Obama, Romney, and the Latino Vote

October 18, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

California and Texas have the largest Latino communities, but Spanish-speaking voters are likely to have the greatest impact in states having either a relatively small Spanish-speaking population or where the ethnic composition is in flux.

Latinos are positioned to play a major role in three Southern states—Virginia and North Carolina, where the Hispanic population is relatively new, and Florida—once dominated by conservative Cuban Americans,—where there has been dramatic growth in the Puerto Rican, Mexican, and Central American populations.

In these states, the Obama campaign has focused on registering supporters to vote as a way to enlarge the electorate. This has created the possibility of success in historically Republican voting states, but it is the first of a two-step process. Once registered, these potential voters need to be motivated to cast a ballot.

The importance of voter turnout, persuasion, and registration strategies has shaped the contours of presidential campaign outreach to the Latino community since World War II.

In the 1956 race between incumbent Republican president Dwight D. Eisenhower and Democratic challenger Adlai Stevenson, Eisenhower ran as a moderate and reached out to Democratic constituencies, including Mexican Americans.

Four years later, John F. Kennedy recognized that the 1960 election would likely be very close and that in order to prevail he would need to win back Latinos and members of other traditionally Democratic groups that had backed Eisenhower. He also needed to alter the political landscape in key states by registering thousands of new voters who would support him.

These motivations drove the formation of Viva Kennedy, which paid off on Election Day 1960, allowing Kennedy to carry Illinois and New Mexico by the narrowest of margins.

Four years ago, in 2008, Obama won the presidency due to a surge of Latino voters in Colorado, Nevada, Virginia, and Florida.

This year, several thousand voters in a handful of states may once again have a disproportionate impact. These are states where the Latino vote could be critical.

Early on President Obama adopted a national and state-specific Latino strategy.

Obama demonstrated that he recognized the import of the national Latino vote four years ago by appointing Ken Salazar from Colorado and Hilda Solis from California to his Cabinet and New Yorker Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court.

Moreover on the issues, Obama has generally aligned himself with the Latino community. He recognized the need to create opportunity and provide social services. And then, as his reelection neared and Congress was unwilling to tackle the immigration issue, the president acted by executive order.

To drive voter turnout, the campaign has employed a number of cultural figures: Cuban talk show host Cristina Saralegui, Puerto Rican singer Marc Anthony, and Mexican American actress Eva Longoria. These celebrities have helped provide glamor and increase Latino enthusiasm for Obama.

While promoting Latinos for Obama—the updated version of Viva Kennedy—the campaign has focused its attention on targeted states. The campaign’s Chicago headquarters has hired Spanish-speaking organizers and run numerous Spanish-language television ads.

The Republican Party has not competed aggressively or effectively for the support of Latino voters. Mitt Romney made a strategic decision during the primary to adopt an anti-immigrant agenda in an effort to appeal to conservative white voters. This early decision by the eventual nominee has made it very hard to track back to the political center, where Republican candidates need to be in order to persuade voters in this Democratic-leaning constituency.

As a result, Romney is left with conservative Hispanic supporters who are already Republican in states such as Florida and New Mexico, where Senator Marco Rubio and Governor Susana Martinez, respectively, serve as surrogates.

But the Republican Party has not been idle. Faced with the challenge of wooing minority voters, Republican-controlled legislatures in more than a dozen states have passed laws making it harder for Latinos and African Americans to cast a ballot. These new laws complicated voter registration drives, required additional identification at the polls, reduced the time available for voting, and eliminated voting locations in low-income neighborhoods. A number of these state specific laws have been effectively challenged in the courts.

The 2012 presidential election has demonstrated anew the importance of an active and engaged citizenry. Soon, the impact of the various efforts to motivate, persuade, and to register—as well as to restrict—the vote will be known.

Kenneth Burt is the author of The Search for a Civic Voice: California Latino Politics and is reachable through his Web site, www.KennethBurt.com

Nearly 100 Years Old, White Memorial Raises Funds for the Future

October 18, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

For nearly a century, White Memorial hospital and medical center in Boyle Heights has been on a mission to provide quality care in a eastside community where health care resources have lagged and in some cases been completely missing, and they have been able to accomplish this goal by building partnerships with others willing to generously contribute to their mission.

