Voices in Focus: Time to Dig Out That Doggie Leprechaun Costume

Long Island Wins captured the stirring speech above, by Yelky Ramos. The 20-year-old undocumented immigrant from the Bronx came to the US from the Dominican Republic to reunite with her parents at the age of 13, and spoke up about her experience at a rally in Albany Wednesday in support of the New York DREAM Act, which would allow undocumented students to receive state financial aid for higher education.

Here’s what else we’re seeing in the community and ethnic press this gray Friday morning:

* France-Amérique ran an interesting story on the political views of French expatriates who live in the United States. French citizens who live here generally vote to the right of their countrymen back home, the French-language newspaper reported. Although the center-right candidate Nicolas Sarkozy won by 53 percent to 47 percent against the Socialist Party’s Ségolène Royal, the paper reported, “his lead among French expatriates in the United States was much higher — 63.7 percent to 36.3 percent.”

* Feet in 2 Worlds reported on nutrition programs for immigrants, which focus on healthy eating through traditional cuisines:

“When you’re thinking about improving health and cooking, think of heritage as a motivator,” said Sara Baer-Sinnott, president of Oldways, a nonprofit that released the Mediterranean diet pyramid in 1993 and has since created pyramids and “healthy plates” for four other ethnic diets.  “There’s so much science that continues to come out that traditional diets are so much healthier for not only weight control, but health conditions like cardiovascular disease,” she added.

She tailors her health advice to her patient’s background, she told Feet in 2 Worlds:

When working with someone who is Muslim, she inquires about their fasting schedule and explains how it may affect their diabetes management. For those from the Dominican Republic, McGeough may explain how root vegetables can impact a patient’s diabetes. The customized plate she uses to encourage Dominicans to put together healthy meals has options ranging from starchy mofongo and yams to protein-packed beans and pork.

* In political news, two Democratic state legislators who sponsored a bill to make the Asian Lunar New Year a school holiday in New York City expressed frustration with moves by the State Senate Republican majority’s moves to shelve the legislation, reported OurChinatown via Singtao Daily:

[New York State Senator Daniel Squadron] noted, “The large and growing numbers of Asian American students in our school system have to choose between celebrating with their families and going to school. At one school in my district, 80 percent of students were absent on Lunar New Year. Senate Republicans should allow a debate on this bill so that we can better serve all students in our schools.”

Assemblywoman Grace Meng added, “About 14 percent of all school children in the NYC public school system are Asian American and they deserve the right to celebrate their culture!..”

* Lastly, DNAinfo provided this handy guide to St. Patrick’s Day activities beyond the parade. Their suggestions include a walking tour of New York City’s Irish immigrant history, a concert at Carnegie Hall, and a party that will feature dogs in costume and beer pong, as well as the obligatory corned beef and Guinness.

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