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2017 National Events:

2017 Conference Information | 2017 MY Conf. Report | 2017 Resolutions | Chairwoman Report |

Commander Reports | Conference Photos  | 2017 S.A. Midyear


Update: 2017 National Conference in Albuquerque July 19-22

American GI Forum of Texas Inc. Report: (ALBUQUERQUE, NM) The 2017 National Conference is now history. Angel Zuniga Was reelected National Commander and Patsy Vazquez Contes, past chairwoman was elected National Chairwoman in a close race over incumbent Chair Felicita Lugo. More on the new Board and on the elections below.

The Conference was called to order by Commander Angel Zuniga on Friday, July 21, 2017 at 9:00 am at an opening breakfast.

After the opening ceremonies, the business of the organization began with the first reading of the Conference Rules by Jesse Aguilera followed by committee appointments. The following were appointed: Credentials, Ernesto Montoya; Resolutions, Jake Alarid; Constitution Amendments, Juan Mireles; Awards, Jose Olivas; and Albert Gonzales was appointed as Nominations and election Chair.

The Minutes, Treasurer’s Report, State and National Officers’ Reports and final Credentials reports were given and approved. Twelve resolutions were presented to the assembly. Most significantly were: a Resolution presented by several states asking that the American GI Forum of the United States endorse and support Veterans for New Americans, a national coalition of veterans to support immigration policies that will strengthen national security, enhance military readiness and support immigrant service members and veterans, as well as immigrant family members of all who serve or served and ensure all immigrant service members and veterans are treated with full dignity and respect as new Americans. This Resolution was unanimously passed.

Another resolution was to endorse and support, using all resources in an effort by Texas and the Miguel Hernandez Chapter to nominate American GI Forum National Outreach Program President and CEO Carlos Martinez for the Presidential Medal of Freedom. This Resolution was unanimously passed. A list of all resolutions will be published in another article by Mr. Jake Alarid. 

Election of Officers were held and the results are: reelected National Commander was Mr. Angel Zuniga from Corpus Christi, Texas; Mr. Russel Lopez from Denver Colorado was elected Vice Commander; Ms. Myrna Chavarria, from San Antonio, Texas was elected Secretary; Ms. Pat Marrero from Pueblo Colorado was elected Treasurer and Mario Perales from Fort Stockton Texas was elected Sgt-at-Arms.

The women elected Mrs. Patsy Vazquez Contes from Pueblo, Colorado the new National Chair; Sylvia Garza from San Marcos, Texas was elected Vice Chair; Rebecca Lugo from Detroit, Michigan was elected Secretary; and Laura Flores from 5281 in Denver, Colorado was elected Treasurer.

A report on the 2018 National Conference was given by Texas CEO Gil Rodriguez and Texas CFO Lupe Rodriguez. Details are in a separate article. The 2018 National Conference will celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the American GI Forum of the U.S. and Texas.

Updates on Lawsuits were discussed in closed session. Discussion on Lifetime Annual Dues, membership cards, SER appointments, administrative policies, and submission of 990’s to National office. This report will be published on an update by our National Commander.


Summary of Resolutions Passed at The American GI Forum National Conference at Albuquerque, NM

By Jake Alarid Resolution Chairman

American GI Forum of Texas Inc. Report: Albuquerque, NM – Below is a summary of the Resolutions that were passed at the National Conference in Albuquerque. The complete resolutions are being forwarded to the National Commander and Secretary. 

Most of these Resolutions are self-explanatory as to how they should be forwarded to appropriate entities. They are to be signed by National Commander Angel Zuniga and National Secretary Myrna Chavarria and placed on official Letterhead and Logo from the National Office. The National Commander's name and address appears on top of the resolution letterhead. 

1)    Resolution to support LULAC to upgrade the Distinguished Service Cross Medal to Congressional Medal of Honor to SGT. Willie Estrada who was killed in Korea while engaged in combat against 1,700 enemy forces.

2)    Resolution to support “Veterans for New America” an influential group of veterans representing each of the military branches and veteran service organizations who support a bipartisan solution to immigration for non-citizen military service members and their families.

3)    New Agent Orange Presumptions resolution highlighting the U.S. Institute of Medicine (IOM) Congressional Research Report which shows five additional medical conditions which meet the rigorous standards of probability and causation due to environmental exposures in the Republic of Vietnam.  Those conditions are: hypothyroidism, bladder cancer, stroke hypertension, and Parkinson –like conditions.