On Sunday, the White Memorial Medical Center Charitable Foundation raised over $560,000—a record amount—during their annual awards gala. The event also marked the beginning of White Memorial Medical Center’s 2013 Centennial Celebration. Proceeds from the event will benefit a variety of services at the hospital and medical center located in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Boyle Heights.

“White Memorial Medical Center has a fierce determination to face obstacles, a love for serving its community and a faith in the divine role in healing and in advancing the mission of the hospital,” said White Memorial Medical Center President and CEO Beth Zachary in a written statement. “I’m confident that the shoulders we stand on are strong enough to take us through whatever the future holds — as long as we remain true to our mission and values,” she said.

Priscilla Lizarraga (third woman from the right) receiving the Woman of the Year Award from Nurses that received scholarships from TELACU over the past 10 years and work at White Memorial. (Photo courtesy of William Cole Photography)

Highlighting the hospitals upcoming centennial, David Lizárraga, President & CEO of TELACU/MILLINEIUM and Chair of the White Memorial Medical Center Charitable Foundation Board of Directors, said the hospital not only records more than 122,000 patient visits each year, it is an economic engine in the region.

“At a time when job creation is so vital, last year, together with the physicians who operate their own offices, and the jobs generated by construction, White Memorial created 6,500 jobs for our community,” Lizárraga said.

A number of White Memorial supporters were recognized at the gala for their efforts to further White Memorial’s mission. Lizárraga’s wife Priscilla, Senior Vice President of the TELACU Educational Foundation was honored as the 2012 Woman of the Year. The Foundation partners with Rio Hondo College to provide scholarships and train nurses in the East Los Angeles community.

During the TELACU Foundation’s 10 years in existence, over 100 nurses have graduated from the program and been placed at White Memorial, according to Zachary.

“Very early on, [Priscilla] shared with me that her mother went back to school when she was 41 years old to take nursing classes and help in providing for her family, and it is important to her that she extends this opportunity to others,’” Zachary said, noting Priscilla’s efforts to train more nurses. “I know one other thing about Priscilla: She is a strong woman – but humble – and will give the credit for the Foundation’s success to her husband, David, and son, Michael along with Onieda and her three beautiful granddaughters. And to be fair, she’s right. TELACU Industries – its foundation and collection of businesses – really is a family affair. Today, there are three generations of Lizarragas that lead the business. This, in itself is an amazing accomplishment and speaks to Pricilla’s success as a businesswoman, wife, mother and grandmother,” Zachary said.

Priscilla told EGP it was an honor to receive the award and noted that women have played a very important role at WMMC over the years.

Other honorees at Sunday’s fundraiser included LAUSD School Board President Mónica García who was named Community Leader of the Year; Sen. Kevin De Leon (22nd District) who was recognized as Civic Leader of the Year, and WMMC Vice President of Construction & Facilities Al Deininger received the Volunteer of the Year award. Assemblyman Gil Cedillo (45th District), US Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (34th District) and House Speaker John Pérez (46th District) were also recognized for supporting the safety-net hospital over the years. Pérez did not attend.

Zachary noted Roybal-Allard’s district will change in January due to redistricting but said she will always be “our Congresswoman!”

“Tonight, I just want to say how special you are to us. Our Diabetes Center, and affiliated Research program on Diabetes started with your leadership and support. You have accomplished so much,” Zachary said.

While the foundation’s gala took a look back at its past and the support it has received from a variety of sources, it was also a time to look into the future of the nearly century-old medical center and hospital’s continued mission to provide state-of-the art technology and care to its patients.

Proceeds from the gala will go toward establishing a fully equipped Simulation Laboratory for physician and nurse training at the Boyle Heights hospital and for special incubators for fragile premature babies.

“A Simulation Center will allow our physicians and nurses to hone their critical thinking and clinical skills with zero chance of patient injury. It allows us to provide healthcare of the highest caliber while ensuring maximum safety for our patients and community,” said WMMC Chief Nurse Executive Lynne Whaley.

Dr. Robert Teff, director of Neonatal Intensive Care, said the Giraffe Omni beds serve as a sophisticated incubator for babies weighing about a pound and whose body’s ability to conserve heat is so immature that left at room temperature, the baby could die of cold exposure in a few hours.

