For my final project, I want to explore why the area of MacArthur Park has become a hub for immigrants, especially Latin American immigrants. According to census data, thirty-five percent of Los Angeles County is now foreign-born. I want to talk about the different conveniences Spanish-speaking immigrants have in MacArthur Park that may be attracting to them to gather around the area. For instance, the fact that there are restaurants, book stores and other shops that employ Spanish speakers and also produce the products they are looking for. I would also want to talk about the culture that is seen around in the area, particularly in regards to Latin music, immigrant festivals,Catholic gatherings and history of the area. Lastly, I would like to touch on the surrounding immigrant organizations such as CARECEN and other that exist in the area to help assist immigrants with any concerns they may have.
To sum it up, I want to explain why MacArthur Park has become a hub for Latin American immigrants through three different lenses:
-Commercial conveniences (bookstores, restaurants, fake ID places and other shops where spanish is the language of choice)
-Culture (Latin music, festivals, Catholic churches, history)
-Non-profits helping immigrants (CARECEN)
My sources for this project would be employees or customers at Bibi’s Cafe and other restaurants, the manager of the only spanish book store in MacArthur Park, a pastor of an outdoor church gathering held in MacArthur Park, MacArthur Park historian, advisors/lawyers at CARECEN.
For my multimedia element, I would like to include vinyettes with audio and photographs of different MacArthur Park residents telling me whether or not they think that MacArthur Park is an ideal hub for immigrants. I would have them explain to me why or why not. I would also want to include a timeline with some of the important immigration history of MacArthur Park, showcasing important dates when laws were passed or events were held.
For my final, I would like to do a story on Get Lit- Words Ignite, an organization based in Westlake that teaches spoken word poetry to teenagers in the area in almost 100 schools to “increase literacy, empower youth, and inspire communities.”
I will interview the founder Diane Luby Lane, as well as teachers and students (those who are 18 years old).
In addition to a text piece on the organization bringing spoken word culture to students who otherwise would not be as engaged in the arts, I would also like to embed a video (or possibly an audio slideshow) profiling one or more students. I would also like to make a map web element of all of the schools that Get Lit reaches with its program.
Pitch: The police officers in MacArthur Park face a unique challenge in that their region is rife with illegal activity, most of which they are aware of, but they are forced to prioritize some crimes of over others due to their division being under-funded and under-staffed. From wide-scale illegal vending by undocumented workers to small-scale drug trafficking, these are crimes that the police have come to accept as unavoidable, thus focusing more on heavier crimes such as drug violence, drug rings and domestic violence. I want to show how the Rampart LAPD has used community policing as a means to police the areas of ‘lesser’ crimes without expanding too many police resource.
Angle: Because the Rampart PD faces this unique challenge, their approach to community policing is equally interesting. Each member of the Rampart LAPD takes the time to get to know their community and be present in the region to show residents that there is a police presence should anything go wrong. For example, in order to deal with the 500-600 illegal vendors in the area, they have resident leaders who are part of the vendor community and act as middlemen if the police need to convey a message. Instead of using police time and funds, these vendors are made to sort out their own issues before bringing in a police presence. Similarly, vendors are respectful of the police because they know that they are being ‘allowed’ to continue this illegal activity.
Officer Frank Garcia – Senior Lead Officer, Rampart LAPD
Officer Flores – Rampart LAPD Bicycle Unit
Officer Gomez – Rampart LAPD Bicycle Unit
Andrew Said- Community Prosecutor
Rollover Audio Clips
Thing-link interactive photos
Map of Macarthur Park and vendors
I am working on a package on how youth in the MacArthur Park area view their futures. I am planning to get input from three different age groups; one story from a 20-year-old who is doing community organizing with the UCLA Labor Center’s new Health Ambassador program, a few vignettes and possibly a feature from high school students in the midst of applying to college, and a group of elementary school students. I have all of these interview groups scheduled and set up. Based on the stories of the students, I am planning to group the students into different challenges they face and ways people have helped them. I am also going to talk to experts at USC about the lack of diversity and equity in higher education. I have three contacts right now, but none have confirmed yet. Data from studies conducted on the educational equity of low-income students in Los Angeles will supplement the core of the project.
I’m planning to do something similar to the sliding photo/audio gallery, but possibly with rollover videos. I may also play around with expanding captions. I’d also like to do a web video feature on the student with the UCLA Labor Center. I have an interview and shadowing set up with him on Friday, so I should be able to get a sense of what shots would be best for a 2:00 feature web video on him.
I can see the page laid out as sort of a timeline, with each of the age groups set out as a separate group. I’m also hoping to break up the page with block quotes. Depending on the photo opportunities, I may also include a Thinglink on one of the students.