4)    Resolution nominating Carlos Martinez to be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  Mr. Carlos Martinez has guided the National Veterans Outreach Program (NVOP) since 1978 into a multi-million-dollar corporation composed of seven interlocking corporations providing veteran services.  During his tenure as CEO the NVOP has served over 450,000 veterans.

5)    Resolution recommending the need to increase Mexican American and Latino Museums to show the history and contributions by Mexican American’s and Latino’s in our Nation’s history and all our nations wars.

6)    Resolution recommending action by major networks and cable television to improve mass media presence of Mexican Americans on prime-time television.  While Latino Population is approximately 17.4 percent of U.S. population only 5.8 percent have speaking roles during prime time in Television.

7)    Resolution against human trafficking of children which are exploited for sex and labor.  The AGIF will support awareness programs which educate the public to protect and prevent.

8)    Resolution against educational vouchers and privatization of public schools and that the national Commander will appoint an education committee that will be vigil of national, state and local education policies

9)      Squadron 201, the Mexican Fighter Squadron, who fought side by side with American Forces, in the Philippines, during WWII has never been publically acknowledged by the U.S. Congress.  The American GI Forum recommends that the President of the U.S. honor Squadron 201 by, awarding them the Congressional Gold Medal.

Other resolutions were submitted to the Resolutions Committee and were either combined with a similar resolution or were rejected because they were directed at a state level and were not addressing a national agenda.


National Commander Reports on AGIF-US 69th Annual National Conference Albuquerque, NM

Americn GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – The 2017 National Conference concluded with seven new people elected to the National Executive Board. Returning to the Executive Board are Angel Zuniga, Corpus Christi, TX, as National Commander, Russell Lopez, Wheat Ridge, CO, moves up to National Vice Commander from National Secretary and Jasmine Vigil, Detroit, MI, resumes as National Youth Chair. Newly elected to the board are Myrna Chavarria, San Antonio, TX, National Secretary, Patricia L. Marrero, Pueblo, CO, National Treasurer, Mario Perales, Ft Stockton, TX, National Sgt-at-Arms. Newly elected for the women are Patsy Vasquez-Contes, Pueblo, CO, National Chairwoman, Sylvia Garza, San Marcos, TX, Vice Chairwoman, Rebecca Lugo, Detroit, MI, Women’s Secretary and Laura Flores, Denver, CO, Women’s Treasurer.

The Conference opened on Thursday, July 20th, with the National Veterans Outreach Program followed the Hispanic Education Foundation (HEF). Mr. Jake Alarid emerged as the new head of the HEF. Mr. Alarid has held numerous positions in the AGIF, including National Commander, California State Commander and the Camino Real Commander in Whittier, CA.

On Friday, after the opening activities and committee assignments the National Board started the business of the organization’s business with the Officer’s Reports just after the Youth Luncheon and Scholastic Achievement Contest.  

The Commander’s Banquet was held in the evening with keynote speaker Mr. Cid Wilson, CEO and President of the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility.

Saturday, July 23, nine resolutions were presented to the general assembly and unanimously passed. In summary as follows:

1)  Resolution to support  LULAC to upgrade the Distinguished Service Cross Medal to Congressional Medal of Honor to SGT. Willie Estrada who was killed in Korea while engaged in combat against 1,700 enemy forces. 

2)  Resolution to support “Veterans for New America” an influential group of veterans representing each of the military branches and veteran service organizations who support a bipartisan solution to immigration for non-citizen military service members and their families.

3)  New Agent Orange Presumptions resolution highlighting the U.S. Institute Of Medicine (IOM) Congressional Research Report which shows five additional medical conditions which meet the rigorous standards of probability and causation due to environmental exposures in the Republic of Vietnam.  Those conditions are: hypothyroidism, bladder cancer, stroke hypertension, and Parkinson –like conditions. 

4)  Resolution nominating Carlos Martinez to be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  Mr. Carlos Martinez has guided the National Veterans Outreach Program (NVOP) since 1978 into a multi-million dollar corporation composed of seven interlocking corporations providing veteran services.  During his tenure as CEO the NVOP has served over 450,000 veterans.

5)  Resolution recommending the need to increase Mexican American and Latino Museums to show the history and contributions by Mexican American’s and Latino’s in our Nation’s history and all our nations wars.

6)  Resolution recommending action by major networks and cable television to improve mass media presence of Mexican Americans on prime time television.  While Latino Population is approximately 17.4 percent of U.S. population only 5.8 percent have speaking roles during prime time in Television.