“It provides air that is warmed precisely to the patient’s needs, as determined by a skin temperature sensor accurate to within three-tents of one degree. It provides microprocessor controlled humidity up to 95% to reduce the loss of water through the skin and respiratory tract,” he said.

Tefft explained that in an emergency, the Giraffe transforms to an open procedure platform with full patient access from three sides. The bed can also be lowered for easy access to a mother in a gurney or a wheelchair. WMMC wants to equip one-quarter of patient care stations with Giraffe Omni Beds, he added.

Among the gala attendees were five-year-olds Ana and Freddy, premature twins who were born at the WMMC weighing only thee pounds each. The twins, cared for by Dr. Tefft in the hospital’s WMMC Neonatology Intensive Care Unit (NICU), not only survived but they are thriving. They show no signs of disability or long-term effects, according to WMMC.

Over the next twelve months, White Memorial will host a series of events open to the public to celebrate its 100-year mission in Los Angeles.

‘YouthSource’ Centers Open to Help Dropouts, Young Adults

October 18, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Los Angeles Unified School District officials on Oct. 12 announced they have teamed up to open 13 new YouthSource Centers across the city that will help youth find job and school counselors available reconnected students to schools.

“By empowering our youth we empower our entire community,” Mayor Villaraigosa said. “The new YouthSource System will provide our future generations the opportunity to get back on the right track. Today we are sending the message loud and clear that in Los Angeles, every student is eligible for a second chance.”

The YouthSource System will focus on helping in-school and out-of-school youth. The system is a redesign of the City’s OneSource Centers, which was centered on students in school only, according to the Mayor’s Office.

The centers are located in low-income communities that have the highest dropout rates including: East LA (serving the Franklin, Lincoln and Wilson high school attendance area), Boyle Heights (serving Mendez, Ramona and Roosevelt), Central Los Angeles, Harbor area, North and South San Fernando Valley, Sun Valley, and South LA/Watts.

LAUSD Pupil Services and Attendance Counselors all 13 of the centers will help dropouts get their education back on track, whether through their local high schools, community day schools, LAUSD & County continuation schools, community colleges, or GED programs, according to LAUSD.

“This partnership brings desperately needed resources to our students and families,” said Board President Mónica García in a written statement. “Together LAUSD and the City of Los Angeles are building the support network to connect with youth, provide support and guidance, and help students get to graduation.”

Councilmember José Huizar said the city has a moral and financial obligation to help high school dropouts get back on track and lead successful lives.

“Thanks to the 13 YouthSource Centers opening throughout the City, we’ll be doing just that with the support of the LAUSD. Special thanks to our non-profit partners, such as Para Los Ninos and Barrio Action Youth and Family Center in El Sereno for their work in ensuring that thousands of young people in our communities will get the second chance they deserve,” Huizar said in a written statement.

YouthSource participants must be 16-21 years-old, reside in the City of Los Angeles, and meet income requirements.

The centers are funded by the Federal Workforce Investment Act and a new $12 million grant from the Department of Labor’s Workforce Innovation Fund. The YouthSource System is managed by the City;s Community Development Department.

Montebello Plays Bell Gardens In Key Almont League Game

October 18, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Montebello High School will be looking to celebrate more than just their annual homecoming Friday night, as the Oilers take on Bell Gardens in a game that could determine the Almont League football title.

The Oilers and Lancers each scored emotional victories last week to improve to 2-0 in league play and set up a key showdown between the longtime Montebello Unified School District rivals. The winner takes over sole possession of first place with two games remaining.

Montebello High School running back Marcos Portillo rips off a gain in last Friday’s game against San Gabriel. (EGP Photo by Mario Villegas)

Montebello outlasted San Gabriel, 48-41 in overtime last Friday, while Bell Gardens held off Schurr, 27-24, to each improve to 5-2 overall.

“We’re in for a big fight,” Montebello Coach Pete Gonzalez said about Friday’s game. “Bell Gardens is as physical as any team we’ve played this year that is hard-nosed and well-coached, and will be well prepared for us.”

With a victory, Montebello takes a major step toward winning its first Almont League title since 2002.

The Oilers are led by running back Marcos Portillo, who has rushed for 610 yards and 11 touchdowns. The senior had 140 yards in 28 carries against San Gabriel last week and caught three passes for 28 yards.

