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Rock and Roll and Resistance: A Conversation with Alejandro Escovedo

 08/11/2017 - 12:25
Alejandro Escovedo for Burn Something Beautiful by Nancy Rankin Escovedo 

Mexican-American musician and activist Alejandro Escovedo elucidates on his immigrant roots, his take on the government, his brush with death, and how the stories he feels compelled to compose transcend the genre of rock and roll. Escovedo will be strumming alongside Texan legend Joe Ely at Ardmore Music Hall on August 19th, 2017.

[OP-ED]: Deficits forever?

 07/20/2017 - 12:15
The federal budget remains badly out of whack, even though we are near or at “full employment” (June unemployment rate: 4.4 percent). We cannot afford tax cuts; we need tax increases.

House Republicans, who are now deliberating the government’s 2018 budget, pledge to eliminate deficits within a decade. Well, good luck with that. It must be obvious that chronic deficits reflect a basic political impasse that can be broken only if majorities in Congress do things they’ve refused to do: trim Social Security benefits; raise taxes significantly; control health spending. There is a giant mismatch between what Americans want from government and what they’ll pay for with taxes.

Why EPA has dismissed half of its key board’s scientific advisers?

 05/10/2017 - 04:10
Scott Pruitt, the EPA administrator, has chosen not to renew the terms of nine of the 18-member board of scientific counselors, which advises the EPA on the quality and accuracy of the science it produces. Photo: Wikipedia

Nine scientists have been dismissed from the EPA’s 18-person Board of Scientific Counselors—ostensibly to include more voices from regulated industries, though the scientists say their work was apolitical and did not involve regulations. The US government has also postponed an important meeting scheduled for Tuesday to determine whether the country should or should not withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change, a matter that President Donald Trump promised to decide this month.

Author: 

[OP-ED]: A Latina congressional candidate whose passion for her community comes through loud and clear

 03/30/2017 - 15:49
In a crowded field of nearly two dozen candidates vying to replace Rep. Xavier Becerra, who was recently appointed California’s attorney general, political observers put María Cabildo (in the image) in the top tier. Foto:goodfoodla.org

 A friend from college once sent me a letter that broke my heart. She and I were part of a posse of Ivy League Latinos who -- while visiting one another at Harvard, Yale, Columbia -- would huddle over Long Island iced teas and lay out our blueprints to change the world.

[OP-ED]: A Latino health-outreach program is a reminder that it’s all in the name

 02/14/2017 - 14:21
A decade ago, the hot medical news was the emerging use of “promotoras” -- Spanish-speaking Latina community volunteers who worked with medical organizations to coordinate health outreach activities in their neighborhoods -- as a cutting-edge tactic to produce better outcomes in predominantly Mexican populations suffering from obesity, diabetes and other ailments.

If culture can be used as a currency to understand and serve a community, it can also be a trap, if the culture is painted with too broad a brush. We think we “know” the so-called Hispanic community -- generalizing to certain tropes about language, love of family, deference to authority figures, etc. -- and we rarely stop to question whether our initial assessments still hold true.

Plain Text Author: 
Esther Cepeda

[OP-ED]: Viewing minorities as monolithic groups only exacerbates inequality

 01/31/2017 - 15:29
People along with members of the Senate and the US House. Participate at a rally in opposition to the US President's immigration ban. Donald Trump, in front of the Supreme Court in Washington. EFE

“Disaggregation” is not a word that rolls off the tongue easily. But the concept of separating a whole into its distinct parts is one that we should embrace when it comes to statistics about minorities.

The time when it was sufficient to break out data by simple race or ethnicity segments has past. Demographics and new sociological and scientific understanding about the people that make up the broad categories of black, Asian and Hispanic tell us that these labels are becoming increasingly blunt instruments when we look at public health and education policy.

Plain Text Author: 
Esther Cepeda