Politics

Covering hate crimes in an increasingly toxic political world

January 19, 2017 / By
Tags: , , , , , ,

Reporters can help fill the gap in hate crime reporting through coverage of local incidents in their communities, said A.C. Thompson, award-winning investigative journalist with ProPublica. The nonprofit news outlet is working to establish a mapping database to record incidents of hate crimes across the country. “We’re trying to add another layer of information to what’s out there,” he said. “People around the country can report hate crime incidents and hate bias.” For those reporting on hate crimes in local communities, Thompson recommends straddling the line between sympathy and skepticism towards victims.

Local faith community call for sanctuary ahead of presidential transition

December 20, 2016 / By
Tags: , , , , ,

Event organizers and demonstrators braved the cold and rain last Thursday to stand outside the Merced County Administration Building, where they shared powerful testimony regarding the impact current sentencing laws have on local communities and families. “Today, we as the faith community are doing what Congress has so far failed to do -- protect our families,” said Irene Armendariz, chair with Faith in the Valley. “As the holidays draw near, our hearts are drawn to those who are kept apart and live in fear.”

Amid Fears of Trump, Undocumented Students at UC Merced Find Courage to Speak Out

December 1, 2016 / By
Tags: , , , , , ,

“I think a lot of people don’t really know what DACA is. People think [Trump] can’t really do anything about it, but they don’t really understand the difference between an executive order and the law,” she said. “He can literally just take that piece of paper and throw it in the trash and that will be it. It won’t mean anything anymore.” Fear of a Trump presidency is in fact prompting many to shy away from applying for the program or from renewing their paperwork out of fear their information will be used by the government to initiate deportation proceedings against them.

Merced’s immigrant community prepares for Trump presidency

November 23, 2016 / By
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

“The most important thing to remember, is that you may not have papers, but you do have rights. You have the right to remain silent. You do not have to respond to immigration’s questions,” Davenport said. “If they ask where you were born or where you live, just say you’d prefer not to answer.” The hope is that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials will decide you are too much of a hassle and will not bother pursuing someone who shows they have a clear understanding of their legal rights, she said.

First-Time Voters Say They’ll Be Back, Despite Toxic Election and Ballot Confusion

November 19, 2016 / By
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

“I’ve always wanted to vote and help pick the president,” says Alex Salas, an 18-year-old senior at Golden Valley High School in Merced. “It means a lot to me and I’m excited to be able to pick the person that I believe should run our country.” Salas is a member of the city’s Youth Council, a youth counterpart to the Merced City Council. He says that while he’s disappointed with the Republican win, he still believes in the importance of exercising his right to vote.

Merced’s Lee Lor closes in on history as first Hmong woman elected to local office

November 18, 2016 / By
Tags: , , , , , ,

“I got a lot of support from other people of color in the area, which I think is important,” Lor said. “Being in the community for so long, it was frustrating to speak but not be heard and to see but not be seen.” Growing up in Merced County, Lor said she is intimately familiar with many of the struggles residents still face and has worked hard over the last 15 years to help strengthen the community.