Quarterback Matt Saenz also had a big night for Montebello as the senior completed 18 of 33 passes for 265 yards and three touchdowns.

But it was fullback Jordan Fowlkes scoring on a three-yard touchdown run in overtime that proved to be the difference as Montebello defeated San Gabriel in a game that took 3½ hours to play. It was Fowlkes’ third touchdown in a game in which the junior had 37 yards in 11 carries.

After Fowlkes’ score, the Oilers stopped San Gabriel (1-6, 0-2) on downs.

Trailing 41-33, Montebello tied the score with 1:30 to play on Gilbert Herrera’s 34-yard touchdown reception from Saenz. Saenz then connected with Manuel Juarez on a two-point conversion attempt to even the score and force overtime.

Herrera finished the game with six receptions for 132 yards. Edgar Gonzalez added three receptions for 43 yards.

Defensively, Montebello is led by a linebacker unit that Gonzalez says is the soul of the defense. Junior Ramiro Arreola had nine solo tackles against San Gabriel. Jorge Jabonero and Fowlkes are the other starting linebackers.

Bell Gardens’ 27-24 victory over Schurr last Friday was the Lancers first against their other district rival since 2002.

Tailback Jorge Remigio led the way with four touchdowns, scoring on runs of two, three, 50 and three yards. The senior rushed for 150 yards in 21 carries and now has 635 yards and nine touchdowns in his last four games.

Quarterback Charles Ontiveros passed for 128 yards by completing six of 13 passes.

The Lancers are going to need another big night from Remigio at Montebello Friday.

“Montebello has a very solid defense and it’s going to be a challenge to get points on them,” Bell Gardens Coach Dave Ramos said. “They’re also going to be tough to defend against because they can run and pass the ball.”

Bell Gardens is young on defense with six sophomore starters. “We’re a classic bend but don’t break defense,” Ramos said, adding that the team’s defensive strength is at linebacker and in the secondary.

Senior outside linebacker Chris Mendoza is the leader of the linebacker unit, which also has junior Adam Alvarado in the middle and sophomore Eric Galicia on the outside. The secondary has sophomores Gerardo Coronel and Manny Contreras at the corners, and sophomores Justin Galvan and Jordan Preciado at safeties.

Montebello Woman Wins Business Achievement Award

October 18, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

She has organized Montebello’s Heritage Festival and Parade, an Annual Betty Boop Festival, and most recently she is providing free Halloween make-up demonstrations throughout the month of October. Now, Denise Hagopian, a local businesswoman who opened her store in the City of Montebello nearly 30 years ago, is being honored for her personal achievements and contributions to the city.

Denise Hagopian, owner of Heavenly Choice in Montebello, was chosen for the “Woman of Achievement” award for her community contributions to the City of Montebello. (EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

Hagopian owns Heavenly Choice, a retro shop in Montebello that specializes in floral and balloon arrangements, sells a variety of memorabilia and gifts, and hosts numerous workshops and fun-filled events. The East Los Angeles-Montebello Business and Professional Women organization, whose membership includes some of the same women Hagopian says were among her first customers, will present her with the “Woman of Achievement” award at a dinner to be held Oct. 24 at the DoubleTree Hotel.

“Its nice to be acknowledged, especially by such a dynamic group of women who really have led the way but never got recognized, they were ahead of their times,” Hagopian told EGP about the local women’s group.

Lea esta nota EN ESPAÑOL: Empresaria de Montebello Será Otorgada el Premio ‘Mujer de Logro’

Linda Wilson, public relations chair for the East Los Angeles-Montebello Business and Professional Women, told EGP the organization chose to honor the Montebello resident, whose store will be celebrating its 30th anniversary next year, because of her achievements as a businesswoman and for her volunteer work dedicated to the City of Montebello.

“We chose her because of her part in the community,” Wilson said, and “All of the volunteer work she has done and for her business work.”

The Woman of Achievement award honors businesswomen who have impacted their community. Last year the group honored Nancy Acuri, publisher and editor of Monterey Park’s online newspaper, The Citizen’s Voice.

“They look at women throughout their career and look at what they’ve changed,” what impact they have had on their community and the business world,” Hagopian told EGP. “I didn’t think of myself as being old enough to get an award like that but when I look at all the things that I’ve done, I’m like ‘yeah you really impacted the community.’”

