This week’s edition covers stories
from November 30th to December 6th, 2023.
Today’s issue is 960 words, a 6-minute read.
Isabella talks national news, Latin@ music successes, and local topics such as Minneapolis’ “Witch’s Hat” tower and cactus care in cold weather
Buenos días querid@s readers,
Isabella here. As we stand less than a month away from the end of 2023, the world is scrambling with wraps, ‘best of 2023’ lists, and 2024 budgeting and cuts. I’ve spent this past weekend in ‘Big Easy’ New Orleans, floating in jazz, beignets, oysters and rich history. While it was great to take a short break and spend 5 hours at the WWII museum, I had to come back and tell you about the latest.
Within the overarching realm of national news coverage, Representative George Santos “violated federal law” and was expelled from Congress on the first of the month. The trailer for videogame GTA 6 was released Tuesday, with over 100 million views, with a new setting in Miami and a female Latina star protagonist, Lucia. In New York, Mayor Eric Adams cut the Education Department budget by $1 billion dollars over two years, amongst other city service budget cuts, partially due to the migrant crisis and influx on the Southern border.
It’s no surprise Latin@s are thriving. Time’s top album of the year is Kali Uchi’s “Red Moon in Venus”’; The New York Times set Karol G’s “Mañana Será Bonito” #2; and AP called up and coming Mexican artist, Peso Pluma, and his album “Génesis” top of the year. These albums repeat themselves amongst the lists of different publishers. Although these are mostly staff picks, I’d like to highlight the importance of the growing popularity of Latine music, especially the rise of traditional corridos tumbados and Latine alternative r&b, or traditional Latine ballads.
Let’s talk politics. Claudia De la Cruz, a South Bronx native and presidential candidate with the Party for Socialism and Liberation, brings a rich background as a mother, educator, organizer, and theologian. Emerging from the Black and Caribbean working-class communities, she has spent nearly three decades dedicated to political activism, questioning poverty and oppression since an early age. Grounded in liberation theology, Claudia’s international experiences, including a transformative visit to Cuba, have strengthened her commitment to global solidarity. Her primary objective is to build independent political organizations and a mass movement, separate from the two-party system, with a focus on empowering marginalized communities in Washington Heights and the South Bronx. De la Cruz’s protest for the freedom of Palestine at BlackRock’s NYC headquarters brought her into the limelight causing many young Latines to route for her presidential campaign.
Running alongside De la Cruz is Karina Garcia, the vice-presidential candidate. A Chicana organizer and educator, Garcia began her activism at 17, leading campaigns nationwide for immigrant rights, financial aid reform, and against the Iraq war. As a member of the Central Committee of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, she emphasizes organizing the working class, combating issues like wage theft and trafficking, and representing educators. Garcia, also a writer for Breaking the Chains magazine, actively mobilizes against Supreme Court decisions affecting abortion rights, striving to rebuild a robust working-class women’s movement.
Claudia and Karina say: “END CAPITALISM BEFORE IT ENDS US”. Their goal? To build political organizations and a mass political movement independent from the two party system of the ruling class.
What do you think? Would you support an independent presidential campaign like that of Claudia and Karina? Let us know!
In the lighter, more entertaining local sphere, if you’re a Minneapolis sightseer like me and frequent windy-road Prospect Park, the “Witch’s Hat” tower may open in the near future to visitors thanks to the 2024 budget that includes $350K for repairing the building for public access.
For my plant parents out there, conversations have come up about cactus maintenance in Minnesota’s harsh cold weather, which got me thinking about cool cactus shops in the twin cities. Although Minnesota has 3 native cactus species (two prickly pear cactus and a ball cactus), Minnesotans can access many more species thanks to fabulous plant nurseries that take care of our edgy friends all year around. Two of my favorite shops:
- Fractal Cactus, located in the Longfellow neighborhood, offers a variety of cacti, succulent and air plants, as well as local art, pots and plants, petrified wood, agates and more. The shop’s owner, Scott, recently brought in a bunch of cacti from Tucson, Arizona. You can easily get lost in the shop for hours exploring the wide variety of species.
- Mother Co., Plants, located in North Minneapolis, also has a ton of houseplants and an amazing range of species from all around the world. The cool thing about Mother Co. is their “design-forward home goods” and accessories, as well as their homemade pottery for each plant’s needs. Their website provides visitors with an online shop, plant care information for different kinds of plants, and contact information.
Cacti relieve stress, they improve the air quality, they’re therapeutic and improve productivity. And well, if you ain’t growing ‘em you can eat ‘em! If you haven’t tried it, I recommend eating some grilled and spineless Nopal cactus.
Did you know that Rayito is the oldest Spanish immersion early childhood program in the Midwest? Rayito is an experienced program in what they do, with over 20 years of service and over 7,000 children graduates from the program. Rayito’s approach is authentic. All of their teachers and staff are from one of the 21 countries that speak Spanish as a first language. This ensures authenticity in both language and culture. Aside from communication with parents, you won’t hear English at Rayito. Click here to read more about Rayito de Sol and their incredible Spanish immersion program.
I leave you with a quote from R.D. Laing’s book “The Politics of Experience”:
“Madness need not be all breakdown. It may also be break-through. It is potential liberation and renewal as well as enslavement and existential death.”
That’s all from me, we’ll see you next time.
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