The citizens’ voice
In San Francisco on his way to Japan, Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso participated, March 10, in
a ceremony to install the first Conselho de Cidadãos in the United States. The councilors constitute a cross-section of
the Brazilian community in San Francisco.
Lawyer, religious leader, academic, student organizer, plastic artist and social activist will work side by side with
one time soccer star, pizzeria owner and others to improve the lot of fellow nationals who legally or illegally are in
The ceremony was just the beginning of a process to integrate Brazilians living overseas. New York, Boston,
Miami, Los Angeles and other cities with big Brazilian population will soon have their own representatives.
Cardoso, an exile himself during Brazil’s military dictatorship, is behind the Council’s idea. The Citizens’
Councils grew out of his continuing concern with cultural, financial, social and work-related conditions faced by the millions
of Brazilians living away from the home country. The councils, which will meet regularly four times a year and more
if needed, are primarily advisory groups with no legal power. You want to know more? Call (415) 981-8172
Pro Brazilian rights
Boston’s Brazilian Immigrant’s Center has just celebrated its first anniversary in a new house. From now on, the
group will share space with the Irish Immigrants Center at 139 Brighton Ave, suite 2, in Allston, Massachusetts. BIC defines
itself as a “movement of Brazilian immigrants to organize and work against economic, social, and political marginalization.”
The effort was born to fight discrimination and abuse mainly in the job place faced by Brazilians in the Greater
Boston Area. BIC is also interested in opening the doors for immigrants to educate themselves and their children. Care to
join, interested in knowing more? Call (617) 783-8001.
A former Amazon rubber-tapper who was recently elected to the Brazilian federal senate will be one of the
six recipients of the 7th Annual Goldman Environmental Prize.
Marina Silva has worked side by side with Chico Mendes creating the
empates, peaceful demonstrations against
the Amazon deforestation. She has continued to push for the creation of extractive reserves undaunted by
Mendes’s assassination in 1988.
The Goldman Award, which includes a $75,000 check, is the world’s largest grassroots environment prize. The
award ceremony will happen April 22, at the Herbst Theater in San Francisco.