Tag Archives: Latinos

Opinion: Why our children need to see their faces in the literature they read

NBC Latino

As a child, I never read a single book about a Hispanic girl like me. I was a voracious reader and grew up on books by Madeleine L’Engle, Judy Bloom, Ellen Conford, and John Bellairs. Classics, mysteries, westerns, and romance all found a place on my bookshelf at one point or another. But not a single book reflected my own face or experience.

And then, when I was in high school, I took a class on multicultural literature and read Rudolfo Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima for the first time. I remember sitting down and reading the whole thing in one sitting. It absolutely amazed me that someone had written a book that echoed my own childhood experience at home. Family members who I had so desperately loved but had now passed away were right there in print between the covers of a book. The experience was so moving, it still…

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Daily Show interview with Jorge Ramos

 Daily Show interview with Jorge Ramos

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2013 elections show Latinos and young voters can’t be pinned down

2013 elections show Latinos and young voters can’t be pinned down

“Thus, it seems to me that last night’s elections are confirming the trends we’re seeing nationally in at least two respects: Democrats may very well have loads of success in future elections, but they cannot count on any sort of permanent support from Latino and young voters. These groups have shown a willingness to abandon President Obama and Democrats and vote like the rest of the electorate under the right circumstances, as manifested in New Jersey and Virginia in 2013.”

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Meet David Alvarez and Mike Aguirre, two Latinos running for mayor of San Diego

NBC Latino

After Bob Filner resigned from his position as mayor of San Diego, Calif., on August 30 following an onslaught of sexual harassment allegations, 11 candidates qualified for the ballot to run for mayor in the November 19 special election.

Two of those candidates, David Alvarez and Mike Aguirre, are Latinos who have prior experience as elected office holders in the city of 1.3 million people that sits adjacent to Tijuana, Mexico. Currently, 28.3 percent of the city’s population is Latino.

Alvarez and Aguirre have the opportunity to become the first Latino mayor of San Diego since California became a state. Despite former Assembly member Nathan Fletcher’s emergence as a front-runner, the presence of two Latinos among the top four candidates for mayor in the country’s eighth largest city points to the growing influence of the Latino community.

Learn about the two Latino mayoral contenders:

Name: David Alvarez

Age: …

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Racism, Mass Incarceration, and the United States “Justice” System

The Progressive Cynic

© Josh Sager – October 2013

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Picture by CNV

The United States has the dubious distinction of being the country which imprisons a larger percentage of our population than any other country on earth. Out of every 100,000 Americans, 716 are currently in jail—to put this into perspective, here are imprisonment statistics for several countries that have regularly been demonized for their repressive governments:

  • Cuba: 510 inmates per 100,000 citizens
  • Russia: 475 inmates per 100,000 citizens
  • Iran: 284 inmates per 100,000 citizens
  • Zimbabwe: 129 inmates per 100,000 citizens

The United States is not a small country by any means, thus our high incarceration rates translate to truly staggering numbers of people in jail. According to the most recent estimates, nearly 2.2 million Americans are currently serving time in the federal, state and local prison systems—in addition to those who are serving time, approximately 5.8 million Americans are on probation, on…

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Explaining health care law to mixed-status families, young people

NBC Latino

In Kern County, California, the Community Health Initiative aims to educate Latinos on the new health care exchanges by partnering with various family resource centers where community members are already seeking help. The organization trains Certified Enrollment Counselors to help families through the application process by explaining their options and gathering required documentation. They also hope to address any confusion regarding the new law and prepare for any possible scams.

“There are always people who seek to take advantage of our community. It’s definitely something that we intend to tackle,” says Edgar Aguilar, program manager. He stresses that those seeking to enroll should know that they should never be charged any fee for assistance and that enrollment counselors are not allowed to ask for any financial information, such as credit card numbers or bank numbers,

Aguilar says that another challenge is educating mixed-status families. “A big fear is something called…

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How to really end mass incarceration

How to really end mass incarceration

“But this is no time to rest. Those who seek a fairer criminal justice system, unclouded by racial bias, must at a minimum demand that the government eliminate mandatory minimum sentences, which tie judges’ hands; rescind three-strikes laws, which often make no distinction between, say, armed assault and auto theft; amend “truth in sentencing” statutes, which prohibit early release for good behavior; and recalibrate drug policies, starting with decriminalization of marijuana possession and investment in substance-abuse prevention and treatment. Federal aid to state and local agencies, like the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant and the Community Oriented Policing Services, must prioritize diversion and rehabilitation over arrest and incarceration.”

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