How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

On the Day of the Dead, remembering the art of José Guadalupe Posada

Photo by TK/Flickr (Creative Commons)

"La Catrina" as part of a monument to Posada in Aguascalientes, Mexico, May 2007

This Election Day happens to fall on el Día de Los Muertos, the day of the dead. Think Mexican has posted an homage to the late Mexican illustrator José Guadalupe Posada, whose skeletal "La Catrina" is synonymous with Mexico's annual celebration of the dead as a part, always, of our lives.

According to tradition, the dead make their annual journey back to the land of the living at this time of year, and are welcomed home with altars laden with food, drink and tokens of what they loved in life.

The observance ends tonight.

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At the polls in Bell, voters are still smarting

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

Voters lined up this morning outside a polling place at the Iglesia de Dios church in Bell, Calif.

Is the political corruption that scandalized Bell a few months ago helping drive voter turnout there today?

Poll workers at one of two polling places set up at the Iglesia de Dios church in eastern Bell, a city that is more than 90 percent Latino, said this morning that it was too early to tell if voter turnout was any bigger than in previous election years, but noted that some voters had asked if they could vote for city officials in this general election.

They can't - a recall election for the mayor, vice mayor and one city council member is scheduled for March - but some voters outside the polling places in Bell today were smarting nonetheless. Voters said they were angry over the fiscal mismanagement and inordinately high salaries that landed eight city officials in jail earlier this fall, as well as the city's jacked-up property taxes, the second-highest rate in the county.

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In the news this morning: It's Election Day (plus the SB 1070 hearings, the power of Spanish-language media, and more)

Arizona immigration law: One part of Arizona measure may be upheld - Los Angeles Times The 9th Circuit Court suggested during a hearing yesterday that Arizona may be allowed to require police to check the immigration status of someone suspected of a crime.

And Now, Vote! - Capital Notes - From KQED's John Myers "...it'll all be over in a matter of hours. The election, that is. The really ugly stuff -- the governing -- is next."

Five hours on election night that will reshape Congress - USA Today Details on some of the key races to watch around the country.

Destined for deportation? - The Washington Post A woman who called police for her own protection now finds herself in deportation proceedings.

Moxley Watches The Election - OC Weekly What will happen in the closely-watched Loretta Sanchez-Van Tran race for the 47th Congressional District?

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Q&A: Voto Latino's Maria Teresa Kumar on the voting power of U.S.-born Latinos

Photo by buschap/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A bilingual after-voting sticker, February 2008

No one is more familiar with the power of the Latino vote, considered pivotal in tomorrow's midterm election, than the organizations working to get Latino voters to the polls.

Unlike some groups that focus outreach efforts on Spanish-dependent immigrants, Voto Latino focuses on younger Latinos who are U.S-born and English-dependent, employing popular culture and social media in its outreach. The nonprofit was co-founded in 2004 by actress/activist Rosario Dawson and its executive director, Maria Teresa Kumar. Since then the organization has registered tens of thousands of voters.

Born in Colombia, Kumar has been named by PODER Magazine as one of the most notable 20 U.S. Hispanics under 40 years old. She is a political contributor to MSNBC and has also appeared on CNN’s AC 360 and American Morning, NPR, Telemundo and CNBC.

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