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March 15, 2014 | By Lee Romney
KING CITY, Calif. - Angel Pineda tucked his white cowboy hat under a folding chair in the packed church hall and listened. First came the civil rights presentation - on what to do if pulled over by police. " I want a lawyer ," American Civil Liberties Union staffer Daisy Vieyra, who had come from San Francisco, enunciated in English. "I want a lawyer," the crowd repeated. Then came the indignation, as local residents and advocates from outside this southern Salinas Valley agricultural community made it clear that tomorrow's King City will not be the same as yesterday's.
March 11, 2014 | By Abby Sewell and Paul Pringle
A federal grand jury in Washington took testimony last year about then-U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis' role in a 2012 fundraiser for President Obama's reelection, according to a woman who said she appeared before the panel. Whittier resident Rebecca Zapanta, who is prominent in Latino political and philanthropic circles, told The Times she was summoned to testify in June about telephone conversations she had with Solis, now a leading candidate for an open seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
March 7, 2014 | By Adolfo Flores
A federal jury has awarded $3.5 million to three Westminster police officers who said they are continually being passed over for promotions and assigned to “mall duty” because they are Latino. After deliberating for about three days, the Santa Ana jury returned a verdict Thursday, finding that officers Jose Flores, Ryan Reyes and Brian Perez should get damages for discrimination, said Melanie Poturica, an attorney representing the Orange County city. “In many ways this is a historic victory for officers of color,” said Victor Viramontes, an attorney representing the officers.
March 7, 2014 | By Soumya Karlamangla
With time running short to sign up for Obamacare, California officials have recruited labor activist Dolores Huerta to urge Latinos to get health insurance. The state's move comes amid struggles at enrolling Latinos, who represent about 60% of the state's uninsured population. Open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act ends March 31. Huerta is co-founder of the United Farm Workers union and worked for years alongside the late Cesar Chavez. She is featured in new radio and online ads for Covered California airing statewide.
March 7, 2014 | By Meredith Blake
Robert Rodriguez helped ignite an independent film movement in the 1990s with his film "El Mariachi," shot for a mere $7,000, before moving on to blockbuster fare such as "Sin City" and the "Spy Kids" franchise. Now the restless filmmaker, 45, is trying to revolutionize the small screen with the recently launched cable network El Rey, targeted at a young, English-speaking Latino audience. It's available on Time Warner and DirecTV, among other outlets. You've had a lot of success in films.
March 7, 2014 | By Tony Barboza
Latinos and African Americans make up a disproportionately high percentage of the population of California ZIP Codes most burdened by pollution, according to a report released Friday by state environmental officials. Latinos account for nearly two-thirds of residents in the top 10% most polluted ZIP Codes despite making up only 38% of the state's population, the analysis by the California Environmental Protection Agency shows. Nearly 10% of residents of the most polluted ZIP Codes are black, though they make up only 6% of the population statewide, according to the report.
February 26, 2014 | By Cindy Carcamo
TUCSON -- Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer began meeting Wednesday with key groups before deciding the fate of legislation that would give more protection to businesses citing religious beliefs in denying service to gays. The meetings come as a group representing Latino lawyers announced it was moving its scheduled convention out of state. The Hispanic National Bar Assn. said it will move its 40th annual convention, scheduled for September 2015 in Phoenix, because the legislation, SB 1062, discriminates against members of Arizona's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
February 25, 2014 | By Lee Romney
SAN FRANCISCO - In a predawn sweep that stunned the Salinas Valley town of King City, the acting police chief, a former chief, other police employees and a towing company owner were arrested Tuesday, some on charges connected to a scheme to steal impounded cars belonging mostly to Latino immigrants, authorities said. A police sergeant was allowed to keep one impounded vehicle for every “10 to 15” he steered to a towing company owned by the brother of the acting King City police chief, according to a criminal complaint.
February 21, 2014 | By David S. Cloud
WASHINGTON - President Obama will seek to right a historical wrong next month when he awards two dozen veterans of World War II, Korea and Vietnam - including 17 Latinos - the Medal of Honor after a lengthy Pentagon review into racial and ethnic discrimination in the awarding of the nation's commendation for combat valor. Obama will present the medals to three Vietnam War veterans, and to family members of the 21 veterans who are receiving it posthumously, the White House said late Friday.
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