With the season having ended this week, it was time last night to honor the almost 150 volunteers who served 4,400 community members, with around $5 million returned via free tax preparation in San Francisco. At the event, Financial Assets Program Manager Jackie Marcelos (photo, right, accompanied by volunteer Noemi Chin-Moran), gave an impassioned speech, as follows.
Political independence is determined by economic independence. A community that wants to have political strength must guarantee this independence: Developing a community on this basis is essential if we wish to eradicate poverty and ignorance. Volunteers, activists and employees of MEDA develop their work in that direction, guiding the Latino community to compete and guarantee not only economic independence, but to take the future in their hands. At the end of the tax season, economic responsibility does not end. An inclusion process begins, where all those who, in one way or another, fulfill their legal obligations to respond honestly, will live a certain future. The volunteers who have participated acquire the experience to file legal forms, live with their neighbors and return a little with their work. This is the benefit they get to be part of an inclusive, multiracial and open community. Thanks to their work, MEDA can provide free tax preparation for those who need it most: the future of our community.”