Hagopian’s contributions to Montebello include efforts to resurrect the Heritage Festival and Parade, which due to city budget cuts has not taken place since 2006. Hagopian plans to use her experience organizing events to bring the Festival and Parade, which celebrated arts and heritage, back to the city.

“I didn’t really realize how much it impacted people.” Hagopian said. “They all had that one thing in common, their families, their kids were achieving something and I gave them that platform to show off.”

The Betty Boop expert also organizes the Annual Betty Boop Festival in Montebello, which takes place in July at the Heavenly Choice parking lot on 534 North Montebello Boulevard. The festival includes a look-a-like contest for girls under 5 as well as other Betty Boop contests and memorabilia.

Most recently, she helped organize the “March for Montebello,” a local youth movement that last July held a march that went from Heavenly Choice to the Shops at Montebello as part of a campaign to raise awareness about the importance of shopping locally.

“We took teenagers and we activated them and made them learn why they need to be active,” Hagopian said. “We educated the teens, why they need to control where their money is spent, why they need to be involved in their community and involved in politics.”

This month, Hagopian has been holding a series of make-up classes in her store, where she demonstrates how to create Halloween-themed effects like scars, vampire bites and zombie makeup. The classes will, some of which are free, will continue until Oct. 27— there is a fee to take part in more hands-on classes like her Dia de los Muertos makeup workshop.

Hagopian told EGP she put these workshops and demonstrations together to help participants put together a costume for Halloween that does not come from a package and looks like what thousands of other people are going to be wearing.

It’s about creating memories, she says. “You remember your favorite Halloween, you remember when your mom painted [your face], because you used your own creative talent, ” Hagopian said. “I’m teaching moms who are going to create that moment in time for their kids.”

Hagopian began her career working at Sam’s Liquor’s store in Montebello, operated by her father. That’s where she discovered her interest and talent in creating basket arraignments. After graduating from Montebello High School in 1972, she attended FIDM Fashion Institute of Los Angeles and received her A.A. in Merchandising.

An interest in ethnography in 1978 earned her a spot on the US Soviet Dialogue Committee under the Carter administration, where she traveled to Armenia, Georgia and the Caucus region to study the traditions and customs of the native people.

As a soloist in Armenian dance ensembles, she performed in theaters throughout California and was recognized for her talent by former Los Angeles Assemble Member Michael Woo who appointed her to the Los Angeles Arts and Culture Commission in 1977.

The combination of these successes, in both the business arena and as an active, engaged member of the community, is what earned her the “Woman of Achievement” award, according to the business group.

Community News Briefs

October 18, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Monterey Park Woman Arrested for Injecting Botox Illegally

(EGPNews) –Monterey Park police yesterday announced they have arrested Monterey Park resident Donna Ching-Fang Kao, 60, for allegedly practicing medicine without a license by injecting clients with “Botox” in her home. The investigation began after a former client suffered severe trauma to her face after being injected by Kao at her home several months ago, according to the city’s news release.

A search warrant was served at Kao’s home at the time of arrest. She is currently free on bail and is scheduled for arraignment in Alhambra Superior Court on Dec. 12, 2012.

Kao is not licensed to provide any type of medical treatment, according to the news release.

Armed Robbery Suspects Arrested in Boyle Heights

(EGPNews)—Four armed robbery suspects were arrested in Boyle Heights on Monday after allegedly robbing a jewelry store in downtown Los Angeles.

Four male blacks entered a jewelry store at 11:15 a.m. in the 800 block of Broadway and stole some jewelry, then fled in a black Cadillac, according Officer Rosario Herrera, of LAPD media relations.

Officers responding to a call located the suspects in Boyle Heights, a perimeter search was established near Soto Street, south of Fairmount, she said.

Two handguns and a third of the jewelry stolen was recovered, Herrera said.

The crime occurred in the LAPD Central Division but the arrests took place in the Hollenbeck Division, she said.

Man Found Dead in Cypress Park Driveway

(CNS) – Police on Tuesday sought the public’s help to solve the apparent gang-related killing of a young man gunned down in the Cypress Park area of Los Angeles.

