies and support for Comprehensive Immigration Reform. After the breakfast we split up with half of our delegation going to a mass at St. Aloysius and the other half heading to the staging rally before heading to the main rally. I took a group of leaders to the staging rally where Reverend Jesse Jackson, Dr. Cornell West, and other community members shared testimony including a leader from PICO which was by far the best testimony of all. As we left, I went with Sandy Diaz a leader from BOCA in Berkeley and Mabel from BOCA in order to prep them for their role on stage at the main rally. Over 500,000 people gathered to participate in this rally including a diversity of ethnic communities as well as geographic communities. While at this same time the healthcare discussion in the building just across the way was heating up and getting ready to come to a vote. At the end of the day we saw healthcare reform finally passed and witnessed one of the largest and diverse immigration rallies we’ve seen since 2006. After this long journey that took less than a week I am ready to go home and share my experience with others and continue to battle locally for CIR. I will attach more pictures when I get home but for now here are a few.
Eddie Carmona, Lead Community Organizer, OCCCO