How Bell Gardens is Banking on Bicycle Club Casino’s Luxury Hotel

The sign illuminates eight lanes of the neighboring 710 Freeway. In contrast to the new monument to luxury, the gritty Long Beach Freeway leads into the post-industrial heart of Southeast Los Angeles. Thousands of eighteen-wheelers trucking in the majority of exports into the United States from the Pacific Rim make this the busiest highway with … Continue reading How Bell Gardens is Banking on Bicycle Club Casino’s Luxury Hotel

Worth Gold: Feminism and Leadership at the Miss Bell Gardens Pageant

Bell Gardens City Council members with the 2015 Miss Bell Gardens Court. Photo: City of Bell Gardens"All the court members agreed it was a great experience. One princess, Vanessa Perez from UC Irvine said: 'I've lived in this city all my life. I'm proud to be from here and to get more involved.' Mayor Jennifer … Continue reading Worth Gold: Feminism and Leadership at the Miss Bell Gardens Pageant

The Time is Now: Radical Feminism at Rock Camp in Southeast LA

Excerpts from the KCET Departures' essay, "The Time is Now for Chicas Rockeras in Southeast L.A.": After the "Radical Body Love for Young Riot Grrls" workshop led by facilitator Gloria Lucas, one of the campers said, "I love my body!" Volunteers also said they heard girls say, "I'm not ashamed to be round. No soy … Continue reading The Time is Now: Radical Feminism at Rock Camp in Southeast LA

A Man in His Backyard: sightseeing in City of Commerce with author Stephen Gutierrez

Read Vertiz's new essay on KCET: "A Man in His Backyard: sightseeing in the City of Commerce with author Stephen Gutierrez." The essay is like driving through the streets of southeast LA: past its modest homes, past the Citadel Outlets, past parks and schools that made gold medal swimmers and writers like Steve. Of course … Continue reading A Man in His Backyard: sightseeing in City of Commerce with author Stephen Gutierrez

Latina Leadership in Bell Gardens, a new KCET essay

"In the parking lot of the Food-4-Less supermarket on the corner of Atlantic and Slauson, two high school students stood near the sliding door entrance registering people to vote. The young women wore jeans and T-shirts (Garcia was probably in a Grateful Dead shirt), their hair gathered loosely into ponytails. Their temples beaded with sweat, … Continue reading Latina Leadership in Bell Gardens, a new KCET essay

On KCET’s Departures, “Bell Gardens? That’s Indian town!”: 1980s Pow Wows and Cultural Persistence

My family has lived in Bell Gardens since 1976, but we never drove past a pow wow at a local park. Gatherings that are sometimes open to the public, sometimes sacred ceremonies; they're hard to miss. Those big and bright gatherings with dozens of pop up tents in green and blue, people of all ages … Continue reading On KCET’s Departures, “Bell Gardens? That’s Indian town!”: 1980s Pow Wows and Cultural Persistence