“I know how to draw faces!” Ramiro Gomez insists with a grin, dabbing brown paint onto a glossy white magazine page with a slender brush. Shoulders and arms appear in a coppery sheen, then a head topped with thick black hair. But no face, at least not this time.
Artist Ramiro Gomez creates paintings of L.A.’s gardeners and janitors, nannies and housekeepers — the fleet of workers who keep some of the city’s most upscale households running smoothly.
Just over a year ago, President Obama launched a groundbreaking immigration program to help young immigrants in the U.S. to avoid deportation and find employment for two-year periods. The program is known as “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,” and is meant to assist youth who came to the country as young kids, and have completed …
Pablo Alvarado, 46, normally affable and soft-spoken, bristles when he’s called the Cesar Chavez of day laborers. Despite his accomplishments as director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, he doesn’t see himself as a hero.
When writer Jose Antonio Vargas spoke recently at USC, we learned that his struggles as an undocumented immigrant fueled his career in journalism. “If I can’t be here because I don’t have the right papers, what if I’m on the paper?” he had thought as a high schooler. “How can they say I don’t exist?” For Vargas, writing became a way to prove his existence in America, documents be damned. And more important, it motivated him to “succeed my way into citizenship.” Citizenship continues to elude him, though. To push for change, he shares his story around the United States with groups from college students to Tea Party members.
By: Daina Beth Solomon Issue date: 3/25/09 Section: Features The façade of Eagle Rock Plaza is unremarkable. Some might call it ugly. Street-level stores suggest a predictable American mall, featuring Chuck E. Cheese, Macy’s and Target. But underneath, nothing is ordinary. An oasis of cultural delight and wonder hides on the lower level. Tangy, tantalizing …
What’s wrong with a catchy song celebrating American diversity? Nothing, except that the Great American Melting Pot is a lie, or at best, a myth.