Juan Carlos Alquisira, 20, was shot several times about 8:20 p.m. Monday in the 3200 block of Division Street. Paramedics took Alquisira to a hospital, where he died.

No arrests were reported, and no description of the suspect or suspects was released.

Anyone with more information on the crime was urged to call Los Angeles Police Department homicide detectives at (323) 344-5744, or (877) LAPD-247.

Former LA Housing Official Sentenced for Conspiracy and Bribery

(CNS) – A former Los Angeles housing official, who spent two years living as a fugitive in Guatemala while his brothers were prosecuted for their roles in a scheme involving contracts for non-existent construction projects, was sentenced Monday to 51 months in prison.

Victor Taracena, 42, who worked for the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles from 2003 to 2007, pleaded guilty in August to arranging for contracts to be awarded to sham companies created by his siblings, Assistant U.S. Attorney Bay Gilchrist said.

Along with the prison term, U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson ordered Taracena to pay restitution of about $526,500 and serve three years under supervised release after he leaves prison, Gilchrist said.

After the phony firms received checks totaling about $526,000 from the Housing Authority, the brothers kicked back more than $100,000 to their sibling, prosecutors said.

His brothers, Bennett A. Taracena and Diego L. Taracena, were each sentenced in June to 21 months in prison for their parts in the scheme after pleading guilty to federal conspiracy charges.

L.A. Moves to Give Undocumented, Homeless Bank IDs

October 18, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

A City Council committee on Tuesday advanced a plan, championed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, to create a Los Angeles city photo-identification card that would help undocumented immigrants, the homeless and people with damaged credit access banking services.

The plan was approved by the City Council’s Arts, Parks, Health and Aging Committee on a 3-0 vote with little opposition.

The plan envisions the creation of a Universal City Services Card that would combine a library card with a debit card function and would act as a photo ID, though it would be up to law enforcement agencies to decide whether to recognize the IDs.

“The federal government has failed to develop significant reform on the immigration front . For the life of me, I don’t understand why we wouldn’t want to know who these people are,” said Councilman Richard Alarcon, who is shepherding the plan through the City Council.

“We cannot deny the fact that businesses are hiring these people,” he said. “Not all of them are unemployed. Most people use their services, whether it be childcare, as maids, as gardeners or construction workers. … that’s the reality of today’s Los Angeles, and we cannot wait for the federal government to implement significant reform on that front. We have to act as a city.”

The committee’s approval sends the plan to the full City Council, which will take it up in about three weeks, according to Alarcon’s office.

The committee also agreed to put out a request for proposals for an outside agency to manage the card program and work with banks. Alarcon also added a request for the Library Department to report back on creating financial literacy programs for card users, saying that a central purpose of the card is financial empowerment for users.

A handful of cities, including San Francisco and Oakland, issue identification cards to anyone who can prove residency, regardless of immigration status.

Critics say Villaraigosa’s proposal is the latest indication that L.A. leaders support undocumented immigrants.

“It is clearly an accommodation,’ Ira Mehlman of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a group critical of illegal immigration, told The Los Angeles Times. “Los Angeles is making it easier for people who have violated federal immigration laws to live in the city.”

The plan’s supporters say it could reduce crime because fewer people would have to carry cash, and would reduce the reliance of immigrants on storefront financial services businesses that gouge them.

Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck announced this month that hundreds of undocumented immigrants arrested by his officers each year for low-level crimes would no longer be turned over to federal authorities for deportation. And in February, officers were given new guidelines allowing greater discretion when deciding whether to impound cars of unlicensed drivers, including those of illegal immigrants.

When undocumented residents aren’t afraid to approach officers to report crime or act as witnesses, the city’s streets are safer, Beck said.

A number of critics have said that the city is making it too easy for undocumented immigrants who they claim take jobs away from US born citizens

Mehlman told The Times that if Los Angeles wants to reduce problems associated with undocumented residents it should make life harder, not easier, for them, as Arizona has done.

The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles praised the committee’s decision to move the plan forward.

“We strongly support a city-sponsored, photo identification card because it increases confidence amongst those who carry it, and especially for aspiring citizens, provides a greater sense of ownership, legitimacy and worth in their community,” CHIRLA Executive Director Angelica Salas said.

