Welcome to our sixth issue in a row. That last part is key, because, as with the Shakespearean stage, the show must go on in the world of journalism. No dark days nor dark nights allowed. We are beholden to our audience. No excuses. It’s one thing to publish one newsletter. It’s another to publish six in a row. And another to publish 16.
So, how do we plan to get to the 16 newsletters mark or to a full website by the summer as planned? The answer: One edition at a time.
Over time, we hope to build an archive of stories that shed light on the most important issues and most important people in our communities. And over time we will deliver useful and actionable articles, commentaries and information based on what is most important to Latinos.
We already know what the most important issues are. Latinos have lived with and survived many of the same exact challenges and injustices for decades and the hearts of our elders remain harmed and hardened as we see the same problems being inherited by our next generations. Sadly, we just witnessed the 30th anniversary of the LA uprisings. Of the 63 people of color killed in that event, a third were Latinos. The conflagration led to more than 1,000 people being deported by police, mostly Latino immigrants.
At CALÓ NEWS we aim to elevate Latinos.
Not just by shedding much needed light on the issues most important to our communities, but by sending out reporters and columnists who are from the same communities and/or understand the impacts of homelessness, joblessness, Covid-19, poor schools, bad neighborhoods, unruly police officers and much, much more.
We are a small outfit right now. Our lead writer is a soon-to-be graduate of California State University with a degree in journalism. Brenda Verano is also a Dreamer. Our freelancers are young journalists and writers looking for their first jobs and to build their resumes. And our guest Op-Ed writers have included professional journalists and academic leaders.
And we’re just getting started.
In our first six issues we have introduced you to Latinos/as/xs running for city council and running their own businesses. We have introduced to you activists and social media influencers. We even brought in our Opinion Editor to tell you what life looks like through the lens of a Chicana from Chicago living in California.
On our editorial pages we have lobbied for healthcare for all Californians regardless of immigration status and called for all LA mayoral candidates to better consider and collaborate with Latinos going forward and demanded that state and healthcare leaders find ways to produce more Latino doctors – STAT. And in this issue we speak to Latinos about the war on abortion rights.
By the way, we offer politicians and candidates an open invitation to answer questions from our staff related issues most important to Latinos. And we hit the streets with reporters asking questions about elections, immigration rights, abortion rights and more.
We need more voices.
Latinos are largely ignored by American mass media. We are maids and gang members on TV and in film. We are a drain on the American system and way of life, say anti-Latino politicians and pundits, and we take American jobs. But then, at the same time, somehow these politicians and pundits come calling when they need our votes every four years.
We don’t operate as a monolith. And our power and energy and respect due is too often diluted and weakened.
Like it or not, some Latino voters contributed to sending Trump to the White House. And sending Biden, too. And our votes will be crucial for whomever shall take all in 2024.
Latinos have power en masse.
And we’re just getting started.
Rest assured, as we open our pages to debate on crucial topics, lend a platform to our most important movers and shakers and share stories about the entrepreneurs, grandmothers and essential workers among us, there will be differences of opinion.
The lenses are not all the same for each of us. We will not agree on everything. That is an impossibility. And that is fine. The sharing and collision of ideas in public forums is an integral part of Democracy and Free Speech.
One of our greatest strengths as Latinos is the diversity we represent and embrace.
Expect us to differ in views. But expect us to have your back.
Here is what you need to know about CALÓ NEWS right now: We are new. We are here to stay. And we are here to elevate all Latinos. The boat is big enough. We may make mistakes. But we will grow along the way. And we will count on our community to help us keep all of us informed, empowered and enlightened.
We need justice. And yes, we need it NOW! In all of its forms. Ethnic. Gender. Economic. Social. Environmental. Nearly 7 out of 10 Latino residents believe uprisings could return to the City Of Angels, according to the Los Angeles Times. A key match in that potential fire is the lack of respect many Latinos feel when dealing with law enforcement, from LAPD to LASD to ICE.
We need more jobs. Better paying jobs. Equity in compensation. We need better education. Schools with better resources. Better teachers. Cleaner campuses. Consider, for instance, that Latinos account for three out of four students in LA County alone. Among the good news: The California Legislative Caucus continues to push bills that could provide: scholarships to Latino students and others from underserved communities that could be used from college to medical school as long as they agree to serve their communities for a period of time after graduation; two years of tuition-free community college for all full-time students; and $15 million over five years to dozens of California schools converting to dual language immersion programs.
We need better healthcare. Latinos have taken the brunt of the pain and loss caused by the pandemic, in large part because Latinos are the essential workers that keep the economies of Los Angeles, California and America primed and pumping.
Our sweat, spit and blood keep America in business.
Consider this, too: Latinos earned more than $1 trillion and paid more than $250 billion in taxes in 2017 alone. Those figures likely grow each year and are likely undercounted, as happens with Latinos.
Yes, we are the janitors, landscapers and farmworkers, yes. But we are the teachers, cops and firefighters, too. We are CEOs, college presidents and business leaders, too. We are artists, filmmakers and celebrities. Where there is work to be done, we are there. Where there is leadership needed, we are there. And most of all, we are there for our families and friends, in times of need and times of celebration. And we are there for all of the tough times.
We are Mexicans. Mexican-Americans. PuertoRicans. Peruvians. Salvadorans. Guatemalans.
We are Latinos. Latinx. Latiné. And we are Dreamers.
We are children born here but too often treated like a threat rather than an asset. We do all the right things with no promise of a brighter future. We roll the dice with the American dream: Will we win? Or, ultimately, will we be shut out?
Enjoy our sixth issue. And remember, we are just getting started.
If you would like to share a story tip, idea or contribute a guest oped, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.