All I want for the New Year is for us to put resentment behind us. I hold a lot of anger towards people within my community, school and neighborhood and I would like to try and let go of some of it. That is my holiday wish.
The Ortiz family migrated from Mexico to the Coachella Valley in 1915, where the family patriarch, Esabel Parga Ortiz and his wife Maria Montoya Ortiz, first worked as fieldworkers.
Esabel Parga’s sons, Pete and Joseph were the first family members to join the armed forces, and since World War II, members of every generation in the Ortiz family have served in the United States military.
Now, five generations later, the Ortiz family has built a lasting legacy in the Coachella Valley, boasting more than 50 service members in four different branches of the military.
Then I started to see terms like “illegal alien” and “illegal immigrant” in the news. It seemed like everyone was reporting on what these “illegals” were doing. But I still didn’t understand why these people, who looked like me, were being branded “illegal” when really, they are just undocumented.
California is also where many of the most pressing issues raised by the pontiff – from climate change to LGBTQ rights and immigration – remain at the fore of political debate. YouthWire asked its youth reporters to weigh in on some of the Pope’s positions on climate change, gay rights and immigration, and what his message might mean for their communities.
Discussions of police misconduct in mainstream and social media outlets have reduced it to a black and white, and decidedly urban issue – African Americans on one side, white officers on the other. New America Media asked youth reporters in rural, and predominantly Latino, areas of California to survey people in their community about how they perceive local law enforcement.