7)  Resolution against human trafficking of children which are exploited for sex and labor.  The AGIF will support awareness programs which educate the public to protect and prevent.

8)  Resolution against educational vouchers and privatization of public schools and that the national Commander will appoint an education committee that will be vigil of national, state and local education policies

9)  Squadron 201, the Mexican Fighter Squadron, who fought side by side with American Forces, in the Philippines, during WWII, has never been publically acknowledged by the U.S. Congress.  The American GI Forum recommends that the President of the U.S. honor Squadron 201 by, awarding them the Congressional Gold Medal.

One Constitution Amendment in regard to Youth qualification age for serving as an officer was presented for a final reading. It was voted and passed. 

Other items discussed were the AGIF Website, EIN, filing of 990’s, prompt payments, reports, membership cards, and reimbursements. 

The Women’s Luncheon followed with keynote speaker Master Sergeant Karen L. Nielsen, USAF (retired).

The general session continued with a discussion to clarify lifetime and annual membership dues. The lifetime membership dues were set to $250.00 by a motion approved by the conference.

Updated the 2018 Veterans Day National Committee Reception to held at the Women’s Memorial in Washington DC.

The conference concluded with the election of officers for 2017-18. 


2017 National Conference

 


 

A Message from the Natioanl Chairwoman
National Chairwoman Thanks the Prior Administration for Their Dedication to the American GI Forum of the U.S.

American GI Forum of Texas Inc. Report: Pueblo CO – "I would like to take this opportunity to thank the prior administration for their dedication to the American GI Forum of the United States (AGIF) and for volunteering their time to serve as national board members of this organization." said Patsy Vazquez Contes, newly elected National Chairwoman. 

"I’ve have learned that businesses need three things to succeed: management skills, money to finance and grow, and markets/ patrons to serve.  These three needs must correspond with the primary responsibilities of our nonprofit board: long range strategic planning, fundraising, and policy development. Funding and financial accountability is our board’s next major responsibility to those we serve. Lead in giving.  This plan will allow the board to say to our sponsors, volunteers and donors, Join me in supporting this worthy cause.”

"Our mission is to serve veterans their families and deserving students with scholarships and educational incentives that will provided them with skills to enter today’s workforce that will allow families to live the American Dream.

"As national chairwoman, the newly elected board will revisit our organizations’ vision for the future.  As we set our upcoming goals as a team, specific tasks, action steps, will be assigned to individual board members. Deadlines on action steps will be set and respected. 

"Our first individual homework assignment is to do the research needed to help us make informed decisions.  The following steps will be followed, the results of board members work will be shared with other board members well in advance of the upcoming meeting so they have time to process the information you shared among them. Good information and ideas will be all around the table when each member arrives enters at each meeting. Being prepared in key to successful meeting. 

"Lastly, as we build the markets we serve by being the kind of organization people trust, an organization that consistently meet the needs of those we serve. Continuity in good business practices that builds trust that will allow the organization to be the premier family veterans organization across the country.

"To the entire re-elected and newly elected national board thank you for volunteering to serve as board members.  Congratulations to each one of you!

"Again welcome to our team!  “Together we can champion for our veterans, their families and deserving students” she concluded.

Warm regards,

Patsy M. Vazquez-Contes
AGIF National Chairwoman


2017 National Conference in Albuquerque Set for July 19-22, 2017

American GI Forum of Texas Inc. Report: (ALBUQUERQUE, NM) Tony Morales and Barbara Olivas, National Conference Co-Chairs have informed us that the 2017 Conference Headquarters will be at Hotel Albuquerque in Old Town Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Hotel is located at 800 Rio Grande Blvd, NW. Room Rates for the Hotel are $91.00 King and $91 Double. Deadline for these rates is June 30, 2017. After that date rooms will be on space available basis at available rates.

Registration is set at $200 for Adult members, $160.00 for youth members and guests or non-members I will be at $250. Deadline for these rates is June 30, 2017 After that date the rates will increase to $225 for Adult Members, $195 for Youth and $275 for non-member guests. Registration Forms CLICK HERE. View Agenda Here.

Registration includes Thursday Lunch and Evening Reception; Friday Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner; and a Saturday Luncheon.

Information on speakers, seminars and other events will be posted as they are finalized.

Hotel Reservations may be made directly with the Hotel by calling (505) 843-6300. Mention that you are an AGIF Guest or Delegate.  You may mail your Conference registration checks payable to: 2017 AGIF National Conference, P.O. Box 952, Ulysses, KS 67880.

