Aug 30, 2017 | 2 comments

Yesterday, Erin Glenn and I spent one of the fastest half hours on record (or so it seemed) over in Astoria at the Tillicum House, home of our public radio station, KMUN.  We were the guests of Joan Herman who hosts a local issues oriented show called “Perspectives.”  Even though our conversation was being taped and, theoretically, corrections could be made on the spot, both of us were a bit nervous – Erin because she’d never been on the radio before and I, maybe because I had.  Or perhaps Erin’s nervousness was catching.

Joan had asked if we would talk about the looming presence of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (or ICE) here on the Peninsula and the resultant manifestations being felt within our Hispanic community.  Erin, who has been a bilingual and migrant educator for many years and has deep roots within the Mexican community talked knowledgeably and clearly.

Erin Glenn

She told about what happens to detainees after they are arrested, what conditions are like at the federal prison where they are taken – the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma.  She talked about the group of activists with whom she has been working and who are providing assistance to families under the ‘ACLU People Power’ umbrella.

My part was to describe some of the situations I’ve encountered as I’ve interviewed families for my “Stories From The Heart” series for the Chinook Observer. I talked a bit about the lives that have been disrupted through arrests or by the constant uncertainty under which our Hispanic neighbors have been living for the last year or two.  I told about the children I’ve listened to, many of whom are U.S. citizens — kids who are afraid to go to school because they don’t know who will be at home to greet them at the end of the day.  I told of the people who have been here for fifteen or twenty years, working in our community, raising families and participating fully in community life… until recently.  My ‘entrée’ into their homes is through Erin who often serves as interpreter during our visits.

Joan Herman

The half hour sped by and, as it turned out, of course, Erin’s performance (if that’s how you describe talking on the radio) was stellar.  Her answers to Joan’s questions were informative – right down to giving contact information for listeners who would like to help.   I felt that I was mostly just along for the ride, but it was a worthwhile trip!  The program airs from 9:30 to 10:00 a.m. a week from this Friday — September 8th on KMUN, Coast Community Radio, 91.9 on your radio dial!


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