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Report on 2016 State Conference in San Marcos

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: San Marcos, Texas – On June 10, 2016 at 9:00 am, Texas State Commander John Martinez called the 2016 State Conference to Order. The San Marcos Chapter of the American GI Forum of Texas hosted the 2016 Conference, "Equality + Education = Empowerment which took place June 9-11, 2012 at the Holiday Inn Hotel, San Marcos Texas. Randy Padilla and his committee hosted the first conference at the New Holiday Inn just completed in time for the Conference.

Local Tour and Luncheon
After the opening ceremonies, Commander John Martinez called for a recess as members were treated to a Glass-Bottom Boat tour of the Aquarena Springs, on Friday with Mario Garza a Cultural Awareness speaker on the topic of the Sacred Springs while enjoying a Box Lunch catered by Tres Hermanas, a local restaurant. The trip concluded with a reception at the Hays County Veterans' Memorial.

After lunch the meeting reconvened with selection of committees and reports from the State officers and Standing Committee Chairs took place throughout the afternoon.

Commanders' Awards Banquet
Friday Evening after the meeting was recessed, the Commander’s Banquet followed with Guest speakers including a special presentation from U.S. Representatives Lloyd Doggett’s Office, and keynote Speaker Former State Senator Gonzalo Barrientos. Commander John Martinez received a special award from his Chapter. Other awards were presented including last year’s Outstanding Member to Rudy Martinez from San Antonio Miguel Hernandez Chapter.

Veterans Luncheon
The “Honoring Our Veterans’ Luncheon at Commemorative Air Force Museum with Speaker Dr. Ana Juarez, Texas State University, Anthropology Dept. on the Topic: The Importance of Documenting/Archiving our History. Later the members listened to a presentation by Ms. Maggie Rodriguez, from UT History Journalism Department on the topic of our WWII Veterans.

The Resolutions Committee headed by Juan Mireles introduced 4 resolutions that were passed by the Membership.

Resolution 1 Proposes: AGIF must address the issue of homeless Veterans and Veterans shelters and housing by endorsing or introducing to legislature addressing the absence of Tax Credits for Veterans shelters and residents so that Veterans will not have to compete with hundreds of other CBOs.

Action: That the American GI Forum of Texas Inc., introduced during the State Conference in San Marcos, June 9-11, 2016 be presented to legislators and advocate for a bill to allow for Tax Credits for Veterans.

Resolution 2 Proposes: That Homeowner property taxes will be frozen at the price assessed at sale or owner change of name. The assessed value will be the actual market rate and will remain fixed.  No change may occur On property values or index tax rates retroactive one year. The only way to change this law will be by statewide general ballot election or referendum. The if it becomes a Constitution amendment knowing that the only way to change or modify the Constitution of Texas is with a statewide general Ballot election.

Action: That the American GI Forum of Texas Inc., introduce the proposed resolution during the State Conference in San Marcos, June 9-11, 2016 Action Taken: Mr. Armando Longoria and the State legislative committee will advocate for such legislation during the Session in beginning in January 2017 and prepare to meet with proper legislators and help with writing proposed bill.

Resolution 3 Proposes: That the AGIF oppose the prevalent discriminatory burial practice that exist at numerous cemeteries in the state of Texas, regarding to a "Whites Only Cemetery," we further as they are counter to the values of a democratic society reflected in the US Constitution; and that It is illegal to enforce a Whites Only Cemetery based on a 1948 Supreme Court case, Shelley v. Kraemer, which outlaws racial covenants on real estate.

Action: That this resolution is submitted to the State Convention of the American GI Forum for proper distribution and action. The American GI Forum joined MALDEF in filing A suit in District Court in Corpus Christi and is awaiting resolution by the Courts.

Resolution 4 Proposes: That the AGIF support Mexican American Studies in Public Schools that may serve to enhance future AGIF membership and to ensure that school restore or include the heroic merits of Hispanics, Latino and Mexican American War Veterans and end discriminatory practices of ignoring Mexican American Studies curriculum at public schools in the state of Texas,

Action: That this resolution be submitted to the National Convention of the American GI Forum for proper continued nation-wide action and to Texas for distribution and action to SBOE, TEA and to all school districts.

Election of Officers conducted by the Nominations Committee headed by Jess Aguilera and Anna Ramirez Antunez. Election of officers results:

  • Commander, John Martinez, Houston
  • 1st Vice Commander, Caesar Ruiz, Austin
  • 2nd Vice Commander, Justo Howdy Leal, Port Lavaca
  • Recording Secretary, Paul Herrera, Austin
  • Sgt-at-Arms, Jesse Aguilera, Fort Worth
  • Chairwoman, Sylvia Garza, San Marcos
  • Vice Chairwoman, Guillerma Morales, Tarrant County
  • Secretary, Tina Martinez, Del Rio
  • Treasurer, Anna Ramirez Antunez, Tarrant County

Installation of officers by National Commander Angel Zuniga followed prior to closing prayer and adjournment.

Future Meetings
The next Board of Directors Meeting will be in October, 2016 in Del Rio Texas and the 2017 State Conference will be in Houston Texas. Information on these events will be posted on our Website at www.agiftx.com. We’ll see some of you on our travels throughout the state, others in Kansas City Missouri and Del Rio and some when you visit us in Austin.

2016 State Conference Set in San Marcos

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: San Marcos, Texas – The San Marcos Chapter of the American GI Forum of Texas 2016 Conference has chosen the Theme of "Equality + Education = Empowerment." Commander Randy Padilla and his committee have indicated that the New Holiday Inn in San Marcos will be hosting the American GI Forum as its initial Conference.

They will focus on workshops that will include: seminars to enhance leadership skill, fundraising and team building. They have also have seminars to address increasing membership, Raising community awareness and will have dynamic and motivational speaker that will inspire those who attend.  

Conference Registration, which open last January has been set at $120 Early for all Forum and Women members and $95.00 for Youth. After Friday, May 27, the fee will be $135.00 and Youth at $110.00. You can get registrations forms by clicking register here, or you may also register on-line at www.agifsm.org. This will include meals, workshops and seminars. The Hotel rates are set at $119.00 sgl/dbl. You can make reservations by calling (512) 805-1000 or at 1-800-HOLIDAY (465-4329). The deadline for these special rates is May 9, 2016. 

They are planning Glass-Bottom Boat tour of the Aquarena Springs, a reception at the Hays County Veterans' Memorial among other activities for both members and youth. Commander John Martinez also has a tentative agenda that will be published and a full agenda that will be published in the conference program. Please plan to attend and invite family and friends.