If you need more information contact Barbara Olivas at (620) 356-4070 or (620) 575-6138.


Summary Report: 2017 National Mid-Year American GI Forum Conference in San Antonio, Texas March 24 – 25, 2017

By State Commander John Martinez

The American GI Forum of the United States 69th Annual Mid-Year Conference held on March 23-25, 2017 at the Double Tree in San Antonio, Texas started with many business issues to be discussed.

On Thursday, March 23, 2017 the AGIF National Veterans Outreach Program Board of Directors and the Hispanic Education Foundation met at the Double Tree to discuss issues related to their program.

On Friday, after the Conference call to order and the Posting of colors, official prayer, and Pledge of Allegiance, the meeting started on time on Friday morning, March 24. Following the agenda with the general session, the conference rules were voted on, committee assignments appointed, 2016 National Conference minutes read, officers’ reports given, resolutions read, and Committee chair assignment for 2017 National Conference, the assembly recessed for breakout sessions.

On Saturday, after the recess, the assembly discussed the AGIF National website, EINs State Commanders submit to National Office, filing of 990’s status report, Lifetime and Annual Dues, Executive Director, the 2018 Veterans Day National Committee, and that we voted to go to Reno, Nevada for the 2018 Mid-Year Conference to be hosted by the California State Office. Recruiting and Strategic plans were also discussed. The Mid-Year Conference adjourned on time with an inspiring prayer from Jose Olivas, Kansas State Commander.

Special Notice: During the Conference, Mr. Noam Hassenfeld, a reporter from NPR asked to interview Texas Commander John Martinez and Texas CEO Gil Rodriguez on the lawsuit filed on behalf of the AGIF by MALDEF concerning the Normanna Cemetery Association refusal to allow burial of a Mexican American last year. He had earlier interviewed Marrisa Bono from MALDEF who was chief counsel on the lawsuit.

The case was settled out of court. MALDEF and the Normanna Cemetery Association informed a federal court in Corpus Christi, Texas Friday that the Normanna Cemetery Association agreed to have judgment entered against it in the case and further agreed to a permanent injunction prohibiting the Cemetery Association from denying burial to individuals based on race. 


Morales: 69th Annual National Mid-Year Conference to be March 23-25, 2017 in San Antonio, Texas

American GI Forum of Texas Inc. Report: FORT WORTH, TX –The Tarrant County Chapter will host the 2017 National Midyear Conference in San Antonio Texas on March 23-25, 2017 at the DoubleTree by Hilton San Antonio Downtown located at 502 W. Cesar Chavez Blvd.

This modern hotel is a 1-minute drive from Interstates 10 and 35, and a mile walk from the San Antonio River Walk. It is also within walking distance of El Mercado Shopping which includes several good Mexican or TexMex restaurants.

All rooms offer sophisticated decor and custom-designed beds, plus flat-screen TVs and Wi-Fi (fee). Suites add wet bars and separate sitting or dining areas. Some suites feature balconies. The rate for the AGIF will be $125.00 and will include breakfast for one person registered per room. For reservations the telephone number: 210-224-7155 Fax 210-257-6396

An all-day bistro-style restaurant and wine bar serves casual meals and offers outdoor seating. There's also a fitness center and an outdoor pool and patio. Additional amenities include 12 meeting rooms, a business center and a free downtown shuttle. Parking for guests and other attendees will be free.

“We looked hard to find the best place and accommodations we could in Texas to make this conference affordable and enjoyable.” Tony Morales, Conference Chair said, “and we have succeeded—There are a lot of interesting places to see within walking distance and there is a complimentary shuttle that will take within a 3-mile radius of the Hotel. I know you’ll be satisfied with the accommodations.”

The NVOP will meet at 9:00 am on Thursday and HEF will meet 3pm on the same day at a yet to be announced room. The Conference General Session will be called to order Friday morning and will continue through Saturday. A complete agenda will be available for all attendees.

Our Itinerary is: on Friday and Saturday Lunch will be served at noon. Dinner will be on your own throughout the Conference.  Registration for the Conference will be $150.00 for all delegates and guests. Registration and check may be mailed to Conference Chair Tony Morales at 5551 Vega Drive, Fort Worth, 76133. He can be contacted at (817) 781-8731 or (817) 346-9521. Additional information will be posted on this website as it is received. 


Mid-year Information and Registration

REGISTER HERE

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