Showing posts from December, 2022

OP-ED: Why I Did Not Resign; Outgoing Council Member Issues Righteous Reality Check

  By Los Angeles City Councilman Gilbert Cedillo (Ret.)  Special to Brooklyn & Boyle Most people find the subject of redrawing political boundaries based on census data about as exciting as watching paint dry. In Los Angeles, however, a year-old, illegally recorded conversation about the subject touched off a political firestorm. On the tape, City Council President Nury Martínez, Councilman Kevin de Le ó n, County Labor Federation head Ron Herrera, and myself—all Latinos—spoke frankly about how districts based on the 2020 census could best represent the city’s evolving ethnic balance. At one point, the discussion turned to the jarring discrepancy that Latinos are half the city’s population but hold only four of 15 seats on the Council. That led to assessing which Council members might support expanded Latino representation and who might see that as a step back for other communities, particularly districts represented by African Americans. Balancing Black and Latino interes

SOUND ARCHIVES: Christmas in Jail

  A Christmas of Remorse An audio story for the holiday season by Abel Salas Once in a while, I like to remind myself that poetry can and does changes lives. It also saves them. This radio piece, artfully produced and edited by Queen Kim, aired originally on "Pacific Drift," a KPCC-FM program highlighting unique aspects of So-Cal life and culture. It was re-broadcast on a subsequent, even cooler program called "Off-Ramp," a uniquely inspiring show created by local public radio luminary John Rabe. Roughly 16 years ago, the young man whose poem you'll hear at the start of the piece asked me to be a witness at his confirmation, a Catholic rite of passage, which would take place in a gymnasium at a detention center for minors in Lincoln Park. At only 14 years old, Edderic AKA Erick, had been incarcerated there, a much more severe facility than the one in which which the holiday visit recorded for this audio story occurred. We'd met during that early first stretc

Ceremony & Celebration: La Virgen de Guadalupe

By Abel Salas Between midnight and 4 a.m. in the historic center of Mexico City, the darkness is severed by taxi cab headlights. Overhead streetlamp glows catch on bicycle wheel reflectors spinning round and round. With almost digital regularity, bike riders pump past in either direction, the brick-paved plaza a waystation on their route, a bio-friendly nocturnal sacrifice in honor of Mexico’s patron saint, La Virgen de Guadalupe. They are among thousands who have traveled to Mexico’s capital from across the republic for the December 12th commemoration. The bicyclists, many with heavy, glass-and-wood framed portraits strapped to their backs, disappear into the early morning dark. One group of devout teenagers pedaling by has opted to wear cloth capes bearing the image of the Blessed Virgin instead. The eerie sight of Virgen capes fluttering in the breeze under the glare of a stray vintage Volkswagon Beetle taxicab headlamp has distracted me somewhat from the task at hand, the “vela