CALÓ NEWS offers this weekly recap of the most important events and news stories for Latinos in Los Angeles and beyond.

Alex Padilla is California’s first Latino senator 

On November 10, Alex Padilla, 49, made history by becoming the first elected Latino senator in California after besting Republican candidate Mark Meuser. The position in the state senate opened up after Kamala Harris was elected Vice President of the United States. Padilla won with 58.7% of the vote; Mesuer received 41%. His term is expected to end in 2029. Padilla has sought to fight for Medicare protection, job creation, according to his website. 

“We have a hell of a fight ahead of us, and I’m heading back to the Senate ready to help lead that fight,” Padilla said at an election party at the Hollywood Palladium, according to the Los Angles Times.

CLLC awards funding to UCLA’s Latina Futures, 2050 Lab 2050 and the Hollywood Diversity Report

Lawmakers from the California Latino Legislative Caucus (CLLC) recently granted the University of California, Los Angles $15 million to invest in the Latina Futures, 2050 Lab. The project aims to focus on Latino-based projects, supporting research, collecting and analyzing data, as well as providing insights into the experiences of Latinas across the country and the policies that affect their lives. The CLLC is a forum for members of the state Senate and Assembly to aid the Latino community by “identifying, promoting, and advocating on behalf of the professional, educational, social, political, and cultural.”

California Senator Maria Elena Durazo said that UCLA’s Latina Futures, 2050 Lab goes hand in hand with the Caucus’ long term efforts to address inequality faced by Latinas economically, educationally and professionally, as well as in the realm of the leadership opportunities in California. 

The CLLC also invested $1.5 million in the Hollywood Diversity Report, a series of studies of ethnic diversity within the Hollywood entertainment industry. 

The Vanessa Guillén Netflix documentary trailer is released 

Netflix studio officials have released the first trailer of the new documentary “I Am Vanessa Guillén.” The filmmakers followed the Guillén family as they sought answers on the disappearance of Guillén. In April 2020, she disappeared from the Fort Hood Army Base in Killeen, Texas. In June of that same year, the remains of Guillén were found near Leon River, after which an investigation revealed that she was harassed at the base and later killed by Aaron David Robinson, a fellow soldier at the base.  

The Guillén family claims that the military allowed the a pattern of harrassment to continue up until Vanessa’s death, which sparked public anger and led to the #IAmVaessaGuillen movement. Protests were held in cities across the nation, including Los Angeles and Houston, to speak out against sexual assault in the military. President Joe Biden created the “I Am Vanessa Guillén Act,” intended to protect and support victims of sexual violence in the military force. “I Am Vanessa Guillen” premieres on Nov. 17.

South Central LA’s first dog park

On November 12, Los Angeles City Councilmember Curren Price Jr. inaugurated South LA’s first dog park. The park is a favorite spot for many Latinos and is located in what is now called the Ross Snyder Recreation Center in Council District 9. Attendees received numerous resources to better care for their pets, including reduced fees for pet licensing and vouchers for spaying and neutering. In Los Angeles county alone, 1,336,334 households own a dog.    

Edgar Ramirez Jr. is a freelance writer for Calo News. He grew up in the Los Angeles area and studied journalism at California State University, Dominguez Hills. His reporting interest includes social...