USC and White Memorial Hospital Team Up at Hollenbeck Park

October 18, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

About 1,000 people attended the University of Southern California and White Memorial Hospital health fair at Hollenbeck Park on Oct. 18. The “Bridge to Health,” Community Health, Wellness and Safety Fair offered much needed information and preventive healthcare services to the underserved community of Boyle Heights, and beyond,” said Alan Sanchez, USC HSC Community Partnerships program specialist, in a written statement.

(EGP photo by Gloria Angelina Castillo)

Over 80 health care providers where on site to offer a variety of screenings like dental exams, and community groups offered information on local resources. The event also featured a “Zumba-thon” and performances by children from the Weingart East Los Angeles YMCA.

(EGP photo by Gloria Angelina Castillo)

Neighborhood Councils Elect Representatives

October 18, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Results are in for the neighborhood council elections that took place last week. Seven out of eight neighborhood councils in the East and Northeast areas of Los Angeles held their elections, where residents elected some new community leaders and reelected a few already serving.

The elections did not go without controversy however. The Los Angeles Times reported that pro-marijuana dispensary fliers offering $40 worth of free medical marijuana to anyone who could show proof they voted, were allegedly circulated in the Eagle Rock neighborhood.

The newspaper reported that workers at several Eagle Rock dispensaries said they did not know who was responsible for the fliers.

Stephen Box, the senior project coordinator for Empower LA, which oversees neighborhood councils, told EGP the rumored flyers were out of his office’s jurisdiction and had no affect on their election results.

“Its easy for people to vote and hard for people to cheat,” Box told EGP. “We have no pending issues to resolve.”

Residents of Eagle Rock elected Michael Nogueira as their neighborhood council president, Ashley Atkinson as their treasurer and Caroline Roncalli as their youth director.

For the Historic Highland Park neighborhood Council, Monica Alcaraz was elected president, Hector Huezo was elected first vice president, Alex Delgadillo was elected second vice president, Brandin Engersbach was elected secretary and Joan Potter was elected as the neighborhood council treasurer.

In the Arroyo Seco area, residents voted for representatives for their five individual neighborhoods. Andrea Moran and Judy Shane were elected to represent Hermon. Roy Payan and Martha Benedict were elected as Montecito Heights representatives, Judy Knapton and Darius Adle were elected for Monterey Hills, Andrea Jayasekera, Valerie Harragin, Andrew Ptashnik and Paul Jacques were elected Mount Washington representatives and Sergio Vidal-Echeverria and Joseph Riser were elected Sycamore Grove representatives.

In addition to choosing 14 community representatives, residents of Boyle Heights elected four area-representatives: Aurelia Pelayo in area 1; Sierra Jenkins area two; Luz Montoya-Ruiz in area three and Ernesto Espinoza will represent area four.

Residents in Glassell Park elected Bradley (he does not use a last name) to represent area one; Maggie Darret-Quiroz to area two; Maggie Robles in area four; Arlene Santos to area five and Martin Gregorito to area six The residents also elected Michael Divic to be their at-large representative

In Lincoln Heights, Nanci Rosas was elected president, Martha Riley was elected secretary and David Lopez was elected the neighborhood council’s youth representative.

In the LA-32 area, stakeholders elected directors for their North, East, South and West regions. They also elected Conception Castro, Edward Santillan, Tammy Membreno and Anthony Manzano as at-large directors.

Box told EGP the results of the elections would become official Thursday evening. For more information on the election results visit empowerla.org.

Bell Gardens Celebrates Opening of Neighborhood Walmart

October 18, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Bell Gardens city officials and community members yesterday celebrated the grand opening of the “Walmart Neighborhood Market”, located at 6820 Eastern Ave., in Bell Gardens.

2013 Miss Bell Gardens Queen Priscilla Silva, Princess Denise Sosa and Princess Tiara Solórzano make an official appearance at the grand opening event. (Photo courtesy of Walmart)

Sixty-five people have been hired to work at the store in part-time and full-time positions. City officials have also highlighted that the store will bring much needed revenues to the city.

Lea esto EN ESPAÑOL: Inauguran Supermercado de Walmart en Bell Gardens

During the ribbon cutting ceremony, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation presented grants to local community groups in the Bell Gardens area, according to the company.

Bell Gardens High School’s marching band helps welcome the new grocery store. (Photo Courtesy of Walmart)

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